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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Letter to Dad, approx 2/17/2010

RoseE writes:

"Dear Dad,

So this week while Sister Pak was making photo backups, I snuck onto and loaded the Gospel of John as mp3 onto Isobel--Isobel being the appointed name by which the purple iPod shall be known on the records of the church forever after. Worked like a charm, and I had something pleasant, engaging, and spiritually un-distracting to listen to while exercising or working on my hanbok. But I finished it today, so I'm gonna try to get more chunks of the New Testament whenever I have occasion to be on a computer. You can tell you've turned into a flippin' Sister missionary when your iPod is loaded with scripture mp3s and conference talks and you think that's really cool . . . so cool you're astonished you can get away with it. Yeeeeaaah, Cat's gonna be annoyed with me when I get back.

So Ulsan. It's a factory town. Hyundai is king. I actually see big trucks-- semis--on the street sometimes, which would have been quite the event in Pusan or Taegu. One of our chapels is right smack next to the Hyundai shipyards, so if I time it just right I can catch a glimpse of the big old freighters through the bus window. And another of our buses runs by the manufacturing plant (or one of them), with this huge parking lot full of row after row after row of identical brand-new cars. And woe betide you if you're trying to get through Hogae district at quittin' time.

Hyundai seems to pay well, though. Most of the homes I've been in so far are well-appointed, large, clean apartments, not the chaotic, unheated little post-war "jutek" houses I saw so much in Pusan, or the tiny and badly-maintained two-room apartments, like (just for example) the previous residence of yours truly, where the hot water got shut off for two weeks. And Hyundai brings in a lot of foreigners--we've got two newly-arrived member families, one from the States and one from Vancouver, for whom we're all learning to do simultaneous translation.

And I found a museum! It is a whale museum. I figure Bethe will want pictures, so I'm planning to go, but not this transfer 'cuz Sis Pak Min Jeong's already been. We were right by it today, as I had to re-do my Resident Alien registration at the Immigration Office down by the port, but we didn't detour over to see it, mostly 'cuz it's just pouring rain today. It is too wet to do whales. It's a good day for hot chocolate and banana bread. Well, how convenient that I happen to have both of these things waiting for me at the house.

I'm through Ether 5 in my now-more-than-a-year-long quest to read the Book of Mormon in Korean. I'm gonna finish it if it kills me. I wanted to finish by Cat's birthday, but the setbacks attendant to a bout of influenza fairly well killed that, so now I'm shooting for Sis. Jenning's birthday the following week. Ether's going pretty quickly, though, 'cuz once you get into the wars and contentions, the vocabulary doesn't vary much. So who knows?

Aaaah heck my feet got soaked while transferring buses and now my poor toes are burning-freezing cold. No fun. I hope wherever we're going has a heated floor.

We heard tell there was an explosion or something in Connecticut. And I picked up a Newsweek at the post office, and from what I could decipher from pictures and article titles President Obama is not doing very well, according to that publication's view. And I saw on that a new temple's going up in Utah Valley. And that's everything I know about What's Going On in America. And my toes are still cold.

I love you and I'm trunkier* than heck but I'm trying hard not to let it show, 'cuz if you can keep it to yourself and do your work it's just homesickness and that's much more socially acceptable 'round here. So here's to hangin' on.


*trunky: the emotional state a missionary gets in for the last few months of his or her mission, wanting to pack his or her trunk and go home.

1 comment:

  1. I was in the MTC when Han In Sang spoke in April conference of '92. We thought that was SO cool. Maybe you could find that talk.

    I finally got in touch with an old companion (got to talk to her on the phone--so fun!) and also got an email from an old investigator who later served in Pusan. (I know she was in Taegu for a while.) *And* I got to go to the Korean branch with our neighbor. (She said she enjoyed it and will probably go back this week.) It was just so exciting! I will write and tell you all about it. :)