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Thursday, March 4, 2010

In Which More Responsibilities Are Heaped On, and the Bank Cards Barely Work

RoseE writes:

"Dear Mom and Dad,

One bad thing about the new Thursday P-Day is that when the big news hits (last Friday of the transfer) it's all hit, processed, implemented and done before I can get any news to you at all.

So here's what happened. The universe kicked me in the head, basically. Prez called Friday night to tell me I was training the new incoming greenie sister. I don't think I've ever been so afraid and unhappy in the whole course of my life. I mean, there are five . . . FIVE! . . . Americans coming next transfer, and I couldn't train one of them? When we've only got four American sisters who could train, including me? Freak. First I was mad, then I was shocked, and then I started crying great horrible hacking sobs while curled up in a ball on the floor and didn't let up for an hour and a half. Not a good night, really. Freak.

So in the midst of my drama-queen moment, Sis. Pak Min Jeong was still trying to pack up the last year and a half of her life . . . now a day faster than planned 'cuz we'd have to go to Pusan on Wednesday for Training Day instead of Thursday, Transfer Day. She's dying alone . . . there are no other sisters going home this transfer, so it's just gonna be her and a bunch of elders on the train to Seoul, and then she gets pitched straight into a visa interview so she can go do a summer semester at UVU in April. Not fun times. Very stress-filled for both of us. To our credit, we are neither of us dead and we're still friends. But it's been close.

Oh, and plus March has rolled around and we're now switched to the new purchasing cards. I tried six ATMs before I found one . . . waaaaaay out in Bangeojin . . . that would give me any money. We're sticking to a cash-only plan as much as possible from here on out.

So Sis. Pak Min Jeong and I got on a bus Wednesday morning to meet the new Sister Pak . . . Sister Yoon Jin Ah, of Seoul. She's done two years at BYU, so her English is more passable than my Korean . . . but aaaaah crap I still don't know what's going on or where anything is and don't get me started on the Language and how am I supposed to be some kind of gosh darn example to a new missionary? I had to take deep breaths, in through my nose and out through my mouth, the whole dang bus ride. And then on the subway. And then into the office. Sister Yoon's fine . . . no problems there, nice girl. But AAAAAAAAHHHHHH!! And I had to relive training day, the worst day of my mission!

It wasn't that bad this time. Prez made the meeting run long, as always, so we didn't have too much time to go cold-prostelyting in Pusan, and we got to go up to Pusan tower, where I'd never been, and see great cityscapes and all. And nothin' beats dinner at the mission home. Poor Sis. Yoon, of course, is dead on her feet from jet lag. And the apartment wasn't very clean when she got here . . . Sis Pak was packing and I was freaking out, so nobody cleaned anything. Poor thing. That's so hard, seeing your dingy missionary apartment for the first time and realizing just how far your standard of living has dropped. I saw Ulsan house as a palace when I got here, but seeing it through her eyes, I was ashamed.

She's a nice girl, really. Today we spent most of our morning cleaning, re-arranging, and unpacking so the house is now a lot more liveable for both of us. And then we went out to see if we could make HER new card work. Four ATMs and two calls to Elder Matsuura later, we figured it out. You have to go to the GS25 corner store and do a credit card-based cash advance in English and only take out 100,000 won . . . while hopping on one foot and reciting the Declaration of Independence backwards.

So here we sprawl. We're now under the leadership of me, who has no idea what she's doing, in a city covered in rain and slush. I am comforted only in the knowledge that no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing . . . I've only got four months and change* left, how much can I possibly screw up? Don't answer that. And Monday is ZLCM so we get to go to Pusan again and have tacos for lunch and I'll see Sister Ogelvie and cry at her some more, probably. We cry at each other a lot. It passes the time.

If I do 5 pages a day in Le Livre de Mormon** I can finish it before I get home.
New plan of attack underway for the hanbok. Pretty much starting over, but I think it will end up working at long last.

I wanted to food shop today, 'cuz we've got nothing but tortillas and peanut butter at the house (and we're dang lucky to have those, really), and because our house really needs a new toilet seat. The previous sisters' decision to buy the cheapest toilet seat availabe has come back to bite us all in the butt, every day.

Yeah, I'm in a sarcastic place this week. I'm not ready to be a trainer or even full senior. I'm scared to death. I want to hide under my bed, but there's no 'under' my bed to hide in. And Prez is threatening to make me do this training thing once more before all is said and done.

I never wanted to be a highly-ranked greatly-honored sister missionary. I wanted to stay out of trouble and go home. And now I'm simultaniously trainer and Chamei dep . . . every available Honor of Men that I wasn't supposed to aspire to and genuinely didn't much want, I got. I hope you're all very proud of me.

I, on the other hand, am very proud of Bug*** . . . I couldn't hear a note he played, but he looked great! Rrrrgh missionary communication is hard.

Getting kicked out. Gotta run. I love you


* The Book of Mormon in French.

**128 days, but who (else) is counting?

***Young brother. He played bagpipes in a recital last weekend.


  1. Yeah, I remember how freaked out I was getting my first junior Korean companion. I imagine training would be just that much more freaking out.

    Neither of my mission presidents ever put Korean greenies with American trainers. This is different!

  2. They used to have pictures of all the Korean MTC groups in the 성도의벗 (before it was the Liahona like everyone else's). Most of the pictures are online. It's fun to go through and pick out people I know.

    I've looked through the Korean Liahona online and haven't found anything like that. I've poked around the church site a bit and can't find anything there either.

  3. Sister Copeland has a Korean greenie too.

    I sent a snail mail letter a few weeks ago--let me know if it doesn't get there!

  4. 자매님! 오늘 편지가 왔어요. 고마워요! 지금 답장을 쓰는중이에요.