Gaaaaaah I want to go to the temple like CRAZY. I'm glad you went. It's good for you. I think it's okay to be trunkie for the temple. Maybe it isn't. I don't know.
I'm really glad I don't have a film crew following me around on my mission. I cannot imagine that they would have a good time. Most of missionary work does not end up being good movie material. Like, at all.
We were going to go to the whaling festival down in Jangsengpo today, but it's raining and we couldn't work up the motivation. This is after the elders spent half the night leaning on us (not even asking us straight-out; just leaning insistently) to go up to Hogae to play the piano for their musical number practice and play werewolf with them. These activites are all well and good, but it is what we did last week, and we have Sis. Culver who has still not seen much fun touristy stuff in Korea and needs to get out and look around. And, of course, Sis. Linford and I are running out of time to see stuff. So there was a squabble and lots of annoyance on both sides, and so even though we're not going to the festival we're still not going up to Hogae, which is sad, 'cuz there are elders from the far reaches of my zone coming with whom I have served and whom I'd like to see again. But that's the way it goes.
Last night, it being Elder Moore's birthday, we all did dinner at Outback Steakhouse. It was after Lunch Special time, which is not good, because Lunch Specials are just what missionaries do, period. But good times were had overall. There was food made with milk, which always makes me happy.
Um . . . looks like this letter is turning into the weekly report, so I'll just go with that and keep writing. So Sister Culver is an absolute champ. She hasn't cried once yet. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop--I'd cried half a dozen times by this point in-field; where's she getting all this composure from? We're swapping lots of stories and slowly getting her phased into Korean food, and doing lots of wandering around in parks, which I'd always wanted to do but never had a companion be enthused about. But yesterday we walked around a lake with this woman who turned out to be the head nurse of the postnatal care unit of ING hospital, and the day before that we met the SK director who manages Ulsan Grand Park, who showed us around a bit. Fun, huh?
Saturday, Sister Song Yeong Ok got baptized.
I'm amazed she gathered up the courage to do it . . . she's SO shy. I was in a tight-wound bundle of stress all day, mostly vicarious terror on her behalf, so I unfortunately did not have much fun at the baptismal service. But it all went fairly smoothly. Sister Kang Kyeong Jin, an old friend of Sister Song's daughter, gave a talk (this was the by-accident ask, but Sister Ii Kyeong Jin, whom I was supposed to ask, couldn't make it so that ended up okay), and so did President Jennings, who'd come up especially. Sis. Yoon and I did a musical number, but as we weren't able to practice or warm up it was not an unqualified success. That's okay, I hope. Nobody died. And Sister Yoon Mi Hyeah, Sis, Song's daughter, was just glowing with joy and tears the whole time. I'm so excited and happy for them both. But I'm worried, too . . . there are so many people in this world who've gotten baptized and then fallen away from the church, because of sin or neglect or boredom or whatever. So I've now got a head start on worrying if Sis Song's going to stay active, if she's going to keep learning the gospel and progressing and being blessed as she's been these past few months, or if I'm going to check in later and discover that nobody's heard from her family in ages. But that's how Heavenly Father feels, I guess. You never stop worrying about the people that you love. I hadn't expected this. I guess we just work and pray and wait and support one another and hold on. I guess that's what life in this church is all about.
I'm having a hard time hanging onto the morning and evening schedules with Sisters Linford and Culver in the house. I just want to talk to them all the time instead of studying. New challenge. Hold on.
And now we're back to the 'gathering' phase of missionary work, collecting up another load of people to teach in hopes that one or two of them will catch the fire of what we're trying to share with them and progess towards baptism and onwards. And we're back to tracking down less-active members that haven't been seen in ages, reminding them that they had something good in their lives once, even if they've forgotten about it. And we see what happens as the weeks go forward. It's still not pleasant and sunny and springtimey on anything like a regular basis. Just a rather gray, wet spring. They happen.
Oh, we got news yesterday that THERE'S GOING TO BE ANOTHER SISTERS CONFERENCE! Just a little one, to watch the YW General Broadcast. I'm SO excited. I had given up hope of any such thing ever happening again. But I'll get to see all the gang at least one more time, which is tremendously exciting.
Still working hard, I promise. Still practicing Korean and talking to people and doing all that stuff I'm supposed to do, as well as I can do it, which is still not well. But I'm waiting for that thing to hit . . . the thing where you suddenly don't want to go home. I'm not sure if it just hasn't hit yet, or if I'm just trunkie and aught to be ashamed of myself, or if I'm just a positive person and am facing the end of my mission with a good attitude. I suppose we'll see, in due course.
Love you. Stay out of trouble. Have fun hiking with the family and riding bikes and going to the temple and being in Hawaii (Cat) and stuff. This church is true, and I know it, and everything's so much easier and happier because I do.