"Dear Mum and Dad,
Well, big news is TRANSFER CALLS. Friday night. I had my mission map out and pencil ready to keep track of all the moves. Sis. Yoon got the deadly call: they've sent her out to Taegu, my old apartment but not my old area, co-senior with Sister Crowther. It was rough for her, but I knew it was gonna happen. First transfer's always the hardest. Sis. Linford got the call from Prez--she's training. Sis. Ogelvie called me with news of how everybody else was shuffling around and who was training the other two new greenie sisters (Jeong Min Hee, 2nd trainee, and Sis. Musser, 3rd trainee). And the transfers were settled. A slot for everybody and everybody in her slot.
Then our phone rang.
Sis. Culver sat paralyzed in her chair as I answered it.
It was Prez. What the freak? thought I. Who could he possibly make me train? There's no one to train! They're all trained!
False alarm--he's installing me back as Chamei Dep. I've never heard of anyone going two rounds as Chamei dep, and am surprised it wasn't sister Ogelvie instead of me. . . but I think the crux of the matter was the Chamei Dep training binder I wrote at Prez's request a few months ago. Because now he wants me to write a training binder for sister trainers. I must have done a good job. I'm quite flattered. And hey, ZLCM LUNCH TOMORROW!
So that was it. My last transfer call. Well, the last one where my head's on the chopping block. No new companions, areas, district- or zone-mates, or roommates (now that we've met Sis. Linford's greenie, Sis. Alcazar . . . also from California. I'm in an all-weigukin house for the first time in my mission, and they're ALL Californians. Save me). And today begins my last transfer. Today Sis. Pak Sung Hee and Sis. Pak Seh Ra go into That Good Night. And for me, there is no Next Transfer. My new planner covers more time than the rest of my mission covers. I keep swinging back and forth between being excited to go home and forgetting that there IS a home . . . that there's something besides black oblivion outside mission boundaries. I'm confused, and nervous. And wondering if my Korean is as good as it's gonna get . . . I hope not. I'm going to try to speak Korean straight through every working day for the rest of the mission, because living in a house with three other Americans is NOT going to be good for my language skills otherwise. I mean, I'm looking forward to being home, and of course hey, I love airplane rides, and pre-airplane there's the temple and a couple hours to explore Seoul, and a ride on the KTX which is always fun . . . I think it's just getting on the train, that last goodbye to Prez and Mom Jennings, that I'm recoiling from. I think that's going to hurt like death. But hey, before that is Dinner at the Bu, and P-Day in Pusan, and all manner of fun craziness . . . Just that one painful kick and then it will all be over and everything will be okay.
So in other news, this week Sis. Culver and I discovered the wonders of Ulsan Grand Park (seriously, Dad, you have GOT to come to Ulsan Grand Park. You would flip. It's fantastic) and played with a bunch of butterflies and went to the bug museum. I think we're the only foreigners in Ulsan that know about the Grand Park . . . one gentleman we talked to said that he came to the park every other day, all day, for years, and we were the first weigukins he'd ever seen.
Also, politics proceeds apace. There's an election or something going on, and on nearly every major corner there are people in matching shirts doing dance routines to jingles in favor of one candidate or the other. The candatates themselves are riding around in big trucks with their faces plastered all over them, waving and doing nintey-degree bows to everyone they see. For once, we're not the weirdest thing on the streets of Ulsan.
And we got to have dinner this week with a lady who comes to our English class--a divorcee who runs a donkkas restaurant with her brother and handicapped older sister, while raising two teenage kids. She is teaching herself to decorate cakes, and wants to open a bakery next year. She fed us excellently, and happily accepted the brief spiritual message and Liahona we offered in return. I'm excited about her. I hope we can teach her.
This week, instead of the third hour of church, we're watching Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration, which the Bu bootlegged some subtitles onto. So everybody's inviting everybody, and hopefully it will be a good intro to the church for a lot of people. Awesome Katrina and her Also Awesome Friend Renee are coming (we've been doing FHE with them on Monday nights . . . we share a scripture story and they teach us how to play spades. Sis. Culver is winning), as are a lot of less-actives and sort-of investigators. We're excited. I love movies.
And Wednesday Elder/Dr Gibson and Elder/Dr Brown, the missionary health gwallying people, are coming and doing a mission tour, so we're having Zone Conference. AND some time after that, Elder Rockwood (Rookwood? Ravenwood? One's a Seventy, one's a Death Eater, and one's in Indiana Jones, or maybe somebody uses the same name twice somewhere) is coming, so we get two Zone Conferences in my last transfer. Good times.
AND I'm copying all my photos since, um, the last time I copied them (coughNovembercough)* and sending them home, so they'll all be safe and y'all get to see everything while biting your nails to the quick or freaking out over MASH or whatever you're doing to keep yourselves occupied in the remaining time. I'm reading Livre de Mormon, breaking the chewing-on-my-fingers habit, and making boxes for all my scriptures, to keep my fingers busy.
Oh, somebody please pass stuff on to Emily, and hopefully relay stuff back from her, 'cuz e-mail is quicker than letters even if it is only once a week:
How about the week right after Cat's wedding? That's what, 14th of August, right? So 15 or 16 August-ish? And it's still well before my dad's birthday. Sound good? Sound like a plan? Any objections?
Mom, can I still fly? Are there restrictions on my flying? Do I have to buy tickets now? Does JetBlue go to Boston or just to JFK? Is that week impossible to fly on for some reason? Maybe you should just talk to Emily . . . I'm just out here in Korea; I don't know what I'm doing. I am seriously not qualified to plan a week in Boston with my best friend right now, but planning is required, so . . . yeah, just tell her to pick a week, as long as it's not the wedding or Dad's birthday, and I'll be there. I'll figure out the details later.
Okay, gonna make a backup CD quick . . .