As for Christmas packages--deodorant would be good. I love the taco seasoning and I ration it like gold. I love getting Reese's. And Hot Tomales---those cinnamon candies....they're way fun to feed to Koreans :). If you're feeling really venturous You could send me some classical music in CD form--or MP3 format on a USB drive or SD card. I really like Dvorak 9th Symphony, and Beethoven 3, 6 and 7 Symphonies. You can send anything you want, just so long as there aren't romantic overtones. Out mission is quite leniant on music. Take your pick. If you send anything---send it in a big envelope---it's much cheaper, and if you wrap it in clear plastic tape it's about as strong as a box.
So, I just got a letter from my MTC Companion Sis. Peterson in Seoul. If you remember she was adopted Korean. She managed to track down her family and she has an older brother, an older sister and a TWIN BROTHER! They all live in Masan Stake---which is the stake I'm serving in right now. She's working on getting permission to come down and meet them. It would be fun if she did get permission cause she'd probably stay with us :). Anyway, I'm really happy she found her family. That was a big goal of hers for her mission.
My new companion is amazing. All the rumors I heard about her are false---except one---she is an AMAZING cook. Hopefully I can learn how to cook Korean food from her. Other than that, I don't know where those other things came from. I'm so grateful I have the chance to serve with her (she goes home in January) before she leaves. If I hadn't have been companions with her I'd have never given her a fair chance and I'd have missed out on a great friendship. Makes me wonder how many people could have been my best friends that my own pride kept me from giving them a chance...
I was touched last night when we were riding the bus home she told me that she wanted to keep touch with me after the mission and that I was the first foreigner companion that she'd felt that way about. What a compliment! I don't think I did anything overly special, but apparently it meant something to her.
So, we live in a brand new apparentment. In fact my companion is the first person to live in it (last transfer with Sister Hill). It's completely voud of former missionary guck. It's marvelous!
And I love my areas. There are Mountains! They aren't the Rockies, but I'll take them. One of them, if you catch it at the right angle, looks just like Cheyenne mountain. I feel like I'm walking due south in the morning, but I'm really walking North in the late afternoon :).
This morning we woke up a little early so we could go hiking up the mountain (hill-ish) behind our apartment. It was so good to be on a mountain trail again. I didn't realize I missed hiking so much. And the best part was that the sun hadn't come up yet and there were STARS!!! Usually the pollution is too bad at night to see the stars, but it clears out for a short time in the morning and I caught a good glimpse of Ursela Major and Ursela minor (sorry if my spelling is off---you're lucky I remembered the word in in the first place). It was beautiful. What a wonderful world God has created for us here.
On a different note---once at the top of the mountain we "marched" around the Buddhist temple there exactly seven times. Next time we'll have to remember our trumpets!
On a different note---Saturday was the Changwon Santa Bike Event. This means that literally thousands of people rode their bikes around town dressed up as Santa Clause. It was quite the sight :). The best part was that it was sponsored by a group called "Changwon Practical Bikers Guild" as if there's anything practical about riding a bike in a Santa Costume.
Life is excellent here. Just when I think I can't get happier I find a way to be so. We can't really understand the happiness the Lord has reserved for us---it's so far beyond our understanding. But as we strive to "live after the manner of happiness" the Lord reveals higher and higher happiness to us.
Stay safe and have a Merry Christmas! Drink lots of apple cider for me because I still haven't found normal apple juice around here!
Love to all!