I can't believe it's Christmas and I forgot about the whole calling thing until this morning when I got a phone call abbout the permission stuff. I intend to call first thing on the 26th here (between 10:30 and 11:00---whenever I can make it to the Church) I think it puts it between 6 and 7 PM on Christmas night there. I'd love if the whole family could gather again. Also, apparently a lot of people had problems trying to get phone cards to work right last year and it caused a lot of hurt and panicky feelings so we have permission to test our phone cards a couple days earlier. (I just think some Elders are stupid and can't read directions, but whatever.) So when I get my phone card I'll call just to make sure it works and that's a hi-bye thing, and then I'll call for real that Christmas night.
I got that letter from Dad. I love Dad letters. Who else would bother telling me the average daily milage on each of the cars in the past year? The funny thing is that I actually cared and thought it was interesting. It was good to hear the other side of things in the Ogilvie household.
I meant to send Christmas cards, but Christmas snuck up on me. I kept thinking that it would feel more Christmas-y later, but it never really did. So, we'll see if that happens.
So, for the first time in my life the Bishop called me and asked me to give a talk in Sacrament meeting and said "If you could make it kinda long that would be good." Usually they warn me that the meeting is only supposed to be 70 minutes long :). Lucky for him I'm not nearly as long-winded in Korean.
Our high-council speaker was really good on Sunday. I can always tell when they are actually sticking to the doctrine because I can understand everything they say when they do, otherwise I'm lost :).
So, you might remember me telling you about my first contact in Gimhae (the girl crying outside the University) and how she was being taught by the missionaries now. Well, she lives in Masan, which is MY area. Unfortunately she "punked" our appointment last week. I'd really love ot be able to help her want to keep meeting us and I would love otsee her through baptism. So, if you could pray for her that would be great. Her name is Lee Jung Min.
Also, there's this older, less active couple that my heart really goes out to. The poor couple has gotten really depressed and just don't know how to get out of it. We've visited them twice now and the second time they received us better. The grandma just starts crying out of the blue everytime you mention anything about kids or family, and the grandpa just hangs his head partly with sadness and partly with embarrassment. I *think* their adult son died recently? Anyway, I know that the Spirit can help comfort them and they can find a way to overcome it through the Savior. Please pray that I can find a way to help them realize that. I love them so much. I forgot their whole names (Korean names are hard, sorry) but I call them "Grandma Kim and Husband" in my prayers---except I usually pray in Korean so that sounds weird. Oh well. God knows who you are talking about.
The minor set back of the week---snickerdoodles. The mission has a cookbook that, frankly, should be burned. All of the proportions are ridiculously off kilter. Well, this week I finally pinned down the right proportions for snickerdoodles---they were PERFECT!!! BUT my companion thought they were salty. They weren't salty. You need salt---never argue baking with a Korean---their ignorance and temper will always win(rarely do Koreans even own ovens, let alone know how to use them). But not only were they not salty, she told everyone we gave them to that they were a little salty BEFORE they tasted them, so of COURSE they decided they were salty before hand. GAH! It kinda hurt my feelings. So the next batch I put less baking soda and salt and of course they were hard as rocks (this is what happens without leavening people). I decided that you can either have hard cookies or "salty" cookies---and personally I prefer them "salty". There, now I've taken the frustration of that whole argument out on you and not her. If that's the worst that happens this transfer I think I'm good to go. :) People are the same all over the world. They may have a slightly different shell developed through a different culture and custom, but people are people, no matter how you dress them. When you take a second to pause and think about why a person behaves the way they do it becomes clear and then you don't feel the need to choose to be angry---in fact, you usually find humor in the minute differences that made the inconsistency come up in the first place. And then the miracle is that you love them despite being so different.
As a side note, I was running outside Wednesday morning and realized that it is, in fact, "Ursa" major, not "Ursela" major. No wonder it looked weird. The poor big dipper got consigned to be a sea witch without due cause!
Much love to all.
Merry Christmas to All---and to All a good night!