Hello there family and friends!
Gosh, what a startle it was to have 7 e-mails in my inbox unread as opposed to last week! It's such a pleasure to hear from you all, whether by e-mail, dear elder or regular mail (or in Eric's case, by cookies and a note! Thank you bro! They were tasty!)
Well, this week we continued teaching our investigator, and the lessons were going well. We were still talking in what we call "caveman Russian" but we were sophisticated cavemen Russians! So that's what counts, right? On our last lesson with him on Monday we introduced Baptism, but he looked at us funny and said that his Grandmother had already baptised him into another Church, which made us both nervous and excited to prepare for our next lesson on proper Priesthood Authority and why baptism into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was different from what he had, but alas, it was not to be! The next day Our investigator walked into our classroom with Brother Dean (our teacher) and discussed his experience and evaluated us, telling me and Elder Swartz specifically that we had felt genuine and loving, and he had called us his friends (which gave me the warm fuzzies indeed). He then revealed that he was going to be our second teacher and that he would co-teach with Brother Dean throughout our next 10 weeks here! His name is Brother Milligan and he just barely returned from Samara 2 months ago, so he has been invaluable as a resource in finding out more about my particular mission.
I'm a bit sad, I was sneaky and figured out that on lds.org there is a place to have a study journal on your account and I wrote out my testimony in Russian (quite the ordeal, to tell the truth. Still getting used to the Russian keyboard!) but for some reason when I'm logged into my e-mail (at least on this computer) I can't access lds.org. Sad days, but I'll keep practicing so that I can write it out in the time given me in the future.
Today we will be starting to teach two new investigators, so it's exciting to learn to work with new people and personalities in Russian and to start flexing and using the language with as much understanding as I can. Russian is pretty hard, though the grammar isn't as bad as the vocab in my opinion. Sentence structure and the endings/conjucations of verbs, nouns, adjcetives etc... is very structured and logical, but the vocab is completely new. Repition and odd associations and methods to remember the words is seemingly the only way I can pull off getting the vocab down, but I'll get it.
By the way, I need to either get Brother Novak's address or have you give me a big thanks to him once again for what he taught me before I left. I can sing as fast as I can in English in Russian and I'mg etting much better at reading, all thanks to him. And his pink card that he gave me is much better than the card provided for us here at the MTC, so he gets double kudos on that part.
Mom, you asked some questions, so I'll answer them here! Thank you for sending the MMR stuff to the MTC. As for my card, I don't know offhand if I have it or not, I forgot to check my drawer fully as to where it would be if I had it here, so I'll send you letter/e-mail about that soon. MY departure date is flexible, and the MTC doesn't care if it's 0913 or 0912, though on the address they gave me here at the MTC it did say 0912, so -shrug- who knows? In addition, go ahead and share my e-mail with my friends via facebook, though tell them that dearelder is in nearly every way better seeing as how I will only be writing to family via e-mail (and for the next 10 weeks I only have 30 mins to read/write everything, ack!) Also remind them to always include their address so that I can write back. Yep, I got my jeans and flip flops, which have been abundantly appreciated thus far, thank you!
Time is winding down, and I need to go. Thankyou so much for your love and support everyone. Your prayers are felt and your love extends and breaks beyond all barriers of time and distance, I hope you know that. God is with us here at the MTC, and in His name we serve. Because of that, I know you are safe and well, and I know all will be well. Thank goodness for Christ and His everlasting Atonement and for the blessing of the Holy Ghost which bears witness of all truth in hope, love and happiness.
God be with you, my family and friends, until we meet again.