August 3, 2011
I can see clearly now, the rain has come! (it's raining! woo!)
Gosh, in looking over last week's e-mail I just wanted to start out by saying sorry if I was all over the place and not terribly coherent! I was sick last week (still am a bit now, not realy as bad though) and my head was just a bit out there! And thanks for the jelly beans! They're very delicious!
Dad sent me a dearelder the other day about sending ya'll a list of words, phrases and other shenanigans we do in Russia throughout the day. I'll be doing my best to compile that weekly or so and sending it out, starting today! Prepare to be bedazzeled by what words such as "to giggle" and "church service" will be! Stay tuned!
I got made district leader this week, which has been very interesting so far. Our district is kinda odd because one of our elder's (Elder Isabell) left a couple of weeks ago because he had a slipped disc and needed back surgery (or sugeries) to fix it, so he went home. And now, just yesterday, another one of us left (Elder Roberts) because he needs surgery on his knee for a torn ACL and another such ligament that has a fancy name. Our merry compamny of 12 is now 10, so in some ways it's easier, but in a lot of ways it's been sad. Thank goodness I've got my jelly beans to keep me going! :)
Dad was wondering if we play games here at the MTC to help us remember Russian. Most unfortunately, we do not. Most of the time we learn lessons for a big 'ol blue book that sets up words and grammar structures that compose of about 36 lessons or so, with a lesson being covered every other day or so (depending on the week). Recently we went over the use of past and future perfective verbs, which was alright. I am one fo the best in grammar in our class, but to tell you the truth, the concepts of perfectives and imperfectives (especially how the Russians use it) boggles my mind quite a bit, not to mention keeping in mind the various different ways to conjugagte past, present a future (depending on the case, whether or not it's reflexive or if it's jsut an odd verb) and then you have to conjugate the nouns! All in 6 happy cases and a bajillion grammar rules. But as stressful as that sounds, it's actually not too bad. It's easy to tell that we're all struggling with the language, but it's never been a bad struggle, just a hard one. Heavenly Father has helped each of us immensely in our studies, and He's never stopped yet, not even for perceftive Russian verbs! However, any suggestions you may have would be greatly appreciated!
I actually ahve enough time today to talk a bit about Sunday's here at the MTC! Sunday's are essentially jsut filled with meetings (Priesthood, Sacrament, and the Fireside) and the rest of it is essentialy jsut personal study. The food situation is the saddest on those days. Breakfast is always cereal, and just cereal, and the lines are insane! Thank goodness the prize is always a bowl or two of blueberry muffin tops! Lunch and Dinner and actual meals, but the lines are just as crazy. Ah well, life's still good! Choir is my favorite part of the Sundays and we meet together around 4:45 or so and learn a new song to sing for the following Tuesday's devotional. I've been going the past couple of weeks and it's been a blast! Both times I've sung during devo I've been told that I got a closeup, so props to me I guess!
I know this e-mail ghoes out to my buddies too, so I just wanted to give a little thing here. To everyone who has sent me mail: thank you so much! It's always a huge day lifter to open the mailbox for any missionary and see a letter (or letters!). The amount of support and love which I've gotten from all of you is astounding, and I'm incredibly apprecaitive for it! On the same token, the incredible amount ofsupport has made it hard for me to reach all of you back in mail. My apologies go out especially to the Packs, who have now written me multiple times but have not got a response yet. I know it's hard, but my time to write is super limited. I will reach all of you as quickly as I can, but I just want to let you know just how greatful and happy I am that you have sent me mail. If you're not too discouraged, please, keep sending me mail! I love to hear about how all of you are doing and I will do everything I can to respond. My friends, if you could please send me pictures of you, I still want them very much. It'll be much easier to send them to me now then it will be in just a few short weeks when I go to Russia. Thank you so much once again for your love and support :)
Mom, I've been reading up on the Old Testament lately, and it's been great! For the first time in my life I made it all the way through Genesis and I'm plowing my way through Exodus now. Everytime when I read and talk to other missionaries abotu what I've read I remember the things that you told me about when studying for your insititute class, and it's helped me bunches! Thank you so much for telling me about what you were studying and what you learned, it's helped me and will continue to help me bunches while I study and prepare for Russia!
Crazy to think that, after tomorrow, I will be on the downhill side of my time here at the MTC. 5 and a half weeks tomorrow until I leave for Russia, and 5 and a half weeks tomnorrow is the amount of time I've been in here. I'm incredibly excited and super nervous to go to Russia. Everyday I still hope and pray that my visa will get through, my main worry still being that I'm from Los Alamos. Regardless, I think things will work out alright. No telling for another few weeks though!
Looks like that wraps it up for now! Thank you so much everyone for you hope and prayers! :)