February 20, 2012
"Is that...sidewalk? Oh my gosh, I forgot what sidewalk looks like!"
Hey there family and friends!
I'm curretly writing you and looking out at a relatively sunny day in Saratov! Last week was probably the coldest most bitter week I've felt weather wise, but today it almost got to 0 C outside! That's pretty exciting, considering last week it was about -30 C! Woo hoo!
I had a cool experience this week. I didn't really mention it last week, but last week was a bit tough on all fronts. We were having lots of trouble findig (we didn't find any, actually), no one really wanted to meet and church attendence was low by about 10 people. Argh! It was a hard week, that was satiated really only by slabs of butter on bread, which isn't quite as good a comfort food as is a nice tub of Moose Tracks ice cream. In the midst of all the feelings of "dang, we couldn't do a thing this week!" my district leader decided to do exchanges this past week. He's a great guy, and so I was excited about it all.
The coolest thing happened actually, not while I was in my own area with the district leader, but rather when I was in the district leaders area with my MTC companion, Elder Swartz, of all people! We both had a pretty bad cold that day, and absolutely no meeting set up, but we decided that despite feeling sick and tired, we'd go out an just work our tails off. And guess what? That day alone, we found 4 people! Heck, that's more that me and my companion found in our area this week even! I was so bummed by the previous week in thinking that I couldn't find anymore, but we were blessed by the Lord that day as He showed us that as we worked our hardest, despite how we felt, He would bless us in still being effective instruments in doing the work. I heard from my district leader last night that 2 of those four people are already progressing. Heck yeah!
Dad, you reminded my today that I've been out for about 8 months now, which is pretty dang crazy to think about. Time is going a lot faster than I wish it did, and rumors have it that it only goes faster. Ack! But hey, the bright side is that in exactly 4 months from today will be my birthday! I've heard about Russian birthday traditions, but I don't actually know any of them, so I'll have to see if anything cool happens in 4 months!
I think it was Mom that asked me the question today of which Russian hymns I like to sing. I've found that my liking for the Russian hymns has gone up significantly lately because I'm actualyl starting to understand them! Yay! A favorite of mine is always "Families Can be Together Forever", and I found that "Called to Serve" has a way cool translation. I don't have my hymnbook on my right now, but if I remember it next week I can bring it along and do a quick translation to show you how cool it is. Russian is so dang fun to sing, in my opinion, and it's beautiful, I just wish that it didn't take so long so say stuff sometimes! I've found that some hymns that I really like in English I don't like as much in Russian because they have to condense it or shorten it in some way that loses some of the meaning. Though, I guess that's not always true, because some songs they seem to be able to fit even mroe in Russian than in English, so it's no general rule I guess. I just like singing!
Oh my golly gosh, I'm gonna be an Uncle again! I expect the little dudes to be bilingual in English and Russian by the time I come back! Or at least given Russian names, like Olga or Nikolai! Just kidding of course :) I'm excited to hear more information as it comes out!
Question for you Dad (and anyone else really), a member of the district presidency who I'm really good friends with asked me a question the other day. It's in Isiah too, but in 2 Nephi 18:1 he was wondering who the heck the kid with the weird name is and if it was any particular significant meaning. I didn't have too much of an answer, but maybe ya'll had some insights! Thanks :)
Well, I'm pretty sure that's all I've got for now! Thank you so much all that you do! By the way, I got your letter from after we all skyped! That was so dang cool and way great to read what everyone had to say! Thank you so much! :)
Ya'll be good now, ya hear? I love you lots :)