April 1, 2012
"How much of the play did you understand?" "Hm...I think I got about 15 words out of it all!" "Nice!"
So, to start off, there's a picture from zone conference a few weeks ago that go sent out to us. That's all the cool American people I get to work with (and one Canadian! Made me think of my friend Kathryn Gillespie)! Just so you know, that's not my hand on Elder Rekow's shoulder, though it deceptively looks so in the picture. Good times!
We'll start out with the questions that Mom and Dad asked me!
1. Did you get the new camera and other electronics (adaptors, etc). Do they work OK?
Sure did and sure do! The new camera is a replica of my old camera, but not broken, so that's good! I have not tried the adaptors yet, but I already had transformers, so I don't think they'll be necessary, but they may be handy, so I'm hanging onto them.
2. Have you seen any painted Russian Easter eggs on display?
Yep, lots! There's a member in a branch in the city that makes beautiful hand-made eggs and Russian dolls and stuff. Way pretty (and way expensive, ack!) :) I'll get some pictures of some and send them out!
3. How do you get your regular clothes clean? Your suits?
I find that I like to wear my machine washable pants because at least with them I can freely wash them and take a wet rag to them. Just as with the summer, dirt and mud gets all over the back of the pants everyday, which is a hassle and kinda frustrating, but I haven't been able to think of much of anything to do about it. MY suits haven't needed any cleaning yet, but if they did I've had a secret missionary art of cleaning suits handed down to me from my first companion Elder Fearn (that is, take a shower with the suit on and use laundry soap as opposed to regular soap. It may sound crazy, and it is, but it works surprisingly well. Good times!)
4. What are your typical meals like? Do you fix them yourselves? Give us some menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
It's changed from companion to companion, but meals are nothing fancy, You have an hour to make and eat the food which making calls, doing paperwork and whatnot. For breakfast I generally have corn flakes and Elder Rekow has something that's close to the golden puff cereal that Dad likes. If we're really dicey we make pancakes, which are so dang delicious! Lunch and dinner generally consist of stirfrys, oven-baked sandwiches, home-made and frozen pizzas, omlets, Pelmeni (Russian ravioli) and soups (such as the oh-so-delicious chicken noodle soup I made when Elder Rekow was sick this past week). Nothing crazy, and it kinda gets old after awhile. Need to figure out some new, quick recipes. Hence why I need to watch the food channel again (Rachel Ray's 30 minute meals, woo hoo!) :)
5. Have you given talks in church? What on?
Surprisingly, I haven't really given any talks in church yet. Plenty of testimonies, and I teach Gospel Prinicples every now and then with Elder Rekow, but nothing too fancy. Maybe I should ask to give a talk. Hmm...
Anyways, onto my week! We set another baptismal date this week with a middle aged woman by the name of […]! She's the sister of a member in a different branch and it's been so dang cool working with her. Just like with […], she herself asked when she could be baptized. Score! Her date is set for the […], just like […], so me and Elder Rekow are hoping that we don't get transferred (this cycle ends next Saturday). It's been cool working with […] lately because it's really taught me how the Spirit works and teaches others in different ways.
For example, […] was a former investigator who had been taught all the lessons but just wasn't progressing in the Gospel. He loves to read the Book of Mormon in English and is learning English so he likes to read on his own and also with us. One day, in trying to figure out what to teach […], we decided to teach him Lehi's dream and to draw it out as we went along in the lesson. Never before had anyone drawn out a scripture story or lesson with him I don't think, and as we did that with him he finally began to understand the scriptures and the things we were saying. At the end of that lesson on Lehi's dream he said "I want that apple!" And then, the next lessons, when we talked about and drew baptism being the fruit and the straight and gate to the straight and narrow path, he asked us "so when can I get baptized?" Quality!
On the other hand, there are people like […] who, when she started taking the discussions, wrote everything down that we said and tape-recorded the gospel principle classes that were taught on Sunday. She understands by writing things down and reviewing over them and thinking about the things she's heard. It's been amazing to see how she thinks about the things we've taught and believes that they're true, in great part because of the Spirit she's felt in writing down her notes. Cool stuff.
In other news, we saw an opera this past week! It's an opera by Pushkin and is called Evgennie Ognegen (Eugene Ognegin). That's really hard to spell in English. Anyways, hopefully you can find it on Wiki or something. It was a way good opera, though not a whole lot was understandable to me word wise. I got the generally plot though, and some members clarified the plot for me after it was done. I forgot my camera, but you all have pictures of the theatre and of me and Elder Rekow, so I don't think you missed much picture wise.
In an effort to respark my love of the Russian language, I decided in the middle of last week to start doing Russian cursive, which I've found I love quite a lot. It's made me want to make all of my handwriting good, which will probably take awhile to happen, but it's a cool dream!
Quick question, can you use facebook to do a few things for me? There's a few people in the branch here in Russia who found and wanted to add me as a friend on facebook. If their names don't look American, it's find to add them :D (if you're really nervous about it, go ahead and double check the names with me. One should me a […] and another […]). In addition, I have letters I need to send to Rebekah Hoggan and Tabitha Watkins, but I need their updated addresses methinks. If you could message them and ask for their addresses, that'd be wonderful :)
Ah, also I haven't seen conference yet. I'll be seeing it on the 14th and 15h of April I think. Can't wait to see it!
I think that's all I've got for this week (at least, it better be. I'm out of time!) Hope all is well with ya'll back at home! Be good now. :)