April 16, 2012
Heh, just kidding!
Hey, remember when I said that I'd be writing from Saratov today last week? Just kidding! I'm currently in some post office in Samara writing to you! That's right. I got a transfer! Craziness. I've spent the past 8 months or so in Saratov (6 of which in Zavodskoi) and I'm now going to a whole new town called Ulyanovsk, which, apparently, is where Lenin was born. It's rumored to be a pretty city, which I hope is true! My new companion will be Elder Lewis, who has been out the same amount of time as me, and the whole city is ours! Cool stuff! I'll be leaving tomorrow morning from here in Samara out to Ulyanovsk (that's kinda weird to spell out, seems like all Russian things are weird to spell out in English!).
I forgot to said hi, by the way. So...hey everyone!
"Christ resurected! In truth, he resurected!" (I probably spelled that wrong, it's a lot easier to spell in Russian) That is how a ton of people greeted each other yesterday. There is a Russian Orthodox tradition that you must eat this Easter cupcake and a boiled egg on Easter, thus a whole ton of members gave us lots of cupcakes and eggs to celebrate the occasion! Some Russians color their eggs, but on the whole most put stickers of icons, bunnies or guys driving snowmobiles on them. It's way fun! Most Russians also spend at least part of the day going to the temples and graveyards to celebrate the holiday. Good stuff :)
I was tickled today as a Ukranian serving in my mission complimented my Russian today. It's been really cool finding ways to keep improving and liking Russian. I haven't always liked Russian, to be honest. In the MTC I studied the grammar the most because it was so logical and fun, but I hated studying words with a passion. Elder Swartz, my MTC companion, recently told me on an exchange that I should try to look for a way to like learning Russian. In thinking about it, I remembered that one of my goals after my mission is to be able to read and write Russian poetry (some of the best, I hear). I've had terrible handwritng forever, in both English and Russian, and my companion Elder Rekow has way sweet handwriting in both English and Russian. In helping me gain a spark for learning the language, I decided to start working on my Russian cursive by writing out words super nicely and then memorizing them, and it's worked way well! Now I just need to learn how to have good english handwriting (I've always been jealous of Sean's, to be honest. Gotta copy his stuff sometime)
I do have some pictures to send out, but those'll need to wait until next week. Then you'll be able to see all the kind of shenanigan-ery that was had in Zavodskoi and maybe a bit of Ulyanovsk.
That reminds me, the young lady we’ve been teaching is being baptized on Saturday, woo hoo! I'm way bummed that I don't get to see it, but I'm still going to count her as my first baptism on the mission. Good times :)
Well, that's just about it for now I think. This letter may be riddled with typos and spelling errors, this keyboard is kind of a pain to work with for whatever reason. Anyways, hope ya'll have a wonderful week, and I'll write you next week from a whole new place! :)
с любовью, навсегда