January 21, 2013
"Geez...I just didn't understand that play at all." "What? It was all in Russian and your Ukranian!"
Hey there everyone!
Woah, that's crazy awesome news that Mary [a cousin] is going to Ukraine! It's super pretty there (at least, the little chunk of Ukraine I've seen from going on visa trips and whatnot). Which mission is she going to? I'll have to write her some stuff in Russian when she's there in Ukraine.
Ya'll are always asking me about weird Russian foods or quirks, and I remembered a fun one when I looked at the package that Brando and Michal sent. One of the things they sent me was something called "Reindeer food" which I guess is also called "puppy chow" in America (I don't really know what that is, but that's what Elder Treter claims it to be). Regardless, they have pretty much the same things in Russia except instead of calling it "puppy chow" they call them "little pillows"! That's actually prety much my favorite quick breakfast here: a bowl of glazed flakes covered in chocolate and vannila flavored pillows with some rolled oats all mixed in. I can pretty much guarentee you that that is not what Russians, as a whole, really eat for breakfast (I think we as missionaries keep up the flake and pillow companies here in Russia), but it certainly is quite tasty. Anyways, the american pillows along with all the other goodies I got from you all have been well appreciated and devoured. Thanks again :)
This week has been a lot of paperwork and usual missionary stuff. When we got here we decided to hit the area books hard (the area books are where all the information about investigators, members of the church, less actives etc. is) and call about a billion people. Some real miracles have happened from that for sure. There are lots of times where the record says "don't call! They'll yell at you and make fun of your grandma!" (ok, maybe not that last part, but you get the drift) or various other things but you've still got the guts and the good feelings behind calling them. Yeah, sure, a good number of them still yell, or hang up the phone or are just kinda awkward, but there were lots of times where, with just a little more energy and friendliness than usual, you can help people's heart soften. Hopefully we'll see some more stuff arise from that.
Also, one of the things I've always wanted on my mission but never really been able to find is a friend who would help us do missionary work and teach us better Russian. We found that friend this week; a member who was baptized last May. He's a way cool guy. One of the interesting things about the mission is learning the language. It's not easy potatoes. Whatever that means. People already get right off the bat that you're foreigners, so you have to be good with people and at least be able to somewhat speak your mind to be able to have a normal chance at having good conversations with people. These are harder skills to develop when you're main chances of learning them are in short conversations on the street and knocking. But! If you have a friend who you can help teach English and who can help you with your Russian, then everyone wins! It really is a blessing when people are willing to help in all aspects of the work.
It's really cool to daily and weekly see how the Lord has provided for us good people to run into and talk to. It's a miracle really, considering all the weird rumors that go around about Mormons. Good, thinking people that really want to learn more about God exist everywhere, and it's always fun to find them in just walking on the street, pushing a car out of a snow drift or knocking down an apartment complex. A fun little story: Elder Treter and I (hah! Caught my grammar mistake that time!) got super lost while looking for a less active family and found ourselves essentially at some kind of ski resort. While looking for the address (and still thinking that it was the right direction to go) I found a guy just pushing his car down the hill. I wanted to help him out, but we were already late and so we kept looking (in vain) for the address. When we figured out that we weren't in the right place of the city, we started our trudge down the hill when we found this same guy still pushing his car at a pretty slow rate. Well, this time we could help out! We helped him push his car to the bottom fo the hill and along the way found out that he already knew who we were and that his sister used to be very active in the Church. He said he'd always noticed how happy we (members of the Church) were and missed the happiness that used to be in his sisters life. He's a busy guy, so he didn't accept a meeting or anything, but we gave him our info and he was pretty happy that we could help him out. Cool little miracles like that always make me feel good.
Alrighty, that's what we're got for this week! Oh almost forgot! We got to See "Much Ado about Nothing" in Russian this week for culture night! So cool! I understood most of it and it was fun to see how they translated it all. A lot of people (even natives) didn't really get the play though...they just need to read the play! It was way fun.
There we go, now we're done. I love you lots. Thanks! :)