February 11, 2013
*10 minutes later* "And that is why, dear sisters, I will not help you get a microwave for your new apartment" -slight pause- "Zhenya...you make me giggle. I'm glad you're our registrator!"
Hey there everyone :)
Wow. I don't think I've ever in my whole mission been on the phone so much as I have this past week. Let me tell you, it's pretty crazy. A fun example of this is while we were walking back home from Church (Elder Warkentin, Elder Wing -the senior couple- and I) I got a call from the Zone Leaders that led me to need to call the sisters that led me to send out a couple of texts that in the end allowed me to finally call back the Zone Leaders all in a course of about 8 minutes or so. Elder Warkentin was unphased by it all but Elder Wing said "oh my gosh Elder Peterson! You're on the phone all the time! How do you do it?" I was suprised because to me that didn't seem like a whole lot of communication anymore - just kind of the new norm. Helping Sisters move into a new area that neither I nor they know along with the billion and 6 persmission questions and pass alongs that I needed to call up make me make real good friends with our cellphone. I was pretty stressed out at the beginning of the week, but I've gotten used to it now and I really love being a district leader! You get to talk with everyone so much and get to know people and help people out! Talk about a blast, right?
Which reminds me, we have the coolest sisters serving here in Balakova now! Sisters Kistler and Crane came in on Wednesday and they're the coolest. If you remember (I may have mentioned this last week) but when I was on my visa trip me and Sister Kistler team taught a lady on a plane, so we were already friends. Sister Crane just barely got here from the MTC but she so dang lucky because she studied Russian for 2 years before she came out! Wild, right? As she helped out at an activity and bore her testimony at Church he Russian was just as good as Sister Kistler, who also has pretty dang good Russian especailly since she cam out just 5 months ago. I'm impressed with their work effort and they're super fun to work with. Woo hoo!
As for the members here in Balakova. Gosh, I've got nothing but good to say about them. They're some of teh strongest bunch I've ever met and they're all super nice and smily! This Sunday was also pretty unique too in it's turnout. Generally in mid-winter we have a relatively low number of people that come to Church because it's cold and people are sick and other such thinsg that happen in the winter. Well, for the past couple of months we've had 20 or so coming to Church and then boom! This Sunday we had 32! Yeah! There were lots of less active members that came and even one that brought a friend with her to Church along with 2 of our investigators that are gonna get baptized! At least, we hope they will! The welcome into the branch was really warm and it's a really big privelage to work with them.
That reminds me. We were working with a member. As I was showing him the photos of ya'll (i.e. my family) he and his wife said that you, Dad, look just like an actor named Clukvin (Kluckvin? Phonetically it's Kl-oo-kvin the "oo" said like in "moon"). Anyways, apparently whoever this actor is he's a good looking guy, so way to go Dad!
Can I just say how much I love kids. Especially Russian kids. They're hilarious! We went over to a part-member family to bless little 3 year old and she was running all over the house and she loved showing me the pictures of her comrades, the fox, the little hedgehog, the turtle the fiesty teddy bear and other forest friends along with building a watchtower from legos! I don't know why, but my love for kids has really grown a ton on my mission. they're just the coolest! I can't wait to play with my nieces and nephews and see if they're even cooler that the Russian tykes! I bet they are! :)
Well, that should wrap it up for this little e-mail. By the way, I think this is the one town where I feel pretty comfortable telling people that I'm from Los Alamos. More Russians than I thought actually do know about Los Alamos and sometimes it makes the conversation awkward when they say "wow, your town invented the bomb...don't you feel terrible?" But here in Balakova they really appreciate Los Alamos I think and like to talk about it and how cool it is to have a nuclear facility around. It's been fun!
Hope you all have a great week! I know I will! Happy valentines day! Eat some delcious candy for me!
I love you! :)
(man, in intial thing might not work for me since now you may think this letter is from Eric. At least for now I'll probably have to stick to me usual
Elder Peterson) :)