Friday, April 12, 2013

Week 4:

Hey errybody,
One month has gone by, crazy stuff.  Time crawls in here but in retrospect it seems pretty quick.  Yeah, nothing really new happening around here, I learn all day every day still.  Oh, yeah, general conference, that was pretty good.  For those of you who don't know gen conference is when the leaders of the church come on tv and talk twice a year and they have 5 2-hour sessions, I usually only catch like three of them and it's  really nice because you get to stay at home for church on Sunday.  In the MTC we watch all of them, 10 hours of Church in 2 days, YPA! (oora, how you say hooray in russian).  It was really good though, had some nice talks, especially liked Elder Holland's.  Everyone here asks me if I am related to him and now I just tell them he is my grandpa, they get all impressed.  Yeah so that was good.   There is a plague sweeping the MTC, we are all getting sick.  I caught it around the beginning of the week and it was brutal.  I wasn't that sick or anything, but it kept me from sleeping and sleep is precious to me, especially here.  Had a couple rough days, but I think I'm mostly over it, and some people got it way worse, a couple Elders had to go to the doctor and get their chests xrayed because they thought they had pneumonia.  No bueno.  We started calling the bathroom the Spanish room, because while our building was getting worked on we had to be in the building with all the Spanish speakers and they were not very kind to us.  So whenever we have to go to the bathroom we are just like hey, I've gotta go learn some Spanish.  Sorry Rachael / old roommates / all other Spanish speaking people, it's nothing personal, I think Spanish is pretty cool.  We found out they sell suspenders in the bookstore here for like 6 bucks, naturally we have created suspender friday, I'll send pictures.  Thanks for the shirt and letters gma and everyone else for all the letters.  Mom, I got my pie and my cinnamon rolls, thanks so much they were delicious.  There is no need for Rachael to go to the bakery and bust heads anymore.  I got my Katzner too, I have never been so happy about a dictionary in my life, thank you so much.  Good to hear that Holly's dance thing went well and that Connor's swag also works on old ladies.  Yeah so things are still going good, doing work, trying to get more organized and stuff, turns out I'm pretty bad at that.  I'm gonna tell a story that my teacher told us from his mission that I thought was super funny.  So he and his comp were on a tram bus thing at night on their way to teach some lady at her house, and it was just them on the bus when this drunk huge Russian dude gets on, I imagine him like the bad guy from Rocky 4.  Anyway, he gets on and says, hey who are you, and they say Oh we are missionaries.  Then the guy goes, we are Orthodox here we don't need you, and they say that they don't want any trouble and they are there just sharing their message.  Then the guy goes, Do you like to occupy your time with boxing? (thats how you would say "do you like to box" in Russian, they are weird).  So they are like, no not really, and then he says, Do you want to get off at the next bus stop and box with me?  Then they are trying not to laugh so they just say no, sorry we can't get off and box with you, we have an appointment to get to.  And then he says, No! You want to get off at the next stop and box with me!  Then it was just quiet until the next stop and when the doors opened he says, Are you coming?  And they were like no, sorry we really can't box with you right now.  Then he gets all mad and says, No you are coming to box with me, and then he grabs my teacher's comp by the front pocket, which is where we keep our name tag and other stuff, so my teacher pushes him away but the Russian guy ends up catching the name tag in his hand.  The ripped drunk Russian guy just looks at the name tag that he now has in his hand, crushes it with his bare hand, and throws it on the ground.  Then they just pushed him off the bus. Most of you don't know, but the name tags we wear are pretty thick plastic, I wouldn't want to box that guy either.  Anyway, It's probably not as funny via email but I thought it was flipping hillarious.  I've been surprised to find out from most of my teachers that they never got beat up, they say it's pretty easy to stay out of trouble if you are smart about it, but one guy in one of my teachers mission got beat up by the same guy 5 times in the span of like 6 weeks.  I probably would have learned my lesson at least by the second time.  Lets hope none of them Russians try to jump me and have to deal with my one hour of training in the art of Krav Maga, poor suckers wouldn't stand a chance.  I've also been practicing my roundhouse kicks, they are like a mixture of Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris kicks, the other missionaries are pretty impressed.  Anyways things are good, don't really know what else to talk about, in about a week we will be the oldest Russian misssionaries here, so pretty much we are in charge. It also means that we need to pretend that we know how to speak Russian, we actually do know more than we give oursleves credit, but the government estimates it takes about 1500 hours to become conversational in Easter Euro languages, we only get 168 hours at the MTC, first couple of months in the motherland are going to be rough, but awesome. Later my people. 1 down 23 to go. 
Russian word of the week: знахар (znahar): witch doctor / medicine man

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