Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Week 9:

So that was weird.  I'm in Russia and it is very different than I
thought it would be.  I kind of feel like I am in Paris with a bunch
of people that just happen to speak Russian.  It is probably because I
am in Moscow though.  I am in the University area and its pretty
upity.  People are pretty well off here, not a ton of poverty.  I'm in
a pretty sketch internet cafe right now, kinda funny.  We got in on
Tuesday, chilled at the mission home for a night, had orientation the
next day, then got together wih our trainers the next day.  Turns out
I suck at Russian, but not as much as I expected to, so thats good.
There was one Korean guy I met who was just over the moon about how
much Russian I learned in 2 months.  I am not learning as quickly as I
thought I would here though, meh.  I was correct, the combination of
jet lag and extreme freedoms sent my body into shock.  Had something
of an emotional breakdown earlier this week.  I think it was because I
wasn't in love with what we were doing right away and then I was like,
o no, this is my life for 2 years.  It's gotten better, but it is
still pretty hard.  Me and my companion are kind of polar opposites,
when I first met him he started hugging me and jumping up and down and
talking about how excited he was in a register not common to most men,
and he wouldn't let go.  I was like, oh man, this is going to be an
interesting 2 transfers (3 months).  Anyway, he is an interesting guy,
very bubbly.  I don't think he has ever done a bad thing in his life,
he's like perfect.  Oh also, we are shotgunning the area, so the last
two elders got transfered and we are both new here, so we have no
people to teach and we don't really know the branch yet.  We taught a
grand total of 0 lessons this week, spent the majority of our time
contacting, which is not my strong suit.  I am not used to talking to
strangers, it's not really my jam, but I'm gonna lern here pretty
quick.  Food isn't completely agreeing with, my comp doesn't really
eat, his goal is to get to 133 pounds before the end of his mission,
like he makes me look big, thats how small he is.  So I haven't really
figured out how to shop here yet.  My comp speaks ok Russian, but not
super fantastic, he's been here for a year.  During language study he
mostly just reads the scriptures in Russian.  He's a really good guy,
but we are having a hard time getting work done I feel like.  There is
a guy we met at English club (where we help people with their english)
that we got to come to church, and then during sunday school we taught
a solid lesson.  He's a really cool guy, his name is Slova, don't know
how to change this keyboard to Russian but thats how you would spell
it in English.  Anyway I'm doing alright, still trying to get in the
swing of things out here, feel like I kind of got dropped into a rough
situation but thats understandable, we had a huge group of new
missionaries coming in and not a lot of people to train them.  So
yeah, everyday I wake up, put on my big boy pants, and keep going. The
ward is sick though, really cool people, some Americans going to
school here that also served Russian speaking missions.  One came up
to me and was like, hey, stay with it, we've all been there, it sucks.
I needed that so bad.  But yeah I'm good, we will see what we can't
get done this week.  Our district is good, the other elders in it are
nice and the sisters are super cool.  Thanks for the love Touchet's,
just got both your dear elders when I got here, guess you sent them to
Russia.  Hey, dear elder is still free here, so send me stuff.  I
don't know my address yet but when I figure that out I'll let you
know.  I haven't figured out how to send pictures yet but when I do
I'll send some over, the mission president should be sending some.
Hope you guys are all doing well, I think about you all the time.
Much love,
Elder Holland

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