Sunday, September 22, 2013

Week 25:

I would like to start this letter home with a few excerpts from my journal this past week. September 18, 2013- "Well tomorrow I'm having a baby and it should be awesome.  Can't wait to train and to serve with a Russian guy.  These next 2 transfers are going to be legit.  Super excited."  September 19, 2013- "Well I'm screwed."  Heh.   So yeah this week has been straight up nuts.  Me and Elder Beals said our teary goodbyes and then I got my new comp on Thursday.  He's super cool and ready to work, but that night we got home and I was like, o dag, I'm in charge now.  That night I called in to elder Beauchemin like we do every night and he was like, man you must be super stressed. Yup.  But you know whateva.  His name is Elder Антроповь and he's a funny guy.  If any of you every watched the Jimmy Neutron series, he kind of reminds me of the foreign kid that always says, slap slap slap; clap clap clap.  The situation that first night was, o dag, we have no investigators, this man doesn't speak english, and I have to call a bunch of people right now that elder Beals contacted who I don't know.  My boy is doing great though, he's got a great attitude and is a lot of fun, also he has a lot of good ideas he took from the Novasabirsk mission which is quite frankly doing better than ours.  I have had a headache for 4 days straight now just from speaking Russian all the time and trying to understand everything he says.  We were in church yesterday and I went up to the other elders and said, say something in english, anything, please.  I love russian, but man, my brain.  He uses a lot of slang, and it is a completely different language.  They have like 10 words for to eat.  It's nuts.  Learning a lot though, and makes working easier because we don't have to make the mental switch to russian when we hit the streets, already in the zone.  Oh also he is already engaged, his wife to be is also gonna serve a mission and then they are gonna get murred when he they both come home.  Pretty pumped for these next two transfers, work is gonna get done but it is going to be crazy hard.  But hard in a good way, this kind of hard I can handle.  Russia be gettin cold, and babs (grannies) are starting to yell at us all the time for not wearing enough clothes.  Don't worry mom, we are wearing enough clothes, they just yell at everyone.  Yup, so that's what is new.  My life gets progressively weirder it seems, sorry if this letter doesn't make sense, my brain is kind of scattered right now.  Thanks for the letters gma, mom, holls, dad, rach, and will.  You guys are my радость.  Oh and if any of you my buddies back in murrica are using dearelder, continue, but also drop me an email so I can send you some love.  It is just near impossible out here to get letters written, with travel in Moscow pday becomes very short.  Well everyone, until next time.  Much love, enjoy life, stay happy.  I'll see you all in about a year and a half.  покой

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Week 24:

Sorry to leave with a cliffhanger last week everyone.  I'm sure you all lost a lot of sleep over it. Sarcasm.  Anyway I was correct, our district got obliterated, but in the best of ways.  So Elder Beals, Elder Kelly, and Sister corn are moving out.  Elder Beals is going to another area in Moscow, Elder Kelly, everyone's favorite white rapper from provo, is heading for the international where all the fresh African members and some Americans meet, and Sister Koocherook our Russian sister is going to Zgrad.  I don't know if any of you remember elder kreiger from the MTC, but he is coming to be companions with Beauchemin, which I am crazy excited about.  Sister Hunter, another Sister who was in the MTC one group ahead of me is coming to be with sister Gail.  I'm staying here too, but I'm going to be training a russian guy, woo.  When  president told me that it was like christmas.  When people have been asking me my ideal transfer that's what I've been telling them, couldn't be more perfect.  I kind of helped it along though, been dropping hints like a ninja whenever I'm around zoneleaders, AP's, and the president.  Never directly relating to what I wanted, but just to plant the seed.  When president called me he was like, "well we are going to ask you to train the new Russian, and we want you and him to establish an environment of speaking good Russian in the area so the members trust you, and I know your Russian is good, at least I've heard it's good... blah blah other president stuff."  But when I heard that I was like dag, thank goodness for rumors because that aint the truth.  It's about to get better though because this man don't speak no English, YES.  So excited to have to speak russian all the time, native companions is good.  Gonna be crazy hard though, plus he's probably gonna think I'm a дурак (idiot), also he's 25.  But I'm his father and he best recognize.  I think the president gets his kicks on making me live with old men who don't speak english, cuz this is the second time in a month.  Anyway that's the biggest news, I'm pregnant, I haven't slept for a week thinking about it, kinda scurred.  This past week they shipped the Armenian to Lipitsk and out of my life, and he took my heart with him, not to be dramatic.  We miss that guy, me and elder Beals both.  But we hear that he is doing really well down in Lipitsk and we are really happy about that.  This week our changed focus didn't turn out in a lot of lessons, but the way we worked was so much better, we actually felt like missionaries.  We tried swinging by inactive members for a certain amount of time one day, turns out in Moscow it's kind of impossible.  Took us like 3 hours to visit two people, and one dom we couldn't even get into and the other the guy had moved.  But now at least we know what not to do.   Had a cool lesson with a Japanese guy, we went to his place and he had tea all set up for us (herbal cuz he knows about mormons), and classical music playing and it was awesome.  First lesson at someones place.  He is a cool guy, got a lot of friends back in Japan who are in the church, seems pretty lonely here in Russia. Oh, we had culture night round 2, but this one was more of a shotgun culture night, since we didn't have time to plan we just bought russian cartoons and slept over at the other elders' place and watched them.  It was crazy fun, russian cartoons are weird, but I highly recommend Маша и Медведь,  excellent program that teaches children to be friends with dangerous animals like bears.  Good times this week, looking forward to next week.  Things are about to get crazy here, should have some stories next time, stay tuned.  Thanks for the letters mom and Gma, they keep me alive.  Hope all is well in 'Murrica, I'll catch you guys next week.   

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Week 23:

Well Russia is starting to feel more like Russia, and I love it.  This last week it got pretty chilly, it's still not winter cold, but it was cold.  The ladies are bustin out the fur coats. I want one.  Unfortunately they are crazy expensive and men don't really wear the full fur ones.  It rained pretty much all week, which makes our job pretty hard.  We aren't aloud to knock doors in Moscow and people aren't really keen on stopping in the street when it is freezing and rainy, but yet again we got a butt-ton of contacts and no lessons (well 3).  We are trying to find ways to still be effective in sucky weather, we were gonna try to go to a certain hipster cafe and play board games together and invite the russian hipsters to play with us.  Unfortunately we couldn't find it and we just got wet and sad and went back to stopping people on the street.  But I really like that we are trying to do new things, this whole stop people on the street all day every day is not working out.  It's good to do it sometimes, but when it is all you do you get stuck in a rut.  Elder Beauchemin, Elder Kelly, and I are trying to come up with some new ideas, need some freshness.  This week though we are doing away with contacting all together.  I'm tired of getting 5 numbers a day and no lessons, so this week we are just going for teaching.  During weekly planning we decided we are either going to be teaching, calling people, swinging by people's houses, or teaching randoms on benches and stuff.  Pretty excited about this week, even if it fails miserably at least we are trying something new.  Biggest news from this week is we are losing our Armenian.  Sad.  But it is good because he's been having a rough time here, we haven't been able to find him any armenians to teach here and russian isn't quite there yet for him.  He always says, man I'm just a thing that sits around, I can't do anything.  Well I'm paraphrazing because he says it in Russian and pantomimes.  But we are pumped because he is going to Lipitsk where they got tons of Armenians.  I am sad because now I will starve (he has been cooking for us), but I'm happy because it's what is best.  When president was having me translate to him last night over the phone he let me know a little bit what I'm gonna be doing next transfer, a little sneak preview.  I can't tell because we aren't supposed to really know what's happening til this next weekend, but suffice it to say it's gonna be super crazy awesome.  When I got off the phone elder Beals was like, what he didn't want to tell me anything, when I said no he went nuts, especially cuz president told me to tell him he has something planned for Elder Beals, but he will tell him in a week.  This president is super mysterious about transfers, it's funny. It's weird to know that I won't be with Elder Beals anymore, he's all I've known on my mission, besides this armenian guy.  My time with Elder Beals has been kind of like middleschool in that it was stressful and confusing, we had some fun, but now that it is over we are ready for it to be over and go to highschool.  Hopefully bigger better things on the way.  Don't know exactly what's going to happen to this district.  Will be sad to see it's destruction, we had a really cool group.  So yeah, feel like a chapter of my life is winding down which is weird, learned a lot though, missions are jam packed with life lessons.  Almost to much to handle.  Love you guys, fill me in on your lives, I'll catch ya next week.  

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Week 22:

Hey friends, this week was alright, no super crazy stories for all of you.  We went out contacting a lot, still trying to get the Armenian going, people won't meet with us because we are fat and ugly; same old same old.  This week me and Elder Beals got to go on splits with the zone leaders, which was sort of unkoscher because usually the zone leaders only do splits with district leader companionships.  The missionary social pyramid is confusing, but they wanted to do splits with us so we did.  I went with elder Naylor, super cool guy.  He used to be in our appartment and serve in our area so he was really excited.  Surprisingly we spent a lot of our time on the split in doors talking about what the Moscow Mission needs and how we can revamp things.  Then that gypsy witch man crawled his way into my soul and found out everything that had made me sad about my mission.  Things got real in there, I'm talking like hold each other and cry deeply real.  Just kidding, but it did get pretty intense.  It helped a lot though, I am trying to change my attitude about the mish because up till now it's been pretty bad.  I have felt like a really crappy salesman up until now, and it's got to be more than that.  Plus I decided I'm done being a boring sack of sad all the time.  Anyway, that was splits, left me some things to think about.  He also said they were probably gonna leave me alone with the Armenian, that will be funny.  This past Sunday was sick and legit.  The other elders in our district had a mom with two kids, and some other guy come to church.  I talked with them and they are all golden awesome and perfect.  And they all set baptismal dates for the near future.  I am so happy that some normal people are coming to church here and that something is happening in our district.  So good.  I'm sorry but I don't have any crazy Russian or Missionary stories this week.  Things were pretty mellow.  Things are starting to turn to winter though and I'm pumped.  It's getting cold and dark way earlier now.  When Elder Naylor was over he showed me all the secret places where missionaries leave their old stuff so now I have a sweet new winter coat.  yeah baby.  Today we are going shopping for a shoulder bag for elder Beals, which we have done several times before but he can't pick one.  I told him if he doesn't buy one today next pday we are going to the баня, a russian steam house where old Russian men sit around naked and whip eachother with tree branches.  I want to go super bad but Elder Beals hates it more than anything in the world.  And if he doesn't buy a bag and refuses to go to the banya, I'm just gonna turn our appartment into one.  Hey friends, question, where are all the ladies at, everyone else is getting letters from women but me, these other elders are putting me to shame.  I don't care about your age, maridal status, or number of children; if you're reading this and have more than one x chromosome your next step is to send me a letter.  Letters from dudes are cool too.  Not to sound desperate or anything.  Well that's pretty much everything.  Hope all is well on the homefront.  Love y'alls, I'll catch ya next week.