Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Week 28:

I'm back sitting in my favorite sketchy internet cafe.  Feels like yesterday I was here. Got that same great smell of drunk people who haven't bathed in a week, cigarets, and assorted energy drinks.  When we get here all the people who came to play call of duty all night have just barely run out of steam and everyone is asleep on their computers.  So we get to listen to a very sleepy and short tempered host walk around and yell at them to wake up and leave.  There is not really any concept of costumer service in Russia.  Antropov and I had a pretty rough week towards the beginning of it, but the end was aight.  People still don't want to meet with us cuz we are fat and ugly, but hey, what ya gonna do.  This week we called every human being on the planet, noone was having it.  So yup as usual, things are slow.  We are trying to think of new ways to meet people because all we do is walk around all day and stop people on the street.  It's taking a toll; we are pooped, angry, and bored.  Once it gets cold we are gonna go play hockey and meet people that way, but other than that we are still brain storming.  Still haven't tried the thing where I fall down in the park in front of famillies and then when they are helping me up try to start a conversation somehow.  Maybe I'll give that a shot this week.  Just so tired of having the same conversation 100 times a day, it would be bearable if it worked but we aren't seeing too much results from it.  Plus people are not as happy here in the winter, people have said some pretty interesting things to us this past week.  Heh.  I feel bad for my boy though, because I know what it's like to be trained when no lessons are happening, it is brutal.  Lots of stress because I'm responsible for getting good learning  opportunities for him, and they aren't really coming.  We talk about it a lot though and we feel like we are doing absoloutely everything we can, of course there is always room for improvement.  Anyway towards the end of the week we sat in a kfc with a 16 year old russian boy who plays club baseball and had a good talk with him.  Russians playing baseball are super rare.  Then we met with a guy known to the missionaries as Crazy Сергей, he's got some interesting ideas.  Then we went and visited my favorite bab (old lady) in the hospital, and she had us sit down with here hospital roommate and have a lesson with her.  Man I love that lady.  She is at that age where she doesn't really care what anyone thinks about her so she talks to every living thing about the church.  We could use a little bit of that.  Still trying to figure out this whole senior comp thing.  I don't know if I used this analogy before, but it feels like they potty trained a 2 year old and then asked him to teach quantum mechanics.  The man next to me is snoring riddiculously loud.  Anyway, russian aint no thang anymore.  I still don't speak amazingly or anything, but it is helping a ton to live with a russian guy. I am sorry if all these letters seem a tad depressing, things are rough but I probably make them worse than they sound.  I do a little bit of venting here every week, keeps me sane.  Things are actually pretty great, love my comp, got sweet members here, we have food.  Getting to live in Russia is awesome, I recommend it.  I'm totally coming back to visit after this whole gig, maybe live here for a while, we'll see. Just being a missionary here can get rough.  Anywhere really.  Thanks for the letters all, you keep me going.  There is something I am forgetting to mention here but I can't remember it.  Oh well.  Happy Birthday to Rachael, don't worry, you're not old.  Miss you all, send some love if you have time.  I think that's everything.   

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Week 27:

Hey errybody.  This week was a pretty weird one.  I feel like that's what I say every week.  We had 2 splits, one with the dl and one with the zls.  Splits are basically sleepovers on the mish and then we get to work with someone else for a day.    Was really fun, but I missed my special boy.  Plus when we go on splits with our bros we end up laying in bed talking till like 3 am, and then we have to wake up at 6:30 still, and work till 9 on three and a half hours of sleep.  Had splitsies with Beauchemin which is always a fun time, and then after that with Elder Steel, a Canadian guy who dresses fresh as heck.  When he contacts people he turns on so much swag it almost seems like he's drunk, which Russians respond well to.  When I was with Steel though I got crazy sick, which didn't make sense because I hadn't eaten anything sketchy all week.  Suffice it to say I was fighting a war on two fronts while we were together, and losing.  When we have such symptoms in Russia, only one thing comes to mind... WORM.  After a day of my body being completely emptied of all nutrients however, it seemed to stop, so I don't think there is anything taking residence inside me at the moment.  I'll investigate further if I have more problems.  Anyway that made things more complicated, but we still did work.  Found 8 peeps in like 2 hours who are interested in meeting up or coming to church. YA.  Also we meet with one of the only stake presidents in Russia, super funny guy.  I asked him where a good banya was and he was telling me and then I was like hey, could you write the name of that down for me.  He looked at me and he was just like, brother, lets just go together.  So hopefully sometime soon I'll get to chill nakies with the stake pres and all his russian buddies.  Super expensive there though, we'll see.  Anyway works been alright, still slow, elder Antropov is starting to get bummed, we've been facing a lot of heartbreakers; he's hanging in there though.  Hard to counsel greenie problems all in Russian, kinda fun though.  It's easy for me to relate to because I'm still going through the same kind of stuff.  General Conference was this week and it was just as great as everyone said.  I sat with my boy for the first sesh and watched in Russian, but after that I was like, peace antropov, papa needs some english.  So I got to see a bunch of sessions in my native tongue and chill with the other missionaries.  General Conference is better than christmas out here, which is pretty sad, but not really.  I really liked Uchtdorf's and Holland's talks. The talks about women were really good, but I fear they will have consequences here. I sometimes feel like I'm already getting bossed around by the sisters.  Now they have permission to do so by general authorities.  Danger.  Funny how it is a break to us to sit and watch church talks for 2 days straight.  Really fun though.  A korean dude I met came and loved it, too bad I gotta pass him along to the international elders, one being my favorite white rapper elda Kelly, that makes it a little more bearable.  Yup so that was this week, really fun, a lot of work, no new investigators.  Mission life is growing on me though.  Life is so easy when you and your comp are on the same page.  Even the crappy times can be alright.  Happiest news I recieved this week is that Amy's tumor has shrunk by a whopping 50%. YEAH.  So glad to hear that.  Always thinking about you and the family Amy, keep pushing.  Not to be cheesy but we are all praying for ya, well I'm probably the only one in Russia who is, but who knows.  Miss all you people in Murrica, send me some love via mail if you have time.  But you know, whatever.      

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Week 26:

This week was awesome but I am pooped.  Me and my child are getting along swimmingly, I love this guy.  I was scared about him being 25 but turns out he is essentialy an 8 year old.  When we are in the appartment he walks around in his underwear dancing and making fart noises.  I can dig it.  Unlike some russian missionaries that come out here, this one came to work, and that is awesome.  He hates contacting though, but hey who doesn't.  It's been rough because with our lack of lessons thats most of what we do.  Bytuesday we had mostly just been inviting for our english club, so that night I was like ok, that's it man, tomorrow we are going to a park, we are gonna sit with someone on a bench, and drop some gospel on them.  The next day it was freezing, first snow this year, but we decided to go to the park anyway.  We got there and there were like no people, but we were already there so we decided to look around.  Then we found a guy huddled up sitting on a bench, so we asked to talk with him.  Ended up having an hour long lesson.  YEAH.  Then that Sunday he came to church and pretty much taught Sunday School, and when they asked him to introduce himself in the 3rd hour (we were combined so the whole ward was there) he told the story of how we met and then he started talking about how much he loved our church and in the middle of his talking Babooshka Elena said, "Look alecksay, I can tell you right now that you are ready to get baptized". Sorry for the run on sentence there. Everyone busted up laughing it was hillarious.  Classic Elena.  Anyway because of that we got much respect from the members, and I think that will help a lot.  It's crazy awesome working with a native, but like I said, I'm pooped.  My brain hurts all the time, but russian is getting better.  People actually listen to us sometimes now because we aren't just two weird american kids, now it's just one.  We spent a lot of time visiting member famillies this week which was super cool.  Good to see how the gospel helps out famillies, there was one we dropped by that was just the coolest family in the universe.  And that's nice to see here in Russia, because a lot of times famillies here struggle to stay together.  This week was really really great, when comps get along everything is so much better.  Tired though.  Very very tired.  New rules about sending pictures, I can only print them out and send them in mail.  Also I am not aloud to tell you about specifics of where I am or use peoples full names.  We are gonna have to make a coded system or something because if we follow all these new rules they gave us pretty much every week is gonna be; hey whatsup everyone, I'm still alive, see ya later.  Anyway that's all I can remember from this week, I'm pretty sure other stuff happened I wanted to talk about but I straight up can't think.  My brain hurts, but hey I asked for this, and super glad I did.  I'll try to fill in the blanks next week.  Love you all, miss ya, stay happy.