Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Week 69:

I'm beardier than I have ever been on my mission.  Which is still not that much since my beard growing abilities are weak and I'm starting to be convinced I'll never hit puberty.  I've been camping out in this hospital for about 30 hours or so, don't worry all I'm not sick.  They passed me a diseased companion, he got sick on his visa trip to riga and then we went home and kept him inside for a day or two, then he was like, game over, it's hospital time.  We got here and they've done tests and he's got a mix of a virus and a bacterial infection.  Fun stuff, dude is очень sick right now.  He's getting a little better though.  I've had some fun trying to translate for doctors.  They always start out dignified saying to me, we need to collect a fecal sample of which we may run an analysis of pathogens.  Then I tell them I have no idea what they just said and then they say, we need him to poop in this tiny little plastic cup.  I'm all over that, pooping was one of the first words I learned.  Anyway it's a little difficult, I've realized how hard it would be to be a doctor in a foreign country, but it's kinda fun and I learned some cool stuff.  Last night I was settling in to sleep on these two plastic chairs in my comp's hospital room because they told us that if i sleep in the other patient bed we get charged a billion dollars. This nice nurse named Lilly that I made friends with came in and was like, what are you doing, you can't sleep there!  She left and came back and said, hey dude, all the doctors are gone and I talked to the other nurses, we are going to let you sleep in the bed and just wake you up earlier before all of those penny pinchers get here.  I love that woman.  Like a mother.  She is old, it was all very appropriate.  So I slept like a baby.  Ortega is already getting better and we should be back to full power soon.  I'm pumped that I got to stay for another transfer,  goodbyes are lame.  My love goes out to my brother back home that is apparently puking all day erry day.  Don't let any nurses give you more shots in your butt.  As far as the week goes not a lot got done, with transfers and visa trips and sickness.  We did find an armenian guy who is AWESOME.  Hoping to teach him this week.  I love armenians.  Also this week I got to house a greeny (new guy) from america while his trainer flew to riga.  I realized how fun it would have been to train an american as well as a russian, totally different story.  Would never have traded Antropov (who has now gotten super skinny) for anyone, but was really fun hitting the streets with that new kid, he was a champ too.  First guy we talked to scolded us and told us to be russian and the new kid kept chugging like it was nothing.  A lot of cool people left the mission this last go around, sad.  Anyway things are good, just gotta get this mexican kid back to normal and then we can go do work. Also Holly be doin work. K Bye. 
Week 68:

Transfers have come, and I have been left.  Which is good.  I like it here.  Got 6 more weeks to make things happen.  It does mean I have to put together a fireside thing for the ward which I'm not pumped about.  They are stealing elder Mckibben from me and sending him to Voronezh (I kind of wanted to go there), but hey, maybe later.  I will be getting a missionary of mexican origins, well his ancestors, his name is ortega and he is just finishing his training.  I have become the secondary trainer here, I'm that weird uncle you move in with when your parents kick you out I guess. So yeah that's the biggest news.  The work was rough this week, This time in russia nobody is in the area, people just up and leave for around 2 months and show up again in the fall.  Silly russians.  The weather has been a mixture of hot and pouring rain, which makes talking to people on the street a little difficult.  Big news at home with Rachael getting murred, Connor starting highschool, and Holly hitting the MTC.  The world now has to deal with 2 of us.  Heh.  Sounds like you are killing it in there sister. keep it up.  Funny story of the week.  Some crazy old lady stopped us when we were going through a tunnel, asked us for money.  We said we couldn't and then she was like alright whatever I'll walk you to the metro.  So we were like, ok crazy lady lets go.  On the way she started sweet talking us, mentioning that she wasn't married, and that she was old but still has the looks of a fine young lass.  Then she mentioned to mckib that she didn't have real teeth, he didn't really understand so he said, What you talking about lady? So she popped her teeth out to show him and he exclaimed WOAH.  Me and her started laughing and then mid laugh she ever so tenderly grabbed mckib by the hand.  Elder Mckibben then started to panic.  He gave me a look of absolute fear.  So I said, o are you trying to see what time it is on his watch there?  So she played off like that and let go.  Then we bolted.  Fun times.  Crazy old people.  Well, that's all for this week, I wish you all the best with your current endeavors and all those going back to school I wish you luck.  I guess my friends are finishing college this year, that's pretty nuts.  Love you all (not directed to only friends going back to college), don't forget me.  Later.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Week 67:

Well, this is the week of the marraige of rachael holland to an Aaron whose last name I honestly don't know.  Good luck my sister, sorry I can't be there, the motherland still has a hold on me.  I send my love.  Anyway this week was an awesome one.  Busy.  We have too many things to worry about now which is so much better than having nothing.  I don't have a lot of time to go into details, but basically people have been coming up to us lately and asking to get taught.  YEAH.  God is throwing us and these other guys a bone.  Good people popping up out of nowhere.  One guy investigated the church when he was like 14 but his parents got weirded out by it and shut him down.  Now he and his wife are interested.  Woo.  Really sincere solid guy.  He came to church and really seemed to like it.  Bach a riddiculous muslim rower popped up out of nowhere as well, he is a little bit inappropriate but a good guy.  Then there is alexander america, guy who speaks pretty good english and has been to church a couple times, he's been reading the Book of Mormon and praying and feels pretty good but doesn't know why.  So good we get to see the gospel help people, gets us through all the garbage that comes with the job.  Totally worth it.  So yeah, also it's hot as junk here, super humid and I'm getting destroyed by mosquitos every night because we have to leave all the windows open.  Fun times. Russians solve this by wearing almost no clothes everywhere, but we aren't aloud to do that.  Well.  I miss and love all of you, good luck sister and other wedding planners, send pictures, wish I could be there.  Goodbye
Week 66:

Hey everybody,
So, big news.  Found out last week that two awesome strong Ukranian families just moved into tver, in order to help them out pres has decided to reopen the city.  YEAHHH.  He is sending the zl's that are in my district down there to go and make sure the members that are already there don't try anything funny.  There is hope for my city, there is hope.  Obviously Eelya was on the verge of tears when I told him missionaries were coming back.  That kid likes americans too much.  We don't know how long they are going to be there, but if the next three weeks go ok, then they will probably stay for good.  This however means that we are inheriting their area for a time, so we know have way too much to worry about.  We will be staying in our area half the week and then in theirs the other half.  Soooo much to do.  It's become pretty clear that I'm getting the boot in three weeks and will be heading off to somewhere else, so the stress will only last so long.  We had a couple meetings this week, last night's was hillarious.  We invited our two time karate champion of the world member on a lesson with us and aleksay, basically towards the middle our member took us into some uncharted waters of crazy deep doctrine that took us on a wild ride.  That was one of the most uncomfortable hours of my life as I watched one russian man confuse another.  But, we cleaned things up in the end, and he wants to meet again.  Said he felt like he got punched in the head though.  Yikes.  I think that was the most interesting part of the week.  Peter claims to have been put in jail again, but I'm not convinced, think some of this might be "exadurated".  Or completely fake, but we'll see.  Sky diving man has been out of town.  Russia is still Russia.  Yes.  Perhaps that is all.  Take it easy my friends.  Later
Week 65:

Hey guys,
This week was pretty good.  We met with Dima on tuesday, kind of had a throw down lesson with him where we said, alright dude, how serious are you about all this stuff.  He is still all in it, just having a hard time sticking to the homework we give him.  We've decided to push his b date back some, and we really have to get him in with the other elders soon.  Then we got a meeting with the sky diver guy, kind of did the same thing.  He is also on board, really on the search for what's true, but having a hard time keeping commitments as well.  We read with him out of the Book of Mormon and talked about it.  At the end of the lesson he prayed for the first time, sounded a little like this.  "Hey God, Please bless everything so that it will be good... Amen".  We were pumped.  Awesome to see a guy pray for the first time, pretty cool moment.  O also we got lost in this city outside of moscow looking for this old lady and then when we finally found her house by sheer luck she just barely showed up while we were dropping something off.  So she invited us in and was about to make jam out of a fat stack of blueberries, she has to do it with a wooden stick.  So we were like, not today lady, you gonna relax.  So we beat the crap out of those berries for her, which was good.  She is the one who is on her own and taking care of her husband who has severe dimmensia or something.  She was pretty grateful.  Old ladies out here are pretty hardcore, they do everything themselves.  Anyway that's all for this week i think, I'm short on time.  Oh also we had an interesting meeting with a cool muslim guy, really sincere dude.  Don't have time to talk about it, remind me later, it was pretty nuts.  Well that's about it.  Sooo.  yes.  Ok bye.
Week 64:

Hey everyone,
biggest news this week is we've got a new district, yeah.  Looks like I'll be camping out in this area for another 6 weeks, I'm pretty sure after that I'm out of here though.  There is more peace in the land now, before we had some dramas that were causing me to lose some sleep, but now everything is hunky dory.  Tatyana is chugging along like a champ, but now that we have her on track she has asked to get taught by sisters.  Happens.  Anyway we are passing all of our investigators to other happy missionaries and then we will be back to square 2.  The square where we have a lot of people just floating around and we don't really know what they want.  Better than square 1.  This week also we got to travel out of moscow to go do service for a family in our ward.  The worked us like dogs.  We built them a lovely path in their backyard, a bench, moved a bunch of bricks, disturbed a whasp's nest, hauled some lumber, moved an old bath tub, and other fun activities.  Their family has the cutest children in the universe by the way.  Russian kids are adorable.  Then scary.  Anyway that was the best day of this year, it's funny how much I love manual labor now.  Just really nice to have a concrete task and be able to finish it.  Plus just really good to be with russian people not at church doing something not to do with church, just befriend them and stuff.  Man that was awesome.  Way better than any holiday that has happened out here.  Besides calling home of course.  Anyway.  That's about all for this week.  Peter is still not in prison, he is just confused and scared about what is going to happen to him.  Any, I'm out of time, take it easy everyone, enjoy life.  Oh, and I'm probably coming back in march now, not february, we don't really know yet.  Bye.  
Week 63:

Hey there friends,
Well once again I'm in the predicament of a week full of hillarity and random junk with a little dash of deep stuff and no time to describe all of it.  I copied this from my letter to president, pretty funny story. This weeks story is a pretty good one so I hope you get to read it. We went out to visit one of our new converts who is having a rough time and lives pretty far away. When we came into his yard (they live in a house) he came and met us and told us in quite english that his step-dad wants to know about Jesus going to America and why we are here. Then he told us it was going to be difficult. We went in, started talking with him, and found out that he was right, it was going to be difficult. His step dad is a funny old guy that just accepted Islam only two weeks ago on a whim and believes a lot of weird stuff, but first is that we are wasting are time and doing a bad thing as missionaries. It was a really weird lesson, just answering a lot of strange questions, and we tried to work in the gospel where we could. Before this meeting he was pretty against his wife (the new convert's mother) investigating the church, which she has been doing for several months. In the end of our meeting he accepted a Book of Mormon and commited to read, invited us back for another lesson, told us we should do a Banya session with him in his backyard, and told us if he had daughters he would offer them to us to marry. The next day his wife who has been investigating came to church and was so excited that we had gotten to know him, but said the next time we come by we have to when she is home so we can have a lesson with her too. This is one of the strangest famillies I have ever met, but I love them to death. That guy was pretty funny.  Also we saw a russian wedding.  Greatest thing ever.  Basically we go to a dreary looking government building which on the inside is actually pretty decked out.  Then when it is their turn at 10:30 sharp, we all walk into a room with nothing but a string ensemble, a piano, a fancy table with two chairs, and fancy documents.  They stroll on up in front of the table and some lady talks about how love is the sun or some crap.  Then they sit down, sign the marraige documents while the photographer takes a thousand pictures.  Then once that is over they put on each other's rings and we follow them into another room, where we watch the film they just took of the whole process.  So the whole thing was over in about 20 minutes I'd say, and that includes watching it over again.  I liked it.  Seemed a lot easier to plan than american weddings, you might want to consider coming here to get married sister.  Anyway that was all, also some girl on the street took a picture of the missionaries, put it in a magnet, and sold it to us for 300 рубs.  That's a steal.  Well I am way over my time. SIN.  Gotta go.  Oh, Peter isn't in jail yet.  YA. Talk to you next week.