Russia Week 6

Here is Tyler’s letter for the week.  His birthday is this Saturday, October 3rd if you would like to wish him a happy birthday (e-mail: elder.froelich@gmail.com).
Have a good week!
Kelly
____________________________________________________________
Dear All,
A lot has happened this week.
First of all, earlier in the week we met again with Ira and Ksyousha to discuss their baptismal date.  They decided that the best day would probably be Saturday, October 3rd.  Kcyousha will be baptised by Elder Ignatev, and Ira will be baptized by Elder Froelich 🙂  The baptism will either take place in a swimming-pool type place here in Kemerovo, or, if that doesn’t work out, then it’ll have to be in the river here, in freezing cold water and we’d hope for weather that doesn’t include something like snow.  So, especially if this baptism takes place at the river, I should have some pretty exciting pictures to share next week.  So for all of you who wished me happy birthday– know that I am well taken care of as far as having the most perfect birthday a missionary could ever dream of.
Secondly, today is transfer day.  Last Saturday we got a rather shocking phone call from the President of the Mission.  Elder Kolpakov, Branch President here in Kemerovo, Zone Leader, my trainer, will be leaving today to Novosibirsk, where he will serve as the new Zone Leader.  This came as quite a shock because the usual minimum number of transfers that a missionary serves once he is called as a Branch President is three, and Elder Kolpakov has only been the Branch President for the one past transfer (a transfer is a six week period of time).  Also, Elder Wheeler, the other American Elder serving in Kemerovo as a companion to Elder Ignatev, will be leaving to Barnaul.  I listened to the president, scared to death, when he said that he is not replacing Elders Kolpakov and Wheeler with other Elders:  Kemerovo will only have 2 elders this transfer.  He did promise, however, the building to be finalized this transfer, so we should be moving into an actual church meeting house within the next six weeks.  But having only two elders in Kemerovo means a lot of changes.  Two missionaries aren’t allowed to meet with women alone– this includes our two almost-new members, Ira and Ksyousha, many members in the branch that we have been meeting with frequently, and any future female investigators.  In order to have these meetings we have to arrange for another adult male to be there, and we only have one reliable one of those in our branch, and he’s often out of town.  This also means that we are no longer a Zone, but a Branch, and now every week we’ll have to take a 5 hour bus ride to Tomsk, the Zone that we now belong to, for weekly District Meetings.  This also makes it harder to receive mail because we are several steps more isolated than before from Novosibirsk, mission headquarters.  So this transfer should prove to be very interesting and difficult.  My new companion is Elder Ignatev, a professional cook from St Petersburg who speaks some English, but not very well.  I’m going to be improving my Russian a lot over the next six weeks seeing as I’ll have no other English speaker within about a 5 hour bus ride to talk to.  also, Elder Kolpakov and Wheeler don’t get to see the baptism that they were so excited about 😦
Amber, I think I forgot to wish you Happy Birthday weeks ago.  If I did forget to write, I didn’t forget your birthday– it’s just really hard to remember everything you want to say in this silly 1 hour time limit.
Jisu, yes, I got your leaf from the Sacred Grove.  My companion, Elder Kolpakov, loves it and he took a nice picture of it to send to his sister who lives in Stalingrad, Russia.  Thanks, it means a lot to me, I keep it in a special place. And Happy Birthday to you too! October 4th, a day younger than I 😀
Howards– it’s nice to hear from you.  I’m happy to hear that you’re still involved in piano.  I lucked out and since I’m living in the branch building I get to play the keyboard whenever I want.  I’ve played for every sacremement meeting since arriving. 🙂
Sara– thanks for keeping me updated on your crazy life. 🙂 Where is Spencer serving his mission again?
Sean Schultz– thanks for the email, I really appreciated it. Dartmouth sounds awesome– I’m really happy that you like it there so much.  Your birthday will be… tomorrow! Happy Birthday!  The hiking sounds amazing.  A couple weeks ago we hiked to these letters on a hill that say KYZBACC (but in Russian characters) and it stands for Blacksmith Basin because there is so much coal mining here and this is the capitol of the Kuzbas region.  And I show people the pictures from our winter hike all the time.  And we’ve still got to fit in the AT someday.  Good luck with studies.  The college semester just started here too, so it makes me miss Cooper Union seeing all these college kids heading off to classes every day…
This week is crazy since we have Elders here with buses to catch, so I’m guessing there might be a couple emails I’ll have to wait for until next week.  I miss you all! Hadley, thanks for the scripture reading that you’ll do on my birthday– just imagine me baptising someone in a river while you’re at it! 🙂
Love,
Elder Froelich
Dear All,
A lot has happened this week.
First of all, earlier in the week we met again with Ira and Ksyousha to discuss their baptismal date.  They decided that the best day would probably be Saturday, October 3rd.  Kcyousha will be baptised by Elder Ignatev, and Ira will be baptized by Elder Froelich 🙂  The baptism will either take place in a swimming-pool type place here in Kemerovo, or, if that doesn’t work out, then it’ll have to be in the river here, in freezing cold water and we’d hope for weather that doesn’t include something like snow.  So, especially if this baptism takes place at the river, I should have some pretty exciting pictures to share next week.  So for all of you who wished me happy birthday– know that I am well taken care of as far as having the most perfect birthday a missionary could ever dream of.
Secondly, today is transfer day.  Last Saturday we got a rather shocking phone call from the President of the Mission.  Elder Kolpakov, Branch President here in Kemerovo, Zone Leader, my trainer, will be leaving today to Novosibirsk, where he will serve as the new Zone Leader.  This came as quite a shock because the usual minimum number of transfers that a missionary serves once he is called as a Branch President is three, and Elder Kolpakov has only been the Branch President for the one past transfer (a transfer is a six week period of time).  Also, Elder Wheeler, the other American Elder serving in Kemerovo as a companion to Elder Ignatev, will be leaving to Barnaul.  I listened to the president, scared to death, when he said that he is not replacing Elders Kolpakov and Wheeler with other Elders:  Kemerovo will only have 2 elders this transfer.  He did promise, however, the building to be finalized this transfer, so we should be moving into an actual church meeting house within the next six weeks.  But having only two elders in Kemerovo means a lot of changes.  Two missionaries aren’t allowed to meet with women alone– this includes our two almost-new members, Ira and Ksyousha, many members in the branch that we have been meeting with frequently, and any future female investigators.  In order to have these meetings we have to arrange for another adult male to be there, and we only have one reliable one of those in our branch, and he’s often out of town.  This also means that we are no longer a Zone, but a Branch, and now every week we’ll have to take a 5 hour bus ride to Tomsk, the Zone that we now belong to, for weekly District Meetings.  This also makes it harder to receive mail because we are several steps more isolated than before from Novosibirsk, mission headquarters.  So this transfer should prove to be very interesting and difficult.  My new companion is Elder Ignatev, a professional cook from St Petersburg who speaks some English, but not very well.  I’m going to be improving my Russian a lot over the next six weeks seeing as I’ll have no other English speaker within about a 5 hour bus ride to talk to.  also, Elder Kolpakov and Wheeler don’t get to see the baptism that they were so excited about 😦
Amber, I think I forgot to wish you Happy Birthday weeks ago.  If I did forget to write, I didn’t forget your birthday– it’s just really hard to remember everything you want to say in this silly 1 hour time limit.
Jisu, yes, I got your leaf from the Sacred Grove.  My companion, Elder Kolpakov, loves it and he took a nice picture of it to send to his sister who lives in Stalingrad, Russia.  Thanks, it means a lot to me, I keep it in a special place. And Happy Birthday to you too! October 4th, a day younger than I 😀
Howards– it’s nice to hear from you.  I’m happy to hear that you’re still involved in piano.  I lucked out and since I’m living in the branch building I get to play the keyboard whenever I want.  I’ve played for every sacremement meeting since arriving. 🙂
Sara– thanks for keeping me updated on your crazy life. 🙂 Where is Spencer serving his mission again?
Sean Schultz– thanks for the email, I really appreciated it. Dartmouth sounds awesome– I’m really happy that you like it there so much.  Your birthday will be… tomorrow! Happy Birthday!  The hiking sounds amazing.  A couple weeks ago we hiked to these letters on a hill that say KYZBACC (but in Russian characters) and it stands for Blacksmith Basin because there is so much coal mining here and this is the capitol of the Kuzbas region.  And I show people the pictures from our winter hike all the time.  And we’ve still got to fit in the AT someday.  Good luck with studies.  The college semester just started here too, so it makes me miss Cooper Union seeing all these college kids heading off to classes every day…
This week is crazy since we have Elders here with buses to catch, so I’m guessing there might be a couple emails I’ll have to wait for until next week.  I miss you all! Hadley, thanks for the scripture reading that you’ll do on my birthday– just imagine me baptising someone in a river while you’re at it! 🙂
Love,
Elder Froelich
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