Russia, April 7, 2010

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Dear Family,
This week was an interesting one.  Since last email thing were really great and then they came to a hault yesterday when Elder Brightwell and I just for some reason had a really slow day.  But going back to Thursday when everything was awesome…
I had this crazy idea a while back to make pancakes for english class.  Russian’s have their pancakes that are more like crepes, so for a couple weeks we advertised “American pancakes at English Club!!”  We spent lots of effort with logistics of how we’re going to get the food, how much we’re going to need, how we’re going to have each of the three english groups make their own batches of pancakes within the entire 45 minutes that we are allotted for English club.  After much deliberation we decided to invite everyone to bring their own toppings, plus we would make a vat of maple syrup (which is not a Russian thing).  We bought enough products to make 3 batches of pancakes per English group (9 batches total) and we came up with a time table of how we could somehow organize using the one stove top that we have to cook the pancakes.
Well, it was a success! lots of people we’d never seen before came, we made all the pancakes and even though we were kind of late for everything and we got way behind in our schedule, we did make enough pancakes for everyone, there were enough toppings for everyone and it was a lot of fun.  I’ll include some pictures of us all eating during story time when Elder Lambson did “Little bunny foo foo,” which was excellent.  There was a really good, funny translator that day (we tell a story in English and as practice, someone from the 3rd group translates into Russian for those who don’t understand everything).  And Elder Lambson ended it with “And THEN! She turned him into a GOON! POOF!!!  And that’s how, in America, we got the Easter bunny.              no, just kidding, but she did turn him into a goon.”
After that, we had the first test run of another idea I had– Russian club: help the missionaries speak amazing Russian.  We had a member from English club prepare a lesson for us and he taught us all about sports.  It was great. (the next russian club is tomorrow and we’re being taught about music)
Easter is big here in Russia.  Everyone goes around and says “Christ was resurrected!”  and you’re supposed to answer back “He definitely resurrected!”  They decorate Easter eggs, but don’t hide them.  Old grandmas just give them out on buses and stuff.  And there’s this special cake that you can buy at the store. They look like gigantic cup cakes.  But, like all Russian pastries, they don’t taste as sweet and delicious as they look.  It’s like a sweet bread with some lemony frosting on top with sprinkles.  Not bad.  People would then go to church and light a candle to an icon.  For us, we worked hard on gathering inactive members of our church, hoping that they’d come back for Easter Sunday.  We did have some success with this as we saw a couple inactive members return for the first time in years.  Easter for us ended in going to the other elders to do our laundry (b/c our washing machine broke and we’re waiting on the replacement).  On the bus ride there we saw tons of people out on streets on dates, with their families, or just totally drunk.
Well, that’s my little report for the last week.  I can’t believe you guys are in Puerto Rico…. dad was supposed to take me there like four years ago.
Sean– sounds awesome what you’re doing in DC– it sounds so surreal for me to hear about it.  A drunk guy gave us a message to tell Obama back in America… but I forgot what it was that he wanted us to say.
Well, I hope everyone is doing good. I should get mail on the 17th ish for those of your who have told me that I should be receiving something.  Thanks for the continuous emails and letters, I really appreciate them all.
Oh, also! I get to see general conference this weekend– it’s a week later than you guys, but I’m still very excited.
–Elder Froelich

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