Russua May 26, 2010

All,

We (Elder Whitchurch, Hansen, Eborn and I) just got out of being stuck in an elevator.  We weren’t in there for very long– only about 20 minutes.  Elder Hansen thought it would be a bright idea to try to open the elevator doors a little bit– kind of like your story at EFY, Chris.  So anyway, that’s not my first time having to explain to an elevator operator in Russian that we’re stuck and we need someone to come and get us out.
Also, yesterday we decided that we needed to put in more effort for English club to get tons of people coming.  We had recently printed new invitations that are beautiful and fun to hand out to people, and so yesterday we all dressed in our “Free English” t-shirts and stormed the main streets of Tomsk talking to anyone and everyone, inviting them to come speak English with Americans.  The weather was beautiful and it was actually a holiday– the graduation of middle and high school– so there were lots of people out on the streets (although there were a lot of 14 year olds dressed in their graduation outfits: either suits (guys) or what i would compare to a skimpy french maid costume with huge white bows in their hair (girls), which was frustrating b/c people under 18 can’t come without written permission from their parents, but oh well).  We passed out hundreds of invitations, had a lot of fun together, and hopefully will soon see some fruits from out labors.
Sacrament meeting last Sunday was especially good for me.  We got there a few minutes, enough for me to start playing some prelude music on the piano and to glance at the hymns that I would have to play that day.  It just so happened that most of the hymns were ones that I was very comfortable with and can play well– which was a relief for me.  The chapel gradually filled up with people– we had an attendance of 59 that day.  The whole meeting just went really well.  There were really interesting and uplifting talks (including my companion’s) and as I looked around at the congregation of Russian people there to worship I felt very strongly that this was all right.  It’s so amazing to see the Church of Jesus Christ operating so well and almost independently from missionaries even in the vast reaches of Siberia.
On monday we had a family night on the armor of God.  We found a place behind a small grocery store that gives out boxes… sort of… (we walked up to this ware house in the back and waited until an employee walked in.  He looked at us funny and we asked if we could take some boxes. He looked at us funny again and asked what kind of boxes we wanted.  We just said… idk, the boxy kind?  He pointed to a stack and we said that’d be fine.  He gave us two stacks and we walked away with a bunch of used boxes. success!). We got home and whipped out the scissors, tape, and twine and started constructing a set of armor.  We got to family night, where all the youth had gathered at a members house and started out lesson.  There was about 8 youth, plus the member, Olga and her two children.  We dressed up her 9 year old son named Misha in this ridiculous box-armor as we read the verses from Ephesians 6, with the conclusion, of course, of everyone pelting this kid with “fiery darts”.  Then we watched the cool, totally-from-the-80’s, amazingly dramatic seminary video about the armor of God.  We prepared taco soup with the help of sister Rivas and then people proceeded to try on the armor and hit each other with the sword of the Spirit. I got some great pictures, but I don’t have my connecting cable to day. Next week.
Today for P-Day we’re going to make a fort at the other elders’ apartment and celebrate Sister Rivas day by making macaroni and cheese.  I’ll have some exciting pictures for you all next week.
Although it snowed about 4 times last week, i think the weather might be coming around for good…. a taxi driver says that it’ll be warm for good (until fall) in a week or so.
Love you all,
Elder Froelich

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