Man, I don’t even know where to start this week.
How about with this one:
Elder Eborn gave a funny comment about life in Russia. Apparently the other elders were out of q-tips, so they decided to go to their grocery store. To their surprise, the store had been remodeled. They took out the hygiene section completely, to make more room for the alcohol section. Sometimes you have to ask yourself why there are so many problems on the streets of Russia– other times you don’t have to. 🙂
Wow, I can’t even explain how great things are going right now. The summer has hit full force in Tomsk, although there is still strange sensation of snow– the trees here release these cottony seeds like crazy, so it’s like a warm snow storm. (I had to look up the translation from ощущение to sensation to come up with that word– maybe that’s a good sign for me and my russian fluency) After weeks of really hard times, slow missionary work, and business, everything has suddenly turned around a complete 180 degrees. I would have to say that the last 3 days have been the best since the time that I got into Tomsk. My companion and I had a renewed goal-setting session where we came up with lots of ideas of who we can help and how we can find people who are ready to hear about the gospel. Since then we’ve found tons of people who have really great potential– amazing families, really cool, smart kids from universities, and this awesome girl who actually spent quite a lot of time living in Bountiful, Utah on an exchange program!
The last few weeks were really tough on me and everything seemed to be crashing down. I focused my studies a lot on enduring trials patiently and how we can get through hard times, and I’m just so thrilled to know that there really is another side. Everything we’ve been planning has been working out and our attitudes have completely changed. So all of you having a rough time right now– hold on a little longer, things really do turn around.
Sean, I’m really glad to hear from you– sounds like you’re having a lot of fun with those classes. I miss school. 😦
Andrew– I’ll write you another letter soon! (I looked through all the xkcd you sent me again not to long ago– thanks again.) I read my friend here your fork lift story– he got a huge kick out of it and was super impressed that you make robots and stuff. He was very jealous and thought the robot band thing was super hard core.
Chris– I can’t believe you got those letters so quick. Hey– you can send me stuff through pouch too, then (or you should be able to). Ask about it. It should be completely free since we’re both on missions, and while you’re in the MTC, it sounds like it goes pretty fast. I’ll write you a letter about all my mtc stuff– i don’t remember my room numbers right now… but what building are you in? what class room– tell me all your room numbers/info. We hid something cool in our room– you’ve got to find it!!!! 😀 And yeah, I do know Ivan! Give him a hug for me! 😀 He served in Kemerovo on a mini mission, so he lived in the same apartment that I did for the first 4 months of my being in Russia. Find out if there are any elders going to Novosibirsk Mission!!!!
Hadley– idk if you’ll get this or not but I am PSYCHED that you’re having so much fun with this art thing. Wow. Jealous. A lot. man….
Sara– keep up the great work on the mish! (someone add her to my forward list: firstname.lastname@example.org)
K, well I’m going to be finishing this one up, and I’ll try to send a few pictures.
I love you all, thanks for the support!
Happy Ivana Kupala Day!
So far I’m disappointed in this Russian holiday, but the concept is that on this day you’re supposed to throw water on people! Supposedly people throw water from their windows/people carry water guns, etc. Maybe it’s because it’s been raining all day today, but I haven’t seen any evidence of this holiday yet. But it’s a cool idea, nonetheless.
Well I don’t really know what to report about this week. Yesterday we celebrated 4th of July in English club! We had lots of food (root beer, apple pie, pancakes, cookies) and played crazy games with our Russian friends (step on other people’s balloons that are tied around their ankles, eat donuts hanging on strings w/out your hands) and we belted the national anthem with everyone at the end– it was a lot of fun! 😀
We’ve been blessed to have met a girl recently who is interested in finding out more about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. She’s very smart and well educated and speaks many languages– I love talking to her b/c it feels like I’m back with all my Governor’s School friends. She’s brought up a lot of good questions and arguments about religion, which as really made us stretch as a companionship to find the best way to answer these questions and arguments. But the best thing about the whole situation for me is that it’s really helped me see the real focus of it all: Jesus Christ. What it really comes down to is “does the Book of Mormon help me come closer to Christ?” Because coming closer to Christ and learning more about him is really the quest of any Christian– we’re all trying to be more like him. I’d just like to share my testimony with you all that I know that Christ is our Savior. That he knows us all individually and that his arms are always open to us. I know that the Book of Mormon is a true testament of him. I know that he leads the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints through a prophet today. I know because I have personally gotten an answer from God that Christ really does live, and that he is active in our lives, and that he leads this church.
I’ll keep it short this week.
Amber– got your package 😀 thanks!! it made my day/week