Hello from Russia!
I still can't believe I'm here. It's nuts. A week ago I was in Utah. Crazy.
I'm in a city called Tolyatti in an area called New City. I already love it here. Apparently it's one of the more peaceful cities in Russia. Our apartment is one of the only apartments int he mission with beds AND a toaster, so we got that going for us. It's the coolest place. I've met so many crazy, cool people already. My trainer's name is Sister (Elizabeth) Pierce from Utah. She's only been out 6 months, but there are only about 12 sisters in our mission, so trainers start training real early. I love her already. We work really well together and we're both just ready to work. I have high hopes :)
Traveling was insane. I'm sorry both calls were so short, but our layovers were impossible and we were all SO tired. By the time we got to moscow we were all dead. My flight ot Moscow was an interestng one. I sat next to a man named Joe who was texting another man named "Bald Eagle" on his phone. They were talking about how Bald Eagle was flirting up a bisexual Phillipino woman and how Joe was meeting a man named Sergei who was going to hook up him with two Russian woman on Wendesday night. I couldn't believe my eyes. Haha. Sister Moffatt and Elder McClure were already handing their neighbor a Book of Mormon and I was stuck with the foul-mouthed adulterer. Haha. SO I asked him why he was going to Moscow and talked about his family, etc., etc. Eventually we started talking about the church a little bit and I LAID into him about families. At one point he started talking about how he'd seen so many of his coworkers cheat on their wives during business trips and how disappointing he was. I kind of wanted to smack him. Haha. But we talked about families for a loooonnnng time. It was so hard not to just blurt out, "Don't cheat on your wife this Wednesday!" Oh, well. Joe and I became real good buds. I hope I gave him something to think about.
Anywho, mission stuff.
We got to Samara on Tuesday night aroun midnight and got picked up by the Sartoris and the APs. We went back to the mission home and slept until the next morning where we had breakfast and said our goodbyes after some interviews. It was really sad. I love the district. I hope they're doing well. THEN I went backt to Tolyatti with Sister Pierce and got to work. That night we found a family that we have an appointment with tonight. Exciting! We also had a couple other interesting meetings. We talked with a man named Sergei who asked us to meet him the next night at his church. We didn't think he would show but he did! We talked to him for a while until his pastor came out and started going OFF on the Book of Mormon. Of course, I could only understand about 20% of what he was saying, but I knew he wasn't interested. Haha. I think Sergei was my first heartbreak. He had the best, most honest, sincere face! I still have hope for him.
Then there's Nikolai. We met with him yesterday and talked a lot about faith. (Oh! Brat Sorenson! You have to tell Brat Hofman that I used "Koe-shto! I thought about it as I said it and you're RIGHT! He was impressed! Thanks, Brat Hofman!) We also had some lessons with less active members this past week, which turned out to be pretty interesting. I wish I had more tme to write about them. BUT I don't. Lessons still feel weird out in the real world. The second you realize that your investigator isn't actually a reaturned missionary, the whole game changes. There are people here who have no idea who God is or how He feels about them. Sometimes it's hard to wrap your head around. I love these people, though. I just want to hug them and help them and love them and teach them all. Haha. Also, I just heard Selena Gomez for the first time since July about 5 seconds ago. It was the ringtone on a 50-year old man's phone. Haha. Not judging...
The rest of this letter's gonna be one big "thank you." I really am blessed to be here and to have all the support I've had from all of you. Brat Sorenson and Brat Hofman (and Brat Duffy), THANK YOU. I couldn't have asked for better teachers. Tell all your students to listen to you because you guys are the best. And tell them to learn their verbs of motion! All of them! Tell them not to waste any time because the second you get our here all you want to do is help people, and you won't be able to if you're not prepared. And thank you, family, for everything you've done. Thanks for teaching me the gospel and for being my examples. I love you guys a whole lot.
Alright, that's all I got this week. I promise next week will be more spiritual/uplifting/better in general. My brain's just so frazzled right now. Until then, know that I know I'm here for a reason and I wouldn't be here if I didn't know ALL of this gospel was true. I love Russia. I love the people. I love the mission. I love you all!