What a week it has been. Wednesday was just general, get to know your purpose, practice teaching a little in English, and try to get to bed. My first few nights were really rough because I couldn't sleep well...new bed and all....so I got sick for a few days but I have been sleeping well for the last 3 nights and I am now almost completely better. Ah, quick story.
Monday, I told Elder Nally that I had actually slept well and that I was feeling much better. He said...ya we know.....he then said that I had been snoring my head off all night. ;) So, that's what happens when I am really tired and finally fall into a deep sleep.
Ok, here's what you need to know about my district.
Elder Nally, from San francisco and it shows. he's got classy hair, a real 'people personality' and a love for having fun. He is my opposite in so many ways! however, He is very dedicated to serving an honorable mission and he is very thoughtful so we are getting along famously!
Elder Meridith is from Rexburg and a lot like me. he is very dedicated to working hard and is really having the gift of tongues come to him and he is learning faster than anyone.
Elder Buck is our district leader and is from Sandy, Utah. He is 20 and has served 2 years in the marine corp. Super strong, really dedicated, super respectful...the ideal soldier. He is a really great guy.
The two sisters in our district
Sister Wilson is from Utah, I don't remember where, and is really smart. She is very reserved and quiet and so sometimes I am not sure how much she likes us elders. She will be a great missionary but certainly has a lot of places to grow in testimony and faith.
Sister Palmer is from....Boston.....yep. She is nice....looks way younger than 19....and will be a fabulous sister. She is also very quiet but really knows a lot about the gospel.
OK, you will be a receiving a letter from me soon were I testify that the gift of tongues is important, here is the story behind that.
Sister Wilson took Russian in college and is very close to fluent. She is the best Russian speaker in the district. I can tell that she is used to always being able to do things...and do them well...and so she loves to be very prepared. We teach lessons in Russian every day and a couple days ago, she didn't have time to write everything out that she wanted to. She got stressed, lost the spirit, and couldn't teach. in her own words...I couldn't think of anything to say. I had a very different experience that day because I am not very good at Russian...probably the worst in the district and had Elder Nally interpret for me in the lesson. I didn't know much of what was being said but I followed the spirit and would interrupt and ask Elder Nally how to say things one word at a time. I shared my testimony 3 or 4 times during the lesson and felt the spirit so strongly. Our 'investigator' has committed to be baptized. What a difference it was...Sister Wilson could speak the language but lost the spirit...I knew only a few words in Russian and yet felt the spirit and taught with power. The spirit is the MOST important thing!
I know a few words . . .
I know that....is true, tie, shoes, yes, no, good, what such! (used when English would say, "what in the world"), prophet, Joseph Smith, Christ, God is our Loving Heavenly Father...
OK...that's about it. Russian is hard!
My first few days were so hard. I was working so hard that I couldn't think...that 'my brain is fried' feel you get...ya...I had that for 3 days straight. I am doing much better now but like I said in my letter...there were times I was sure they were trying to kill me! :)
We have some fabulous teachers here that really teach by the spirit. Sister Jackson, Sister Riggley, and soon Brother McKay(He has been being our fake investigator). They have all served in Russia or and really are great. Just a quick side note, I am the only elder here who is going to the . . . and will be speaking Russian. There are several who will be speaking . . .etc..but no Russian. My whole district is going to Samara Russia!
Oh, another thing that is important.
I am a missionary...I am currently assigned to serve in the . . . We were told that all mission assignments for the next while could change at any time. They are opening a bunch of new mission and we could be re-assigned at any time. So everyone at home with mission calls....remember...that may not be final. There is a lot of good food here and I have gain a couple of pounds for sure..,.ya...couldn't help it. Another thing that I am more grateful for now....garden vegetables...compared to them...everything here tastes like sawdust! So, eat your veggies...they are one of a kind :)
I may end up asking you to send an ipod and speakers my way....I am sure missing music. More than I ever thought I could! I didn't realize how much a part of my life it was. I sat down to play the piano for sacrament meeting and it felt SO good! I am going to miss having a nice piano for 2 years!
This is just for all my friends. You guys are awesome! Thanks so much for being such great kids to hang out with. So many of the elders here had only a few friends who were kind of ...well...not the best kids. Thanks to all you people who have been great influences!