Tuesday, February 15, 2011

February 15, 2011

AHHHHHH! ARGENTINA!!!!! That's not what I was expecting at all! It's not quite as cool as Russia, but I suppose Espanski (Russian for Spanish) is pretty cool, and I'm soooo excited for Matt! Seriously, a mission is the best thing ever. I'm hoping to run into some missionaries going to Argentina, maybe even Mendoza, so that I can tell them about my awesome brother who's going there too. I even hung out in an uber-crowded mailroom to read my letter, since we're not supposed to read them in class. And yeah, I cried. It's just that awesome. It's where he's supposed to be and he will love it and it will be amazing!
Um. So yeah. This week has been crazy, but what's new. Tuesday night we had maybe the best District Devotional Review ever. I don't know how to describe it. These wonderful missionaries that I'm serving with have truly become family, and they will work miracles in Russia and Ukraine.
The TRC last week was kind of an epic failure, at least for me. But we had fun failing and laughed a lot during the Russian task. This week I actually feel surprisingly confident for it tomorrow, even though it's time to TEACH THE FIRST LESSON IN RUSSIAN! AH!!!! But really, it will all go okay. We know a lot more than we think we do, and I feel like we've all been growing a lot faster with the language over the past few weeks. Which is a good thing, seeing how we have to teach tomorrow. And also, starting this past Sunday, all of our talks in Sacrament meeting are supposed to be in Russian. Luckily, none of us "new" missionaries had to give our talks this week (we have to write one every week and then they randomly call on us), but next week it's a sure thing. It's pretty scary. I'm fine with it in English, but Russian....man. It's tough. I've got it lucky though. Russian is tough and there are some days I get frustrated, but for the most part, it's a lot easier than I thought it would be and I'm picking it up really well. I'm getting it a lot faster than other people in the district. I am so blessed. I have my struggles, but the language isn't really a major one, which is really nice. And, despite what Matt thinks, it'll be super useful later on. Apparently Russian is like the 3rd most wanted language for the CIA. I could go really be a Russian Hitman and make bank.
The really crazy thing about this week was that on Wednesday Ct. Clawson when home to American Fork to get shoulder surgery. He came back yesterday, but we all really missed him, and his arm has to be in a sling pretty much until we fly out. But we're super glad he's back. He's hilarious and is kind of the one who keeps us all going with his jokes and sayings and impersonations.
Some day this week there was a camera crew here filming a special about the MTC for inbetween conference sessions. They interviewed one of the natives in the cafeteria and also filmed a few minutes of our older district singing and in class. I don't think I'm in any camera shots, but if you want to you can look. You should watch it though--it'll probably be really awesome, plus, any Russian-speaking missionaries you see in it, I pretty much know them. Speaking of the older district, they're gone! Well, not all of them. Those going to Ykaterinberg don't leave for another hour, and those going to Dnipropetrovsk don't leave until tomorrow, but they'll all be gone by tomorrow. It's so crazy. We get new missionaries in a week, and then we're the people who know everything. Shto?!?!?! (What?!?!?!) But yeah, since they're leaving, that means that we're just about halfway through. AND they rearranged all our zone/district leadership. Cectpa Clark is senior companion now! MWAHAHAHAHAHA! Not that that means much, but it'll be great for her. She's pretty shy and I'm not, so it'll be an interesting role switch. Oh, we also got our new branch presidency member this past Sunday. It's Brother and Sister Cranny, who apparently just returned in July from serving as the mission presidency in . . . MOSCOW! I'm super excited. They seem great, and I'm stoked to hear more about Moscow and it's going to be wonderful. One last note about Sunday/Russian that I think is really cool. In Russian, Sunday is Vos-kre-cyen-ye, or Resurrection Day. Isn't that cool?!
Hey! Good news! I'm going to fit right in with Russia culture! Apparently they cannot physically eat a meal without bread in one hand! True facts. Bpat Savage said he had a companion who would get sick if they didn't have any bread and was physically unable to eat anything without bread. haha. I'm super excited. I love bread. Also, literature. Check check. Also, due to some Grasshopper cookies sent to me by Sarah Snow, Cectpa Bullough and I introduced our district to the concept of TimTam slams at dinner one night. That was fabulous. I love grasshoppers.
I got to practice some Deutsch this week. I'll often speak a little when I run into the German missionaries, but this week Ct. Whittemore wanted to hear Ct. Rodriguez-Vargas and me speak some German together, so we talked auf Deutsch for like 20 minutes. My German is sooooo horrible now, and I kept saying "ee" and "da" instead of "und" and "ja." Which I suppose is a good thing. But then it threw me off and I wanted to start saying German words in Russian conversations! Oh well. Soon I'll get to the point where I can separate my languages more fully (it's getting better) and then I can come back and study more German and continue studying Russian and then I'll be trilingual and then I'll meet Pres. Uchtdorf and speak to him in all 3 languages. Yes. But it was really cool. Ct. Rodriguez said that my Deutsch is better than most missionaries when they get out to the field. I'm not sure whether that means that I'm pretty good (despite my horrible vocab and grammar skills), or whether that means that the missionaries going out to the field are really bad at speaking German. For everyone's sakes, I hope it's the first, but who knows.
Happy Valentine's Day! It was pretty interesting, being here for Valentine's. Ct. Woodruff's family sent us all little goodies, so we had balloons in our classroom and blew bubbles all day. Cectpa Peterson gave us all candy, and Ct. Clawson's mom sent each companionship brownies. So we definitely felt love. And there were definitely like a bajillion more packages received than usual yesterday. It was a pretty great day, all-in-all. Besides, finding out about Matt's mission call was the best thing ever. Even if that was the only good thing that had happened yesterday, it would have made it the best Valentine's Day ever. :)
Well, that's about it. I'm almost out of time, so I need to go, but I love you all!
Cectpa Rachel

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