The Life and Times of a Missionary: Volume 4
AHHHH MATT'S MISSION CALL IS AT THE HOUSE?! HE HAS GOT TO OPEN IT RIGHT NOW! AHHHHH! I AM GOING CRAZY! He's gotta come Russian speaking. It's really funny how excited my entire district is for it. I was freaking out yesterday since I thought the letter telling me about it was coming, and so everyone was freaking out, but the USPS let me down. Oh well. Also, yes! Rebecca was right--Cectpa Clark is Mr. Howard's niece. She's awesome. And HAPPY BIRTHDAY ELIZABETH! Thanks for your letter--how did you fix Fred? And have fun on your first date. Also, Elizabeth: get onto my school email. In my inbox should be a message from my mission. Open the attachment and print it out and send it to me, kay? There's an Elder in my district going to Moscow with me who didn't get it and we'd all like to have a copy just for reference. And I am really wishing I had more knit shirts, because button-up ones are great, but...yeah. So if you could send me my gold shirt and then the blue-ish-gold-ish flowery one, that'd be great. Also maybe a pair of jeans, because we can wear them here. I'll probably be sending some stuff home before I leave for Russia, but it'd be really nice to have it while here! OH! Also, if you could go through my music bag that I left out by the piano and send me at least my sheet music for "Savior, Redeemer of my Soul," "My Kindness Shall Not Depart From Thee," and "Clair de Lune" and maybe some other churchy/classical stuff that'd be great. They've asked us not to listen to music here, but we can play piano and do other things whenever we have free time during meals or on P-Day or Sunday, so it'd be really nice to have.
Highlights from the week. It's a good thing I write everything down on a sticky note, or else I wouldn't be able to remember anything. All the days run together and are so long; sometimes the only reason I know something happened that morning is because I'm wearing the same clothes. But the weeks are just flying by. It seems like it was just P-Day. And next week our older district will be gone, and us three "new" districts will be the older districts when the new Ruskis come in the week after that! Crazy! We feel like we don't know anything. But then I realize that we're trying to cram 2 years of a college language education into 11 weeks of classes and don't feel so bad. But a week from tomorrow we have to teach a 35- minute Restoration lesson all in Russian. AHHHHH. Um. I don't know how that will happen. Lots of prayer and help from the Lord. But really, we're all being really blessed. We've taught for about 10 minutes in really broken Russian to each other in class before, so...yeah. Mostly it's just memorizing vocab for me. I just don't have the words to say what I want to say. But this week I learned that President Uchtdorf's second language was Russian. I thought that man couldn't get any cooler. But he learned Russian and then thought it was impossible to learn English, so...it gives us all hope. Plus, now when I finally meet him (because I will, because he's my favorite) I'll be able to have a conversation with him in 3 different languages! But really. This week I feel like I've learned so much Russian. It's crazy. I'm so much better than I was this time last week. Lots of it was that Saturday was changed, and is now forever changed, to Sata-Ruski. We're only allowed to speak Russian all day. Okay, so we actually spoke quite a bit of English, but just trying to force yourself to speak and remember and be in that mindset all day helps you learn so much. Immersion really is the best way to learn a language. And really, Sataruski was a lot of fun, even if it was frustrating at times.
Cectpa Bullough (who was Michele Porter's roommate at BYU-I, yeah, small world) calls me the "scarf queen." Haha. I guess I do wear them a lot. I'm wearing one right now. Wednesday we were getting ready to teach people and Brat Savage sat on a little metal tv shelf and broke it! Luckily he caught the tv behind his back, but it was hilarious. Best thing that happened all day that day. This is going to sound pretty arrogant and selfish, but one of my favorite things about Cectpa Clark is that she thinks I'm funny. It's great. We laugh a lot together, which is really important. :) Our whole district actually laughs so much all the time. Sometimes we feel like 10-year-old boys, but it really is hilarious and it is super important to find at least one thing to laugh really hard about every day as a missionary. Another really funny moment was when C. Johnson, our Elder from Georgia, was pretending to be an investigator couple with his companion. I guess he got to be the wife and we asked him what his name was because Cectra Clark and I were teaching him and he said, in a high southern drawl, "Menya zavut Nan-cy." Hilarious. You'd have to hear it. But C. Clawson was laughing so hard he was crying. Great. :)
The other day I wasn't feeling well around gym time and it was also right after lunch, so I pulled out Jesus the Christ to read. It was so great. I felt like I was reading some lit crit while the other kids were at recess. Sound familiar? ;) AND our workshop yesterday we talked about getting people to read the BoM AND Russian literature in one class. So awesome. I felt kind of like my old self again, but in a good way. Not in a returning-to-Babylon way. Also, pretty sure one of the reasons I got called to Russia is beacuse of the literature connection/history there. Yeah. But Friday nights are always fun. Bpat Savage has "Story Night" and we look forward to it all week. It's great, and hilarious. Also, Ctareyshena Clawson gave us all bird names this week. I'm apparently a kiwi bird. Although he started with peacock and then moved to penguin and then finally decided on kiwi, so I'm not sure how accurate that is. Also, it was my half birthday this past whenever it was. Friday? No, it was Sataruski. Which doesn't really mean anything, but I thought it was crazy that it's been 6 months since my birthday. Really...wow. Doesn't seem like that long ago at all.
Sunday like always was great, although we starved. You see, we eat dinner at 4:30 every day except Sunday. When we have dinner at 5:45. And it was fast Sunday. So we had over a 24-hour fast. The MTC food has never tasted so good. But we also had mission conference, which was awesome. We heard some great talks and then went to Sacrament meeting. President and Sister Nally from the MTC Presidency were there, which was cool because we got to meet them. AND THEY'RE FROM TWIN! Well, not from-from Twin, but they lived there years and years ago for a while. He served in a bishopbric with the Dodds's grandpa. So that was fun. On a sadder note, one of the counselors in our branch presidency got released. We'll miss them a lot--it's amazing how quickly people can become like family.
On a last note, last night we watched a talk by Elder Holland from an MTC devotional like 10 years ago. It's AMAZING! If there's anyway that everyone reading this can get their hands on it, do. It might be kinda tricky to hunt down, but try, especially Matt. It's called "the Miracle of a Mission." Super awesome. Please please please watch it.
Anyway. Time's about out. I'm heading over to the bookstore to buy a tape recorder so I'll probably send you guys one sometime soon. But yep! Love you all! Write me on DearElder or snail mail me. It's so great to get letters. Yes yes yes. And food. We're always starving at night since we eat so freaking early.