Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Halfway there!

Hello Everybody!
6 weeks down... 6 to go. and then RUSSIA!
I've heard two things about Russian missionaries and having to spend 12 weeks in the MTC. i've heard that 12 weeks here really matures a missionary and allows them to grow up. I've also heard it makes you crazy and the Russian elders are some of the craziest in the MTC. Well, 6 weeks into it... i'm going to have to side with both view points. I've definitely grown a ton in the time i have been here. I feel as though my priorities have been ironed out pretty well. Some of my favorite things are listening to devotionals from leaders of the church, teaching in the TRC, and attending the temple each week. With that being said, some of my other favorite things to do are smash talking everyone on the volleyball courts, acting like a zombie and attacking other elders in the residence halls, and playing with all the toys kendra has sent me. The older district especially loved it when i acted like a zombie. They all agreed I should have gotten here 6 weeks earlier because i would fit in with their district so much better than mine. I agree with them. But alas, they have all left now. we're the older district, and we're getting new missionaries tomorrow.
im pretty excited about the new missionaries we will be getting. we have a few from germany and japan (it would suck to learn a 3rd language in your 2nd language... its hard enough in your first language!) and of all these new missionaries THREE are going to Samara!!!!!! So far i've been the only one going to Samara (wait... elder rosell went there like 3 weeks ago) but anyway i'm way excited for my Samara buddies! Elders Behr, and Morris, and Sister Wilson.
Lets see... oh, i've heard rumor that i'm homesick... and well that's not really true. sorry to anyone that I may have worried. I do enjoy being here a lot! that being said i do miss people from home (especially in this mail drought i've been experiencing lately) and i am very ready to get to russia. But yeah, really happy. My companion and I get along really well now, Russian makes sense (still cant really speak it.. but I understand HOW to), and i have so much junk food and candy (when the older district left they had to lighten their bags... so they left all there food in the free bin... and well, i was first to see it all and so i pretty much took everything i like) so i dont really need treats.... unless you really want to... i wont complain. but i would love more mail! I'm very greedy when it comes to mail... i love it. even if its short, just write! and write often! The other elders are starting to wonder if anybody loves me (ok... not true... but still... i want more!)
Oh, but don't write about your vacation to disney land... Mother. however, do send me something awesome from disney land (which means more than a postcard... but i want a post card too)
Oh i finally broke out my brown suit today! i hated how my shoes matched with it, so i haven't worn it yet... but i fixed it. I got some leather dye and dyed them a darker brown. They're not quite to where i want them to be, but hey... i've got time! untill then they are good enough to wear :)
so with the commencement of this, my second half of my MTC experience, we have begun to do most everything in russian. Each wednesday when we practice teaching in the TRC it now has to be all in russian. Last week was the same and we taught the message of the restoration. it went pretty well. Before hand i was pretty nervous about it because i couldnt really remember all that russian that i had been practicing. so i said a prayer for the spirit to guide fme and to bring to rememberence the things that i had studied. I then went in there with faith that i would do well. When we got in there we soon found out that the 4 return missionaries we weree practicing on were actually Ukrainian speaking. Ukrainian is to Russian as Portuguese is to Spanish... but a little bit more of a difference. BUT even though they werent even speaking russian i was able to pretty much understand the things they were saying, AND i remembered everything i had worked on... even the things i really hadnt studied much at all. It was such a testimony to me that this really is the Lord's work and He is more than willing to help me out in it. As Sister Gonzalez said "Don't think about what you can't do. This work isn't about you. It is His work. Believe in Him, believe that He will do miracles through you" I know that this is His work and that it is very important for me to be here doing this.
well thats all the time we have this week. tune in next week!
love you all!

Love, Elder Ellis

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