Alright so i'm going to try to type more of my travel stories, but i'm sure you're anxious to hear how i'm doing right now and for the last two weeks.
Well, first off i have a very nice coat. I've actually been a little warm in it so far... so once it gets colder ill just be a little cold. haha. It's been pretty cold already... don't know temperature... and its rained a good amount. shoes in russia do NOT stay clean for very long... well.. they just don't stay clean period. we travel by walking, the metro, trolley bus, city bus, and gazzels. gazzels are kinda scary... actually its all kinda scary. my area is the southern part of the city of samara: bezimonski. which means "without a name". it's all stores, billboards, and huge dom's (apartment complexes). the branch here has 350 members, but only about 30 are active. so we've spent a great deal of time strengthening members both active and inactive.
One of the first days we were here we were able to help branch president jestkov dig a hole at his mother's house. his mother lives in a house with two rooms that together are the size of our family room. the rooms are a bedroom and a kitchen. the bathroom is included in the kitchen. a chair with a hole in it over a bucket. very humbling circumstances. we had the did the hole to... well i dunno. some water problem. but we dug a hole about 6ft deep, 4 ft across and 6 feet long. IMPOSSIBLE TO DO IN MISSOURI. but here, there are now rocks.... just dirt and dirt, and mud. heavy mud. i've always wanted to dig a hole to china.... but strangely i found myself digging a hole back to the US. never thought it would go that way. after we worked a while she made us come in and eat. we tried not too because 1. we didn't want to get sick. and 2. She really doesn't have the money to feed us. Finally she convinced us to eat... she just yelling "kooshet koosheet!" "eat eat" in her 90 year old angry voice. it was actually pretty good... i don't know what it was but it was good.
Oh! I had my first baptism this week. we inherited and eternal investigator, who on our fist lesson decided it was time to get baptized. so we had a small service on saturday. she was baptized in the above ground pool filled with water that i'm really glad i didnt have to get in. president bargdonov performed the baptism. i don't know what he's president of yet.
well, i think i better wrap this up. I'm doing well, i'm healthy safe and happy. We spent most the day today cleaning out pipes in our apartment... so our apartment smells like death right now... but i feel a little better about our pipes.
Some quick business: i would like some recipes! specific ones i want: banana bread. almost stuffed peppers, spaghetti. and anything else that i like and can be made in about 30 mins or so. also, for Christmas all i want is money so that i can buy gifts for people and send them home. i need to do that soon tho so let me know in your next e-mail how much i can spend on that. oh and i'll get a list of things i need for a package to you as well...as a new years gift. new years is big here in russia. or maybe the jan christmas. haha.
well love you! ill send more about my travel story next week!
say hello to Eisley for me!!!!!
Love, Elder Ellis