well I'm here! not really used to it yet... but that will come. I'll tell a little about where i am right now and then get into my stories. I'm serving in the безымянскии area with my companion Elder Krookston. i don't really know how to spell his name... i only see it it russian and even then i dont pay enough attention. The area is in the city of samara and therefore very city like. our apartment is on the 4th floor of a building near one of the metro entrances. Elder krookston and i both arrived in the area at the same time... so we dont really know where anything is yet... kinda fun... but really not. worst part is that he openly admits he has a horrible sense of direction. I actually have a pretty good sense of direction... but i dont understand russian... so we spend a lot of time trying to figure out wehere we are and where to go. infact coming here we made about 4 big circles. kinda frustrating. The branch here has one of the highest memberships in the mission. it has over 350 on the records! but on sunday... about 20 showed up. many many many less actives. so that part of the work we are doing here. trying to activate! ok story time. starting last...monday. pretty much going straight from my journal here
what a day(s). we woke up at 3:30 am (utah time), finished packing and cleaning and headed out. took a bus to SLC airport where i called my parents. I then boarded a plane with ct. maksymov and sis. ostapchuk to NYC JFK airport. apon arrival at JFK we made a dash to catch our flight to moscow. We made it! it was while walking on that flight that the "I'm going to a foreign country for 2 years" feeling finally hit me. my thoughts as i walked on board: "it smells funny in here...Everyone is russian... I'm the only american...they all know i'm the only american... nobody is smiling.... i need to smile less...OH CRAP.... WHAT AM I DOING!?!?!?" haha. so that was a long flight from NYC to Moscow. I wrote a lot of letters, and talked with elder maksymov and sister ostapchuk a little. after a while we landed in moscow. it was while getting off the plane that elder maksymov pointed out that there was a famous russian super star on board.. so that was cool i guess?
after we got off the flight and went through customs we were met by a senior missionary couple and a church driver. we loaded up our bags and went with the driver to terminal c which is about 30 min drive from the other terminals (you have to go alll the way around) at terminal c the driver had us check our bags in a luggage hold and then drove us back to meet with the other incoming missionaries and the senior couple. when we got back to terminal a i went inside to meet up with elder rigby and bonous so that the 3of us could go to the US embacy in moscow to get our 2nd passports. and sister ostapchuk and elder maksymov went the other direction. I was slightly overwhelmed by the process because nobody seemed to be on the same page an most everyone was speaking in fast russian i couldnt understand. so the 3 of us were driven through moscow to the US embacy. i was pretty neat driving throught the crazy streets of moscow. this place is fascinating to me... outside the city are is beatiful country sides with fall trees everywhere and with in the city are old building and factories with so much character. after a few hours we recieved our 2nd passports, and made it back to the airport to meet up with the russian missionaries... but my samara buddies werent there. elder vargon suggested we go ahead and check in our bags and then try to find them. so we went to go get my bags from the baggage hold.... and they told us it was the wrong one and that we needed to go to terminal f. so we went down to terminal f andthe y toldus to go back to terminal d. so we did and they told us to go back to terminal f. so we went back to terminal f and talked to them for a while. we finally figured out we really needed to be at terminal
to be contiued