I've officially been gone for 4 months now. that's 1/6 of my mission. I still don't know if that went by slow or fast.
This last week has been somewhat of the hectic one. monday morning i was with elder kazikov. we shopped for 2 people for 2 days with one person's budget. Elder kazikov wanted to go meet up with the zone leaders for lunch (elder crookston and bolt) since he was being transferred to kazan... which is something like 8 hours away. so we went up to the zone leaders area, I finally was able to find a bible in russian, and then we went out to lunch. McDonalds! Oh i was so happy! I was a little disappointed that they werent serving breakfast by the time we got there, but then i realized they didn't make saugsage egg cheese mcgriddles and cinnamelts anyway. Which is also a dissapointment... i wanted to show elder kazikov what a real one was like, and not our homemade version.
After lunch we came back to the apartment and did laundry and all that, and then we got a call that elder williams would be joining us for the next day or so. 3 people eating food for 2 on 1 person's budget. The next day because there were 3 of us we decided to go on splits. they somehow thought it would be a good idea for them to go together and for me to go with a member. I stressed out about it all day long. I don't know much russian... he doesnt know much english. Finally the time came and they left me. the member and i went to go visit a less active member in the area, and it actually all went pretty well. I was VERY thankful for the Lord's help in helping me understand and be able to talk in a clear and understandable way. The Lord really does help us to do AMAZING things if we will just have faith and pray.
The next morning Elder kazikov and williams left, and elder swainston came. We had to treat it like a second p-day because there was NO food in the apartment and the apartment was kind of a mess. elder crookston left it messy, and then elder kazikov and williams added there part. Then we got a call that 2 other elders would be joining us for the evening. so we went on splits again. This time I was with elder brewer. Elder brewer knows like 4 languages and seems pretty smart (harvard student i believe) but... no matter how smart you are, you always come off as an idiot if you think you know EVERYTHING. I really didn't know what our plans were. I don't know a lot of russian. I don't know a lot about missionary work. I'm still young. But he expected me to know everything. "what are we doing next?" "what now?" "who is this person?"....... i just simply don't know. and i would appreciate it if you would ask in english because i'm feeling a little overwhelmed by you. after a few hours with him i really wanted to punch him in the face.... it was not a good night. but i made it through without any sort of abuse given. we finally met back up and i was able to work with elder swainston for a little bit finally, and they left. I was happy with their departure... until we realized they took our map and our ward list with them. dang. The next day was thanksgiving. I didnt realize that until we got a call from sister sartori inviting us to thanksgiving dinner at the office. Oh the perks of being IN samara and not one of the outlying cities in the mission. we had a wonderful thanksgiving dinner with president and sister sartori, the templetons (the office couple), the assistants, our zone leaders, and the avrora elders and sisters. 14 in all. after dinner we had a little testimony/ "i'm thankful for..." meeting. I really do have a lot to be thankful for. And i'm thankful for this opportunity to serve the Lord and to bless my family the best way possible.
after dinner we caught a ride back home with a the 2nd counselor in the mission presidency (the same member i went on splits with.. pres. kleemov) and the secretary (also in our area sasha tolkachov) sasha served a mission in washington state and so he knows english. and so we listened to christmas music all the way home. Made me miss being home a little bit, but once the music stopped i was able to focus again.
Oh. time out. I want to let grandma know that i got her dearelder letter..... 5 or six times. haha. Everyone at the thanksgiving dinner was jealous of my MANY letters.... little did they know it was all the same letter pretty much.
Let's see... I'll talk more about elder swainston next week as i am out of time. I'm really happy to be working with him. Its been a little bit of the blind leading the blind as he's been trying to get aquainted with the area, but hey, i'm used to being half blind.
I think we're finally getting it together though. Im learning a lot about being organized.
well, i'll try to get some letters off in the mail today or tomorrow. I've not gotten around to going to the post office in the last 2 weeks :/ sorry. I think I should have more time now with elder swainston tho.
Well, love you all! hope all is well and I hope everyone had a happy thanksgiving! i did. don't worry... I ate without YOU this year :P