Yes, I'm alive.
I wasn't able to e-mail on monday because Saturday was the new year, and on the 7th is Russian Orthodox Christmas... Which means russians pretty much have a week long holiday. And being russian culture, Holiday means celebrating, celebrating means drinking, drinking means not working. Therefore the library where i am e-mailing from right now was closed. Therefore we got permission to use the internet today. Hopefully you can get some sleep at night now.
New Year. Came in with a bang... well came in with several thousand bangs. New years here pretty much means fireworks. And of course, as soon as they start to sell fireworks, teenagers start to shoot them off. So pretty much for a week straight there are fireworks going off somewhere with in sound distance. Its a little strange to be in russia, walking around the streets and hearing so many explosions. all i could think was the nazi's were trying to take back control of the motherland. On friday and saturday we had to be in the apartment from 3:30 for the rest of the night. 3:30 it gets dark, and that's when everyone starts to drink MORE (I'm not russians really ever START drinking.. how can you start if you never stop?) and start shooting off more fireworks. and well, I personally dont really have an eye to spare. So i was glad to be indoors. We had some shake n bake chicken with rice-a-roni for new years eve, and some pork-chops for new years day. and of course, Ice cream with oreos, banana bread, chocolate sauce, and podewshki..(russian cereal) it was a good day of eating. Elder swainston and i always ate quite well.
Oh, i also had my first run in with "the police". we were knocking on new years eve day seeing if one of our potential investigators was home when a man came up to us and whipped out his badge and started asking for our documents. so we showed him that we have all the documents we need to be living here and to be in that building knocking on doors, but he wasn't quite sastisfied. We ended up having to leave to avoid confrontation, but it was a little frustrating because 1. his government has given us permission to be doing that and 2. He was an immigration agent, not a police officer... so kicking us out of building isn't really his jurisdiction. first encounter... i'm sure there will be more.
Oh we also had comp. exchanges where i was able to work with elder bolt for the first time (zone leader) and we had a weird incident. as we were getting on an elevator in an apartment building to go back down to the ground floor the door started closing before i had time to get on. instead of getting smashed in the closing elevators doors i thought i would simply push the button again. well... the button decided to randomly stop working... so he was standing on the inside of the dark elevator and i on the outside. Not within vision. then somebody else on another floor pushed a button and.... there went my companion..... that was the strangest 3 minutes of my mission being alone out in public. hopefully that will never happen again.
well, that describes New Years pretty well, but i've run out of time to talk about my new area and new companion/ That'll come on monday.
I love you all!
Happy new year, and happy birthday nathan!