Monday, April 30, 2012

This week is going to be a fast one...

Well, this was a long week, but a pretty good one. We did service without stepping in poo. Finished repairing a garage door for and investigator. I really appreciate the way dad builds now. That's all I'll say.
This week is going to be a fast one. Tonight my comp gets on a train to Samara. I come back to work with Elder Bearden (yeah!) all day Tuesday. Wednesday we pick up our comps at the train station and we'll have about half the day before we go back up to the train station where elder Bearden and i will take a night train to Samara. Thursday we'll work in Samara, Friday visa trip (get to go to the temple!) and then Saturday work in Samara take a night train home, jump in a taxi to make it on time to church. Everyone one else from Saratov is just flying out from Saratov, but i some how lucked out to get to spend the week with elder Bearden traveling. (i really like traveling... my favorite method is bus rides. They're during the day and i can just sleep. wake up, get off the bus, and it's already time to go to bed.) 2 years of missionary work makes for one really tired person... all the time. When i get home i expect to be a zombie for at least a few days. Speaking of zombies... I've been realizing how zombie proof Russia is.
Oh, happy anniversaries! I just realized it's already the last day of April.
well... this one's going to be a little short, time's up
love you!
love, Elder Ellis

Monday, April 23, 2012

No Iguanas here...

It's officially short sleeve weather here.
We tried to have a sports night, but only rain showed up.... and no that's not a hippy name of an investigator or member. Its seems to be raining pretty good right now too... should be a good walk home.
I doubt there are iguanas in Russia... but who knows, its a big country. Maybe down towards the southern part? none here. our Internet club is name Hameleon tho... i think they forgot the C.
So I've been hearing a lot about Romney over here too. good and bad.
I've heard several times that Romney said that if he's elected then Russia is America's #1 enemy. They all claim to have seen and heard it themselves.... but the same don't know English and unless Romney served a mission in Russia i doubt , что он емеет говорить Russian. So fill me in on that.
The work has been a little slow, but we've been finding a lot of opportunities to serve. two weeks ago we helped build a wooden garage door out of scrap wood, and raise a roof that had fallen in a chicken pen. we'll be going back out there tomorrow, maybe to shovel out all the poop that was in there. This last week we helped a member carry some suplies for his house he is building. He has a big dog that likes to poop all over the yard. So far all of our service has resulted in stinky boots.
I've got a visa trip next week, so i should get that package that's been waiting in the office for me a while. Luckily my companions birthday was in April too, so I've already had some cake and ice cream.
speaking of ice cream.... I decided not to follow through on my experiment to see how much weight i could gain in the 11 weeks left...
it was working too well. we've started to run some mornings. but my comp isn't much of a runner.
well.... i think the rain actually stopped, so we're going to make a run for it.
love you!
love, Elder Ellis

Monday, April 16, 2012

Two Hits...

Those were some pretty cute pictures you send me of Kennady, Eisley and the baby. Kennady is big! and i laughed at the picture with the Easter bunny, and how the baby is already becoming a REAL man. haha
This week stayed pretty entertaining. Not as entertaining as finding a pipe bomb in the church parking lot though. That's a pretty good mission story. Don't worry, it's not on my bucket list. But i did pass off an item this week. In answer to Kortney's question, whether i got punched or hit by a car, i can now answer both! The first one was a good hit to the face (not as hard as my freshman year)... but this week i got hit by a car! Not a hard hit by any means, just suddenly i was sitting on the hood of a car. He just tapped into me really, but enough that i can make the claim that i among the missionaries that got hit by a car!
General Conference was good. We got to watch a good portion in English. I've become a lot more appreciative of the opportunity we have to listen to a prophet of God every 6 months. A good portion of the members here are a little more apathetic about it... but looking back 3 years ago... so was I. I'm glad I've grown that appreciation on my mission.
I've now entered into my last 2 cycles.... to exactly 12 weeks left. I didn't get transferred and neither did my comp. Both of the elders i trained are joining us down in the Saratov zone. One of them is my new zone leader.... not sure how i feel about that. but all will be well.
Being on a mission isn't always fun. I'd even say that most of the time it's not. It'd been a lot more fun staying home and not going.
But the rewards of these 2 years FAR outweigh the fun could be had not serving. One of the biggest factors to me choosing to serve was that i knew I'd regret it my whole life if i chose not too. Now, having almost finished, I still agree with that reason. And i see how grateful I'll be for the rest of my life for my decision to serve a mission. If i had to make the decision again, I'd have no hesitations to serve. And well, I've still got time to do so!
I love you all! Hope everything goes well
love, Elder Ellis

Monday, April 9, 2012

Birthday Week...

The weather has been quite lovely the last couple of days. really foggy in the mornings and nice sunny and warm during the day. I've been enjoying it. But with nice weather people are out on their scooters and motorcycles... so i can't wait to take Scarlett out this summer.
We're looking forward to watching general conference (hopefully in English?) this next weekend, and coloring eggs in the morning. (for sure in English)
Nothing too exciting this week. We thought we were almost going to have an incident report on Saturday. We walked out of our apartment and heard a guy yelling "hey Americans!" usually when this happens its best to just ignore it and keep walking. So we did so. he yelled after us a few more times and started following us. We came to an intersection and he came up and starting yelling at my comp (who was doing a poor job of acting like he didn't notice). The guy was getting pretty rallied up so i decided to start talking to him. But he just wanted to talk to my comp. Finally i get my comp to reply to him... turns out... he was an investigator we had invited to go to the activity we were headed to! woops! I had never met him (being new here) but my companion has no excuses.
This last week (being my birthday week) we bought 6 kilos of ice cream. usually we get 1 each week. We ate it all and I'm trying to convince my companion we have the means to make this a weekly occurrence. I think I'm going to try and see just how much weight i can gain before i come home. I'm currently back up to my mtc weight :) (12lbs heavier than when i arrived)
I plan on running a lot when i get home....
well.... That's about all i got
The countdown hasn't started, but I'll see you 3 months from today.
love you all!
love, Elder Ellis

Monday, April 2, 2012

April Showers...

It's been raining a lot the last week. I usually love the rain... but not when I'm walking around in it trying to talk to Russians. Its pretty ineffective... and wet.
This week we went to Marx. Had a good ol' time with elder Berrett (we served in the same district up in Kazan) he's still trying to convince me to go home early to finish playing Banjo Kazooie (apparently i gave up on the last level) I told him I can wait 3 months... but when i do get home I'm going to have to get that out of my system right away. so have to N64 up and running with Banjo Kazooie put in!
Ok... maybe that's not my first priority. Definitely 2nd though.
These kids in here get pretty load when playing call of duty... swear word every other word... but i think that's because i only know about half the swear words.
Speaking of swear words, I got hit for the first time on my mission!
Crossed that off the bucket list! Saratov is the highest incident report area in all of Europe East Area. That's something cool to brag about. I haven't seen very many problems on my mission, so i was glad to get a glimpse. But like i said, i haven't seen very many problems.
Most can be avoided. And the guy didn't hit very hard... it put a smile on my face that day.
We also went to a opera this week for cultural night. I'm not a fan of operas.
Marx.... Marx is a little town. Russia is weird in that a town with 5x the population of Branson can seem 5x smaller. hooray for Russian doms. but i guess Bransons kinda a weird town.
Well I'm looking forward for conference... we don't get to watch it here til the 15th. So the anticipation is building. This week my comp is going on visa trip, so I'll be up in Saratov for a day or two. next week is the last week of this cycle. Time is flying.
well... speaking of time flying, gotta go!
i love you!
love Elder Ellis