Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Last 6 weeks...

We have a/c now!
And I'll be enjoying it for my last 6 weeks as i did not get transferred. Neither did my companion. So... no more wondering where I'm going. I'm here, and then I'll be there.
We spent a good amount of time today with our investigator working on one of his 'inventions'. This guy has a head on him. He's making rubber molds for candy factories and he's working on a machine to help him do this. Pretty interesting. We've had a lot of good lessons with him, and he'd be ready for baptism soon, but unfortunately he got a job kayaking up near Moscow.  We also have another investigator who has been really close to baptism that is looking like she's going to get baptised in Moscow. The blessings of having the first stake in Russia i guess. Hopefully they'll get theirs here in a year. I'm hoping someone gets baptised here before i leave though.
i love you!
Elder Ellis

Monday, May 21, 2012

Time is getting short, so are the emails...

Hey there
This week went by pretty decently. Zone leaders came down for exchanges, went pretty good... we just don't have any "hot pockets"
left >:(
This last weekend was member district conference. I got to see two of my favorite missionaries probably for the last time. Elder Rosell goes home in a week, and Elder Maksymov goes home the cycle after me (yeah, i like him... it was just a little hard serving with him) Also there were like 245 people in attendance at the conference... made the goal of having a stake here by next July seem reachable.
This week we're going down to marks on exchanges. I always enjoy spending time with Elder Berrett. He's from Pocatello, so i plan to end up at his home coming next summer. Our landlord is going to be fixing a few things around the apartment while we're gone (we hope this means getting the air conditioner up and running!) It's been a bit cooler lately so we're not complaining. It rains every p-day.
including today. transfers are coming up. everyone is getting anxious for those as usually. But, i think I'm ending my mission with Elder Hill here in Engels. we shall see though.
50 days counting today. I'm not really counting down... I'm just aware.
well.... love you!
Elder Ellis

Monday, May 14, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

E-mails after calling are always a little hard to think what to say.
It's getting pretty hot here, we're hopefully gonna have the air conditioner able to use next week. What a luxury. Didn't have one last year... that wasn't fun. We even have TWO fans! I broke one last night singing some ray charles into it... (i'm not THAT bad of a singer.. i just knocked it over...) So last night was a little sticky without a fan blowing on me. But i fixed it this morning with some blue duck tape and super glue, and now it works better than it did before. I'm such a handy-man! Though i did end up with my fingers and and a few eyelashes stuck together. don't worry ma. I fear mentioning anything to do with eyes.
Looking foward to some canoeing when i get home.
This week there's a member district conference. Kiev Temple president will be in attendance. Saw him just last week. I also found it a little weird when they spoke a little louder than usual during the fire drill.
Exchanges with the zone leaders this week too. I'm not dreading it.
i've humbled myself.
well... I love you!
love Elder Ellis

Monday, May 7, 2012

Trains and Planes

Well I'm finally back in Engels. Spent the week traveling from Saratov to Samara to Kiev, then the same cities on the way back. Pretty interesting week, a little tiring.
Funny story that maybe just i think is funny.
So often times while talking to people on the street we get rejected by people rather emphatically saying 'I'm Russian Orthodox!" I'm not sure why they think they need to say that in such a prideful way. we know their Russian orthodox... that's why we're inviting them. I thought it was just that they think we're some American church and they've got that patriotism.
Well this week we started talking to a girl that was passing out fliers for a cosmetic store. We were talking to her for a little bit, and all the while she was passing out fliers. She went to go give one lady a flier for the magneet store, and she stopped and said in a way that we missionaries know all-to-well "I go to Ruble Boom!" made me and my companion laugh.
we also had an old grandma pass us the other day waving a 'fig' around in the air talking like only crazy old bobooshki can. (a fig is kinda like the middle finger, but not as offensive. Parents will often give their children the fig when the keep whining for something. it's similar to the sign language letter 'T') So.... we went to Kiev. It was a pretty good trip. Theres one guy (passport control) in the Samara airport that likes to give us a hard time. "I just hope you know that what you're doing here is illegal..."
well... if it's illegal.... why don't you do anything about it?.. "i can't".... that's because its not illegal.
The temple was really good. Learned some interesting stuff. We spent most of the day there, but they didn't have very many sessions of anything... so we just spent a lot of time sitting in the temple. We also got to participate in a fire drill. Probably the first and last time I'll ever have the opportunity to do a fire drill in the temple.
It was kinda interesting, and helped me to really understand just how sacred the work we do in the temple is. like, did you know that if there's a fire, they take the time to gather up all the cards with information about ancestors? I probably wouldn't think to do that in a fire... must be important! I also go to do some work for some family members of a member in Novo-k. So that was a neat experience.
We also got to go to a baptism up in Samara while we where there. One branch up there has a lot of foreign members and investigators due to a university. It was pretty cool to see one African baptize another in Rasia... Russians are typically not very accepting of black people.
But the gospel knows no bounds.
well.... I love you!
hope all is going well
Elder Ellis

Russia is zombie proof because all the buildings are made from thick concrete. usually the first floor windows are all barred. I would feel pretty safe in my apartment if a zombie outbreak were to occur.
we had some pretty good storms this last week. had me thinking tornado! i was happy to enjoy it feeling safe in my zombie proof apartment 8 stories up with a good view of the skyline. No tornado.
just some wind damage-tree limbs, fences, a few ripped up roofs....