Hello everyone and С Рождестом
This week has been another fun one! So yes mom, I did buy that shopka from the old AP. I was with him when he bought it off the Renik and he let me wear it because I had nothing and I was cold. I don't know it just kinda grew on me and now I am so glad I bought it. Speaking of AP's we have none. I heard we are the only mission in the world like that. I think president was sick of people aspiring to be called to leadership positions so he got rid of them. We still have all the other things though, just not AP's. It is basically the same without them I think. Who knows how long we will be without them. Doesn't really matter I guess. I like how president does things. I am really lucky to be called to this mission at this time. President Perkinson is huge on goal setting and accomplishing the goals we have set and that is something I have always wanted to be good at. I know he will have a huge impact on my life.
One of the fun things about training is planning. I underestimated the amount of time it took us to get to the church from the Krishna Kitchen so we had to run. It doesn't matter how cold outside it is. When you have a huge coat on and start moving, it gets really hot. But I am learning a lot. I have a really big desire to get better at this language so for the next few weeks, at least until Christmas, or probably after, me and Elder De Sandre will only be speaking in Russian. Except for our hour of companion study and after 9:30. I have realized that the only way I am going to make any real improvement in Russian is if I speak it almost all the time. This next few weeks will be interesting but I need to do this hard thing now so that I can better help these people.
I bought my boots on the Renik this past week! I got a steal for them. Well, first off the guys keep on bringing me the wrong size of shoe so they already wasted a lot of time with me. He put the boots on my feet and asked for 3500 rubles. I told him I could only go 2000. After a lot of negotiating and me attempting to leave, I got them for 2000. They are big and have fur lining the whole inside. I love them because now I can walk anywhere I want without getting cold feet or wet socks. I have heard from older missionaries that Angarsk has the best Renik. The only catch is that it is closed on Mondays. We have to go during dinner hours if we ever want to buy something there. The Renik is indoors and it is HUGE. It seems like a football stadium when we walk in because the building is huge and is domed shaped.
The living situation I am in is very fortunate. I live with Elder De Sandre and Lyman and Sumner. All 3 are great guys and it is a blast to live with them. I think I said this already but Elder Sumner and Elder Lyman went to high school together and now he is training him. I wonder if that will happen for me? That would be cool.
We went to an investigator's house last night. His name is G and he is the first person Elder De Sandre and I talked to when we got back to Angarsk. We miraculously found his house because all the buildings look the same and are covered in snow and it was night time. We got there and were greeted by his family. He lives with his mother, his wife and his daughter. He is from Armenia. They brought out apples and this Russian candy and tried really hard to get us to take coffee and tea but we resisted. We started teaching him the first lesson and how our message can help him in his life. We had him read the first vision. It was very amazing when he was reading Prophet Joseph's account. He got to the part that reads, "This is my beloved son, hear him" When he got there he got all quiet and read it really slowly, then paused and read it again. It was amazing to see the power of those words and how much they touched him. The Restoration really happened. I know the prophet Joseph Smith saw what he said he saw. This is Christ's restored gospel. I know it.
It is good to read all of your letters! On the 17th it will be my 6 month mark. Where has the time gone? I am grateful to be here. I love you all!