Dear my fantastic family and my good friends,
If I had forgotten that my year mark is almost here, mom definitely reminded me by sending me a lot of hump day camel pictures haha. It is almost here and it is incredibly weird. I don't feel like it has been that long, not even close, maybe a few months and that's all. But I look back and I guess it has been almost a year. I have had many fun times, happy times, sad times, home-sick times, laughing times and of course spiritual times. It is true what they told me, when I look back at the first year I only remember the good times. I'm glad I decided to serve and to be among these wonderful people in Russia. I'm grateful for all the things I've learned and all the things that have happened which have changed the person I am. I know it has made me a much better person to serve. It is amazing how much we receive when we serve. Almost always it seems to be more than what we give.
The reason I am writing a little later than normal is because we just climbed a mountain with our good pal S! He is a investigator who told us he knows this forest and he wanted to take us to it. It was awesome! We got some good pictures even! We hiked to the top through this forest! It was awesome to be in nature! I miss camping so much! The air was fresh and it wasn't too hot. We found a tiny river bed and climbed down that and then went to the biggest river in Ussuriysk and sat down and relaxed. The river reminded me of Alaska when we go and fish in our waders. The water was low and there was a little rock beach in the middle.
An interesting thing happened on Tuesday. I met a computer spammer. He said he spams Instagram and takes everything he uses from America. He was a kind of a weird dude. Also we had splits and me and Elder Hess were together. For lunch we decided to have Burger King. It was good. I haven't had fast food in a while and that was normal, but later that day we met with our taxi driver friend who we befriended not too long ago. After talking for a little he says, "Let's go to Burger King". We didn't want to but we did anyways. Our cashier worker had tattoos everywhere and maybe the strangest tattoo I have ever seen. His lower left arm from his wrist to his elbow was just black. The whole thing was black covered in ink. Anyways to make a long story short, I order two sandwiches and he gave me three and now I never want to eat Burger King again. I felt like throwing up.
I almost forgot, last Monday we made real Borsch with Sister R! It was delicious and tasty and we loaded it with mayo! The Russians know how to eat! We just got some thunder today and it was wonderful! Thanks again for all you do and for your example and for the support. I love what I am doing and I love all of you!