Дорогие семьи и друзья,
Tell Grandpa Jo I say happy birthday.
What a week. Since I basically shaved my head about a month and 1/2 ago I finally had another hair cut last Monday. They took off the sides only. It looks much better but I still have to be patient until it grows back to where it was. Also last Monday we have legit smores and roasted marshmallows! One of the missionaries who served here and ended his mission about the time I was about 4 months in, came back and we had a campfire with him and some of the members! He is Russian so I don't know how he got the marshmallows and chocolate and graham crackers or the starbursts but I didn't care it was so delicious. I think I was actually the one who enjoyed it most out of everyone haha, Actually most of the members didn't like it and said that it was too sweet. I just felt like I was back home in the backyard roasting mellows. Speaking of good food, watermelon season has hit Russia! That reminds me of when I first got in country and me and Elder Lyman would buy at least one every week and absolutely love the watermelon. They are dirt cheap at the store just across from our house. Oh yeah, I don't think I ever said, at our new house a grocery store is right across the street an makes shopping fast.
Vl from Angarsk called me this week haha. He wanted me to send him pictures and was telling me how Angarsk was and everything. Haha it was awesome! We met with this guy this week who called at us in English when we were in Burger King. He took us to his home and played some songs he wrote by himself. They weren't that bad, he is pretty talented but I have been thinking of remixes to his songs this whole week.
With the new law, we cannot talk about the gospel or anything of that sort outside of the church. The only exception is that we are allowed to teach members in their homes. Until last week, even if we were in the church with a non-member we couldn't talk about the gospel until the person signed a paper noting that they agreed to this and that they were a follower of the church. But that has been thrown out now and as long as we are in the church we can talk with anyone about gospel topics. We still can't directly invite non-members to activities in the church but we can let them know what time the activity will be as long as there is no invitation extended. Lately Elder Staiger and I have been inviting people to a store near the church and then walk with them to the church to play ping pong or some other activity. I hope that makes sense. If I forgot to add something or if there are still questions please let me know.
After Institute we played "Book of Mormon bingo". On the bingo card is Book of Mormon characters names. I put the names in google translate trying to be more efficient becasue it takes me a long time to type in Russian because I haven't memorized where the letters on the keyboard are. I thought google would have translated them over exactly how they were in the Book of Mormon for some reason but I was so wrong. Hagoth the viking ship builder in the Book of Mormon got translated over as Xagoth. All it changed was the h to an x. "G" isn't even a Russian letter. Wherever they pulled out his name they just said viking haha.
The spin trimmer was taken by President Zag and that which was broken is now fixed! The blade on the end that was no where near the center is now centered which stops the problem that we had where it shakes until your hands bleed. We cut for a couple of hours at the "green island" and got a good chunk of the field cut down to size. It only died once on us and it was somewhat of a miracle. If I haven't said it before I will say it now, at least one person gets married in Ussuriysk or at least that is what it seems like. They put flowers and ribbons on their cars and drive around the city honking as they drive past you. Anyways we had brought a soccer ball with us and we see a woman in a wedding dress and a small group of people with her. They come over and ask if they can use our ball for their wedding pictures (he was in the goal and the bride pretended to kick the ball). We happily told them yes. If only I would have brought my camera with me I would have had some great pictures. Their friend afterwards said that he plays basketball more than soccer and Elder Staiger told him I was from America and play basketball too and the guy freaked out when he heard we spoke English and that I was from America - he loved it. He started talking to us in English that he learned in school and invited us over to his house as guests! And throughout the rest of the night he kept on calling us haha.
Well, I hope that feels you in on what happened. Looking forward to another good week! Hopefully we can find some more service. If anyone has any suggestions on what we could do I would love to hear them. Zone Conference is next week and Elder Martino of the 70 comes. He replaced Kl as the 1st counselor for our region.