Monday, March 19, 2012

12 Hours on What?? March 19, 2012

Oh my goodness!! 

What an eventful week!!  We started off with an 8 hour ride to Rostov for our Zone Conference.  Sister Lawrence and President Lawrence were there.  He is a counselor of the Eastern Europe area.  

So, our ride home was quite the adventure.... We got onto this bus which was overbooked as usual, and they didn't' have enough room for all of the new missionaries luggage that we had to bring to v-grad.  So, you know where the luggage went?  in between our seats!!  This wasn't the usual 8 hour bus ride,  it was the scenic route!! We backtracked, kept turning off the main road to go and visit nearby villages and drop passengers off,.... and pick up more passengers!!  Of course, this means that the driver can pocket some money as people stand on... but that also meant that the room for our luggage got less and less.  It was stacked hi in between us and whenever someone behind it needed to get off we would have to move it all, and then, quite often, another person would need to also get out... but they would watch us and then seemingly wait until we had put the luggage back down to say that they needed to get off too!! It was SOOOO fuunnyyyy!!!!  Our luggage just got higher and higher leaning on all of us in the seats as we had to stack it!!  The bus driver would smoke, and open the window.... trying to get the smoke out the window, but oh no... that just circulated the smoke around the bus!!  One time when some new people were getting on we heard the driver say,  "don't bother the Americans, they won't give you any money!!!"  It was SO funny!! 

Well, our ride back took about 12 hours...  It was fun laughing and talking to the other missionaries!!  Elder Nielson told us that we were building our mansions in heaven through this test... but he figured his was getting smaller because he wasn't in a very good mood about it!! haha! i thought they all did great and it was so fun!  And guess what?! We get to take the exact same bus again this week back after my visa trip!! There will be so many more adventures! 

After coming back from a Relief Society Broadcast where all of the presidents of the primary, YW, and RS spoke (I translated for Sister Nielson the whole time btw... wow, they talked SO fast!! Translating really fries your brain!) we decided to quick check the store to see if they had a blender. We had been planning on buying one.  While we were walking there this guy in a car stopped and asked us for directions.  He then looked at us and asked if he could meet us.  Taken aback... and usually from a man that is not a good sign, I said no and we walked away.  Then I started feeling bad because I was like, "What if that was a member of the House of Israel, and i just turned him down?" As we walked out of the store we ran into the same guy again... i think that he was following us though.  We gave him an invite and talked to him for a bit.  He was super nice and then as we walked home he came up again in his car.  he had some good questions about the church, but then invited us on a date to go to a cafe... haha  We decided we may as well continue our search for our blender as he shouldn't know where we live.  So, we walked and this couple ASKED US at a cross walk where we were from!!! That doesn't happen very often!!  It was AWESOME and we got their number!!  And we did find a blender! It was WONDERFUL!!

Then today... oh my! so many adventures! Elder Kuslev and Brinkerhoff wanted to see the German community in our region.  They came out on like a 2 hour marshrutka ride, and guess what... it was closed today!!  Well, we decided that their trip out here shouldnt' have been in vain, so we would show them K-mesk. Elder Brinkerhoff was thoroughly bored, so we decided that we needed to make our small uninteresting city interesting!  We started telling  him about all of these things: that this was the oldest government building in Russia, the plane cafe was actually a plane that had crashed there, the small church may or may not be the smallest in Russia... I think that he got the idea that we were pulling his leg when we started getting really specific... we hope! But he did take pictures of most of the things we were talking about! :)  We took them to see Lenin! It's SO HUGE!  While at the German village we saw that there was going to be Celtic piano conference.  We got it cleared to watch as a culture night.  When we went to go get the tickets we actually got to hear the man who would be performing!!  It was AMAZING!!!  The man who was giving us the tickets seriously almost fainted when he found out that we were Americans!! haha!  He seriously was shaking for like 10 minutes and was speechless! He was so flustered and happy to be speaking with us!! He literally almost fell over and had to lean on the wall when I said that I was an american!! haha  

We also met this man who didnt' believe that I was American!  He grabbed my hand and looked at it, like a palm reading, and declared, "you are not American."  i asked if I was Russian, he said no.  I asked where I was from and he said I don't know... haha but not American!

RUSSAIN!!  I'm SO excited for the saints here!! they finally fixed the title of the book of Mormon from "new testament of Jesus Christ" to "another testament of Jesus Christ."  Well, i gotta go! But we will have another Rostov adventure this week!  Thanks to Corrie, Sterling, Alicia Bytheway, Jessica hansen, and the fosters for their letters!! I loved them!! I love you all SO much and wish you an exciting week!!! 

I also want to get the new Russian triple when I get home... I don't think I'd need it before that.  They had the JS translations in it because the Bratislavian church has the copyright for all Russia that no one else can print Russian Bibles!! Interesting huh!!

Love you all!!

 Mamaev Korgan

 Our shopkas!!!

 A cool Russian building.

 Us on our 12 hour bus ride!! Elder Jacobson is really not sitting on me....

 Sister Whitaker and I on the bridge.

 Elder Kooslev, Brinkerhoff and I in front of the German church.  We were doing our serious Russian poses... Elder Kuslev's is the most authentic... as he is Russian!! :)

Anchor yourself in Christ!!

 This is me with Lenin!!

 The sign says wlaking on the ice is strictly forbidden!! Sis. Whitaker snapped this one!

Elder Jacobson is not on my shoulder in this one either... look at the luggage!!!! 


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