This is about all you need to know about my week: We left Provo on Monday night, and I got to my apartment just two days ago! It was a long trip and I was in the same clothes for almost a week but it was well worth it , because I love it here.
We got to Rostov on Wednesday night where we were greeted by the AP's and President/Sister Miner! It was so awesome to finally get here and be welcomed by them. On the taxi drive to the mission home, it was one of the AP's and me, he started talking to the taxi driver as any good missionary would and I of course could not understand anything but then I heard him ask me to testify about the Book of Mormon so I did and it was way awesome. That night we had a great meal from Sister Miner and slept over in the beautiful mission home.
Thursday morning I met my trainer Elder Barnes who I love! Seriously I lucked out as far as trainers go. He is super happy and spiritual and way good with people. He is the youngest trainer having only been here for 4 transfers , he is doing great.
My first area is called Volzhky. It is in the Volgograd area. Volgograd is way awesome, some of you may recognize its previous name of Stalingrad. But Volzhky is just outside of Volgograd and is the most northern area of the mission (8-9 hour bus ride from Rostov) which means it will be a brutal winter but after all I am in the warmest mission in Russia so I can't complain ,when my other Russian friends have it worse. It is a great area, the branch is small but the members are awesome. I had to conduct the music in sacrament which was interesting then got to bear my testimony. One kid just got home the other day from his mission in Bulgaria so he shared as well as his parents.
As far as Russian goes, I do not understand much at all that is said around me. Like seriously, I have no idea, I just follow my trainer. But I try to speak and it is fun. I am understanding more and more each day. It will be a big process, but well worth it in the end.
Let me tell you all about street teaching. We go out and talk to everyone, like literally. Here are the typical reactions to us:
1. the classic pointer finger waving side to side
2. НЕТ! Which means no. (repeated 5+ times)
3. They will start talking to us until we say our names then they say "Oh Mormon" and walk away
4. One guy told me I was a spy
5. They light up and love talking to us.
#5 keeps me going. The people here really are great. Yeah we have our fair share of rejection but so does every missionary! I love the Russian people and will love them even more when I can understand them.
If you have time check out the following great talks I studied this week: "The Station" by Robert J. Hastings, "Pushing Against the Rock", and "The Fourth Missionary." All of these have really helped me out this week and I hope to apply them so I can be a better missionary.
There is SOOO much I could write about but I don't have much time. But like any experience, you just cannot fully understand without being here with me. Thanks for all the support, love, and prayers!!
P.S. Elder Tucker mentioned that snickers have been a highlight of his week, they are way better there!! Probably
because he has been living on bread and carrots for the last few days. Thanks goodness, they were able to go