Friday, June 19, 2015

MTC Week 2: Learning Russian is charades

Hey family/friends,

The MTC made us move today, which we thought would be un-fun but it turned out pretty great, because now we're in a room that's actually designed to hold six people. The last one was for four people and we were pretty cramped, we can finally stop living out of our suitcases so much. It's also pretty great because it's newly renovated, as in it was fenced off last night and now it's not. They moved us so that all the Russians can be together, the Japanese speakers took over our old floor. We're getting new Russian-speaking missionaries today and I'm excited. The older syostri in our zone leave for Russia on Sunday so my district will be the Russian sisters who've been here the longest. I'm excited for the syostri going to Russia but apprehensive because we still don't know what we're doing here.

To people who have sent me letters: Thank you so much! I very much appreciate it.

Russian is going pretty well, I'm kind of astounded at how fast the others who had no previous Russian are learning. It's not normal. I think Sister Hullinger swallowed our vocab and phrases book because she already knows way more words than me, and Sister Foote has the weirdest knack for grammar, which is kind of astounding. It makes sense, though, because I always thought Russian grammar was kind of like quantum mechanics, and she's a chemist. For myself I'm just amazed at what I can understand when people talk. The least I understood was when a sister gave a talk in Sacrament meeting in Ukrainian.

Anyway, It's gotten weird to say yes, no, please, and thank you in English. It's awkward when we interact with people who aren't Russian.

I didn't mention much about my district before but I love them. Six of us went to BYU and the other three are BYU Idaho people. It's a good time.

Okay so I've been thinking about Galatians 2:20 and Mark 10:38 (I know that bit also exists in Matthew and probably Luke and John too, so) and what it means to repent and be a disciple of Christ and really follow him in everything. I'm so grateful for the Atonement!

I'll go see if I can send pictures.

All my love,
Sister Nielsen

pictures: my district, with Sister Martinez from my home ward, and with my companion Sister Larsen.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

MCT Week 1

Hey family & friends!

If you're on this list and don't want to be, feel free to unsubscribe at any time! Thank you to those who have sent letters and if you're not on a mission allow me to give a plug for Dear Elder. If you want to get a letter to me fast or not during my limited computer time go on You may need to know that I leave the MTC august 4th, my mission code is RUS-SAM, and my unit number is #113.

My district has 9 people total, three sets of sisters and 3 elders. I was going to stick in a picture of the district but I didn't have my camera that day, I'm waiting for another sister to send it to me. My companion is the only other sister that studied Russian, she took 102 at BYU, so she's way better than me at grammar, and I think I'm better at understanding what other people say and it works out. 

The language is going all right, it's a really good thing I know some of it, I can't imagine how hard it would be if I couldn't read or write in Russian yet. I'm scared about verbs, though. Nouns I know a lot of and you can act them out and they're cognates, but there are thousands of Russian verbs and they all sound the same. For example, "dom" means home. Like "domestic". Easy as pie. Mmm, pie. But I would never in a million years guess that "prisoyedinyatsya" means "to join", you know? Right now I think we have more sisters here than elders, which is cool, but when all the eighteen year old boys graduate from high school we'll get more of them this summer. In my zone there are maybe 14 sisters and 6 elders? We had a bunch leave right after we came in, some going to Russia, and then the people going to Yekaterinburg and Novosibirsk all went to the spain MTC for their last 6 weeks, I'm not sure why. When they all left our free food table at dom was overflowing, it was great.

Random thoughts:

I'm starting to forget names, it's terrible. Our district leader graduated from high school less than three weeks ago and his mother embroidered his initials on almost all his articles of clothing. I admire her zeal but question her use of free time. We learned an alphabet song that actually works (unlike the one we learned in russ 101, yay!) but it's now constantly stuck in my head. one of our teachers is Brat (brother) Spjut and when we say his name around other missionaries they think we say "Razputin". I accidentally told our "investigator" that I liked her closet (I mixed it up with the word for "scarf"

Okay no time! Love you all! I can't figure out how to find photos once I stick the sd card into the computer, even with a usb adapter. I guess I took a selfie this morning for nothing :) We get new russian missionaries next week, a lot of them. Fun times!

CecTpa Nielsen