Wednesday, July 15, 2015

bacon is not salad

I miss vegetables! And cooking. Now I really shouldn't complain about having three meals cooked for me every day, but I think I'm going to get scurvy. At the cafeteria here if there are vegetables involved with a meal, it's usually some mixture of, say, carrots, green beans, and cauliflower. Astonishingly, all of them have the same taste and texture. And "taste" here may be best understood as "lack of taste". I'm afraid my salt intake is way up. So I eat a lot of salads, but even those I don't think the MTC really understands. The other day my salad had more bacon in it than lettuce. I live a rough life. But seriously, I'm craving broccoli and asparagus.

We moved again last Thursday, so I've now been able to live in three different residence halls here! I'm going to be a champ at transfers. The new building they moved a lot of sisters into two weeks ago turned out to have a bat infestation (read: someone saw one bat), so we had to go. It was kind of hilarious, actually. They rounded up almost all the sisters in the MTC without telling us what was happening, herded us in to the auditorium, and had us sing hymns until they were ready. Mind you, this is while the new mission presidents' seminar was going on, so the rumors were flying-- "we're going to hear from the prophet? maybe the mission time has been extended to 24 months for sisters!"  But no, they just wanted the 700 or so of us moved out in the next hour. Heh. 

It's getting hotter and busier here at the MTC. Conflicts over the thermostats and long lines in the cafeteria. It's a good life, though. It's weird that it's been a month. I just want to go to Russia and do real things and love people. Also the MTC has done terrible things to my sense of humor, I think it's being in a room all day with the same eight people. I think I'm always on the verge of dissolving into gales of laughter about nothing really

Okay, time to learn some Russian. Missionaries say some weird things that aren't real Russian phrases, so I'll start with the most ridiculous. Prepare yourself for bad transliterations.

spokey nokey: Real Russians do not say this. Spakoinii noch means good night (lit. "calm night"), but this is a cutsey american way of saying it that makes me cringe every time I hear it. I kind of love it.

ya shuchu: This means "I'm joking", and it also sounds like "shoot you". Many finger pistols.

pochemu nye oba?: Our teacher had to teach us this because we kept saying "por que no los dos?". It means the same thing, though.

shto takoye??!: "what is this?" or "what such?" I'm certain we over-use this, but it's basically "what the what" and I can't get it out of my vocabulary.

Oh right, speaking of bad transliterations, we got our tags with our names in Russian yesterday! It's pretty exciting! I'm actually not thrilled with the spelling of my name, for reasons that probably aren't interesting to anyone but Anna, but it's okay because in Russia at the moment missionaries don't actually wear tags.

We also had the opportunity to be taught by new mission presidents! President and sister Laboriel will be presiding over the Costa Rica San Jose West mission, and they know very little English. We were combined with a little district of Spanish-speaking missionaries and their teacher translated for those in our district who didn't understand. It was excellent and they were very high-energy. One of the elders in the Spanish district we were with was from Brazil and had SAO PAULO INTERLAGOS and a temple picture plastered all over his binder. So Anna, if you know an Elder Rovere, I met him.

I thoroughly enjoyed rereading Gerald Causse's talk from last conference, and particularly liked the bit about "The real voyage is not seeking new landscapes but  having new eyes". I also read John chapter 9 in the past week, and I think that relates pretty well. Those are my deep thoughts.

Photos are nonexistant because computers and I never have my camera at the appropriate times. Otherwise I'd have a cute picture of my zone where we're holding a Russian flag! Upside down. Whoops...

All the love in the world,

Sister Nielsen

Don't hesitate to tell me if you don't appreciate being on this list, by the way.

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