Monday, November 9, 2015

We ate at least eight bags of muesli this week

This has probably been the busiest week I've spent in Russia. That's a good thing, but we're just not too used to it. This area is doing well! It's sweet.

Cool stuff is going on all over the mission actually. Next week Saratov is getting a stake! It'll be the third stake in Russia, and I'm pretty stoked. Although I've never been to Saratov. It's down south and I've been (as you know) up in Kazan since I got here. But Sister Wilson served down there for about a year. I think she wanted to somehow go down and be there when they organized it, but it's about a day and a half's journey for a nephite, so no.

There's been actual snowfall, with snow staying on the ground. Sometimes when I talk to people they ask me if I've ever seen snow before. What, does Russia have a monopoly on snow? Although I've discovered that the easiest way to be funny in Russian is to pretend to be baby about the cold. So I milk it. I make jokes about not living through the winter or living in a freezer, and people think I'm funny. Have you ever seen snow before? Yeah, in movies. Hahahaha. I crack myself up. It's not very freezing yet, happily.

There were a couple of holidays this week, which meant we had double encounters with drunk men. Good stuff. Did I mention Sister Wilson carries mace? That stuff comes in handy. Now, the mission's official policy on drunk people is "run", but sometimes they walk into the branch building when you're there with a missionary-aged recent convert right before English club and start yelling you in a mixture of Russian and German, so you don't get around to running. And then the elders turn up and he decides to fight them, so you just spray 'em in the face. The man, not the elders. I need to get me some kind of spray or something, probably. That was the second and much more dramatic of the encounters, the first one just followed us around outside until a random bystander pepper-sprayed him. Thank you Russia for solidifying my resolve to not drink alcohol.

A random former investigator we called agreed to meet with us, and she has the best English of any Russian I've ever met. I don't know why that's noteworthy enough to make it in here, but I was pretty impressed. She's studying to be an interpreter, that's why. She says things like "it's no biggie". She wasn't super interested in what we had to say at first, but miracle lesson and I guess we'll see now? I also found in her a fellow Fall Out Boy fan. Fate. What's the most useful thing I did before my mission that prepared me for what lay ahead? Listen to fall out boy. (That is a joke, a JOKE, read your scriptures, kids)

But yeah, this week was good. We ran around a lot and taught a lot of lessons. Okay, maybe not a lot by some standards, but our area is the north half of the city and it takes us ages to get everywhere on the bus. It's so cool to me how the stuff we teach, the stuff missionaries teach, we teach to everyone. We teach the same five lessons to everyone. We teach it to kids, we teach it to old historian-physicists. We can teach it with fun object lessons and candy bribes, or we can pick apart every detail to highlight the logic of it. And it seriously does apply to everyone. Every person. It blows my mind just a little. Sometimes it's fun opening people up and figuring out which thing they need. Every person. Even the people who are happy in their life or aren't interested in anything, if you really talk to them, needs something we teach. It's amazing.

Remember to check back for next week's episode: Toliatti Again. Will the MTC-reunion atmosphere kill our productivity?! Will we beat our cereal record?! Will Sister Wilson ever get trunky?! Don't miss it!!

Okay that's all. I love you all! Have a wonderful week. Do things you haven't done before! Don't get in situations where anyone has to be maced! 

Sister Nielsen

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