Monday, March 14, 2016

a hedgehog and ice cream

 know I've probably ranted about this quite enough, but it is really hard to do missionary work when you're in the wrong area! We were in Samara this past week (transfers), last week (visa trip), and there's zone training this week. IN SAMARA. Well, since we're going to combine it with splits, this week we will be in our area today, Saturday, and Sunday. yipee. still loving that 8-hour train ride.

So Tuesday I packed Sister Palmer in a van headed to Saratov, and the rest of the day wasted away almost entirely on a train, except the time spent going to and from the train station. Wednesday we got permission to take a disastrous trip to Lenta (Russian walmart) because 1) we just moved and our apartment was kind of lacking in some unacceptable areas, 2) Sister Thomas can't eat gluten and you have to go to Lenta to find gluten-free flour and the like, and 3) We hadn't had P-day in our area for three weeks and had no food. Mostly it was disasterous because it took so long and I was grumpy. Also Lenta is an hour away. yeah.

Did you know that in Russia you can find gluten-free sugar-free chocolate flavored sponge-bob flavored pillow cereal? I did not.

But then we had the rest of the time to do actual work in our area, so that's been good. Slowly plugging along with our investigators, coaxing them to church. We did actually reach our goal for investigators in church. And I like to tell myself that we would have hit our other goals if we'd had the whole week.

Also it feels like this week has been really long. That's okay. How are sister Thomas and me? We're doing great. We need to reign in the unplanned unstoppable laughing fits, though. One happened during district meeting, so that was fine, sorry elders, but another one happened at an investigator's house and probably should have been avoided. Oh well. You'd laugh too, if you were being spoon-fed honey from the village (with a giant spoon!) while waiting for your hot pine needle juice to cool down. 

I love that I can live in Russia and speak Russian, and when I think of pre- or post-mission life sometimes I question why I never used to take random long walks to talk to strangers. Russian can be infuriating, though. Like when you find out that there are MORE useless synonyms you need to know, but that have absolutely no nuance in meaning from the normal word 98% of people use. Why, Russian?!! How does it make me feel? скверно.

This week there was a pagan holiday going on that had to do with pancakes, the end of winter, and burning hay dolls or something. Pancakes! Apparently they represent the sun and the hay doll represents winter. An investigator brought us super good blini on Sunday. How are people so nice? Also Sister Thomas made some that she could actually eat, so never fear. No one is left out.

We have a secular companionship goal to take a picture every day, but so far the only ones in my possession are terrible selfies taken at night because we realized we had no picture for the day. Next week I'll have something really great. Or a lot more 9:30 selfies. We'll see.

I was studying about service and charity and callings and things and daydreaming about how great the world would be with more charity. Help the people around you! Clothe yourself with a mantle of charity. Whatever you think that means.

I'll probably be even more exasperated by life next week. But until then I'll try to be patient and I hope you all behave yourselves.

Sister Nielsen

p.s we were trying to decide what month is the best over all and had it narrowed down to may, july, or december. any insights?

Note: скверно (pronounced skverno) means "bad". The more-commonly-used variant is probably something like Плохо (plokho).

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