unsurprisingly, life isn't normal yet. We're still not entirely clear on what we're supposed to be doing. The stuff that we did that was probably the most productive was the stuff that would have been the most unproductive a few weeks ago. For example:
Hanging out with inactive youth! ( side note in Russia we use the word "youth" to refer to basically any unmarried person under 30. Also sometimes married people under 30) Just ask up permission to go to the mall food court, spend your dinner hour there, bro out, teach them about snapchat, ask them about their first missionaries (...have them snapchat their first missionaries), and then leave. It works quite well.
Hanging out with active youth! We've been doing a lot of "studying at the church", which is basically now our backup plan for everything, and until things really get rolling we're going to be doing it some more. Saturday night we're at the church, which is not where we want to be. We call Diana, the only active young woman in our ward. I think she mostly felt sorry for us because we were stuck at the branch building all day and the elders were driving us up the wall, but she'd gotten off work early so she came over and instead of a low-key hangout we actually ended up having quite a spiritual young women's activity (young woman's?), for all the late notice.
Nice thing about having one young woman? Only one schedule to coordinate. Also she's really cool.
We've been visiting members a bit more, as much as we can get them to meet, anyway. We were actually kind of waiting on a meeting with the bishop, so that we could actually be organized instead of just going rogue, but he's actually the hardest to meet with (no surprise there, he is the bishop) so we haven't done that yet.
Members feeding missionaries has been pretty discouraged here, for pretty understandable reasons. But they love to do it, so people actually feed us a lot, when they can. At least, they feed sisters. No one really tries to feed elders too often. Is that a universal thing for volunteers? Anyway it's kind of a problem because sometimes you can't get out until you have eaten all of the food that they have previously designated for missionary consumption. Back in the day we weren't supposed to visit members very much and you weren't supposed to be there very long so you could be like "
youknowthisisgreatbutactuallyw ehavetogofindnewinvestigators" and make a break for it. But now we have no where else to go. We know it. They know it. They're like "you haven't eaten all of your dry cottage cheese stuff. If I go stick more honey on it, will you eat it all?" yes. Yes we will
No where else to go except the church, which is typically full of elder and it's driving me crazy. But yeah. Short week. That's about it.
I've been seizing the opportunity for extra studies, though, and it's been fantastic. Read the Book of Mormon, friends!
Pictures: food and surprise rain and members forcing us to take their coats because who knows what will happen if summer rain falls on your head?