Wednesday, August 26, 2015

August 26, 2015

I'm sorry mom, I really don't think I have a good missionary photo for you, maybe I can take one on Sunday and send it to you really quickly after temple walk...?  I'll see what I can do for you :).  I love that things went well with the wedding, and Grandma and Grandpa crack me up, they are both just too cute and love their grandchildren so much, I'm glad that they were able to make it through a good chunk of time :).  I also just checked the phone to see if it all works, there are 260 minutes on it, so everything should be fine, and as I just told you, I also have call cards just in case :).  I love that Rebecca and Nate liked Dear To the Heart of the Shepherd, tell them to sing hymn 307, I don't know if they'll find it as funny as me, but it's an interesting one.  Technically, families are encouraged not to say goodbye at the airport, but I wouldn't exactly be mad if some of you came on by...If not though you'll hear my voice.  

I'm glad Spencer is being a social butterfly, I really want him to make this year one of the best of his life, because honestly he has the opportunity to if he so chooses.  So I'm glad he seems to be making the most of it thus far.  The video clip of David is making me laugh, even if I can't see it.  I'm so glad things have worked out, and I'm sure he just wants to jump back in to missionary work being back, which must be rough not too, but I'm glad he got to have that really native experience that I'm sure that he wouldn't have been allowed to have on his mission haha.  Anyway, I'll get started on my side of things :).  

So this week has kinda been loaded.  Last P-day was pretty great, after emails, I played bball for a while with a couple of friends from BYU who also have P-day on Wednesday.  We had an Elder go home which was sad, but he left really optimistic and is excited to come back in 10 months, he's awesome and I'm really excited to hear from him.  We also had a really cool TRC lesson (basically RM's from BYU come in and you get to teach them a lesson in Russian).  His name was Brother Angerhoffer, and he served in Samara (?) and he's learning German so that he can travel the world in a few months, and fill in some gaps in his family history which is both German and Russian, which is awesome.  He was so much fun, and he plays guitar, so my companion and him talked for like 5-10 minutes after the lesson just all about it and it was so much fun to see my companion just have a lot of fun for that little while.  Also. Sister Manners was telling me how Matt has made it to Chile, and I couldn't help but be a little jealous that he got in two weeks after me but was leaving a week before haha, but it's all good because my time has finally come.  
We also had a really productive companionship inventory this week, because it felt like there was just a little bit of underlying tension that had existed for a while, but that we were all collectively trying to push down together, but we finally talked it all out.  Both of my companions get kind of frustrated that I have a better grasp on the language than either of them, and so I can tell that both of them get kind of frustrated with me when I get a concept faster than either of them.  Anyway, it's kind of annoying for me, because it's not something that is my fault, and anyway, we just had a good conversation about communicating, because I felt like neither of them were communicating with me for the longest time.  It was good and our companionship has been a lot better since.  

We also got released as Zone Leaders this week which was fun!  It was a good learning experience for all 3 of us, I think Elder Mehr became more confident, me more organized, and Elder Sonderegger it kind of sent a shock through him (I think) that he needs to focus up a bit, because he thinks he's been here forever, and I think it's just because he's still worried about a lot of things that he just doesn't need to be as worried about right now.  I also said bye to most of my friends from the Y who were here, but I also got to see a few more that came in which is nice.  It's been so fun just seeing people I know coming and going, and then people are always like, "wait, how do you know Bruddah Chris?"  And the response is, "I met him at the Y!"  I honestly did have such a fun year, and got to meet so many wonderful people.  

Just a couple more things before I take off, I'm going to miss our teacher here so much.  They're both so different and all so much fun.  Sister Handley served in Vladivostok and she's just super spiritual, and we always just have really good and uplifting conversations with her.  Brother Clark also served in Vladivostok and he always has really good points, and whenever he goes off on a tangent, we're trying to get down every word that he says because they're all so good.  And then Brother Parson is the one that is secretly known as, "The God among men" because he's like fit, 6'1, handsome, down to earth, and SO FUNNY.  Whenever we have class with him, we get a lot done, but we're also laughing and enjoying ourselves while we go about it.  Haha, it just made me laugh that like to me I'm used to calling everyone the Russian name for Elder and Brother, but now when I write it out in English, it makes me laugh that like I haven't called people by their first names in forever.   

Also, flight plans time, so that all of you that will inevitably want to hear my voice can plan on what times you can hear from me.  So, we live for SLC airport at 3:35am on Monday, for a flight that doesn't leave until 8:30, so for a very long time we'll just be sitting outside our gate.  Also, when I find out the number for the cell phone I'll send that to you so that you can call me back if need be.  Our flight gets into Chicago at 12:42pm (CST) and then I have a 3 hour layover until 3:35pm,  Then we get to Frankfurt at 7:15am, with a layover until 9:20am, then we get to Saint Petersburg at 1:00pm.  I'm really sad that I'm not flying through NYC and Moscow, but it's probably for the best, I think that would be harder than saying goodbye to all of you, because you're all still going to be around in 2 years, and so will those cities, but neither will be home :/.  I'm very excited though to go back in a couple years and be able to re-see some places that I went to before, but now be able to understand because you know, I'll actually speak the language.  Anyway, I love you all, thanks for all your love and support!  I'm excited to talk to you soon Mom :), (and everyone else too).  


Elder Belnap

Hey mom!  I'm on, tell the kiddos too please!  Unless they're at school right now, has that already started?!?!?  What time should I call and stuff on Monday so that I can reach you all?  I have call cards too, $10 for 3, 1 hour phone calls, and I might just use some of those to call you in SLC, and the others in Chicago :).  Also I'll find out the phone number and let you know on Saturday when we email again :).  What time would work best for me to call you?  Loving the pictures by the way!  How is Nathan liking the school?  Also, I have some good photos to send you all today which will come later because I left the camera back in the room!!  Agh, anyway, I'll get going on responding to your email, go ahead and talk to me for a bit mom, I promise it's fine!!  

Me and Elder Huang, who was on my Ultimate Frisbee team freshman year.  He speaks Mandarin, and he's learning French here, and he'll be serving in the Montreal, Canada mission!  His brother was also Elder Huang that we knew in NYC!  Small world, especially for us Mormon folk

Elder Miller and Elder Kahng that I knew from BYU.  Elder Miller was on the same intramural team as me, and Elder Kahng I knew from many a night in B9.

Gabel is like the little sister of the zone, who has grown up, but everyone still treats like the little sister because of some mannerisms that have just never gone away.  That's the best I can describe her, but anyway, she's an adorable human being, and everyone is sending a picture of her home because she was a little embarrassed haha.  Makes me laugh, so of course I had to send it.  

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