Monday, January 25, 2016

January 25, 2016

Thanks for the email Mom!  Would you mind passing on a reminder to Rebecca and Nate that their New Years Resolution's were writing me every week, and I only got an email from them at the beginning of the year :).  Also, a little shout out to David Belnap, 23 as of 4 days ago!  It's weird that he's an old man now, I heard about the suit and I told him that I can buy nice, 2 paint suits for less than $40 each.  I haven't gotten new suits because I'm trying to make these ones last as long as possible.  Love that everyone made it up to Ogden to celebrate.  Anyway, I have a lot of funny things that cropped up, so I'm going to share those all real quick, and then some brief thoughts.  

First off, I have a couple pictures attached, and one thing I've come to notice about Russia is that...THE BABIES ARE THE CUTEST THINGS EVER HERE.  They all get dressed up and can't even walk, they just look like big rolly pollys (I have no idea how to spell that).  And since things are so slick here, there are sled strollers that parents push the kids around on.  The kids just sort of lie there immobile while their parents just push them around on these little sleds.  It's too cute, it makes me laugh everytime.  Second, there's a Russian missionary thing we do called, "slamming."  Basically there are these cookies that you can use as straws, and when you suck tea or hot chocolate through them they get all melty on the inside and it tastes super good.  I have a picture attached of me and my companion doing that with some good Stephen's Hot Chocolate.  Third, since we have a lot of hot chocolate, my companion and I have been eating a lot of those cookies.  A little while ago I decided that I needed to cut them out because I was getting really tired throughout the day, and I was so tired in the mornings that I stopped doing real exercises.  I ended up buying a cheap jumprope, and since then I've been sold on jumproping.  It's super easy and gets your heart rate climbing pretty fast.  So basically, I've been trying really hard to cut out excuses to snack/not work out so that I can start making good, healthy habits that will carry me through my life.  Lastly, we got to go on a split in Pskov the other day, and I got to go on a split with my trainer! It was tons of fun, we had such a great time, just talking to literally everyone we passed by, and when there was no one (it was super cold that day) we'd hope inside a store and warm up for 5 minutes as well as catch up on the last couple of months.  That night we had our English Group and it was super funny.  We played hangman, and there were a couple of funny words that popped up, but I didn't get a picture of the funniest, so I'll explain it quickly.  My trainer, Elder Simonsen, chose the word, "Television" but he wrote it like it is in Russian, but in English letters, so "Televisor."  When we had guessed everything except for 3 of the letters we all said, "Are you sure you spelled that right?"  He just looked at it for a second and started laughing, and then we all started laughing, it was super funny.  We were out of it for about 5 minutes before we finally stopped laughing.  Also the next day, one of the other Elders told us a joke that had us laughing for 3.5 minutes straight, caused me to choke on my food and have 2 spit takes while trying to swallow water.  Remind me to tell it to you all when I'm home.

Anyway, that was a lot of the fun stuff that happened this week.  I'll go ahead and share some of the cool spiritual experiences we had this week.  First off, we had two people call US this week instead of the other way around, one of them we met tracting, and the other while buying groceries. We didn't have enough time to get their information so that we could reach them, but they got our information and said they'd call.  Well, they both did, and the really cool thing is, is that the one who was a cashier just quit that job a few days after we met him, and the other moved from the apartment that we met her at, a couple days after we met her!  When we found that out we were in shock, what a tender mercy!  The lady, Юля is currently being taught by the sisters, and Саша is being taught by us!  They're both super cool and happy that they met us, and it's been just an incredible and humbling experience!  We also met with a lady named Валентина the other day, who we have met with one time before.  It was the coolest Restoration lesson we had ever taught, and at the end she accepted an invitation to be baptized (no date yet) and told us that she just felt a warm happy feeling that reminded her of something she felt about 8 years ago.  She said we can come by anytime and teach her.  She also has the sweetest son who is 30, who has some mental problems.  It was just a super spiritually charged and powerful experience.  

Anyway, this week has been a lot of fun!  I've learned a lot about walking the tightrope between being not complacent in our growth and not beating myself up because I'm not perfect today.  I know that the Lord loves us so much and that when we kneel in prayer and ask what's the next step we need to take to become that much more like our Savior Jesus Christ, he'll answer with whatever our next step needs to be.  I love you all so much and hope you have a great week!


Elder Belnap 
Slamming hot chocolate

Sled stroller

Sketchy Dom

Sketchy Dom


English group

English group

Frost in Pskov

Elders Simonsen and Belnap--reunion in Pskov

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