Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Halfway Done with Training

how have i been here for 4 weeks! i honestly don't know. the russian is coming along i least that's what people are saying. yesterday we did SYL (speak your language) ALL DAY. it was rough but helped so much. so a lot of big news this week. first, on friday brother o told us that he might be leaving next week! OUTRAGE. he got a job offer in colorado and he only has 3 classes left before he graduates so he could just take those online and leave provo forever!!! but we can't let that happen because operation teachers getting married is back on!!!! well we told brother o that sister v has a boyfriend and he runs over and shuts our door....we thought he was going to give us a 'we need to focus on missionary work' lecture be he goes "what what is this guy's name? where is he from?? did he even serve a mission?" hahahahaha and then we told him that he doesn't even speak russian and brother o goes "he can't even appreciate how special she is!" so so so adorable. so he admits to us that he 'invited her to do something' already and she was busy so techinically she didn't say no and we admitted that we have a picture of said exchange because we could see it from the window! he was majorly creeped out by that but secretly proud of us. so anyways he admits to us that's he's passive agressive when it comes to girls so monday night when they were teaching together, as they walked out the door sister rohrbaugh goes "remember brother o, don't be passive agressive!" and he got the biggest smile on his face. also i wouldn't share my hymn book with sister v so that she had to share with brother okoren. don't worry it's gonna happen.
anyways, in the world of missionary work things are going pretty well. Anatoli has a baptism date and so far so good, except on monday we taught about the word of wisdom and he kept asking about hot chocolate! we had no idea how to explain ourselves so we handed him a pamphlet and we're gonna try to explain that better next time. Natasha wants to be baptized but is scared to talk to her husband about it, so she's gonna bring her husband to watch Anatoli's baptism! i wish these were actually real people because when we're teaching it definitely feels real. Anatoli is such a sweet heart and he is so excited to see us whenever we come teach. Natasha is so strong and has such amazing faith. She was asking us why Jesus Christ had to suffer for our sins because it doesn't seem fair to her. She explained that when her daughter does something wrong she has to have a punishment otherwise she'll never learn right from wrong. We tried to explain this on the fly, i read D&C 19 but we'll definitely go more in depth next time about the Atonement. What I really wanted to explain to her is that Christ chose to suffer for us, He did it out of love for us and for our Heavenly Father. I have so much to say in English but in russian all i can say is "Christ loves you" which is what it all really comes down to i guess.
Sunday night we had BYU Men's chorus come sing (why did john have to graduate? i totally could have gotten a shout out!) and let's just say......if vocal point was a challenge for the sisters just imagine 180 strapping young men in hogwarts uniforms. yeah it was great. they announced a missionary cd that is free to download for all missionaries and we were so excited and then we remembered that we're a mo-tab only mission so darn. but you should get it...i'm sure it's awesome. then last night we heard from david f. evans who is in the quorum of the 70 and also the executive director of the mtc so basically THE MAN which was so awesome. he talked about repentance which is what our next 2 lessons are on so it was so perfect! read mosiah 2-4 and maybe 5 i don't remember but King Benjamin is the man!
on saturday night brother o had us read the first few pages of the white handbook together which talks about the sacred nature of our calling and how we need to dedicate ourselves fully to the work. it was kind of a wake up call for all of us because we can all do better about staying focused during studies and not distracting each other. before this talk i felt like i wasn't really learning that much but since we all committed ourselves to being better i can feel such a big difference! the russian is finally starting to click and i feel like i'm actually making progress!
let me tell something to you.....russian grammar is crazy!!!! most languages verb conjugations are about as complicated as you get, well in russian every noun pronoun and adjective changes according to what part of the sentence it's in. for example a book is one thing if it is the direct object and something else if it is the indirect object. so there's 6 cases that a word could be in and in each case there's a different ending for if the word is masculine, neuter, female or plural. so basically there's like 24 different ways every word could end. AWESOME!!!! so basically you have to dissect every sentence you want to say and label all of the parts of speech in english and then translate a word at a time. the good news is once you learn the rules and patterns russian follows the rules much more closely than english. brother o says in order to speak russian we're going to learn english grammar better than most PhD's. well, he's known to be a bit of an exaggerator but still, this will help me a lot with my grammar classes when i get home! literally every day we talk about how we wish we were learning spanish and how we're so glad we're not learning chinese!
funny stories of the week:
-ask sarah about the awkward tissue incident, i don't have time to type it again
-during sacrament meeting in the opening song we were singing (in russian) and there came this crazy word that had like 32 consonants in it and i accidentally yelled WHAT? really loudly. you know how loud i sing...well it just kinda came out because i was so surprised at how crazy long the word was and i had no idea how to say it! well every turned around and laughed because they were thinking the same thing! me and my companions were laughing the whole rest of the was bad.
-we (and by we i mean i) came up with our next hit single: Awkward Christian Soldiers. oh yeah
-Sister Rohrbaugh was trying to ask us if we were ready to go to dinner but she said "are you ready to go when the time comes?" and i thought she was talking about death hahahaha so now we always say that really dramatically. it's great
-we were reading a bio of an investigator and it said that she was dating an RM and i go "wouldn't that be nice!" talking about myself but brother o heard it and thought we were talking about him (all of his girlfriends decide to go on missions) but the best part is he turned around and thought sister rohrbaugh said it hahaha
okay i'm realizing that all of our really funny moments are actually not that funny but they are to us. also we finally get new russian speakers today!!! usually they come every 2 weeks but we've been the russian babies for 4 weeks! we're so excited not to be the babies any more!!! also last week was the first time EVER that more sisters entered the mtc than elders! oh also this week our schedule is completely changing so we have to eat all of our meals like 2 hours later, but we don't have any classes after dinner which will be nice. 

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