Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Last MTC Post!

Got my Russian nametags!

District t-shirts
Sick Sunday

okay okay i don't even know where to start this week. once again we're just gonna take it day by day, i hear that's a good strategy. tuesday we had a devotional and sang come thou fount which is like the mother of all jackpots in the mtc. seriously sister willerth and i have a game where we go into the bathroom when the showers are full and start humming come thou fount and we see how long it takes for everyone to join in....it's never longer than a verse. so funny. anyways, Russell M. Nelson came and spoke!!! i don't have that journal with me and a week ago seems like a thousand years but of course i remember that it was amazing. the only problem was it was like 100 degrees in that room and i had a fever (dad and i are on the same page apparently) so it was a little rough. but still good.

wednesday i felt a lot better and it was such a fun day. the elders all were hosting (welcoming the mtc babies) so we had an all girls class with brother okoren which was so fun. he clearly loves us the most because he was in such a good mood. he just told awesome and sometimes scary mission stories which were great (he went to the baltics mission, didn't the stucki kid go there? idk)
thursday we wore the brother okoren shirts (will definitely send pictures) and it was the greatest day ever! brother okoren ran in late and was like "i have to go get some stuff, you guys just sing and pray and i'll be right in" we all look at each other as soon as he leaves and yell "it's time!!!" we all hurry and throw on the shirts and try to sing a hymn but we're too excited so he comes in and is so shocked he yells "duh lat na (whatever!?)" and walks out! he comes back in 2 minutes later just laughing so hard, someone has a video of the reaction somewhere....anyways, this was all thanks to adam! we got an extra one and all signed it and gave it to him. now we all wear them around the mtc and everyone loves them. even though no one gets the inside joke, it's still great. anyways, we thought for sure that would be the highlight of the day, but then that afternoon someone brought us our russian name tags!!!! they are so cool but we're not allowed to wear them until we leave! rough stuff. elder hildebrandt was so excited he ran up and hugged the poor man. but that's not all! we also got our flight plans!!!! we leave SLC at 7:50 and fly to DC where we have a 2 hour layover. i'll call you in DC, we land at 2:00 (is that eastern time? i think so) so i'll probs call around 2:30. we have 3 hours in DC and then fly to Munich (hallo to the motherland!) we have 4 hours there i think and then we fly to Donetsk!!! So crazy! There will be like 50 missionaries on our flight to DC so no way that plane's going down! then there's 10 sisters who are all going to Donetsk, so awesome! it's crazy!
friday we taught ludmila, a new investigator who we had to contact on the street. we were the only companionship who actually got an appointment with her, so everyone else had to re-contact her but we had to do an actual lesson! this was actually my fault because i asked if we could talk with her again, and the word for tomorrow is much easier than any of the days of the week, so i asked if we could meet tomorrow! she said yes, so then we actually had to teach her the next day! i didn't think that was a thing! we had to teach a 40 minute lesson which i actually found easier than a 20 minute one because we can really ask a lot of good questions. we taught her to pray and got her to pray at the end of the lesson but she asked a really good question. she asked why we close in the name of Jesus Christ and I tried to say that everything we do, we do in the name of Christ but she wasn't really getting it so we asked her if we could answer it in our next lesson. then afterwards our teacher told us that there is no next lesson! we were so mad because we really wanted to answer it! it's crazy that you can get attached to someone after one lesson!

 brother okoren taught us a new method of personal study. we read 1 Nephi 1 three times. first we just did a super simple summary 2-4 bullet points. then we read again and pulled out every point of doctrine we could find. then we read again looking deeper, looking for cross references, etc. this definitely made a big difference and i got so much new stuff out of a chapter i have read so many times. i'm for sure doing this from now on, i'd definitely recommend trying it.
sunday sister rohrbaugh and i stayed home all day under strict instruction from elder boyce. i had a cold, nausea and fevers for about 10 days by then so a day of sleep is definitely what i needed. we both slept until 1 in the afternoon and it made me feel so at home! we pushed our bunk beds together and made a fort/sick tent. it was pretty great. we only left the room to go to dinner (getting dressed in real clothes was a struggle) and then we went right back to bed. well it worked because i'm all better.

alright, i think that's everything from this week! i can't wait to talk to you on the phone a week from today! tell sarah good luck on her test! one of these weeks she's gonna email me and it will be great. also is abby still alive? that would be nice to know. i won't get to email you again from america...what!? okay it's okay we're okay no one's freaking out what are you talking about it's okay i'm okay i know russian hahah funny joke okay okay okay bye.

yesterday we got to go on a field trip! sister willerth made me and sister rohrbaugh go to the health center even though i felt 100% better! the doctor said it was probably just a virus and it shouldn't come back but he wrote me a prescription for claritin to clear out my sinuses and keep me healthy while we travel. so we got to walk to the byu health center to pick up the prescription! it was so weird walking around in the real world! we're like "hey we look like real missionaries! wait, are we real missionaries? we're not ready for this!" haha next week will be interesting that's for sure!

-i saw connor noe in the gym the other day. it was way funny because i saw him lifting weights with a couple of elders and they were all flexing their muscles trying to look cool and i just walked over "excuse me elder, are you a noe?" (we take off our name tags for gym) and he was like uhhh yeah, and i told him i'm a schrecengost. it was funny because we know each other's families kinda but i don't think we've ever talked. i didn't even know he was coming but it was good to see a somewhat familiar face. he said to say hi to you all. 

-sister rohrbaugh knows paul! we figured this out the first week but i forget every week to tell you! i don't have paul's email so you can just pass this along. nichole rohrbaugh was in his king henry ward. she was only there for a semester so she didn't get to know the ward super well but she thinks he was in her fhe group. 
-also sister rohrbaugh's dad went to madrid on his mission about the same time as dad! except he didn't serve a sister mission so it wasn't exactly the same time. idk maybe they knew each other.
-oh just a funny story i forgot to tell. so sister rohrbaugh is deathly afraid of birds...it's a major problem. for some reason birds love the mtc...i've never seen so many in my life! anyways, she legit screams every time she sees one and freaks out so i'm her official protector and i run and hiss and sometimes yell at birds to get them to fly away. i realized that this wasn't very missionary like when i started to do it outside of the mtc on our 'field-trip' so i'm gonna have to figure out a more discreet way to scare away the birds.

-also we were doing service cleaning the stairs and sister willerth slipped (don't wear TOMS while mopping) and the bucket of nasty dirty water flew over her head and flipped over and the water poured down all 4 flights of stairs! it was pretty hilarious and sadly not surprising...just another day in the life of the troika.
-also we found out this week that the word porba means struggle, so we always say Porba, Rohrbaugh! it's pretty great.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mother's Day



Our District

Sister Shrek and Sister Russell

Our Ukraine Shirts

Matching troikas

I can't believe I only have 2 weeks left!!!! We're leaving two weeks from today, on the 28th. Yesterday we said goodbye to the district just older than us so now we're officially the oldest Russian speakers in the MTC...weird. Well the most exciting news of this week is that Adam is the best brother ever and we got tshirts with brother okoren's face on them!!!! we're wearing them to class tomorrow to surprise him so i'll send you pictures next week. it's a combination of two inside jokes that I'll have to tell you another time but suffice it to say, he's gonna love it. this week we also got our Ukrainian shirts (at the bookstore you can  order shirts with your mission country on it) which much to our dismay are in ukrainian! even the bookstore cannot comprehend the fact that we're going to ukraine but speaking russian....it's really complicated i know. so we're considering crossing out the Privit and writing Privet under it with a sharpie. This coming week we should be getting our travel plans and our russian name tags!! Mine's gonna look so awesome. I've been told in the field that i can get one that just says sister shrek so that would probably be the greatest thing ever. I'll keep you updated.
You know how I said last week that so much happened? Well i feel like this week literally nothing happened. I know that's probably not true and I probably learned some russian but i seriously feel like p day was yesterday. i guess i'll just tell you a couple of funny stories. so awhile back we asked brother okoren what kind of shoes he wears in normal life (we only see him in dress clothes) and sister willerth predicted that he would say pumas. he told us that he would love to wear pumas if he had some, but he does not. so last week doing laundry i found a puma sock in my bag when i was done, so what was the natural thing to do? obviously give it to brother okoren as a present. now i was not sure how this was gonna play out because it's kind of a really weird gift and he loves to throw things away so i was worried he would just throw it away and that would be a waste of a good joke. i also know that he's not a huge harry potter fan so i couldn't go the dobby route and stick it in his journal. anyways, things worked out in my favor and he loved it for some reason! he uses it as our eraser for the whiteboard and seriously loves it. our old eraser was so so bad and just made our whiteboard dirtier so this was a win win win situation. also this week i was starting to get a sore throat so i was gargling some salt water (what are the chances that that  day someone in our district found a salt shaker and decided to bring it to class?) anyways it wasn't very salty at all so i was just gargling it in class and going to swallow it when sister rohrbaugh said something hilarious and i spit the water all of the class room! i caught a good amount of it in my hands and ran out as fast as i could but brother okoren totally saw the whole thing and officially thinks i'm the weirdest person ever. oh well i probably am. and now my books all have water damage so whatever. we shreks are used to water damage. also this week we were practicing direction words with sister vasilevskaya (right, left, around, over, under, etc) so we went outside and played following the leader. the person in charge would shout out a direction word and we'd all shout it back and then do it. so just imagine 11 kids marching around yelling in russian disturbing everyone in the MTC who is trying to study, it was pretty great. especially because our favorite word is tuda suda which means back and forth so we'd just do that over and over. yeah, there's a reason why Russians are notorious in the MTC for being the loudest and most annoying. everyday i realize more and more how my mission call is perfect for me. we've decided that kids going to Russia are goofy and kids going to ukraine are legitimately crazy. i'm fine with that.
This week i forgot my spiritual journal which is so lame because i had so many good quotes to share!! i'll do a lot next week i guess. one thing i remember is brother okoren gave us the hammer of faith analogy which i like to call the Thor analogy. He said that we have a mountain to overcome (missionary work, learning russian, etc) and we have a hammer. All we have to do is pick up the hammer and chip away, one tiny piece at a time. We have a choice to make, we can give up and not even pick up the hammer, or we can realize that God has given us the hammer, but He has also given us the mountain. As long as we do our one part, no matter how tiny or insignificant, He will combine it with His infinite part, and 1+infinity=infinity. My favorite part about this analogy is when he said "Elders and Sisters, I don't know why God made us different, but he did." and i said "oh no. is this a bathroom talk? we know we take a long time in the bathroom, okay!" hahaha it was a bad way for him to start the sentence. anyways, what he was saying was that elders have a tendency to see a mountain and to get pumped up about it. they think, okay yes he's a mountain and i'm gonna climb it and i'm probably gonna do it better than anyone else. sisters just do not think like that. we see a mountain and get discouraged and doubt ourselves. All we really need is to believe that God loves us and will help us. Sisters really just need to believe that we are worthy of God's love and that He will never leave us. This is so true. I know that I could never learn russian on my own and the times that i get discouraged are the times when I am trying to do things on my own. As I have faith that Heavenly Father is helping me, I can do more than I ever could on my own.
On Saturday we skyped a real russian to practice teaching a lesson! It was way scary but the lady was super nice so I'm worried how scary it will be to teach someone who isn't so nice. Anyways, we taught a lesson about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and at the end we all bore our testimonies as usual, and then she asked us all to bear our testimonies about something we haven't learned straight from our books! Um hello? we don't know how to say anything that's not in our books! It was good though, it made me think and try to come up with sentences on my own which is the hardest part of speaking Russian. I stumbled through a sentence about how much joy it brings me to know that I can live with my family forever and that I want to share that knowledge with the people of Ukraine. Hopefully she understood at least a part of what I said.
This week we had to say goodbye to Anatoli because we're getting a new investigator, Zintars. Yep that's right, the sleep/sing incident was our very last lesson with him. We told brother okoren that we're sisters and we need closure but he just didn't get it. He said Anatoli is over it, so i guess we'll get over it too. It's crazy how much you can love a fake investigator; I'm so excited to love real ones in 2 weeks!!
Sunday was a little bit rough but also good. They put these signs up around the MTC that said "Missionaries are not allowed to call home on Mother's Day from the MTC" but the 'are not' was super tiny so that was just plain rude. For Relief Society we had Janice Kapp Perry come (didn't she come when abby was here?) and now i have to apologize for all the rude things i've said about her cheesy new beginnings/yw in excellence songs. i still think they're cheesy, but she has written so many good songs too, A child's prayer, love at home, i love to see the temple, army of helaman, basically everyone's favorite primary songs. she had us sing a medley of her songs which was just so rude on mother's day. how could you possibly sing the words "i see my mother kneeling, with our family each day, i hear the words she whispers, as she bows her head to pray. her plea to the Father, quiets all my fears, and I am thankful, love is spoken here" and not cry on mothers day?!?! we all lost it. then we had the coolest experience ever. Sister Perry wrote new words to As Sisters in Zion just for sister missionaries! It's called "Sisters of Zion" and we were the first people to ever sing it! I don't know how it's gonna be released, it will probs be in the New Era or something but look out for it, it's super cool. I can't explain to you how amazing it is to be in the MTC right now. There's more sister missionaries than ever before and you can tell we're all just so excited to be here! Also if anyone is worried about being in the MTC and not being 18 or 19, seriously don't worry about it. First of all the MTC is weird and you can never guess anyone's age anyways, but if people find out that you're 'old' like me (21 is super old i'm not even kidding) people just respect you for some reason. like i'm some sort of wizened old lady who has all this life experience hahaha. people also expect me to be super smart which kind of works against me but whatevs.
okay i think that's all i've got for this week. Just know that i missed you so much on mother's day, but I'm so excited to talk to you on the phone in 2 weeks! I love you so much and i'm so grateful for your example to me! 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

We found it! The room of  requirement Abby told me about. It has always been locked until today.

Secret Room!



There's even a scale in this place!

okay this week literally more has happened than the rest of my life combined. i think i'm just gonna have to go day by day on this one.
 
last tuesday: this was probably the greatest day of my life. it was p day and also sister willerth's birthday and also GORGEOUS outside! we got up early and did laundry/email and went to the temple to do sealings. i sat by this 100 year old woman who held my hand and told me that my mom was so proud of me so of course that was pretty great. then we were back and in comfy clothes by lunch and literally sat in the grass in the sunshine for 5 HOURS! i don't know if you know this but 5 hours is an eternity in the MTC. i got a legit sunburn on my face which we all know is the quickest and easiest way for me to tan so now i'm back to my usual hawaii color which is nice. i have a sweet watch tan and also the friendship tan is back in full swing so that's great. all sister willerth wanted for her birthday was to get a tan because she's literally never been tan in her life. i was her tanning coach and it was hilarious. i'd yell "get in the position! what are you doing?? no laying on your stomach!" well my hard work and years of experience paid off. she got a tan. i mean we're using the word tan very loosely but she is definitely not as white as she used to be. that's gonna go ahead and be put in the victory category.
 
wednesday: we had substitutes because both of our teachers deserted us this week and one of them was extremely scary. she's a tiny tiny russian but oh so scary. our other sub was paul's old roommate brother noren who went to our mission! before you leave you hear of someone going to your mission and you're like oh that's cool whatever but here in the mtc it's a big deal. so even when he's not subbing for us he comes and hangs out with us and talks about donetsk. oh we got some really sad news this week. our mission president is going home in 2 months because of some major health issues. we'll only get him for a month! he has a goal that he wants to reach 100 baptisms this year before he goes home and they're at 51 right now so if you can pray for president campero and all the missionaries in donestk that would be really appreiciated.
 
 
thursday was doomsday. the day we had to teach the scary lady. (i still cannot say or spell her name. my apologies). we knew we would have to practice teaching her, but what we didn't know is that we would have to contact into the lesson, meaning we have to come up to her as a stranger and convince her to hear a 25 minute lesson. well let's just say that she wasn't really into that. luckily we went last so we heard the horror stories from all the other companionships so we knew which routes to avoid. the first companionship kept apologizing for their poor russian and she said "if your russian is so terrible why are you here? why do you keep trying to talk to me? i don't want to talk to you." awkward. others asked about her family and she said "you are complete strangers to me, why would i tell you about my family?" so we knew were gonna have to be creative on this one. we had heard suggestions that asking people a simple question about russian like what is the difference between these two words, or how do i pronounce this word is a good idea because russians are usually impressed that we're trying to learn their language. well i was thinking, how can we ask a good question and invite the spirit? i know we should sing a song! so remember a couple weeks ago when i accidentally shouted in church because there was a crazy hard word? well we decided to ask about that word. so we went up and said, excuse me we're studying russian and were wondering if you could tell us how to say this word. oh it's vzglyad? thank you! we're singing this song in church on sunday. could we sing it for you and you can tell us if our russian is good? so we sing and then we ask, could you understand our message? (the song was i need thee every hour). it was a pretty good idea if i do say so myself. but she wasn't interested so there's not much more we could do about that. we shared short testimonies and got outta there. also on thursday brother noren had us walk around the entire mtc and count our steps so we could learn our numbers! i clearly had a major disadvantage as i take on average twice as many steps as another humans. but i actually over compensated and took huge steps so i actually took the least amount of steps. and now i know my numbers so that was actually pretty fun. also on thursday we got into the room of requirement!!!! i don't think i've told you about this before but there's a door inside our favorite bathroom which is always locked and it just looks like it would be a custodial closet or something but abby told me before i left that we have to get into it! so we check multiple times every day to see if it's unlocked and it finally was! inside i kid you not are two twin beds, a tv, two arm chairs, a scale, a coatrack, and a full length mirror. what is this room for?!?!? NO ONE KNOWS. but it was definitely the greatest moment of our lives when we got in. i'll send you pictures.
 
friday was the day of the feels. brother okoren came back and we taught anatoli but he just didn't seem that excited. afterwards we had a companionship interview with brother okoren and we talked about just how things are going and we talked about ways to get anatoli excited for baptism. basically we decided that we need to get him to see the 'big picture' aka plan of salvation to understand why baptism is so important and how greatly he will be blessed for choosing to be baptized. then brother okoren asked us if we were okay. Here's a general fact of life: If you look a girl in the eyes and ask her very seriously if she is okay, she will cry. Even if she was 100% fine, she will cry. (this is why we call teacher interviews crying interviews. it just happens) So i actually didn't cry because i don't have a soul or whatever but sister rohrbaugh and sister willerth both lost it so brother okoren just told us that we're doing fine and he's not worried about us, we should stop being so hard on ourselves. he told us to read John 14 and went and got our scriptures for us and then let us just be alone. it was definitely what we needed. we had a good talk and decided that we can be better missionaries by trying to have the spirit with us all the time. We've decided that it's worth it to give up our silliness if it means we can be better missionaries. I mean we've decided to contain our silliness to just during sport which is definitely when we get the craziest anyways. We've decided that we want to improve a lot on the spiritual aspect of missionary work and the language part will come with time.
 
Saturday was a good day. we had weekly planning/companioship inventory where we made a lot of good goals to help us become the focused, reverent missionaries we're trying to be. Saturday we also got to practice teaching the new russians who just came in last week and it was way fun! it was so nice to talk to someone whose russian is worse than mine. then they got to teach us and i loved it. even the simplest testimony in such broken russian can totally bring the spirit. it's really cool. Then we read Luke 12:24 with brother okoren and talked about how if any one at any time asked me what i was doing i should be able to respond that i am about my Father's business. Brother okoren challenged us to give every minute of the next day to the Lord. I tried to do that and I definitely felt a difference.
 
Sunday was a great day. We had a mission conference because it was fast sunday where we got to hear from the mission presidency of the MTC. There were so many great talks and they all seemed like they were written just for me. It was really good. Then we had a temple walk which is always great and then we had sacrament meeting which I had to play piano for! I was so scared, i've never played in a sacrament meeting before, but it went fine. I figured i'm probs gonna have to play in Ukraine all the time so i might as well practice on a good piano while i can! The devotional was Chad Lewis! I told everyone that he lived in our ward in st louis and we're best friends! even though i was like 4 when we lived there but still. he was so funny! We also had a branch presidency interview where we had 30 seconds to prepare a 3 minute lesson on the restoration in english. it was so fun and so easy!!! now i know why i could never serve english speaking because i'd be way too confident! i hope someday i love russian as much as i love english.
 
yesterday was probably the most hilarious day of my life. let's just say everyone has been waiting for me to make a huge embarrassing mistake in russian and it finally happened! so we're teaching anatoli, who by the way we just taught law of chastity to last time and we decided that we wanted to sing a hymn with him at the end because he loves to sing. well fyi the verb to sing and the verb to sleep are extremely similar. so i legitimately say these words "Anatoli, we want to sleep with you." AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the greatest part is no one noticed!! well obviously anatoli noticed and was a little bit giggly but we just thought he was super excited to sing! you'd think they gave me 2 companions to help me avoid moments like this but nope! none of us caught it. (spoiler alert your teachers in the mtc are your investigators) so brother okoren walks in and says "elders and sisters let's just get these straight right now: spot is to sleep and spet is to sing" and i'm like OH NO. I DEFINITELY JUST TOLD ANATOLI THAT I WANT TO SLEEP WITH HIM!" whoops. we were all laughing so hard. borther okoren said this is literally the worst and also best mistake he's ever heard of so i'm proud of that i guess. also the grammar was completely wrong in that sentence too but that's the case in literally all of my sentences so i'm over it. also yesterday my forehead was peeling so naturally i covered it in tape and was going to peel it off which apparently is not a normal thing for people to do but then brother okoren came into class so i run out of the room with my hand over my forehead to go take the tape off in the bathroom and everyone told him that my face was falling off and he freakout out. he definitely thinks i'm really weird now but whatevs it's true. okay that's all i've time for this week but so much more happened!!!! i wish i had more email time! i love you so much and miss you! have a happy mother's day! you are the greatest mom in the world! i can never thank you enough for all you've done for me! i love you!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Silly Troika
Temple Walk
The sister in teal in the front is Pres. Eyring's granddaughter

Our crazy schedule


Okay so my Pday got moved to tuesday so I can't blame any of you for not emailing me! Our schedule changed 100% this week but now everything is so much better! We have an extra 45 minutes to get ready in the morning, so I get ready in 10 minutes and then go back to sleep for an hour HOLLA. i was told that was allowed by my district leader who is not necessarily the most reliable source but i'm not gonna question it. we also have gym late at night, it is the very last thing before bed, which is so fun! they FINALLY opened the field so we go play beach volleyball outside which is so awesome. remember my stake volleyball days? well it's a little something like that. we sisters like to pretend to be super intense even though we're so so bad and this is really the only place in the mtc where i can yell at my full volume so i have to take advantage of it. Elder von Shlegell was not thrilled with our volleyball skills so he was just laying on the sand and i go "STAND UP SON! WHAT ARE YOU DOING? THIS IS NOT A JOKE. THIS IS REAL LIFE!!!!! STOP MAKING SAND CASTLES AND GET IT THE GAME!!!!!!" some people appreciated this more than others.
 
this week in relief society we heard from Sister Oscarson the brand new YW General president. She is so legit. Her husband was called to be a mission president of a brand new mission in Sweden when she was 25 and pregnant with her fourth child!!!! She told us that when President Monson called her to be YW President she said, "I don't know how to do this at all, i've never even served on a general board" and president monson just does that little smile of his and says "Of course you don't know how to do this, we just barely called you!" That's exactly how i feel. She also said "two people can accomplish anything as long as one of them is the Lord." I am so grateful for my companions (they're the best!!!) but i'm also grateful to know that the Lord is helping me every step of the way.
 
Sunday night devtional we heard from Elder Stephan B. Allan who basically runs the MTC. He was hilarious and so good. We read part of Alma 26 which some people call Ammon's homecoming talk, where he says that the sons of mosiah felt depressed and thought about turning back, but the Lord comforted them. He had everyone stand up who has felt lonely or discouraged in the mtc. pretty much everyone stood. then he had everyone stand up who felt comforted in the mtc and every single person stood up. it was a nice reminder that everyone here is going through the same feelings and struggles. he also had everyone stand up who plans on serving a senior mission and every single person stood so the world better watch out in 40-50 years! Elder Allan pointed out that if you're struggling, you are a missionary. that's just how it works. He explained it is, we wear the name of Jesus Christ on our tags. He suffered for us, why should we not be expected to suffer for Him? Are we better than Him? No! We should joyously accept the difficult times. He then called 10 people up and have them tell one thing that they've given up to come on a mission. most people said jobs, family, school, girlfriend whatever but one elder gets up and says Taylor Swift and makes a heart with his hands. hahahaha and elder allan goes "and we're so glad you did elder" now we see him everywhere and call him taylor swift. he's a mtc celebrity. Elder Allan also said, "a lot of you elders gave up a girl to come on a mission, and to that the RM's say: Thank you for the contribution." hahaha he was so blunt and funny
 
okay so i accidently just had switched the keyboard to russian and couldn't change it back! so i had to log out and re log in and everything but i signed my name at the bottom so you can see how it will look on my tag! a lady came in and spelled our names for us in russian and we actually got some input in how we want it to look! russians can't really say w's or th's so sister willerth is going to be villerf! isn't that awesome? because the f's are the coolest letter. look it up! google it. anyways, this week we got some news on the teacher romance situation. so remember how we gave brother okoren a talk about not being passive aggressive? well he asked her what she was doing that night and she said nothing so  he invited her to a game night and she says "i can't.....i have a boyfriend and he's coming over tonight" OUCH. we have a word that we love to say instead of BURN it's pronounced zaschome (the middle part is like the s in fusion and it rhymes with home) it means "we're literally going to burn this place to the ground" but it's the closest thing we know to BURN so we love to say it and our teacher gets so mad hahahaha. anyways so we've kinda given up on brother okoren and sister vasilevskaya because he was shot down but he says there's a new prospect on the horizon. so hopefully that means he's not leaving us but he hasn't told us yet! we're dying! and this week he's out of town so yeah life's rough. anyways yesterday sister vasilevskaya told us her boyfriend ethan was picking her up from work so we ran to the window to watch and he got out of the car and waved at us! it was the greatest moment of our lives. sister vasilevskaya is going out of town this week too (it's their school break so we can't really blame them) she's going to disney land and she's so excited! it's adorable. i don't know if i've told you her story but she's from russia and this is her first time in america and she's so awesome! she knows ben zenger but she says her sister knows him even better because they served in the same area or something.
 
This week with our investigators went really well! We taught anatoli the word of wisdom and he says he wants to quit smoking so that's awesome! hopefully he does. And Natasha magically said her husband was fine with her being bapitzed which is weird because we hadn't even really addressed that issue but we're gonna go ahead and call that a miracle and not a mistake on our fake investiagtor's part. The weather here is so beautiful!!! We study and have class outside all the time and it is so great. i already have such a great farmer's tan like you wouldn't believe. This week was brother okoren's birthday so we sang him our hit single "Awkward Christian Soldiers.' It was real good. oh so our companionships all have 'couple nicknames' where we combine the names. i don't know if i told you about these but i came up with them all naturally. anyways hopkin and nash are NAPKIN obvoiusly, walker and parker are WALK IN THE PARK (i actually didn't come up with that one), grochmal and boyce are BROSHMAL or GROYCE which is so terrible but oh so great, von schlegell and hildbrandt are HILDESHMEAGLE because we call von schlegell shmeagle all the time to make him mad, and then wait for it the troika is SHREKBALLERTH and every time we say it we have to do fake basketball motion because we are ballers. hahaha just kidding we actually never even use ours beacuse we're just the troika. anyways the whole point of this was the the song Awkward Christian Soliders was performed by Troika, Featuring Napkin with beats by HOLLA AT YOUR BOYCE (that's gonna be his twitter name when we get back). Needless to say, brother okoren loved our song and says the lyrics are going on his wall. so another successful song parody for the books.
 
 
Oh this week we had our 5 week assessments which was HILARIOUS. we realized just how bad we are at russian! they're on the computer and you have to record yourself answering questions. these questions pop up and you have 30 seconds before it starts recording! you aren't supposed to look at books or anything but we all brought our dictionaries and all of our books so we were flipping through those like crazy! i was lucky and didn't have too many hard questions but some other people got crazy ones! sister willerth had to compare joseph smith to other reformers like martin luther....WHAT? I couldn't even do that in english! whatevs they told us no one listens to them anyways but our teachers can if they want to....i hope they don't! my worst one was "ask your companion 3 questions about your upcoming appointment" and i quickly realized i don't even know how to say appointment so that was issue number 1. so i literally said the russian words for "when? where?" and then i hit stop hahahahaha. it says in the instructions that if you don't know the answer you can just say no and stop it so sister hopkin who we call mama got a really hard one and she just goes ahahahahahah niet. and turns it off! sister rohrbaugh accidentally said "i know if you don't go to church you will receive blessings" and von schlegell had to explain the difference between God and Jesus Christ and he says "God Papa" because he forgot the word for father hahahaha so basically we were all over the place and at least i'm not the only one who struggles.
 
 
i thought i'd give you a quick run down of everyone in my district so you can kind of understand my stories better. first sister rohrbaugh is the funniest sassiest person i've ever met. she is known as the sass master. she also is 5"10' and we look hilarious together. she gives the hardest high fives of my life and somtimes accidents just throws me to the ground because she's so much bigger and stronger than me. we're working on it. she is also one of the most geniune loving people i've ever met and she just loves everyone! sister willerth is crazy and awkward like but also so so smart. it's actually her 20th birthday today! she has a mild form of synesthasia, so she associates a color with each letter or number (in english but not really in russian) and so she's really good at memorizing things. one time she memorized 140 digits of pi in one night for extra credit. sister hopkin is from alaska and we call her mama because she is so proper and lectures us on how to behave politely haha. her companion sister nash is from pocatello and is the energetic older sister. she's always happy and talkative and puts up with our crazy really well. sister parker is from gilbert and she's the calm one of the district. we told her she's the only one in our whole district who isn't annoying and she was really grateful for that. she's 20.5 but she definitely acts the most mature. whoops i like to laugh but we're working on it. we have a goal to contain the crazy to only during sport and meals. we'll see. anyways sister walker is the tiniest little blonde girl from riverton utah who loves to act like a total thug. she is so hilarious. we get along really well because we're crazy. elder hildebrandt is from st george and he is our favorite! don't tell anyone. he is just so funny without trying to be. he says stuff that is not really that funny but the tone and delivery is just so funny i can't explain it. but he loves to quotes she's the man with me so naturally we get along great. elder von schlegell is your typical 18 year old boy. he is quite confident in himself and his abilites which is great except for the first few weeks we kinda assumed it was our job to humble him so that really didn't work out well for anyone. now we just kinda let him be and try not to argue with him and life is much better. elder groshmal is hilarious. he loves to dance and sing which is unfortunate because those aren't really encouraged here but every once in awhile we'll catch him singing to himself and it is so funny. he also every night before he goes to bed makes up a song with all the russian words he knows which is so great. elder boyce is from australia and new zealand, he went to high school in both so i don't even know where to stand on that one but he is our exotic gentleman. we call him that and he loves it. he is the most humble nice guy ever. he had a russian tutor before he came here so he knows way more than us, also he's probably just really smart and a hard worker, but anyways we always ask him for help and he is so patient with all of us. he's basically our 3rd teacher. anyways so that's my district! i dont know if you care about that or not but i figured the stories about all these people will probably make more sense if you know a little bit about them.
 
 Okay I think that's all i've got for you this week. I love you and miss you every day! This super old lady at the temple last week loved me for some reason and gave me this huge hug and told me she loved me and for the first time i felt really homesick. it's okay though Elder Allan told us that if you miss home it means you had a good home. I know that's true! I miss you but I'm so glad I'm here! I love the MTC and everything about it. even the food (it's not that bad!!! people obviously never went to byu hawaii). we have fun but we also work hard and learn a lot! I can't believe that a month from now I'll be in Ukraine! It's going by way too fast. I'm sad I won't get to talk to you on mother's day (we already decided everyone's gonna be crying during relief society) but i'll get to call you from the airport like 2 weeks later! we should get our travel plans in about 2 weeks so i'll let you know when i can call you!!!! so crazy! I love you and miss you!!!!!
 
 
сестра шрекенгаст
(they said hopefully in the field i can get a tag that just says sister shrek....that would be awesome!)