|Already decorated for Christmas!|
|Don't worry, Mom. I haven't peeked.|
First of all, Happy Anniversary Adam and Stevie!!!!!!! I can't believe a year ago I got my mission call, went through the temple and went to their wedding all in 3 days. that was kind of insane but also awesome, just like every day here in Ukraine: insane and awesome. ALso I got the christmas package!!!! thank you!!!!!! i was so excited to open it because i knew it would smell like home and christmas, but it actually smelled like chicken bouillon and beef jerky, but hey that's still better than what the vast majority of ukraine smells like, so i'm not complaining. i am using all of the stuff that wasn't wrapped, and i haven't even peeked into my stocking yet! i am quite proud of myself. of course i already decorated the christmas tree! who do you think i am? dad/mr scrooge?
The biggest news of the week is I got my new companion!!!!!! Sister Kopta is from Dallas, Texas (shout out to dad) and she is 19. She studied out at BYU Hawaii (shout out to me) for a year before she came on her mission. She is studying physics (shout out to albert einstein) but doesn't exactly know what to do with it yet (shout out to every college freshman). she is super smart and knows german, japanese, and latin! what? yeah she's teaching me a thing or two about russian, it's fine. so we have 2 grammar books that they give us in the mtc, the beginners one is called penguin and the advanced one is called modern russian. our first day i asked sister kopta if she has read penguin at all and she was like "yeah, i started but it was mostly just review for me, so i'm working on modern russian right now..." and i was like "hmmmm well i'm still on penguin so.........yeah" haha awkward. You asked me how I'm feeling with my fluency, hm. well some of the time i can understand most of what's going on, and most of the time i can say some of what i want to say. basically i'm still working on it and i will probably still be working on it when i come home, but I have a firm testimony that every missionary's language is where Heavenly Father needs it to be, as long as they are giving their best effort of course.
This week was crazy, we went around saying goodbye to everyone with Sister Welch and then made the rounds again introducing Sister Kopta to everyone. I have felt like a chicken running around with my head chopped off all week, but this week should calm down a lot. Poor Sister Kopta had the craziest first day ever. First we had two packages for the elders and they have been sick with the flu all week, so we decided to be nice and walk them over to their apartment. Well, they live further away than i remembered and the packages were heavier than we initially thought, so we got on a bus which ended up taking us the wrong way, so basically we walked halfway across mariupol to deliver these packages and literally the minute we get to the elders to drop them off, the other elders call and say, hey do you mind dropping your plans today to go do service at the hospital? last time we did service at the hospital it was literally washing two windows and took 10 minutes, so of course we said yes. Well this time we weren't washing windows. We were removing leaves Ukrainian style, which involves raking huge piles of leaves onto blankets, then tying the blankets so that you have a huge bundle, and carry the massive heavy bundle of leaves to a bigger pile of leaves about 15 minutes away, and then repeat about 20 times. I wish I had a picture because we looked absolutely ridiculous, but don't fear, we're going back tomorrow to do it again! Poor Sister Kopta was freezing during this whole process because she didn't have any winter clothes yet! don't worry we went shopping the next day and got her all the good stuff, including the thick lumpy ukrainian babushka tights that just make you feel real good about yourself.