07 August 2010
Humbling week in Vyborg.
Well, it's been a busy week here in Vyborg. Since last P-day we've done lots of stuff. A member's grandmother died, and he asked us to go to the morgue with him to help him put the body in the back of the "hearse" (van) for the funeral, because they didn't have anyone else to do it. It was a humbling experience. They had a little Orthodox ceremony there for the rest of his family who aren't members. We told the people there that talked to us that we were there for them if they need it, and we know that they can see her again someday. We then took a girl named Yawna for a walk. Yawna lives on the 5th floor of an old apartment building. She was born without feet and some mental problems. Her parents are divorced, and her mom is a huge alcoholic and was plastered when we got there. No elevator so we have to carry her chair up and down 5 flights of stairs. She is a really cool girl. She is happy and knows that God loves her! She doesn't have to be baptized due to her mental disabilites, and she is a good example to me. Lately when I think that I have it hard learning this language or trying to talk to people, I just think that other people like Yawna have more problems then me. We took her for a short walk, then brought her to a family friend until her mom was sober... I really don't get why drinking is Russia's favorite pastime... We did some service work at the Vyborg Castle, which is where you find St. Olaf's Tower. We helped move some displays and did some raking for them. They then let us go to the top of St. Olaf's Tower and look around before we left. From there you can see Finland! I took a picture of Finland of course. Next week they said I can put on a suit of armor. :) It's a really cool tower and they've done a good job restoring it and turning it into a museum. I'll figure out a way to send pictures. I then learned how to use a sythe this week. There is a man here named John who moved here from America because his wife is Russian. His wife speaks English, but John has only been here 10 months and doesn't speak much Russian yet. Their kids speak both Russian and English, and to be honest, I was a bit jealous of that. Ha ha. They dont really use lawnmowers here in Russia, they just use weed wackers or if you can't afford that, a sythe. I learned how to use a sythe and "mowed" their backyard for them. Yesterday we went contacting and had my first experience running away from a mad dog. We turned around the corner and there was this mean, wild dog that started snarling and snapping as us. I wasn't as surprised with that as I was when Elder Haggard pushed me and knocked me down because he was so frantic to get away from the dog!! I was laughing for quite a while to be honest. He was TERRRIFIED!!! Ha ha ha!!! Trying not to crack up right now while I'm typing! He, he, he! The member who translates for the Prophet lives in our branch here, and we met with him this week. He said that even though I don't know alot of Russian yet, I speak well and almost without an accent. That made me feel better because somedays I just don't think I understand any of this language!!! He is a really smart guy. He is a doctor (but even they don't make a lot in Russia) and he knows both English and Russian fluently and he's translated pretty much everything the church has in Russian. Now is is working on translating the book "Jesus the Christ." As far as investigators are concerned, we have quite a few who are meeting with us, but this last week they all ditched us. It's perfectly normal in Russia to not show up to a meeting or come an hour late... gotta love it... Oh well. We try and the Lord helps us each day, even if it is helping us to laugh! :) Last night was a flash storm. I loved it. :) Some green Grass? I want to see the backyard now!!!! That is soooo cool! Send a picture when you can! Tell the "tough Norwegian" aka dad, that he has nothing to worry about with the surgery. :) Ha ha. He'll be fine, I know he will. Actually lots of people as me when we are on the street and they are nice enough to talk to us and ask us our names, if I am from Norway. I say no, from America, but my ancestors were. How did the transformer catch on fire? Are Richmond and Christina okay? Who is the new family in the ward? Has the ward changed a lot since I left? How's everyone at home? Things going better with work, etc? Heard from Code lately? What's new with him? Having fun teaching the crazies? Have you heard from any of my friends? It feels like I haven't been home in a long time... I wonder why... I want to hear ALL about home. I'm a stranger to home now. Love you all!! Miss you tons!!! Working hard. Learning alot. Be of Good Cheer!!! BLAKE