So I have been here for 2 months and I have 2 weeks left and I am going to Ukraine.
This past week has been really cool. We had another Apostle come, this time Elder Ballard. That makes it three Apostles for the past three weeks. On Sunday night Sheri Dew spoke to us. It's so awesome having high up church officials coming and talking to us. I probably won't have this opportunity once I get to Ukraine, but you never know. Hopefully. Dad before I forget I had a Powerade this week with a Coke Rewards number I wrote it down in my planner but I forgot my planner this morning, weird, but I will make sure that it gets home and that you can have some more points. So yeah having members of the Quorm of the 12 come and talk to us is absolutely amazing. Mabye tonight another Apostle will come or even the PROPHET!!! That's kind of our joke around here is that when we are waiting in line to go into the gym to sit and listen we say aloud: "oh I heard that the Prophet is coming." So maybe this week he'll come but who knows.
On Monday we officially started speaking 100% Russian. It is hard because sometimes we can't express ourselves and so we just fall back on English. But the tutor here, Brother Hansen who served with Jason Freeman, said that if we can SYL (speak your language) then when we get to the field we'll be leaps and bounds ahead of those who didn't. So Elder Smith and I are trying our very hardest to only speak Russian to each other. Brother Hansen said some few words about it. Something that he said that really stuck out to me was that I shouldn't allow myself to speak English. Deal with it being hard and push through. Eventually it will be fun. It already is fun because 2 months ago I thought that speaking Russian would be impossible but really it's NOT. Heavenly Father has blessed me and prayers have been answered. It's so amazing to be a missionary today.
The other night we had a workshop and in the workshop we read a religious time line of the LDS church in Eastern Europe. Ukraine opened up for missionary work on July 1, 1991. 10 days before I was born. How crazy is that????? Heavenly Father has been preparing me all my life for this time to go and serve in Ukraine. Just think about it for a second, that's so crazy. The church is so young and naive in Ukraine. The teacher said that soon the first generation Mormons will start being born or something like that. It's so true. We are helping build up the kingdom of God. I love it.
I've been learning a lot. We've learned all of the grammar principles that we should need and now it's just a matter of mastering the principles. It shouldn't be too hard and now that we have to speak 100% Russian it will make some principles become second nature. The other day I was saying a prayer and then the next thing I know if was praying in Russian, my mind just switched and started praying in Russian. It's so crazy cool. Elder Smith and I have made a pact that we are always going to speak Russian. And the thought came to mind that if we do, we'll be really good at Speaking Russian by the time we leave for Ukraine.
Sounds like all is well back home and what not. Thank you soo soo much for the photos that you sent mom, as well as the socks and the small journal. Thank you so much. The photos are amazing. Seeing my family and my dogs and the new car was awesome. I like how Duke was just chillin' like a boss, that's cuz he is a boss. And Chloe was being silly as always. Erik's mullet is coming in quite nice..........and the car is gorgeous. Be safe and enjoy having fun with it. On the way to the Temple this morning I looked at Timp and saw that it was getting pounded with snow and that Provo Canyon was all in clouds. I told Elder Smith how cool it would be to drive up there. He said no because you wouldn't be able to see. Elder Smith is a cool kid we see things totally different but yet we get along quite well. The other day he told me a story about his college time and we just bonded it was awesome. This morning when walking back from the Temple he saw the BYU stadium and I saw the mountains across Utah Lake. He only saw the stadium and I saw the mountains. It was funny.