Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Today's e-mail!

OKAY it's already been three weeks and that freaks me out. Last Sunday me and some of the Elders were talking about how we were "almost two weeks in!!!" And it feels like that was two or three days ago. But it's actually been a WEEK. And a HALF. Since THEN. Kinda crazy. Things have picked up.

By the way. Sam your email was HUGE. I loved every bit of it. But I can't wait until I'm actually in the field so I can spend more than a stinking lousy thirty minutes on a novel worthy of my family's reading. This last Sunday, me and three other Elders got bored at the temple walk, so we came back to the classroom early and sat around and watched err-y single one of those Mormon Messages things. I almost cried watching the drunk driver one, dangit. It was really awesome, but I feel like a big baby now. I'm way more emotional here. Maybe. I don't know.

Cool story time. Well, first, actually, in answer to Stacy Smoot/Mom's question, yes, the Russian's coming. It's so RAD. Their grammar is so awesome once you get the hang of it. I absolutely love the language with a passion. It's like solving a puzzle whenever I sit down to translate a thought into Russian. I could go on about how it all works, but I'll write more about it in my letter. Anyway. So cool story. Elder Vargin is an Elder here who is a native of Moscow. He knows hardly any English at all but he's super hilarious. Example. One day he approached me and said "Privet, vinagrette," which means "What's up, unknown-'Russian'-word." So I asked him what the second word was and he said "Is Italian green salad." Hahaha I thought it was hilarious. Mostly because of his accent. Man I love Russians so much. There's a whole district of natives. So yes, I've met a few. They're so cool. But COOL STORY TIME. For reals. I'm trying to get to it, I really am. So this same Elder Vargin came up to me yesterday and asked if I would write my testimony for him in Russian, so he could send it home to his mother and girlfriend, who don't believe in the Church. He's been collecting testimonies of lots of different elders. So yesterday I wrote a page of very simple but very sincere testimony no-rycckuu. I had him read it and it had a TON of mistakes, but he fixed them and I rewrote it and everything. Elder Vargin helped me out, and then I gave it to him and he said really really slowly (because of his limited English), "Thank you. Is very very important for me." I just thought it way super cool because I surprised myself with how much I've retained. And I got to help someone out. It's still so much work though. Sometimes I feel like I'm learning really slowly, but then I go back and try to speak and random words come to me that I didn't know I understood. That's how it is with prayer, too. I'll pray in Russian with no idea of what to say, and then the words just pop into my head. My vocabulary is still extremely limited, but I've gotten to the point where I can speak around the words I don't know in order to truly express myself instead of just repeating a memorized prayer. It's an amazing feeling to pray in Russian, especially when I'm praying for my home.

But my time is already almost up for email time. Man, this kills me. The last five minutes go by really fast. I love your letters and your stories and emails so much!! I love you all, the church is true, and hopefully Dad and the boyz will see me from afar off in the Conference Center. It's going to be an amazing experience. The music is simple, but powerful.



Monday, September 27, 2010

Now he is getting into the life!

CECTPA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! that's no-ryccku for sister. I wish i was better at typing on a russian keyboard cause then I could actually send you some rad lookin stuff. But alas. The timer.

Things are going way awesome here. The first week felt like it took FOREVER but now I'm way surprised that it's already been two weeks. I love this stuff. This whole missionary biznass. I'm learning so much here and I feel like I've known my district for years even though I've only known them for two weeks!! It's bizarre. I really didn't think I would warm up to them so quick when I first got here because I was so preoccupied on missing home and realizing how hard a mission is going to be etc, etc. But it's really really been awesome now that I've settled in. Once I got to know people it got a lot easier.

There are a ton of HILARIOUS elders here. I also met a group of Russian elders and sisters and they're way awesome. I've decided that Russian humor is maybe my favorite type of humor. We have a tutor here who helps us out sometimes, whose name is Brother Shelyakin. He's from Ukraine but he speaks Ukrainian and Russian (he says "Russia and Ukraine, is same place." Imagine it with a heavy accent). He's one of the most amusing people I've ever met. Seriously. Russians/Ukrainians. They know where it's attttt. Also, this same Brother Shelyakin told my district that if you read the Book of Mormon cover to cover in your mission language, then by the end, you will know the language. He went to England on his mission, so he read the Book of Mormon in English, and he said that, "I wake up next morning, and boom--English then is not new different language to me now. It just language that I know perfect that I speak like other language from Ukraine." (Imagine the accent again. Hahaha.) So I started reading the Book of Mormon no-ryccku. It's really difficult... especially because I haven't learned all the grammar rules, cases, etc., that I need in order to speak it and recognize conjugations. Russian is so cool because a lot of times word order doesn't even matter. Every part of the sentence is "labeled" by a conjugation, so you can tell which part of the sentence it is no matter where it is (generally). I'm having so much fun learning it. It's like a puzzle sometimes!! I also note that when I haven't put forth a good effort to have the Spirit with me, then my studying of the language gets tougher.... hmmm.... imagine that.... Gift of Tongues is real, everyone.

SAM i almost forgot i have awesome awesome news. Me and mou Hanapnuk (companion) got selected to sing in an MTC choir for Priesthood Session!!!!! which means we get to leave the MTC on Oct 3rd and go to the live session. AND PRODUCE TEH MUZIKS FOR TEH CHURCH. I'm soooooooooooooooo excited. It's kind of a big deal. Dad, tell caleb and seth and patrick to be watchin for me!!!! I might be on teh tvs!!!!!

Ahh I've been spending all of my email time on this one letter, so I'm just going to forward it to both you and Mom. I've been writing about things that I wanted to tell both of you anyways. But I'll be able to spend more time on the letters that I send, so you'll get more details and fun stories from that.

Anyhow, I have 6:30 min left on this timer, so I'll just talk some more. Mom, I like the idea of the blog if it's something that you want to do. I'm not sure how many of my friends will actually read it but I think it will be good for extended family and such.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The first E-mail from the MTC!

So here is the first e-mail!

I just got done emailing sam and I only have fifteen minutes left to write! this timed email thing is SO STRESSFUL. I have about a billion things I want to write to you, but I can't even think of where to start. Especially with this DASTARDLY TIMER UP AT THE TOP OF THE SCREEN. I can't type fast enough.

Anywho, I just want to start out by telling you that I find myself thinking of you and dad constantly. Really, I didn't think I would miss home so much. I know that sounds awful, but I guess I just took for granted the fact that for the past year almost I've been completely surrounded by a family who loves me and helps me out all the time. I really hope I can convey how much I care about you guys!! and how awesome it is to hear from home!!!! I read your letter barely about Seth and Hope, and Dad at the football game and I had a very discreet cry. Well, I guess according do your definition, i didn't "shed a tear," but i still made the "monkey face." hahaha. Man I only have ten minutes left and I haven't even really started!! I have awesome stories and I want to share them all but I'll have to give you details in my written letter. We went to the temple early today so I've got plenty of time to write about all the fun, difficult, new, different experiences I'm going through. It has really truly been a test of faith for me. Sometimes I even get to the point where I realize that there's literally NOTHING that I personally can do to get me through this. It's 100% a reliance on the Lord, who works constantly on my behalf. I can't even fathom what kind of power Christ has, because the Atonement is so much more potent that I could realize. Of course, I'm talking about way more than just repentance. In PMG it says "The Atonement of Jesus Christ makes up for everything in life that is unfair." In essence, because of the Atonement, we are able to nearly completely bypass all the real heartache that comes from mortality. Or, rather than bypass, overcome. Of course life isn't easy just because of the Atonement. Maybe in some ways it's even harder. But in the end, there's just peace. Everything feels right. I have hard times here, sometimes, but at the end of the night when I kneel and square myself up before God, I always feel comforted and "reeled-in." THAT'S enduring to the end.

Ahh i wish I could write more. And I really didn't mean to get all sappy and write about doctrine and everything that you guys already know about. I just want you guys to know that I'm doing all right here and that THERE'S SO MUCH IN STORE. I'm dying to get out there and really start serving, but at the same time i'm so unprepared!! AHHHH!! Anyhow, again I'm sorry that I didn't get to really write a lot to you, more details will come in my letter, along with some awesome stories (and yes, seth and caleb, I even have a HOBO story for you). Ha ha ha my teacher told us the "hobo story" and I laughed waaaay harder than everyone else because of Caleb and Seth and our little hobo joke obsession. hahaha oh man I LOVE YOU GUYS. keep up the good work back at home so I can come back to that awesome peaceful wonderful home that I know and love!! I pray for each of you individually every night!!! I LOVE YOU.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Mission Begins!

So... to keep anyone up on the doings of Elder Morris in Russia, I have created this blog. You can read along or not but I will have a place to post photos, stories and letters. At the end of the 2 years, I might even make a book with all this STUFF!