Monday, August 15, 2011

I think this is Alex's companion right now...

YEAH. I was really happy to hear that you made it to Elder HXXXs talk. I've been waiting to hear any bit of news from him. He's probably had a crazy couple of weeks. I got a kick out of him coming to family home evening, though. We used to joke about that, I think it's funny that he agreed. I miss his group of missionaries! There were lots of awesome missionaries that left when he left. There were some really good mission friends in that group. It feels really weird now that everyone's gone. Kind of feels like I'm on a new mission, like I just came out into the field or something. I'm one of the oldest on the mission and I haven't even hit my year mark!! It kind of weighs down on me.. That's probably a good thing, though. If you remember/get around to it, pass along to Elder HXXXsizzle that MXXX PXXX's son PXXX just got baptized this weekend. I had a good long chat with Bro. PXXX about that one. It was a blessing to be able to talk to him about it. He told me he's been praying for years about that one. PXXX went on a week long trip to a youth conference with his best friend, who's a great member, and something changed, so he decided to get baptized. I thought about all the work you put into your calling back when you were a YW leader, mom. It makes all the difference. The WXXXs, the senior couple serving in our branch, are called to work with the YSA here in Saratov, and they were really involved with the conference. That's something I could picture you and dad doing so well. You'll probably end up being on an assignment similar to theirs once you get in the field. Anyhow, MXXX's an amazing member, one of the ones I feel privileged to know. That's one of my favorite parts of serving on a mission is the friendship with the members. In all of the other branches I served in, language skills were still developing, and I got moved around every cycle, but now that I'm going through my third cycle here in Volzhski branch I've come to know a lot of the members and really love them. And we have the best branch in the mission!! We've got all the superstars. By the way, the name AXXX isn't very familiar... It must be someone from Samara, where Elder HXXX served most of his mission.

That's what's going on in my head right now. In other news, I was in 2 different areas for 4 days this week, so it was kind of a crazy week. While I was on splits in ZXXX, the Elder I was with got punched in the face by a drunkard. It was kinda nuts. And this Elder's only been a week out in Russia! He's a champ, though. From what I've heard, it hasn't changed his willingness to do the work at all. We followed after the man to get a picture, but he turned and saw me and covered his face. And then the battery ran out on my camera, so we left. And then my camera wiped my SD card completely... So we ain't got no evidence. Dang, it was fun though. Reminds me of Elder XXX. Same thing happened to him, his first week in Russia too! Don't pass that on, I don't think he wants to tell his family until he gets home. In fact, I hope I'm not worrying you about this... We really are protected. I've been in a few sketchy situation where everything turned out completely fine, even when it maybe shouldn't have. Maybe make sure that other mothers with sons in Russia don't read this stuff haha. Oh, and about the camera... I want permission to spend 100 dollars on a new camera. I think mine has died... It does weird stuff with the batteries, meaning it shuts off all the time, and it also wiped all of my mission pictures ever on that SD card. Good thing Sister KXXX sent you a bunch... Anyhow, let me know if that's alright. I would only have to pull off about 15 dollars or so from the account because I've still got a stash of money, so you wouldn't have to add anything to my account.

Saturday, we had that baptismal service, and we got two of our investigators there! On the bus ride home, LXXX taught me some ancienct African. He's definitely one of my favorite investigators. He's getting ready for baptism on the 27th!! It's awesome how he just kind of fell into our hands while we were contacting. He's getting to be a pretty good friend now too. We're also working with a relative of a church member and his son, and they're both really solid investigators. Lots of good stuff is going on right now, we're just having trouble finding, especially since we're in different areas a lot. That will get better, though. We'll figure something out.

That's about it from me. I got some letters from early July about 2 weeks ago, and they were fun to read. Got some good pictures and a way funny letter from Hope that she wrote right after I broke my foot. I decided I'm going to have to write more. I love emails, but the handwritten letters are so fun to read. It must be the same for you back home! I've been horrible about writing. But I'll have lots of time today, so I'll take care of that for sure. Dad says Seth is 5'9'' and 160. BEAST. Just because you're taller than everyone else doesn't mean you have to beat everyone up, SETH. I mean at football. I love hearing the stuff from home. I try to write about little details whenever I can, but I forget about stuff. Thanks for your little details!! It would be cool if Patrick could bring me a Little Caeser's pizza, though. Does he still work there? I remember hearing he quit and then started up again. Pass on all my love to them!! I miss them all. I'm loving it out here, but it's going to be so nice to see each other again in a year. Anyways, we won't think about that quite yet. Keep getting ready for your missions! I'm proud of all my little brothers!! LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH.


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