Monday, September 26, 2011
This nice Russian lady sends me pictures of Alex almost every week. She feeds him too! Here is the e-mail...
Hello family!! I just realized that I can be sending these emails to Mitch every week, too, so I'm going to start doing that. Spam!! Ha! How is everyone doing? It was nice to read your emails a little bit before I started writing. Last week at the post office it was crazy and I didn't have a lot of time to do anything. This week the Williams are back in Saratov and they let us come over and use their computers. They're from Utah, somewhere down past Provo. Linton? I don't remember. Sister Williams asked about the fire in Centerville, apparently she heard about that too.
Life is crazy. I'm glad that everything is settling down for you, mom! You're a trooper. We've been praying for you, so we know everything will be good. Fasting helps, too. My companion and I also started a fast yesterday for our zone. We've got CRAZY stuff going on in Saratov. A couple weeks ago President Sartori came down and announced a Stake in Saratov by July 1, 2013. He sort of set an official goal, I guess you could say. Lots of members have known that they're close to a stake, but now it kind of became something they're all working towards instead of just rumors. Ever since the Priesthood Conference where President announced it, there's been a ridiculous amount of opposition. It's been coming from all fronts--missionaries getting sick, branches getting weaker, goals not met, people getting aggressive on the street... It's all way exciting. I feel like I've sobered a lot just by seeing what's ahead. We're really focused and giving it everything we've got. I absolutely love the challenging times like this because I feel like the Lord is so close. I have an awesome companion who's helping me focus more on the spiritual side of things. I've felt overwhelmed in the past, but I've realized that at those times I wasn't doing everything I could to rely on God and invite Him even more into the work. What's been happening is we're doing everything in our power (which isn't too much when you think about it), and then really searching for guidance through prayer and fasting. I know it's really simple, and it's a lesson that I thought I already knew from earlier on in life. I feel like my mission has been a lot more of me "re-learning" simple gospel principles in a more profound way than of me learning something completely new for the first time. A mission is an amazing experience in that way, and I feel really grateful for everything the Lord has put me through.
I loved the picture of Caleb in the Russian stuff because that's definitely regular clothing for old farts in Russia. Picture grandpa Sherm in his regular clothes, but then imagine that he has this really obsessive fear of getting his head cold at all and give him a bunch of fur all over his clothes. That's Russia in the winter!! I love Russian winter way better than summer. It's starting to get really cold really fast. It doesn't help that we don't have hot water in our apartment. Freezing showers every morning!! I've gotten used to it... I didn't know you still played volleyball, mom. You are so devoted to type up a big long letter to your poor wayfaring strangers even with a broken finger! I love hearing all the news. That's way cool that Mary has decided to go on a mission, too. When does Kim head out? Anyways, I'll keep praying for you and the family. I miss you all a lot. We really do have such a fun family. I don't know what we're gonna do when Dad turns into an old fart with his buddy Jeffrey (that is what the kids call Richard's pot gut) that he keeps feeding every day. Dad's been due for about 5 years now!
Anyways, I've got about 4 minutes left. (I asked what he wants in his Christmas package) Requests... Hmmm... I think a CTR ring in Russian would be a really cool gift. I wouldn't mind some new garments, too. I wear Dri-Lux medium tall shirts and medium bottoms. Maybe throw in a pair of onesies for kicks. Then I'll match dad. Hahaha. As far as food, send me anything spicy/cinamon flavored and I'll be happy. Hot tomales are good. There's also a CD I want to get from our itunes. Other than that, just send a TON of family pictures. I LOVE pictures from home. Anyways, that's all the suggestions I've got.
LOVE YOU ALL TO PIECES. My time is up! Until next week!!!