How's everyone doing? Just wrapping up Week 3 here at the MTC and things are going great! We have learned a lot in the last three weeks, and will learn even more in the next 6! So last week, I told you about the "Dear Elder" record and said you should beat it...kinda jokingly. The next day, I got 31 "Dear Elders!" and as a District we got 41. So you're all awesome and thanks for all the mail! I got quite a few packages this last week including one from Maria (yeah the cookies were good!), Dad and Christy, and AnnaMarie. I got 3 of them this morning! Thanks for all the food. I wasn't really going to die...I just thought that letter was funny.
So my companion is Elder James Lewis. He is from Alpine Utah, went to BYU last year and stayed in the dorms as well. His parents both served in Japan and go back often. We get along pretty well, just as we do with the whole district! As far as teaching lessons goes, we've been told by our teacher that we work well together and feed off each other well when we're teaching investigators. We have 2 current "investigators" who are our teachers acting like someone who they taught while they were on their missions. So it's a real personality acted out by our teachers. So far we've taught the first 3 lessons a couple times each. We've got a system down so the lessons go a lot more smoothly than they did in the first week. Not to mention, our Russian is way better than day 2.
In my district we have 10 elders and sisters: 8 elders, 2 sisters. Five of the elders are going to Novosibirsk with me and all the others are going to Yekaterinburg, which is farther west and not in Siberia. This week has been the Mission Presidents Training Seminar so the main building has been off-limits to the missionaries as the Quorum of the Twelve and the First Presidency meet with all the mission presidents on a daily basis. Elder Lewis is in a small choir that sings for their meetings and stands up there right next to the Apostles and the Prophet...pretty cool! Elder Bednar said, "Thank You" directly to him, Elder Perry said "Awesome job today." Pretty awesome! We were coming back from our temple session this morning and we saw Elder Nelson outside talking to someone so I waved to him and he waved back. It's almost like they actually have lives outside of General Conference! haha The Worldwide broadcast was on Sunday too! I was in the 2000ish voice choir that sang for it. I was in the 4th row of elders, 4 people away from the border of elders and sisters. I was right behind the stand and a little to the right of the pulpit. If you go to lds.org and watch the broadcast, you can see me! at 3:10. Also, if you go to the news page article that they wrote, I am in the thumbnail and also in the picture attatched to the article. haha standing right next to a red-headed kid. It was pretty cool. We sang "Called to Serve" and "Hark all ye Nations" at the beginning and the end...not in that order.
Sister Brown, a sister in my District, is from Provo and she gets so much food it's ridiculous. Anyways, her dad was at the broadcast and he "ran into us" during the break before it started and told us to have a meeting outside in the parking lot afterwards. He had a trunk full of food waiting for us. Like sandwiches, potato salad and stuff...it was pretty good.
So the pictures last time, I didn't have time to caption them, but Elder Poulsen and I saw each other after Choir practice so that's where we were. He was in my ward for Summer and Winter semesters at BYU and we're pretty good friends. Elder Lewis is the companion, we were the ones doing a hand stand in front of the temple, what else...I forgot to write down what AnnaMarie asked me to caption but you can just put them on the blog. Also, can you put President Gibbons' blog post up there too? 'Cause that was pretty cool...if you don't know what I'm talking about, ask Dad. Also, it would be cool to do a link to President Gibbons' blog on the side of my Mission Blog. AnnaMarie, you seem like you're doing an awesome job with that! You're the best! Just kidding...you're all the best. Also you can turn the chat off on Facebook so people don't think I'm on when you go to post stuff?
I run into friends from BYU all the time here. It seems like everyone just moved from the dorms and into the MTC. Which is pretty cool.
I loved all the paintings from the kiddos!! They were really cute! I got the prints from the family vacation from AnnaMarie this morning...she wins the contest! but holy buckets that's a lot of pictures! thanks!
As of June 21st, there were 70,274 missionaries in the field, and that number is just going to get bigger! and 405 missions. The 100ish Russian/Ukranian speakers that came in last Wednesday are all going to other Russia missions, we won't get more Novosibirsk missionaries until we are in our 6th week here because that's how long a transfer is so they wanted to keep it easy for when they all come to Russia.
What else...The food is still cafeteria food...and no Dad, they still don't have Borsh or Vodka. But they do have Voda (water). :P In one of our books, it uses Vodka for like every other example. like "is this tea?"... "No, it's Vodka". and stuff like that. So now we all joke about it.
I found a little green army man here somewhere...so I made a parachute for him out of my sewing kit and a napkin. Since we have been kicked out of the main cafeteria for the last week and into the gym for meals because of the Mission Presidents delio, we've had to use foam trays...so we took a couple of foam trays and I'm going to make a hang-gliding kite thing for him. Also, Tyler, we made a wind tunnel out of the vent in the classroom and made the army man shoot up into the air. It was pretty entertaining.
This is pretty much all I have time to write if you want any pictures. If you have questions about anything, Dear Elder me and I'll try and keep track of the questions so I can answer them all!.
Miss and Love you all!