Well we're on our last week here at the MTC! We've gone over most all the Russian material in the course books, so classes are turning more and more into story/culture time. Which I don't mind one bit. The Novosibirsk missionaries are going to be leaving the MTC at 4:30 on Monday morning to head to the airport. There are the 5 of us from my district as well as 6 others from a different Russian Zone that will be in our Travel Group.
Here are a few questions from Dad:
1. Did the new group of Russian Missionaries get to the MTC? : We get a new group of Russian and or Ukranian missionaries every 2 or 4 weeks. It goes based off of transfers so for Novosibirsk missionaries, they will come into the MTC every 6 weeks. The different Russian missions are staggered so that they get a steady flow coming in and out.
2. Are they cooler than your group? : Is that even a question? We're the oldest district here now and all of the younger districts come and visit us all the time.
3. How many of you will fly to Russia when you leave in August?: There are the 5 Elders from my district going to Novosibirsk on Monday along with 6 missionaries from a different zone going to our mission. We will also fly to Moscow with the Moscow missionaries so there will be about 30 of us going to Moscow.
4. How many are going to Novo?: So that's 11 Novosibirsk Missionaries.
5. Has anyone dropped out? : Actually yes. There is a district of all Sisters going to Ukraine that got here like 2 weeks after mine. They had 11 sisters until one of them decided to leave and get married instead. Last I heard about a day ago from the other sisters was that they were ring shopping. So there ya go. (It's really weird for a district to be made up of all sisters and no elders, it's one of the first ones they've had here!)
6. What will you be doing on the airplane without music of movies? : Hopefully catching up on sleep! I've been asking myself this same question since I got my call.
7. How's the food in the MTC? : Not as bad as people say it is. They've got at least 3 or 4 options for every meal plus cereal any time. So there is always something that isn't too bad! The cookies are good, and the wrap bar that they have is really good. Kinda like the L&T wrap place in the Cougareat.
8. Do you ever get to wander around BYU? : No. Besides walking to the Marriott Center every Tuesday night for the devotional, there's no leaving campus.
9. How are you doing with the HOT HOT HOT weather?: It's not too bad! we're inside for like 90% of the day so the AC is usually pretty good. Plus every room has a fan in it.
10. Did you know that Abbey and Spencer moved? yup... they should have gotten a letter by now.
11. How's packing going to go? Are you within the weight limits? : There have been mixed messages on whether we're allowed 44 lbs per checked bag or 50. So I'm just going to go off of the 44 lb limit to be safe. I think I'll be fine on weight. The sisters in the district on the other hand... There are some bets going down. But I've got my two checked bags, a carry on bag and a shoulder bag. Planning on putting all my books in the carry on suitcase since they never check the weight for carry ons. We've already started packing!
12. Did I buy some more brightly colored suits? : Nope... I woud've gotten a gray one had I known though. maybe in Russian I'll have a Babushka make me one. :)
Thanks to Michael and Caroline for the package of caramels! They were a huge hit. The box was about to split open by the time it got here. The caramels weren't all melty, though the wrappers did stick on a couple of them. Thanks to the kids for the drawings. I liked the one with swimming pools on it.
Thanks to dad for all the airplane snacks! I got those, and then the next day at church, our branch president told us to try and eat healthily to prepare for the long trip over. I'd say that stuff is healthy.
We got our travel plans this week!! On Friday we all went to the mail room to get them. We'll leave the MTC at 4:30 am on Monday and fly out at 8:30 for a direct flight to Moscow. We think the plane stops in New York but we don't switch planes. Then we'll get to Moscow at 9:55 a.m. Moscow time. Then we'll get to enjoy a 13 hour layover in the Moscow Airport. I guess it will be cool to see all the Russian candy and stuff in the stores! A few Elders are hoping that there will be a McD's, but I'm thinking.... "I'm in Russia!, I'm not going to go eat McDonald's!" Then after a long layover we'll fly to Novosibirsk and get there at 5 a.m. Novosibirsk time. So I'll be pretty tired when we land. President Gibbons will be waiting for us at the airport to welcome us all! Take us back to the Mission home and let us rest and hopefully we'll get some real food after having fast food and airplane food for the past 40 hours! Then over the next couple days we will have orientation, and assignment to our companions as well as initial interviews.
Today was a little bit different for a P-day. We got to go clean the Temple at. Probably the first and last time I'll enter the temple through the back door. They are doing a lot of re-modeling/construction in the temple bathrooms so that's why it's closed. The sisters got to go clean all of the fancy light fixtures while the elders got to go clean the lockers. Surprised? We also got to have a little look around. So it was pretty neat. Then we came back, ate, and now I'm doing emails!
Thursday, I will have "In Field Training"... whatever that means. Sunday we will have our departure devotional as well as a bunch of other stuff to get us ready to go.
I'm excited, not knowing how I'm going to survive the 14-hour flight, but I'm ready to go!
Oh...and will someone send me a dear elder with the currency exchange rate for USD to Rubles?? :D
I'm sending a few pictures too!
Love and miss you all!
The chalk board after a class period. the 3 big letters are the Russian for SYL or speak your language
The Usual after dinner sit around and listen to Elder Hodgson play the piano. He has perfect pitch and can play anything he hears. He's played in about 5 MTC devotionals since being here which you have to try out for every week. So he's good!
Brother Rutter, one of our teachers here at the MTC. He's great.
Me with Sister Carliann UdallElder Zak Potts
and Elder Clint Gingrich.
I see my BYU friends around here all the time!