First full week down. Tomsk is a great place. It is really beautiful and there are so many different kinds of people. Let me start with last Tuesday. I woke up the day after I sent my last email, went to go shower, and the hot water was off. So after telling you how awesome and great my apartment was, I actually don't have hot water. At least not for the last week. We're not really sure when it will come back on.
But in the mean time, we take what are called "Chaineek" showers, which really means "teapot" showers. We boil a kettle of water and have a big pot. Mix some of the boiling water with cold water until it's warm, then dump it on your head!
I promise I'm happier than I look in the picture.
I've taken a few more pictures of Tomsk in general. The fountain is kinda in the middle of the city.
We had a meeting last night, and the guy lived on one of the upper floors of the apartment building so I got some really cool pictures of the city from his window!
Earlier this week, we called a guy from the area book, and asked if he wanted to meet up. He said, "Sure! Meet me at Papa John's Pizzeria at 6 tonight." So we met with him at Papa John's! It tasted like the real deal. Who knew there was Papa John's in the middle of Siberia?
This last week was pretty good. I'm tired all the time. I wake up atevery morning and want nothing else than to go back to sleep. But we get up and get to work anyways! We get a lot of reactions from people on the street. We don't have a lot of meetings in this area, but we make up for it in contacting! We, as a district, are doing an English Club which starts up again on Thursday. So when we're out contacting (talking to people in public places), we are trying to get people to come to that. A lot of investigators interested in the church will come from the pool of people that comes to English club.
The Church building is really simple and nice. There are classrooms on the first floor and the chapel and kitchen are on the upper floor. The members are all really nice and seem to like talking to us.
We had a service opportunity this week! We went with two of the members and helped out at a children's hospital. They must have been doing renovations or something because we moved a lot of furniture around, brought out old cribs and brought new ones in. There was a lot of nasty stuff that they were getting rid of so the remodeling was badly needed. Being there at the hospital made me never want to go to a Russian Hospital! I'd rather tough it out I think.
The basement was something that James would have loved to explore. There was a hole in the wall and in the hole was like a walled off hallway.
The elevator was sweet though. It was an old one that someone actually has to work in. So we were hauling stuff with it and there was an older lady dressed like a nurse who had to open the doors, let us in, close both of the doors and press the buttons. There was a little bed, chair and shelf in there for her as well. I think it might be her home? Not really...But It wouldn't be my dream job.
Today, P-Day!, was a lot of running around. We did our studying in the morning, then went and did our grocery shopping. We eat a lot of pasta, potatoes, and eggs. Really simple meals. Not like the good old BYU meal plan days that's for sure! There is a Subway not far from our apartment though, so maybe we'll have to try that one of these days. We got back from shopping and left for the other Elders' apartment. (Elders Colton and Madsen) Their apartment is pretty nice. They live on the North side of the city, so we took two Martshootkas (sketchy busses), to get there. It takes about 45 minutes. Every time I'm on a martshootka, I want to fall asleep. I'm always tired!!! We were going over there to get me a Pukavik (Big puffy Russian winter jacket!). Elder Madsen found this Pukavik shop where you can barter and get a pretty good deal. So before we go in, we strategize...Elder Madsen is going to act as my translator, I'm going to pretend not to know any Russian, and we're going to play it out like I'm working through Elder Madsen. (I know, you're all thinking...but that's how it would go anyways! haha.) So we're looking at all the coats, picking out which one I want and I found a nice gray one with black fur on the hood. I also found an awesome dark brown leather jacket for cooler weather, but not like -40 weather. So I got a crazy deal on my leather jacket, and my Pukavik. Got both of them for less than the price the church said I would end up paying for my pukavik alone.
I'm doing well, and working hard! I wouldn't be nearly as well prepared without the help of my MTC teachers, Sister O'Niel, and Brothers Mansfield and Rutter.
Miss you all and hope you're doing well!
Elder Benjamin Moore
Elder Benjamin Moore