Monday, March 3, 2014

Transfer from Tomsk to Omsk

Hello Hello! 

The day has come. I'm less than three hours away from leaving Tomsk. I've been here since the beginning of August, and now just about seven months later I'm packed up and ready to leave. We got transfer calls this week, but there's a story to it. Elder Aubrey is really big into speculating about transfers. Pretty much calling out every single possibility for every missionary in the mission. On our phone, there is a "fake call" setting. When I was back serving with Elder Nelson and Reynolds, Elder Reynolds set it up to be from "President Gibbons. So Thursday and Friday I used it a few times on Elder Aubrey. He's be like "This is it!" answer it and there would just be static. He didn't catch on at all so I kept doing it every once in a while. President was supposed to be making calls on Thursday and Friday, but he was in Turkey for some mission president seminar for the week. (random, eh?) We didn't get a call until Saturday morning when we were helping the other Tomsk Elders move apartments. It started ringing, and he says it's President. I think...well this time it wasn't me! Elder Aubrey just expected it to be like all the other ones so when President started talking back to him it was a big surprise. 

I am being transferred to OMSK. Tomsk without the T. Omsk is a train city! So I get to take an eight-hour train ride from Novosibirsk to Omsk on Wednesday night. I'm going to be serving with Elder Zhitkov and Elder Prince in a tri-panionship. Elder Prince is three transfers older than I am and is the District Leader over in Omsk. Elder Zhitkov is a Russian from Moscow and came into the field at the same time as Elder Prince. Elder Zhitkov is huge! When I say huge, I mean he is literally a Russian Shot Putter who plans on making the Olympic team for the next Summer games. Elder Prince and Zhitkov have already been together for two transfers so it'll be interesting to see how I'll come into the mix. My first native companion though, so I plan on taking some big steps with the language this next transfer!! 

I'm excited for Omsk. My first day in Russia when we were all at President Gibbon's house, he showed us all of the cities, and Omsk was the one I wanted to go to! I'll be taking the Trans-Siberian railroad to get there! Omsk will be a big change. TOMSK is a city of about 500,000 people, and OMSK had about 1.2 million. There are two branches in Omsk. One on each side of the river that runs down the middle of the city. I'm starting to notice that most of the cities here are made on a river. 

My transfer was predicted. I bought this little wooden souvenir of the big I <3 TOMSK sign that's in the center of the city. It's cut out of a thin piece of wood and stands up. It was on my desk, and about a week ago, I threw a highlighter onto my desk and it knocked off the T, turning my "I <3 TOMSK" sign into an "I <3 OMSK" sign. 

Elder Aubrey will be training a new missionary in Tomsk. He's freaking out a little bit. He'll make a good trainer though! They're taking one set of sisters out of Tomsk for at least the next transfer. So there will only be two sets of elders and one set of sisters.

The Ukrainians in our mission all have to go back to Ukraine in this next month. We have three of them serving here. Sister Tsimbol, Elder Yatsook, and Elder Evanov. There is some civil war going on in Ukraine and especially in Kiev and I'm assuming that's the reason that they have to leave Russia. I have a friend serving in the center of Kiev right now. He emailed me saying that his apartment is two blocks away from the Central square where all the riots are happening. This last week, he was locked up in his apartment for five and a half days. Sounds like the missionaries are all doing fine, except for going nuts from being inside all the time. I've got another friend in L'viv and she said that there have been riots breaking out there as well. The president there has been impeached, and they are holding elections soon. That's about all I know about it though. The members here keep talking about it and all the missionaries get bits of information here and there through emails. 

Yesterday was my last Sunday at church here, and I got up to bear my testimony one last time. I went right after Sister Summers who is also leaving and when I got up there, before I even said anything, Sister Margarita Zhelnorovich starts trying to talk with me from the congregation as I'm up on the pulpit to find out if I was leaving too. It was kinda funny. It took a little longer than usual to get out of the church. The Usanova family wanted a bunch of pictures. Olga is the mother and Sonja and Misha are the kids. They're pretty awesome! After Church, we went to the Elder's new apartment and had a housewarming party...our excuse to get to together and make tacos. From there, we went to Margarita Zhelnorovich's house along with all of the missionaries and Nikolai. The Zhelnorovich family has Margarita, Vova and Larica. Everytime missionaries move out, they have a little FHE type thing and give the leaving missionaries a Russian book. They're great. 

We also went to a museum on Saturday in the middle of Tomsk. I bought a big old map that I might end up mailing home so Dad can laminate it for me. :) I think Janny would have a fun time looking at it. :) 

Well... That's what's going on here. I know you all just care about the pictures anyways so I'll wrap it up and start on all the pictures! There are a lot.

The District

A temple near the other elder's new place

 A tower right next door to the Elder's new place

Shashliki! I got the Pork Shishkabob at an Uzbekistanian Restaurant

  The Museum

The Police Post that we were put into a few weeks back.

Misha and Sonja.
 A burnt down house. 
The Olympic Torch!

Love and miss you all! 

Elder Moore

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