Well Hello again!
This week was a fast one. We had very few meetings, but still had a lot to do. The Petersons, a Senior couple that lives in Novosibirsk, came into Omsk to get their Kazakh visas. They came in on the morning train and left that same evening so we were with them for most of Thursday. They don't speak much or any Russian so we helped them with all of that. While everything was being worked out, we brought them to some places in Omsk for them to see. So I finally made it over to the big Russian Orthodox temple in the center. I'm sending lots of pictures of that.
The record updates for all the members in our branch had to be done by the 30th. All that had to be done was for the branch clerk to enter all the information and move out a bunch of records from the branch. Well, he was busy and didn't really understand how important it was to get done, so we went in and did it and that took up a good chunk of time. Now they're all updated though! Working with the members is a lot easier with a good branch list. We have 215 members on our branch list here in Omsk.
One of the youth, Ivan Akulov (19), was ordained an Elder on Sunday. Elder Zhitkov and I sat in on the ordination.
We had exchanges with the other Elders this week. I was with Elder Riordan in the South area (ours) while Elders Zhitkov and Foster were up in the center area.
I got a bunch more questions from Tyler and Caroline this week so those are down below. I guess I also guilt-tripped a bunch of you because more of you than usual emailed me!
So now I have a little less time than usual. Have a great week.
These are all from Tyler!
What is your favorite Russian food?
I really like Borscht. But the recipe I use is from a Ukranian Sister. There are also these little hotdog things wrapped in bread that you can get all over the place that are pretty good.
All the Russians are celebrating that the Crim is theirs again. Elder Zhitkov was pretty excited.
Nope. I've never gotten inside from tracting, but we're usually busy enough that we don't need to tract very often. We have had little successes with people actually talking with us!
Pretty much all we do on P-Day is email and shop for food. Sometimes we'll do something adventurous. With Elder Zhitkov we go to the Gym every week.
Yes, we all have cellphones as companionships. The Zone Leaders and Assistants, along with the Sister Training leaders have two cellphones for their companionship. They have a jackpot of minutes for each city that all the phones in that city just pull from. The office reloads the jackpots when they're getting low. I guess on Christmas an elder called home with the cellphone and drained the jackpot. The city was out of minutes and couldn't use their phones for a few days.
All he eats is Buckwheat and lentils... we buy food separately.
Almost never. I've eaten at a members house maybe five times total. Usually they just feed us something. We've never had a sit down meal like the missionaries do in America.
I eat a lot of Ramen noodles. Different pastas, Chicken Stroganoff, cereal. Nutella sandwiches... When we splurge and buy Nutella.
Hmmm... Should I come down to Chile for my next Visa trip?? CHRISTY!
It's going to be a Girl.. I've already decided.
Did you know Calvin has a pet hamster and Ryan was recently baptized?: Yes and Yes... Is the hamster still alive?
Did you know James bought a $2000 camera/lens and got married?:
As for the camera lens.. "to everyone their own" The translation of a Russian saying that we hear a lot contacting. They use it in the meaning that everyone just believes what they believe...so leave us alone.
Did you know Dad left the US? He, AnnaMarie and Abbey had a great time in Mexico for 4 days at a Rotary conference.:
The 2015 one will be in Germany and Dad'll bring me with...right? :)
I also heard that you yanked it out!
Elder Topham who trained my trainer here is on the practice team there. Whenever President Gibbon's talked about him he's say. "This is Elder Topham... he dunked on Jimmer". He only swatted him but still.
Yes! But sadly I will never get down there.
I didn't know. I've ridden between Omsk and Novosibirsk a few times! Sometimes I see people who are foreigners "backpacking" across Russia. I always think "Well, backpacking across Russia isn't as fun as you thought it would be now is it?"
Did you know, in Russia, men never give an even amount of flowers to a women? It is considered bad luck and is associated with funerals.:
Yeah, I always try counting the number of flowers as the guys walk by. There are flower stands on every corner here. I don't know how they all stay in business...especially in the middle of the winter.
Did you know Russians will never shake hands over a doorway? It is believed to be a bad omen and most Russians are convinced the action will lead to an argument.:
Yep...I forgot and tried it once and they didn't shake my hand, but came outside the door frame to shake it.
Did you know Michael/Caroline/Ryan and Spencer are planning a week long canoe trip to the boundary waters? Don't you think Dad should go? That sounds like his kind of thing! :
Dad can just meet them out there in the motorhome. :)
Do you think we should wait for you to get back to do the Moore family vacation or do it the week before you get home?
A few more from Caroline:
-Have you had anything really, truly awful that you were given to eat?:
We're not given much to eat, but there are things I see and stay away from. Like whole frozen baby pigs hanging from the shacks with a price sharpied onto it.
Milk here is refrigerated. Comes in weird little bags that kinda stand up, cheaper milk comes in plastic pouches, good milk comes in plastic bottles or cartons. None of them taste as good as milk back home.
I don't dream that often, but when I do it's either or. And depending on who I'm talking to determines what language I think/formulate my sentences in. Mostly English though.
From Elder Zhitkov "American is...a big Hamburgers and coke, fat, lazy, and foolish, American not know information about simple things. And American likes America, Everywhere is American flag and all Americans rich. Everybody in American rich." There ya have it. Right from a Russian.
Do you feel like it's up to you to prove them wrong? :
Not really. It's more about extinguishing false ideas about Mormons.
Is that fun or annoying or both? Both?? I don't know.
Pictures:Muddy Spring time
A couple of churches in Omsk
All the youth at youth night in the Branch
The Petersons. They are on a mission over the Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk and Vladivostok missions as Auditors. They travel to all the branches in all three missions and are centered in Berdsk which is right outside of Novosibirsk.
The Big temple in the center.
That's it for this week!