Monday, June 9, 2014

One Year Thoughts

Happy P-Day, my friends, 

June 5th, was one year since I entered the MTC!

Well the bad news is, no new apartment for us. The one we had lined up fell through. Surprise! So we're stuck for a while. My motivation to move is dying down...even though our kitchen is 4 feet by 4 feet with an oven that doesn't work.

Well, who needs a good kitchen anyways, when you can just go dine with the monks! Last Tuesday, we went with Rudeslav, the Walker's taxi driver on another little excursion. We went to another monistery out in the township. They let us photograph inside the temple which never really happens, so you'll get a treat! Rudeslav is a great guy. He didn't even play Ramstein in the car on the way there this time. We toured the monastery, and visited the "Holy Spring" a few miles away. The water is known to cure cancer, and other illnesses. We got there, and it was just a little creek, with slowly moving water. Rudeslav was swearing by it, but we thought it best not to drink the Russian run-off. We went back to the temple to ask where a little restaurant was to eat lunch at. They said that there wasn't a good one in the village for Americans to go to, but then invited us to eat with them in the monistery! It was quite the experience. How many Americans, or missionaries have eaten with Russian Orthodox monks? Lunch started at exactly 12 with a prayer that they all said. Throughout the meal, nobody talked, but there was a priest in the corner reading from a Bible. Lunch ended at exactly 12:15 and they all went back to their different jobs.

The really great part of it all was when we were driving back into town. Rudeslav wanted to trade pictures, so we took him up to the Walker's apartment to swap files. While the Walkers were doing their thing on the computer, I got to show Rudeslav the photo album that Christy had made for me for the Christmas before my mission. With all the pictures in front of the temples form Abbey's weddings, and the picture of the Salt Lake City temple on the back, it was easy to testify about Eternal Families and the Plan of Salvation. Rudeslav then told me about how he had also lost his mother just a few months back. We left him with things to ponder, and read. A couple days later, we were over at the Walkers, and they said that Rudeslav had driven them to get groceries, and he wants his 17-year-old son to meet us all. These may not seem like big steps, but they are!!

Some of you have been asking about fast foods, and shopping centers here. In Omsk, we have Burger King, KFC, and TGI Fridays. Other places like Novosibirsk we have Papa Johns, and Carl's Jr. Every Zone conference, the mission drops bank on Papa Johns for everyone.

As far as shopping for groceries, there are a few big-name stores like Lenta, Metro, and MEGA which are between like a Super Walmart and a Sam's Club. We don't have any of those close by, so we got to the smaller stores that are a little more expensive. One thing Russians love is mayonnaise. Go to the chips and salsa and soda isle in Walmart, and take all that off the shelves and fill them back up with mayonnaise and you'll have turned it into a Russian grocery store. 

During studies one Morning, we smelled gas in our apartment. Checked the stove and heaters. Couldn't figure it all out until we looked out the window and saw a big gas tanker. He must have been leaking a bunch of gas because we're up on the 4th floor, quite a ways off.

We had a lesson with Chris this week, and really got her to open up and share her beliefs. We're hoping to get her to the Russian Youth Conference next month. She's best friends with the youth, and all of the missionaries. Yesterday, Sunday, she came to church! Showed up right after Sacrament meeting, but she came! Had good thoughts in Sunday school as well. 

Sunday after church we usually go home and get our meal time and a little more study time in before going out for the night. Today we had about 10 minutes to eat before going on splits. Elder Hancock went with Denis to buy groceries for a sister who takes a 3-hour bus ride to make it to church. I went with Vanya to drop by a few less-actives on the outskirts of town. None of them let us in, but we left Liahonas (monthly magazine). Brother Nikiforov met up with us right after that and we went to visit Baba Varvara Glushko who has been home bound for some time. She's the greatest. Hoping to make it to church one of these weeks. She will turn 90 in December! 

So just like that I'm old. Halfway through. I feel good about the next year. Mostly because I can actually communicate with people! Russian is a hard language. A lot harder than German was. It's a relief to be past the "you're a stupid foreigner" stage and onto the "You can actually speak Russian!" phase. 

The best stories, and adventures I'm sure are yet to come. 

Miss and love you all, 

Elder Moore


Well I guess that was my week. 

Have a fantastic week!! 

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