Hey there family!
Well those were a fun couple of letters to get and hear how it's goin’ on back at the ranch. It sounds like you were able to have an enjoyable time down at Grandma's and with everyone down in Arizona. I like what you said mom, man we are lucky to have the gospel. There are some things that I don't think we can describe and that's one of them. Especially in Russian. I'm glad it went well and hope you had a good time as well.
It is fun to hear about what is going on, here are a couple pictures of what's been going on in this neck of the woods. The first one was from last week when we were on exchanges with the assistants. I was with Elder Langston and we stop a guy on the street and tell him we’re here as missionaries and help people. He said "oh really, well come with me" and mumbled some mess of Russian that I only caught “grass” from. He takes us back in this little nook and tells us he wants all this weed stuff cleaned outta there and then left! There was some other guy back there pullin’ weeds but he didn't even notice us. Man we were laughin’ so hard. So this is my contribution to the service. I guess we are here to serve after all. The next one, we had to get a picture with the cherry chip cake. This is my new Sergei cap that shields me from the elements. I am a real Russian taxi driver now. We did a pretty good job on the cake I must say, those mixes are tougher than they look. Way to go on the cherry chip, you know me mama. As far as some random stuff goes, we have had some funny eats in the last couple of weeks. It seems like with each companion we go through phases of what we eat. Our thing now is there is this guy that sells stuff on the sidewalk and has these 1000 kg bags of potatoes, so we got one and just make a cauldron of mashed potatoes at night while we talk to the district leaders. It's pretty tasty, we got some stuff to make up some chili and made a large vat of that, so that on top of the potatoes it is so delicious. And it saves us so much time for the rest of the week. Besides that, we seem to throw down a lot of egg sandwich things. Just throw it on bread and call it good. My favorites though are the perojshki things here, I probably told you about that are basically a scone with mashed potatoes. You can get them with meat or other stuff, but the potato ones are so darn good.
As far as the city goes, I will have to think of some fun things for next week. For now, there is a ton of construction starting to go under way because Samara will be one of the cities elected for the Fifa (world soccer championships) to be played at. Pretty cool! Just might be makin’ my way on back here in 2018. And I don't even care for soccer! And I just realized the title of the email....I am not down….but it is a rainy day and a Monday here. The Fall rains like crazy I hear, so we will see!
Well as far as the week goes, it's been just another one in the record books. Elder Brookhousen is really fun to serve with, it is fun to work with someone that's just fearless as he is, and nearing the end of his mission he speaks so well. I've been able to learn a lot. And it's fun to be with a fellow Lone Peak Knight here, keepin’ the blood pure. Ha, but we can share and connect on some stories and stuff. We finally had a chance to meet with that Natasha lady earlier in the week and yesterday and she is so awesome! She has a 10 year old daughter and her husband is getting back from business in Moscow at the end of the week. We are praying hard that he won't be against any of it. She just feels unworthy of baptism right now, but we are so happy to work with her. Very exciting, and not to mention a family! Ya baby! She will get baptised. I also had a chance to hear that Sergei down in Zavodskoy is progressing well towards baptism and even thinking about the mission! Man he's such a bratan! (russian bro) Ha, they are funny with their slang here. It's the good news. We have had somewhere around 1,923 meetings fall through the past week, but it's ok. It's made for some great times on the streets and we have found some way cool people. It's just a matter of them choosing to accept or not.
I am blessed to learn so much here in many different aspects of things. I love it. We also had a chance to do sister interviews here with a couple of the companionships. They are so funny and people just like girls better than us goofy elders. The whole age thing will be so interesting- I don't think that sister missionaries realize the effect that they can have. It's exciting to hear about all the people at home thinking of going. Also, mom and dad- the senior couples do so much here as well. People respect and love having the seniors- not that I'm considering you senior people...yet- but they can also do many things that we can't do- and there is so much to be done. Just sayin’. :)
Well things are just good on the good ol' mission. I am so blessed and happy every day that I can be here. It doesn't go without the downs, but those are drowned out. I don't wanna sugar coat it too much. But what a blessing we have to take part in the work that our Heavenly Father needs done on the earth. I sure love you all and hope all is good. Look forward to next week!