Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Hey Everyone!
I'm doing awesome.  First I'll let you know what happened for the 4th of July here.  Thank you very much for the package, Mom.  Elder Fausett also got some decorations in a package so we were able to decorate our classroom which was awesome.  On Saturday night they had a special devotional.  It was a pretty random yet very fun program that included patriotic songs, a speaker, bagpipes and "Praise to the Man."  Not exactly sure where the bagpipes fit into Fourth of July, but praise to the man is awesome with bagpipes, so I'm not complaining.  Then, they let us go outside and watch the fireworks which was really awesome.  We were able to get a really good view from behind our building and we were allowed to stay out passed 10:30 until the fireworks were over which was really awesome.  I'm glad I had that Fourth of July celebration wand that you sent me, because all of my friends knew I had it and were able to find me amid all of the chaos after the devotional.  Sunday night was awesome too.  Dallin H. Oak's daughter, who is like the best violinist in the country or something like that, performed and it was so awesome!
Then on the 4th we had a real celebration where our whole district got together in one of the rooms. And had a minute long celebration that included much fist pumping and shouts of "America" and "USA" and such. It's kind of hard to describe but it was awesome.
I can't remember, did you decide that if I send my memory card you would be able to read it?
Mom: how often should my suits and slacks be dry cleaned?  I should have enough money saved up on my card to get it all done once before I leave if you think that would be good.
Sad story, the gym is closed starting today because they are refinishing the floor... That means I'm stuck outside again for about a week.  That really stinks because the basketball here has been really fun. 
Hey Sam: can you see if you can get Bronston's address through Facebook and dear elder it to me. Thank you.
Everything here has just been pretty awesome.  There's really not much going on new here.  I feel like once I actually get to Russia I'll actually have cool stuff that I can write in my emails that will be interesting.  Elder Fausett and I have our first fake baptism on Saturday haha.  Its for Artyom (Brother Barnes) - I don't really know how to spell that in English letters.  And Katya's (Sister Doty) is a week from Saturday.  Those lessons are always really fun and good practice, but for some reason I think it's much easier than it will be in the real world.  Although like I said, they do shake it up sometimes.  For example, Katya walked out on Elder Davis and Smith's lesson when they told her that our church was the only true one and her baptism wasn't valid, so that was pretty crazy haha. Our lessons usually go pretty smoothly, unless they have weird questions that we don't understand. Like when Artyom asked us about something in 2nd Nephi that I didn't even know how to answer in English.  Those are fun lessons, but I feel like it will be really stressful in the real world when it's not fake and it actually matters if I make a big mistake and don't teach well.  I guess that's why we have senior companions.  
Other than that, please ask me some questions so I know what to write about.
It's cool having the new Russian Elders here and getting to know them a little bit.  They are all great, but they crowd the gym :(
Love you all,
Elder Topham

I'm trying to point where Elder Walker and Harrison are pointing (Novosibirsk)...not St. Petersburg, where Elder Faucett is going.

I could be the poster boy for missionary work.

It's really hard to get the whole district to stay still for, like, 12 cameras.  This is the best I have so far.

Elder Mantell and me.

It's okay, you know I have a forehead, you don't have to see it in the picture.  I like the Elders posing in the background.

That's where I'm going to live for 2 years.

My mission is on both sides of the map!