Monday, January 16, 2012

Don't Stop Believing

Hey! How's it going? It's been a very busy, interesting week. So we didn't get to see Zhenia all week until Sunday. We decided to move his baptism back a week. It's tough, because I most likely won't be here for it now, but we'll see. He needs a little more time, but he's still doing really well. The branch president is really excited about him and his family and everyone really likes him.

So I don't really know what's going on with visa trip, if it will be different with everyone there. All I know is that we are going to be gone this Thursday and Friday. Our district had interviews with President this week, and as I was walking out of the interview, he said to Sister Olga in the office, why don't we make Elder Topham the leader of all the groups for the visa trip. Great... so apparently we are splitting up into sub groups. So hopefully I won't really have to do anything because there will be plenty of people there who have been there a lot more than me.

The interview with president went awesome as always, I always leave those really pumped up.

Transfers are next week, but we don't know about them, and might not find out until after visa trip, so I should know by next email.

I went on exchanges with two of the elders in my district this week, so that is always a nice change of pace.

I had a much better experience with the post office. Last week after email we were walking by a different post office, and I decided to pop in. Went straight up to the counter, asked the lady for envelopes to America, she gave them to me and she might have even smiled for a second. I was out the door in 30 seconds. All I know is I'm going to that post office next time for sure.

We had another fun experience this week. Our district is doing a music night this Tuesday to try to get some new people into our church building and to talk to us. To kinda advertise for it, we six elders divided into two groups of 3 and went to different parts of the big park, where a lot of people are. For about an hour, 2 elders sang and one would hand out flyers and talk about the music night. There's a government rule that we can't do anything outside with more than 3 people at a time or else they will arrest us or something, or else we probably would have all done it together... anyway I readily volunteered to be the flier hander outer for my group, so Elders Hyde and Hoggan sang for a while and I was talking to people. Elder Hyde got kinda tired and they kinda started running out of songs. They could have gone back to hymns, but people weren't super into those, we got the best reactions when we just sang regular songs in English.. Anyway, I took a turn with Elder Hoggan (who is really into theater and musicals and could have gone all day) and I was actually surprised how fun it was. We did a few English hymns and we even did a duet rendition of "Don't Stop Believing." Elders Hyde and Hoggan sang a song from Wicked and Hercules, and at one point Elder Hoggan did a couple solos and both Elder Hyde and I were on the flyers. It was really fun, and only slightly awkward. The police only came one time, and I just answered a few questions and stared him down and he left us alone. The only down side was that it was freezing cold that day, way colder than the days preceding and I couldn't feel my hands or feet by the time we were done. A lady came up to us trying to give us money. She's like, "Why are you out here when it's so cold, here take this so you can go inside." And I was like, " No, just come to the music night." It was really funny and really cold.

Hmm, what else? We had another interesting meeting setting. I was with Elder Hoggan, and a former investigator invited us out to a place where he worked, but it was an apartment so we were confused. We got there and called him, he was gone and said he would be back in 10 minutes, and a Muslim guy answered the door and let us in. Turns out the two of them are working there doing remodeling so we taught a little lesson two these two guys sitting on some paint buckets in this little construction site apartment, but it went pretty well. And they were really nice. The Muslim guy is from Uzbekistan. They were both really nice, gave us tea that we had to awkwardly refuse and just drink the hot water to make it less awkward, and some candy so it was cool.

So it's up to you Mom, but as far as I'm concerned you can tell Matthew that he can use my computer, but only for the Rossetta Stone program, and he just has to be careful with it. But it's up to you, you can decide what you want him to do and tell him to do that, whatever you want.

We have leadership training this week on Wednesday and I'm really excited for that. President wants me to give a 10 minute presentation on language study plans. I think he picked two other elders to do the same thing. It will be easy because that's something I'm really into, language study time is the part of the day that I look forward to the most usually.

Well, love you, Mom. Great job on seminary and to be honest I don't remember some/most of those references you made last letter, so maybe I should spend some more time in the Old Testament.

Elder Topham