Monday, January 30, 2012

Life in a New City

Hey. Well things have been pretty crazy this last week of course, moving to a new city and getting a new companion.  I'll try to get you some pictures here.  Tomsk is cool, it's a much smaller city than Novo.  It's just really weird, I feel much more isolated here, without the mission office and home, a bunch of missionaries, senior couples, and the metro.  But it's a pretty city.  It's really pretty now, there is snow everywhere and it's still white snow, so that's really cool.  I've had to really bundle up.  I've been wearing two hats and two scarfs, two pair of socks with a warmer in between, but my toes still freeze when I'm outside and sitting on buses for a long time.  But other than that, my clothes have been keeping me pretty warm.  But there is a point where if you are outside for long enough it doesn't matter what you are wearing you still freeze. 
There's a nice branch building and branch here, one of the two actually church built buildings in the mission.  I've been ridiculously tired recently.  I think it's just a combination of three things.  1- being in a new city,  and not being used to things, 2 - the cold just wears on you, and 3 - Now that I'm with a Russian companion, we speak Russian all day, so all day without a break I have to either think in Russian or translate, which is great, I love it, but it gets very, very tiring.
The apartment is good.  It is much bigger than the one we had in Novo. We are on the 7th floor.  It's got a much bigger kitchen, but no oven.  The only problem is that there is junk everywhere.  Mom would die if she walked in there.  Anyway it's just a result of missionaries for years and years leaving their junk there.  Well, it's not really that important. I don't want to spend to much time cleaning it.  We'll probably clean the study/main room, and just stash the junk in areas we don't go. At least for now. 
It's cool, we have like 3 or 4 investigators. Obviously it's not a ton, but it's much better than I've had at times.  Here's a good story. A year ago, a teenage kid Vova, here in Tomsk read something about South Park (either the musical or the episode about the Mormons, I don't exactly know).  He went to the library and asked for a Book of Mormon.  They said they didn't have one but they gave him the address to the church and he was baptized, pretty cool huh?Anyway his friend is our investigator. and he is ready to be baptized too, but his parents haven't given him permission yet.  Then we have a Buddhist guy, we have to take the lessons slow with him, but he's doing well.  Then Ivan is a solid investigator, so it's not bad.

-Elder Topham

The Arhepovi family.  We worked with them in Novo.

Me and Elder Vargin outside the branch building in Tomsk.

Me on an ice thrown on my past Pday in Novo.

Sliding down an ice slide on the same Pday.

Me frozen and dressed up.