Monday, April 23, 2012

Sorry I forgot my camera, so no pictures this week.

So earlier this week the new missionaries came in. This time it was only 2 elders and a sister. It was pretty messed up because one of the elders got his visa delayed by a day, so he came in a day later and it was tough for us to do the traditional orientation, but we basically just did the same thing anyway and didn't let him go to sleep when he landed and just sent him out on a train with his trainer that night. This rotation two sisters went home, Holmes and Clark. So now we have 63 total missionaries: 8 are sisters, 14 are seniors, although 4 seniors go home this week with no replacements. So yeah, it's a really small mission personnel wise. There are 2 full MTC groups ahead of me, and then only a couple scattered ones older than that. I guess they just called so few for that year because nobody was going home around that time.

Tell Rob thanks for the Email and to expect a letter.

Then this is particularly for Dad but interesting for anyone I guess: We will get more missionaries when we get Kazakhstan because that whole mission is dissolving. The president has to give all of his missionaries up, either to us in Kazy, to the Baltic Mission in Belarus, or to the Moscow Mission in the country surrounding Moscow.

So I guess the other exciting thing that happened this week is that we were in Omsk yesterday. That was sweet, it was a really quick trip. President and Sister Gibbons were going down there just for the day with the primary purpose of interviewing a senior couple who is going home. He suggested that we come along because we have both never been there. It was sweet because to Omsk is an overnight train ride. So it was crazy, we left Saturday night at 9:30, got in Sunday morning around 7:00. Elder Anderson and I went to the Elder's apartment who work in the smaller branch there. We studied, went to church, and worked the evening with them. Then got back on a train last night at 10:00 and we were here at 6:00 this morning. (I guess the train made fewer stops on the way back). But the train was awesome! My first legit Trans Siberian Railroad experience. We were lucky because we got to go in the same car as the Gibbon's and they had a nice coupe, so we got the nice coupe next to them (the nice coupe's only have 2 beds). So yeah it was a good trip, I slept a little at home this morning because the consecutive nights on the train had worn me out quite a bit.

Well I guess I really don't know what else to say... This is cool. At the last General Conference one of the Area General Authorities that was sustained was Uri Gushin. He comes from our branch here in Novo, he's the mission driver, he's a little guy and he had a mustache and he looked like Mario, but the church had him shave it off to be a GA. Anyway, it's awesome that he's a general authority now because we are friends and its cool that someone from way out here has that kind of calling.

Well other than that things are just kind of moving along. We've been seeing little progress lately with people in our area. It's kind of hard only being able to devote part of our time proselyting in our area, (granted it still is a significant amount of time to proselyte) just because your mind is kind of split on other things and we haven't seemed to really get our area going like I thought we would have by now. Just still struggling to find good investigators. I don't have anything to complain about obviously, because we get to do a bunch of other stuff that I've never dreamed about doing and it's not boring, but the days that we find that we have open for just work in our area, for whatever reason, don't seem that successful, I don't know its hard to describe. Maybe I'm getting spoiled by doing other things. It looks like this week we will have very little AP stuff and hopefully we can kind of jump start the area and then after that I can feel better about it.

I discovered that I really like a street food here and I've been eating it at every chance possible. It's called shaurma. It comes from these street vendors who are all from the Stan's - what do you call that? South West Asia? Anyway, it's kinda like that Greek thing, they have this big thing of meat being roasted and they just shave off the meat as they need it. Then then make you this burrito type thing with the meat, it's more Middle Eastern tasting than Mexican of course but it's awesome.

Well Everyone have a good week. Love you.