(Note: Derek got a few speeding tickets just before he left on his mission. We got a letter from the driver's license folks saying Derek was supposed to show up for a hearing or his license would be revoked. I called them up and explained that Derek is in the MTC, and they were very very firm that Derek had to be the one to come in or call to make things right. We called the MTC and gave the information for him to call the DMV. Well, Derek was given permission to give us a quick call to find out any more about it before he called the driver's license people. So we (Steve, Mary, Nate, and Anna) got to talk to him for about 5 minutes on the phone.)
called the government. "it's all good". oh man, and it was awesome to hear all your voices! i realized how much i miss all of you. not homesick miss, but just wanting to talk and be around all of you. does that make sense? i don't want to come home. i want to move far, far away. but i miss you.
and a special thanks to: grandparents! awesome letter. love hearing about whats up, thanks. the serafine family! loved all the letters, and the cookies, and the swedish fish. especially the swedish fish. and the letters. love the support and love. and even kelli, got your letter today! thanks so much! what a lovely surprise. and sister lisonbee! how did you know i loved chocolate covered strawberries? that was the best thing i've tasted in a long time. thanks the bernards! you are the best people in the world! everyone else who sent me letters, thanks!
we tried out a "game" for syl, (speak your language) it kind of worked for a while, with punishments for speaking english and rewards for speaking russian. no time to explain, but it kind of worked. we also had an syl meeting, for the last two weeks we are supposed to syl sto pratsentive. it was weird, the dude didn't mention syl once. it was actually really weird. he talked a lot about faith, and being reverent, and humble, and we talked about Jesus raising lazarus, and at the end he said very quietly, "you know when you should speak russian. should you speak russian in comp study? you know when you should speak russian." i was expecting like a motivational something. they got us all excited about it. i don't know. i feel less inclined to speak my language now.
in better news, we memorized the 4th and 5th articles of faith this week. that was helpful, hopefully somewhere in the future. we taught a lesson in russian earlier today (brat Toone, know him, garrett?), just a random fake investigator, and i felt like i could say a lot that i wanted. but i understand that i can't really say that much. i can just say partially what i want to about the plan of salvation. but to have some random conversation with a real person is totally different. and understanding native russians is much more difficult than our teachers, who slowly enunciate everything in a nice american accent for us. i think they should pair everyone up at the beginning with a native russian. i could have learned so much more if they did that.
i finished the book of mormon, did i mention that last time? i've read it before obviously, but not here. awesome stuff. i am now reading the new testament primarily, along with D&C and the kniga mormona. i'm loving it. i've never liked reading scriptures for hours each day as much as i do here. which everybody says, but it's totally true.
i now have a connection with all the teachers. sister jensen played the violin at our russian concert first semester. crazy stuff. oh and this random dude in the lunch line started asking me where i was from. apparently he was in my 3rd grade class, though i don't remember him. but he remembered me and knew a bunch of people, so i believe him. ah, utah county.
so there are some crazy rumors about the Ukrainian visas: the dude who signs them off is trying to eliminate religion in his country, and isn't letting us in. i heard from several different sources, one a missionary now in ukraine. but apparently its going to be ok, i don't know why. maybe it is just a rumor. i guess we will see. because we get our flight plans this week! probably on thurs or fri. and we get to "host" tomorrow the new missionaries. should be a fun week.
hey, could you send me mail from other missionaries? that would be cool. like adam, zach, jake, spencer, eric, kj, everyone i know. does jake come in tomorrow?
I'm flipping (very) excited to leave here. i like it OK, sometimes. i liked it a lot more when i first got here. i guess that is normal. I've been through like three or four English speaking mtc's. there's a lot i love, like the teachers and the learning and the time, but a lot of the people are crazy, and the schedule is driving me crazy, and the food is delicious and plentiful, but I've eaten it way too much. people keep telling me it gets better in the field. which i believe, but I'm tired of always waiting for my life to improve. like life will be good after high school. but in college i couldn't wait for my mission. now i can't wait to get to Ukraine. what if i won't be able to wait to go back home? hm. it is just all practice here. I'm pretending to teach pretend investigators all the time. everyone is like in role. I'm acting like a missionary, they are acting like teachers, people act like they are investigators, it is getting ridiculous. I'm just ready to go. well not "ready", but I'm ready. panyatna?
oh and I'm jealous of the harry potter land adventures, but, you know, how jealous can a person be who is going to Ukraine? i hope you had some fun.
so apparently they are going to kick me off really soon, i don't know when. if this email stops half sentence you will understand.
Love you all!