thanks everybody who sent letters or packages, especially this week: the Michael Bradshaw family! i loved the bread and honey butter, and notes. thanks kaylee's friend who i don't know but took the time to write me a letter. from what brat pierce (brian?) said, he got the same at the mtc. thanks! also, thanks for the other packages, i am loving the junk food, and my beautiful gray sweater. it has gotten me through many cold nights here, and cold mornings waiting in line for breakfasts.
next, and infinitely more importantly (sorry): flight plans! ! ! ! i am very excited to announce that i am almost sure that i leave this country on tuesday, the 31st as planned. of course, there is a chance this won't happen, but it is almost sure. i fly from salt lake to new york city, to austria, straight to donetsk. so here is the plan. IF i go next tuesday, i can call from new york, where my biggest layover is. we were trying to figure it out, the time zones and such, and this is our best guess. we are in ny for about 2 hours 20 minutes. in utah time this is about 1:30 pm to 3:50, we think. our other layover in austria is a bit less than 2 hours. and we think it is like at 12:30 to 2:30 am utah time. plus, in europe, so not much chance to call. this is all we know so far.
if i don't call you on tuesday, then my visa isn't here, or letter of invitation, or whatever. and i will email you then and let you know what is up. we went and talked to the travel office today for some news on the bizniss, and what they said was this: they put in our names for temporary reassignment, because they didn't think our visas were going to be here on time. THEN, they found out they are on their way, so cancelled our temp reassignments. but they don't know exactly when they will be here, so they don't know if we are really going to leave on tuesday. but no more than a few days late, if that. on friday, we find out for sure, so we are all pretty tense. but it is better than not knowing anything. PRAY FOR US.
i think i'm going to send a package home, like on saturday or something, and i will let you know what happened. along with the extra weight not allowed on the planes.
things i need... i don't think i want another sweater thing, but thanks. i can't really think of anything i 'need', plus, we are under some strict weight constraints. apparantly we are going to want peanut butter, they tell us. and i think that maybe some of those delicious white cream bar things would be well received. you are the best!
the missionaries kotorie are going to the kiev mission are all being delayed for like four days because of, oddly enough, the temple. the mission president is too busy to deal with them. those poor suckers.
what happened this week... we hosted the new elders. it was interesting, reliving those terrible memories, watching families being ripped apart, then trying to get the new elder all pumped up. fun just relaxing, showing them around, giving smoe advice, but not fun watching them say goodbye. not cool. but we get to do it again tomorrow, so i'm super pumped. oh yeah, i've seen jake a couple times, i got the hug you sent. he seems to be doing well, he was telling me he wanted to go already. i just started yelling at him. well not really but i told him how it was. give it more weeks, buddy. no, it was good to see him. i guess the harts saw me? should have yelled my name or something.
oh yeah, and what the crazy, allison's boyfriend. i saw him again yesterday and talked to him a bit about it. i approve, allison, he seems like a good guy. he was a good help, actually, at the fake teaching appointment. he seems like he will be a good teacher, too bad i won't be here for him. i almost wish i could stay an extra month. well no.
hm. sunday i saw napoleon dynamite. he was randomly sitting in the lunchroom right by where we usually eat. we were all freaking out. his voice is normal, sadly. and then he walked away. best part of the whole week. should've gotten his autograph.
we haven't really been learning much russian, just practicing old stuff, and memorizing scriptures. article of faith 13, that was a doozy. not as hard as i expected. we now know 2,3,4,5,6, and 13. plus some other scriptures. i like memorizing stuff, it is a much easier way to learn vocab, and put them in context. plus you can quote parts of them, and you can know it is grammatically correct, something you can never assume elsewhere. i really think the only next step is immerssing myself into russian completely. we have other grammar to learn i guess, but i think i have the fundamentals pretty well. now i just need to learn how to speak in practice, not just theory like we have been doing.
which is the point of syl, but that has been failing pretty hard. it is just too easy to speak english, so we start off strong, then gradually lapse back into english. once we don't have a choice but to speak russian, we will do better, but for now, we, i don't know, maybe it is just laziness. but yeah, i feel like i've hit a brick wall, and i need to go to ukraine to further progress.
well, da svidanya, i'll talk to you soon!
love, elder brimley