Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Dang, It's been a month already!!!

Dang, Its been a month already, what the heck is going on? I think that no matter what I am going to have to buy a coat today because everyone says its going to be cold very soon. Dang Sister Watterson, you are the best! I can’t wait to get the scarf!
I'm eating very well and I feel great...ummm I probably eat too much chocolate. we have an entire cupboard full of kinder egg toys (50 or so), oh and my shirts turned way blue because there was a sock that I left in the washer, so I got some bleach today and hopefully they will come out white...I don’t know how many colors those shirts have been..
I got a haircut this morning...all I really knew how to say is that I wanted it I got it shorter, much shorter...let’s just say the scar in the back of my head is fully visible...I will take a picture and next week find a computer that I can upload my photos onto and send them to you, hopefully...

Right after sacrament meeting on Sunday I went on a split with Elder Wight up to Padolsk, this little city about an hour south of Moscow. We had some good meetings the night before, but the next day all of our meetings fell through and we ended up walking across the entire city of padolsk and then street contacting for English club, which went very well. And then we went back and one of the ward members at he central building had made a meal for us and it was good spaghetti and meatballs. And that’s about it for my split. Oh and I realized that I have never been tracting. Weird huh? A month on my mission and 0 tracting. Thats like what I had always thought missionary work would be like, but it’s totally not, because there are way more effective ways to do the work. For example meeting with members and asking for referrals and English club and such...English club is tonight and I’m way excited. My goal is to invite three people to either church or to meet with us after the meeting.
Oh so quick story:
We went to a bob's dome (babushka's house) and gave her a short lesson and then she offered us some raisin looking things that were sitting on her window sill. I should have known not to eat it, after pulling off a wad of human hair, but I ate it and it had a nasty pit in it, it was like eating a bone and it had a way strong nasty taste...haha and after I ate that, the tea tasted really good...oh yeah they drink tea with everything...
anyways, gots ta go, I love it here i love you all!
Love Elder Paul

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Baptismal Dates and a Sick (literally) Companion

Mailing Information from Mitch:

Okay, here is the mission address:
Russia Moscow Mission
Glavpochtmant a/ai257
Moscow 101000

That should be good for packages, but as far as sending regular mail you might want to use pouch mail, its much faster. Pouch mail takes about two weeks to get here, and regular mail takes at least twice as long. It might be another month before i get your letter. Elder Nielson got a package yesterday that was sent in june, six days before i even went into the MTC!
Pouch Mail address(in case you dont have it)
Elder Mitchell Paul
Russia Moscow Mission
PO Box 30150
Salt Lake City, UT

Pouch mail requirements are something like no envelopes and you fold it three ways (one paper) taped. a good thing to do is to print out a bunch of pictures on a paper and send that in pouch mail. Russians Love Pictures.

Mitch's Letter: you might want to send me my christmas presents now so that they arrive around Christmas time...just sayin. This last few days has been nuts! Elder Nielson got deathly ill (probably from all the pears that we have been eating off the street) and that lasted until this morning, he is feeling a lot better now, so we should be back on our game by tomorrow. Too much time in the apartment is never a good thing, but i got a lot of work done, which is good.
We got two baptisimal dates last week, which was awesome. One of them is Our man Arman...this way cool African guy from Benine who is here studying to be a doctor for 10 years. We gave him the first Lesson in English and we miraculously had a BOM in french at our apartyment that we gave to him because his native language is french. Why in the world did we have a French BOM in our flat? Just a little miracle, no big deal. He agreed to be baptized in the first lesson!
So we have been working a lot outside of moscow in some cities called Lobnia and Dolga Prudnie, and we have been seeing lots of good stuff there, and President decided to open a new area there, which is totally awesome! I hope that i get to serve there cuz i already know lots of great members and investigators out there. We call it Miracle City.
The language is kickin my butt pretty hard...elder ablett still isnt here yet, so im the only missionary in the whole mission who can’t speak Russian! I think I am going to do SYL with elder Nielson pretty soon, and that will help. Besides that I just need to talk with everyone.
Well that’s all I can really think of this week,if you could send me a package with some classical musick CD's that would be superb!
Maybe i will buy a coat today...
Until Next Time,
Love you all!
Elder Paul

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Kiss from the Babushka and a Death Threat from the Man in Black

This week went by fast, but it still feels like i have been here for two months. Still no baptismal commitments this week, but our goal is three for next week. I'm excited because this area is really taking off right now.
I don’t know when the first snow is but it doesn’t start to stay on the ground until November i think. But for right now the weather is perfect. We went to the Reenik both P-days now and it’s an outdoor market. I got a little leather bag for my kneega mormona. I guess that’s the popular thing over here is like a purse-like bag for the guys. I think the fashion here is actually a lot better than that in the US. No big deal.
JUANCHO! I'm so STOKED for you! You are going to be an awesome missionary! Love you man.
...dang, Honduras...
ummmmm...oh yeah. I was on the metro and this guy dressed all in black with pretty much only sideburns and not much other hair on his head stared me down. when i walked by he stopped me and checked out my tag and then motioned for me to walk away. I looked back at him and he pointed at me and then moved his finger across his neck, threatening to kill me. he got out of the metro at our stop and stood in front of the door and motioned for us to go fight him or something. we just stayed on the metro and laughed as the doors closed. the guy was such a joker and no real threat, and we didn’t see him again, but I can’t help but think what would have happened if we got out...but other than that one guy, everyone is very nice. A Babushka (accent on the first A) saw that I was serving a church, and it doesn’t matter what church it is, she grabbed me and gave me a big kiss.
Elder Nielson is a stud and we are on a roll right now. I made blanc mange and it was great, but we had to substitute root beer flavoring for the vanilla extract. If there is anything you can send me once i get the address to you, it would have to be vanilla extract.
The food is great and I am getting plenty of it. Sharma is probably my favorite. It’s like a Russian burrito that they sell on the street and its way good. Some people say not to eat from the vendors off the street, but I think it’s a bunch of balogna.
I think I am going to buy a coat next week, and i cant think of what else to say.
The work is hard, and right now, for me the language is harder than anything, but I know it will come.
I love the work and I love the Lord, and it’s incredible to see people and be a part of people coming closer to Christ. I Love you all, and thank you for all of your love and support.
Until next time,
From Moscow with love
Elder Paul

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Missionary work is great, and so are kinder eggs and 4% milk!

So my trainer's name is Elder Nielsen and he's totally great. He is from Georgia and he has been on the mish for about a year now. He is one of the best elders in the mission, is what everyone says. Our apartment number is, of course, 13. I am serving in the Rechnoy district and there are 6 elders and 2 sisters in my district. Our apartment is great, we have AC and a nice little kitchen with a few roaches and a good shower. Elder Nielson sleeps on the couch and I have a nice mattress on the floor. We ride the metro everywhere and travel time kind bites, but it’s a good way to meet people and share our message. My first day with a companion we had English club which is a really effective way to get new investigators. This first week has been really exciting. We have met several new potential investigators just in the past couple of days. I'm so stoked about this work. Everyone says that people here don’t smile, but that’s totally just stereotype. Everyone is way nice, you just have to break the ice. The food is great, especially chooda, which is a yogurt drink. Also, Elder Nielson and I have had about 20 kinder eggs in the past 5 days. 4% milk is really good, I can’t wait to try 6%.
As far as the language goes, I’m not very good. But it is getting significantly easier to understand. Elder Nielson is a pro at the language and some people even thought he was Russian.
Right now I am in an internet cafe somewhere near our branch building which is called the central building. Everyone freaks out when I tell them that I am from Las Vegas, it’s pretty funny. We were handing out English fliers the other day outside of our metro station and we got to know a couple of the people that sit there with a sign on their chest looking for work. Marina and Michael. She is from Ukraine and he is from Armenia. We taught them about the gospel and then we were talking about food, and we told them we would bring them American food. So next day we brought them grilled cheese sandwiches. We are planning on inviting them both to church next time we see them. Also..yesterday we went all the way out to Lobnia to have a lesson, and we knew it was for a reason, that the Lord had someone for us to meet. On our way back after having a lesson with a crazy baptist preacher and the nicest Lady Loobov, which means love, we bumped into Valeria. He is an old man about 60 with a50 year old girlfriend and he has a huge WOW problem. He walked up to us and said something in broken english and then said he had to go and walked away. It was weird. Elder Neilson and I looked at each other and said "What would Bednar do?" we ran after him and talked to him and he invited us to his place and we set up another appointment with him. So much is happening in the mission right now, it’s a great time to serve in Moscow. Got to go now I only have an hour on the computer.

Keep me updated on whats goin on, i love to hear from you.
Love you all!
Elder Paul