Hey there fam! I sure miss you all. Wow there's so much that has happened and it's hard to remember to get it all down. Thanks for the emails and all the letters! :) To answer your questions... hopefully I answer all of them: I get dearelder.com letters in the afternoon. Elder Zamora is the district leader so I always go with him to get the mail. That means I'm always the first to get mail in my district. haha!
Russian is super hard but equally exciting. :) Being here at the MTC has made me realize how difficult and absolutely draining missionary work is. I'm exhausted every day and all the days run together. It's hard to remember what day I did what. When things get hard, I remind myself that I'm here for the Lord and the Russian people and that I should be having some fun while serving. That always lifts my spirits and I try to make learning the language fun instead of hard. I had a dream the other night that my mission call got changed to Berlin, Germany and I had to switch districts and start relearning German. I was so devastated because I love learning Russian despite the struggle, and I've really come to love each of the elders in my district. Elder Zamora is amazing and such a cool guy. He has a cast on his right wrist and he gets it off tomorrow morning. We're both excited because we get to see more of the outside world. ;) He is super good at running! He laps me several times when we're running during gym time. Elder Muir and Elder Bangerter are my two other favorite elders in my district. They're both going to Ukraine. Elder Zamora, Winkler, and Johnson are all going to Vlad (to answer your question Mom). Elder Muir is from Reno, Nevada and Elder Bangerter is originally from Mission Viejo, CA but moved to St. George, UT a few years ago. They're both hilarious. So is Elder Harris. He's from S. Jordan, UT. His companion Elder Fanning is from FL! That's pretty exciting cause we both understand stuff about FL. We were talking about the mountains one day, and it reminded me of Mt. Dora and that time we drove over a pretty good hill (uncommon in Florida) and Trev made the funny comment about how that must be Mt. Dora. haha!
On Sunday night, we got to have a devotional about humanitarian missions and it was so humbling to see all the work our church does for those that are impoverished and struggling in the world. It really touched me, and I hope that I will be able to provide money and services later in my life to benefit such causes. Seeing the joy on all those peoples' faces as they were helped out in some way was a wonderful experience. Then after the devotional, we always get to watch a movie. Last Sunday, we got to watch the Joseph Smith movie (best movie on the planet) and I felt the spirit so strongly as I watched. The parts that really got to me and tugged at my heart were the ones when Joseph was operated on and when his brother, Alvin, passed away because it reminded me of my relationship to my family, esp. Matthew. After having experienced Matt being in the hospital, I just feel closer to him and all of you. I love you all so much and I would hate to lose any of you or know that you're going through pain. Oh I forgot to mention, I see Sis. Metro ALL the time! It's awesome to see a familiar face. It's weird not being able to even shake her hand cause the MTC has a rule right now that we can't shake hands in an attempt to keep sickness from spreading. Anyways, she played the piano in the Sunday devotional and it was wonderful! Music has a power unlike anything else to invite the Lord's spirit and uplift the soul. :)
A couple days ago, our entire district got the giggles and we all couldn't stop laughing. It felt so good to laugh that hard and that much because we're always working so hard all day long that we forgo laughing. It was nice to let go a little stress and just laugh. I apologize these letters are so jumbled and random. With only a half hour, it's kinda hard to make sure I get down all my thoughts. Oh! One last thing... On Sunday, the Branch President calls on two missionaries to give talks, and they don't tell you beforehand who it will be (makes you a little nervous). Elder White, one of the zone leaders was asked to speak and since he's one of the older guys (past six weeks here) he has to give his talk in Russian. He mentioned a quote from Elder Eyring and he used the name Elder in Russian. It hit me when I heard that, that I share the same title as Apostles of the Lord. I've always known that, I guess, but it took hearing it in Russian for it to sink in. And then 4 elders sang in Russian, and it proved to me that you don't have to understand the language to feel the Spirit. It was truly powerful. Well, my time's almost up. I love each of you (Dad, Mom, Trev, Jess, Sarah, Matt) SO SO SO MUCH!!! Remember, through faith in Christ, all things are possible, even learning Russian. haha! Talk to you soon! CTAPENWNHA BUSH. (That's the closest I can type to Russian for Elder.)