Hello Mou Cemba!
I can't really type in Russian on this computer so that's as close as it'll get. What a week this last week has been. I can hardly believe it's been a month! First of all, if I haven't already mentioned this yet, this work is so hard. My brain hurts all the time. But I do love it a lot!
Dad asked me to tell about my daily schedule. The schedule was probably by far the hardest thing to adjust to the first couple days because you're busy every minute of every day. I get up at 6:30 and get ready for the day. Breakfast is at 7 and then class starts at 7:30. I have class from 7:30-11:30 and then lunch from 11:30-12:15. After lunch, class starts again and goes until 4:30, when I have dinner, and then it starts again after dinner from 5:15-9:00. At 9, Elder Zamora (who I have really come to admire) and I plan for the next day. Then back to our room at 9:30, get ready for bed, quiet time at 10:15 (for writing in my journal which I never thought I would do but I've been doing a pretty good job) and then lights out at 10:30. No time for naps, even on Sunday. We were told that our nap time is from 10:30pm to 6:30am. Haha! So, amidst this schedule, I have gym time for 50 min and time to get ready, and that time changes from day to day. Sometimes we have it in the morning after breakfast, other times after lunch, and sometimes right before dinner. I loveeeeee gym time. It's so nice to have a small break to do something active because it's hard to sit all day. Yet, learning here is not like school. I want to learn here. I know that probably sounds funny but here, I'm learning about the gospel of Christ and Russian because I have a desire to share the love of Christ with the Russian people, not because I'm going to be tested on it. It's all up to me, which brings me to another part of my day, MDT (missionary directed time). Just like in the mission field, we have three hours set aside for studying (1 for personal study, 1 for companion study, and 1 for language study) So within the time I specified for classroom instruction, we actually sometimes have study time. It changes from day to day because it has to work around Brother Beck and Brother Savage's schedules (They're our teachers). So that's my day in a nutshell. I'm always busy and always working. But I love doing it because I want to be about my Father's work (just like Christ said he was about his Father's work in Luke 2).
I really want to share a poem with you that I read this past week. It was written by a Russian convert and is titled "Who Are You Boy?"
Who are you boy?
You journeyed to this land of ours.
This land where I have endured my days,
And felt oppression kill my soul,
And forced me into some tight hole,
And taught me that I should not hope,
Unless I care to smell the smoke,
Of dreams that the Red Army tamed.
Who are you boy?
From this land of plenty,
Teaching of God, if there is any.
You have all, we have none.
Do you know what that feels like, son?
And yet, you ask me to believe,
In something that I cannot see,
Some force you say will bring me joy,
Do you know what that feels like boy?
Where you are from, faith is free,
But it has a price for me.
When I have pain, I have a bottle,
Hurt dies quick when you down it in vodka.
That's enough to warm my soul.
I work, I sleep, the days go by,
I am waiting for the day I die,
You don't understand this place,
You say you believe, obey, have faith.
Live life well, serve and give,
Here in Russia we just live.
Who are you boy,
Why did you come?
To save a soul who once was numb?
To teach a wretched hateful man,
Who cursed your help, refused your hand.
I thought that we were worlds apart,
So how is it you knew my heart?
A fraction my age, you calmed my rage,
Mercy paid my generous wage,
I should have been left behind,
It is hard to love my kind,
Hope in your heart, power in your hands,
Why did you come to this distant land?
I know now, it was for me.
The Red Curtain fell, but I was not free,
Until a boy from nations away,
Brought me my Lord, I bless the day.
He led me to weep at my masters feet,
The American boy I met on the street.
New and naive, still in his teens,
With a message to bring the world to its knees,
I thought that the truth would come from another,
I did not know this boy was my brother.
I love that poem. It motivates me and gets me so excited to go to Russia and share what I have with the people in Vlad. I love you all so much and I pray for you daily.
Love, CTAPENWNHA BYW (again that's the closest I can get to Russian) :)