Monday, September 6, 2010

Another Transfer Begins

And so, another transfer begins. (Missionaries measure time in transfers, which are six weeks.) Mom asked about the weather, and right now it's actually a lot like home. Always hot. And often muggy. I sweat a lot. Ew. It's starting to get a little better. The biggest difference is there aren't many places with air conditioning, so it may not always get quite as hot as home, but there isn't somewhere to just get away from the heat. Anyway, it should be getting cooler soon. By next transfer when I go to Korea, it will probably be cold. Last year, the first day of snow was Halloween.

So, this last week, I had one interesting journal worthy event. On Wednesday night I think it was, Elder Williams got a call from the security company the church pays and they said we needed to come to the church because an alarm had gone off. So we got dressed in normal clothes and made our way to the church. We don't live far from the church, but it was just weird being out at night dressed like normalish people. (Probably still looked very American). We got there and one of the security guards had an AK47 strapped to his shoulder. I think he meant business. I let him go in before us, but nothing had happened in the church. Someone probably just touched a window from outside or something, but all was fine inside. The guards were nice. It was just the weirdest thing to walk the streets at night.

I met some interesting people this last week. One guy stopped us and was trying to get us to smoke and drink with him. After talking to him about the Book of Mormon, he looked through it and made a comment about how he needed some more toilet paper and maybe he could use the Book. I quickly snatched the book from him and walked away. He said he was joking but still I was appalled. The greatest book I have ever read, a book I hold dear, which is from God, our Heavenly Father and you just said what? Maybe next time he runs into missionaries he'll be interested. The work here has been hard. I can see this next transfer will have its challenges but having a native companion makes things different. They understand everything and can speak on such a deeper level with people about the church and life. I hope to take every advantage I can to grow as a missionary and a servant of Heavenly Father.

One funny note, I made chicken nuggets this last week for lunch one day! They were delicious! It's kind of interesting figuring out what you can make here in Russia. They don't have all the things we have back in America, so some recipes are useless.

This last week, we had a few lessons with members, trying to strengthen them. I just love the members here! They’re seriously amazing. There are a few young people and two sisters that just got back from serving missions. They are dynamite! and the future of the church in Russia. If you could, pray for the members here in Russia, they need it.

I can already tell now that this next transfer will be interesting in seeing how a branch president works and helping Elder Kozodoev do all he has to do as a branch president. I'm kind of like his executive secretary as Elder Henderson put it (a senior couple missionary here in Usserisk). Weird. (If you’re wondering about what a branch president is, see note below.)

Well, that's all for now. Let me know if there's anything else you want to know about as far as Russia/Usserisk/the life of a missionary goes. I haven't really taken any good new pictures so I'll try to soon and get you some new ones.

Keep praying for me. I sure could use it. :) It seems weird to be asking for prayers. I hope that's allowed. I love and appreciate all the prayers offered in my behalf. You all are so awesome. Congrats, Trev, on earning your Eagle. You're a stud. Don't forget it. :)

Love you all! Elder Bush

P.S. Dad, I was glad to hear that you got to talk to Mr. Martin. If you can, tell him I knew he would like the shopka. :)

Abe, never thought the day would come. :) CONGRATS!!! on your engagement. :)

In response to hearing about Josh's mission call: SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEETT!!!!!! Tell him I say congrats!!!! :)

NOTE: In the LDS Church, congregations are called wards or branches, a branch being smaller than a ward. A ward is led by a bishop, who is selected out of the ward’s membership to serve for about five years. A branch is led by a branch president, who is usually chosen in a similar manner as a bishop. In some areas of the church, where the church is new and the members don’t yet have much experience, missionaries are asked to serve in the branch leadership. Spencer’s new companion has been serving as the branch president for the branch in Usserisk.