Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Another week west of Baikal

Well howdy everyone!
So, to begin, I will share some 'funny' more or less notable things that we went over yesterday in English club. 1st, we all established that Elder Bush is horrible at translating. :) Uliana said that to everyone as I was translating (she's one of the English clubbers). Needless to say, she's right. Lately, translating has been pretty hard. It's hard to translate from Russian to English because I can't get my brain to make the connections between English and Russian words. I just understand people when they talk. It's equally as hard to translate from English to Russian because I try too much to translate very closely to what the person said so nothing gets lost in translation, but that's really hard. So anyways, lesson one from this past week, is that Elder Bush has to work on his translation abilities. Yesterday in English club, I had the idea to talk about idioms, sayings, and phrases of English and Russian to see which ones we share in common between our languages and which ones are unique to each respective language. We actually share several but most of them are simply the thought that we share. They're simply said differently by the means of different words. For example, in English we might say something like "She's playing with her future." whereas in Russian, they say "she is joking around with her future." Or "Don't bite the hand that feeds you." In Russian: "Don't chop the branch upon which you sit." "A rolling stone gathers no moss." Russian: "Under a lying stone water doesn't flow." There's one in Russian that means something like don't make a big deal about it and it goes something like, "Don't make an elephant out of a fly." I love the intricacies of language.
Thanks to you Mom and Dad for the emails and the weekly updates. I hope you all have a ton of fun going out to Utah to get Trev all squared away and to see Grandma. Tell Grandma hi for me! And pass on my love! :) So... what to share with everyone at home... It's getting pretty hot. Ok ok I know I shouldn't be complaining because it's still pretty dry here but it's certainly summer now. The work is moving, slowly but surely. It was sure momentous to have a stake organized in Moscow a little over a week ago. It means the church truly is growing in Russia and while the church is still only 7-8 years old here in Irkutsk, it's slowly growing. My mission has been a unique and life changing experience because I've been able to see how the church functions when it's still so  young. There are a lot of challenges that we all face wherever we may find ourselves in the world as members of the church but there are also unique challenges to the church when it's still young. What an awesome opportunity to be a part of this all.
This past Saturday, we had another really neat finding activity where we rolled out a bunch of wallpaper on Kirova Square and we painted the Plan of Salvation and talked with tons of people as they walked by and starred at us. It was a lot of fun and we met several people who are interested in learning more. Elder Smith in our district met some girls from Germany who wanted to learn more, and so he's going to find out the address of the nearest ward in their hometown and get them the info. It seems to me that Baikal seems to be a hot spot for Germans. I sure wish my brain could remember German. It really has simply been overwhelmed and taken over by Russian. I'll definitely have to study some when I get back. Most Germans we've met speak at least a little English so we're able to have a little banter back and forth. :)
Yesterday was a fun adventure. We hopped on a bus and rode up north for about an hour to get to the other elders' apartment. From there we grabbed some extra chairs that they had and then took them to a member that asked if we could get her some extra chairs for a small room she rents right near the place she works. Basically, we spent at least an hour if not more walking around with these chairs trying to find the bus stop where we were suppose to meet. It was a sweaty, hectic and stressful adventure because I thought we were never going to find them and that we would be stuck with these chairs.  And yeah basically, it was turning into a little bit of a problem. But we finally found her and she was super, super grateful. It's been wonderful to see the change in her as we've gotten to know her and serve her and show her Christlike love. Service is always worth it.
Well, that about sums it up for the week. Keep on keeping on! Love you all and I hope you have a fantastic week!!
Elder Bush
p.s. apparently, we're going laser tagging today. I don't know how this is going to turn out. Stay tuned for updates next week!
p.s.s. Vlad UPS'ed our mail here to Irkutsk so i just got some stuff from Grandpa and the Frapps. Thanks Gramps and the Frapps! :)