Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year Greetings from your son who's far far away on Far East Russia's plains.

Dear Fam,

Happy New Year to y'all! Hope you had a ton of fun! Thanks for your letters. I'm thoroughly convinced that the best part of pday is hearing from your family. Likewise, I'm sure that (or at least I hope) you all enjoy mine.

So, this past week has been a fun one. Especially with all the New Year's festivities. Unfortunately, (and I will try to be positive about this) alcohol plays a very important role in these festivities. Fortunately, since we were indoors Saturday and Sunday evening, we didn't really see much of that. However, what we did see is a testament to the unfortunate effects of alcohol. I sometimes wish people would simply strive to have fun and forget about their troubles or worries without burying themselves in alcohol. But anyhow, enough about that. Elder Steed and I spent some good time this past week doing some great work. We're still trying to bring back this area and get some success happening in it. It's been pretty cold lately. Honestly, the wind has been the worst! But, once again, have no fear! My winter gear has been holding up rather nicely. If I've learned anything on my mission, it's that a good hat, mittens, not gloves, and a trusty scarf will get you through the cold. (And it helps to have a good pair of socks.)

I absolutely love serving with Elder Steed. He is such a great companion. New Years was great with him. After freezing our buns off while contacting all day long, we headed home and got some pizzas. They were delicious! And juice. I love Russian juice. I'll be keenly interested in comparing our juice products upon my arrival home. Elder Steed finished reading the Book of Mormon New Years Eve night while we were home and while he did so, I cleaned the apartment. Yes, Mom, you would indeed be proud of your son. ;) We really didn't even watch the clock to see if it was midnight. We simply knew midnight had struck once we heard all the fireworks going off and people screaming and shouting outside. Although our apartment is on the first floor, in probably the least ideal position to see fireworks, we did manage to catch a glimpse of some ok fireworks thanks to the fact that everyone here does them. The days following new years are always interesting since it seems that the entire city is dead. No one is out on the streets. Yesterday, we had sacrament meeting which went really well and then we (the missionaries) headed to the Pratts' to have a little New Year's celebration. It's great to be in the company of friends and family, even if those people may only be family by 'adoption'. I sure have come to love my mission family. There sure are great people in this world.

I learned this past week that it's super important to serve others. When we do all we can to show love to others, that softens hearts and is truly how we can be examples of Christ. His light shines through us when we show love to others.

Lastly, I love you all. Thanks for all you do.

Have a wonderful year! And next week!

Love your son and brother,
Элдер Буш