Monday, March 26, 2012

I forgot my camera!

Okay everyone, yesterday I was pretty excited to show you pictures of me and my new comp, random stuff, and a baptism with Igor, but unfortunately I forgot my camera, and the baptism never happened because he's sick, but hopefully he gets better so we can do it, it was way sad when it couldn't happen and everyone was ready for it, apparently nobody has been baptized in my area for 4 years or so, so it would have been awesome, but hopefully this next Sunday he can be baptized, and hopefully Mesha can be baptized soon to, he just isn't quite ready I guess, so it will be a couple weeks probably until we baptize him. Not a ton of new stuff to report this week, like I wrote earlier, I have a new comp (Elder Belnap) because Elder Tropnikov has health issues among other things. We are the youngest companionship in the whole mission, by a big amount actually, Elder Belnap has only been in Russia a few months more than I have, haha so it's an adventure to do missionary work but I have seen lots of progress in Russian lately, because we have so much responsibility now, and we both have confidence that we can do stuff despite us being such a young companionship. It really builds your testimony, to see how much God lifts us up and makes our weaknesses our strengths and our strengths even better. He is pretty cool though so everything here is good pretty much. 
The weather here is getting better mainly, it's warming up more and it makes missionary work easier to do. I don't think I ever said this to you guys but here's something interesting, the way my name is translated in Russian literally means "Skinhead" like the Nazi gang group, it is spelled the exact same way, it would be like Elder Skinhead in America, can you imagine that? Well you don't have to because it's real, only in a different country ha, ha. In Russia there is a pretty negative connotation that Nazi's carry, even worse than in America, probably because of World War 2 mainly, I usually don't wear my name tag here because of what happened anyways, but I'm fine, don't worry about anything, I'll be okay! It's just a funny thing ha, ha. Anyways, I'll send pics next week, I don't have much more to report though, we have been traveling for the first half of the week mainly, the rail lines here detour everywhere and they aren't that fast, but the roads are about just as windy and indeterminate, so traveling here is kinda slow and you have to stay at other Elder's apartments a lot when you go anywhere, but that's okay because there are so many cool missionaries in this mission, I loved seeing people in Rostov. I've pretty much met and spent time with almost everybody here, all 32 of us ha, ha. I love you guys! Stay safe! Until next week!

-Elder Skene

Monday, March 19, 2012

Just a Quick Note!

Hey so I don't have much time to write this letter this week because I'm in the office in Rostov for another companionship transfer! Elder Tropnikov couldn't stay in Novo because of health issues and other stuff, so my new comp is Elder Belnap, he is from Texas, I just barely met him before I started typing this, he seems chill though, I'll tell you how that goes, we travel back to Novo tonight, 9 hours on a train haha. Igor is getting baptised next Sunday now, and Mesha delayed his date because he didn't feel he was ready, I can't email you all personally because I don't have time but I loved the news and Jake's talk that you sent me, and I loved your emails! I gotta peace though, but I'm safe and all is well! I'll be more detailed next week in my email haha! The Church is TRUE!!!
-Elder Skene

Monday, March 12, 2012

Word Up Yo!

Hello everyone! As you all know, I have a new companion now, Elder Tropnikov, like I wrote before, he was born in Northern Russia, relatively close to Moscow. We get along well enough, and things are running smooth, but not as well as me and Elder Reigngard but it's okay, I'm attaching a photo of him, and some more photos of random happenstances as usual. Not a ton of news this week, we have two baptisms scheduled for this Sunday though! So that's exciting. We went to Krasnodar like I said last week and that was way fun, Elder Reigngard and I hung out with my mission grandpa Elder Kuslev for 2 days, you might say it was a family reunion. Other than that however, nothing is super interesting, just the usual no water and power outages every now and then, and our washing machine broke so we're off to find a new one after I write these letters. I hope you're all doing well as usual and from your letters it sounds like it. About the name tag thing, the Mission President already knows and we're all good and getting new ones asap, we don't tell the cops or anything because there wasn't any violence. 
So news from last week that I for some reason forgot to write, from trolling, Elder Reigngard and I found a new investigator, who is now mine and Elder Tropnikov's investigator haha. Let me explain, so when Elder Reigngard and I would take public transport, which is pretty much every day when we need to go somewhere far, we would usually speak in English when we got on the bus and everyone would look around and try to listen in and pretty much we would catch the attention of the whole bus, people would usually then proceed to talk about us in Russian, thinking of course that we couldn't understand them, we then would start talking in Russian and people would be surprised, shocked, and a number of other reactions after hearing us speak their language, it was way funny. When we did this one night some guy walked up to us and started talking to us about things and thought it was pretty interesting, we are now teaching him! With Elder Tropnikov I don't troll though, he's not into that kind of stuff and he's more serious about some stuff and he's really proud of his country so he doesn't like it when people mess around in it. Ah well. Well other than that there's not to much to talk about, the gospel and language stuff is coming along as usual. I love you all! Keep it real!

-Elder Skene


Monday, March 5, 2012

William Wallace and the Mafia!

This week was, well interesting, really sad, scary, suprising, and just wild. First off, this is super, super, rare, this hardly ever happens, because of an issue with some people in Krasnodar, our zone leader's city, Elder Reigngard won't be finishing my training, we are getting transferred, he's going to Krasnodar to be a zone leader there. It makes me really sad, we got along way well and had so much fun, I learned a lot from him and he was my mission dad, I'll be staying here in this city though and my new companion is Elder Tropnikov, he's from Russia and he is also learning English, but he speaks it pretty good, I've met him a couple of times. He served with Elder Reigngard in Volgograd a while back, they are friends. So 2 native companions in a row at the beginning of the mission, super rare apparantly I guess, but he will be finishing my training and I'll be here for either 1 more transfer, or 3 more, it depends on whether or not he stays with me for the second transfer, because if he does, he will finish his misison here and I'll need to stay to show the next Elder who comes here around.
Haha now people have called me William Wallace because there was an accident when I was growing up and I lost my dad, and then my Dad's old friend comes to raise me haha. I say the Mafia because some guy came on the bus and roughed up me and Elder Reigngard a little bit and was way mad at us and he ripped off our missionary name tags (the clip on ones) and took them and then just got off the bus. This is pretty rare in the mission from what we have been told, but we'll get our tags back. He was wearing a black trenchcoat, black shoes, black suit, and a black shirt, and he wasn't drunk or high or anything, he had some teeth knocked out and he had scars on his arms that looked like burn marks, his clothes were pretty nice and he had really short, almost buzzed hair, he was like 6'5" and was like 280 pounds, so he wasn't a bum. Elder Reigngard and I suspect he was from the because he wasn't from the government or anything. It was pretty sketchy. But I AM FINE, no worries! There's other stuff that's happened this week like crazy people coming up to us all the time but I don't have much time here, I hope you are all doing well! I'm doing fine and we are still working with our Investigators and all that, and we are going to Krasnodar tommorow to switch companions and all that, we'll see what happens. But until then! Peace!
-Elder Skene