Everything's great here at the REAL Hogwarts. No really, though. Magic happens everyday. We just give the credit to the Lord. And I just found out that there are staff here with the title of "prefect".... suspicious? For all the muggles out there, be patient. Your letter will come.
Okay sorry, being surrounded by teenagers... young adults? has really taken a toll on me. I fear my sense of humor may be crippled. Speaking of which, I've been thinking about this for the past week or so.. but the people I meet in the Baltics are going to think I'm some kind of robot. How am I supposed to be funny?? I'm trying my best to pick up Russian humor from listening to my teachers talk with each other and some of the older Russians in the hallways. It's cool when I can carry on a conversation with one of them. Some days I'm in the zone, some days.. I don't wanna talk about it. Haha but really! Russian is so CRAZY. cool crazy. a good crazy. And I continue to lose Angliski as the days go by. As my mouth adjusts to all the Russian sounds it has to make, I forget that English words are a lot less complicated and contorted, so most of the time I go around adding syllables to words and shoving nine consonants all together. Really though, it's amazing what they can do without vowels.
One of my teachers, Brat Villiams (note the "V"), is all about challenging us as a class. I swear, every time he has a new idea for teaching we all want to run and hide. Whenever we protest ("niet, niet!!!" (Russian for no), he responds with, "OOOOOOHHHHH DAAAAAAA!" (Russian for OHHHH YEAHHHHH). It's become a district theme.
So I've been thinking... I feel like I've been learning Russian for an eternity. I already know SO much, so I looked back and tried to account for the total hours that I've actually been in a formal Russian class setting.... I was surprised, and honestly felt a little jipped at first. We've only been doing about an hour a day of Russian instruction from our teachers. EVERYTHING else is centered around the gospel, learning from the scriptures, manuals, etc in English. But guys! The Lord is truly a part of this place. There is no way on Earth that I could have learned as much as I have, that I could be teaching full lessons in Russian, praying in Russian, memorizing scriptures and READING Russian in just two weeks without some kind of outside help. And I feel extremely inadequate in every way. Why should I deserve so much help when others in my district are struggling so much? I have never learned so quickly or so efficiently in my entire life, and it's all because of the Lord's help. So now, my biggest challenge is to slow down, turn outside of myself, and help others in my district (including my companion) to catch up.
The biggest thing I learned this past week was the need to be unified in all things. To be unified in purpose with the Lord, with my companion, with my district, and with my leaders here and my future leaders when I get out to the Baltics. Unity in obedience and purpose makes it that much easier for the Lord to bless us with opportunities to grow, and trust me, He's stretching me farther than I ever could have imagined. it's only the first two weeks!!! It is beyond what I can imagine to think of who I can potentially become if I continue to invite change and growth in my life as the months go by.
That's another thing. the first few days here, I was really fighting the change. I was comfortable. I knew stuff, and I had been just fine on my own for the past four years. I knew how to take care of myself, and I DEFINITELY didn't need a companion to string along 24/7. Yeah, I was a gem, wasn't I? Silly. I knew NOTHING. Comfortable is the LAST thing I want to be. And it's the last thing that any of us should want in our lives. Why settle for comfortable when we can be so much more than what we are now? And that process is never-ending! As long as we continue to challenge ourselves, and allow the Lord to lead us to new and exciting purposes in our lives, we can keep growing and progressing until our very last day. Can you tell I've got a little missionary fever? I pity my first trainer :)
Until next time!
LOVE YOU ALL!
LOVE YOU ALL!
Oh, ps, the pictures are kind of random but I figured I should send some. They would only let me attach a few so hopefully more next week. I kind of suck at making sure I document all the craziness that happens here, sorry Ma......
The first one ( I think?) is me and Sestra GOOOOOOCH. She's the bomb.
Then there are a couple of the Worldwide missionary broadcast from a Sunday ago or so? I can't remember? And then there are district pictrures from our Temple walk on Sunday. woooo