I am really having a hard time to think of something really inspiring or creative to write about this week. The weather is great, the work is hard, I reached my goal of spending 5000 Rubles at my favorite Chinese place and now I get 500 Rubles free food next time I go. It took a lot of work to blow that much money on really inexpensive chinese food...but over 6 weeks and a lot of working to get people to come eat with me...I met my goal, about half an hour ago. It was very tasty. The old ladies that live in our building are great. One of them even gave me a poem last night as we were walking up the stairs to our apartment. It is about how people are going to live on the Moon. Russians on the right, Americans on the left, and everyone else is Chinese...something like that. Russian poetry is always interesting. It made me very happy.
Now I've always been a pretty healthy guy, I just have that pain in my back and neck that just won't seem to go away. Well lately it has been feeling even a little bit worse than normal, so I decided that it's time to beat the shoulder pain...once and for all. I counseled with Sister Pratt, my Mission President's wife and our medical specialist, and with Elder Magill, who just seems to know absolutely everything...and they hooked me up with a...hot pack, (is that what you'd call those? You fill it with hot or cold water and it makes everything feel great), and Elder Magill told me that my problems are sticking around because of the way that I sleep. (You are about to know more about Elder Fife than you ever thought you needed to...but it makes for a good story, so oh well.) So I sleep on my side, sometimes even on my face...I guess that isn't good for you. So I made a goal this week to learn to sleep on my back, it should help everything work out better. While that might seem like a simple thing, I think it's one of the hardest things I've ever tried. I haven't slept in the last three days because I've been trying to sleep on my back.
The first night was...rough. I woke up about 50 times, most of the times I'd be back on my side...one time I even had a big pillow that had started out on the floor, and my watch, which had also been laying on the floor, was on my wrist. I don't know what else happened...but basically it was a ridiculous night. Night 2 I got an idea...now this is going to sound ridiculous to most of you, but just take a second and remember who it is that we're talking about. I decided that the only thing I could really do to keep from rolling onto my side and doing crazy things in my sleep...was to tie myself to my bed. Yep. I used some fancy boyscout knots and secured myself to my bed. Still not a very comfortable sleep, but you gotta do what you gotta do sometimes. I'll show my back who's boss.
There's another cool cultural thing that I don't think I've mentioned before...maybe I have, but I think it's cool so I'll write a little bit about it again. Well really it's something that I think we do everywhere...but here they mean it. There's this phrase we have that goes "Tell him hi for me." We all say it, but how often do we actually tell someone hi for someone else? I try to, but sometimes it just doesn't work out. Here...you can't forget. It is an unwritten law to actually say hi to those who you are told to say hi to for somebody else. They'll even check up on it! And when you tell someone "hi" for someone else they often will even ask "was that a general hi or a specific hi?" meaning did the person tell you to say hi to "the Nakhodka Branch" or was it directly for Vladimir? Personal hi's mean a lot more. Maybe there's some deep meaning to that...I'll let you figure that out on your own though.
So I don't think that there will be a letter from me next week. Monday morning I have to leave early to catch a flight for Korea. I'll be there until Wednesday afternoon sometime and then will come back, all refreshed, and get back to work. I love Korea trips, and this time we'll have 2 new members in our travel group too. Elder Williamson and Stuart will be coming with us. I'm excited for another time to be at the Temple, be with some of the nicest people on the planet, and get cheap ice cream at McDonald's. Hopefully I'll have some more fun times to tell about in the next few weeks.
Oh, one more kind of funny story from this week that I just remembered. Last night I was sitting on a bus, and this nice lady sat down and we began to talk. She really was a nice lady, and I guess she thought I was a nice guy too...because she offered that I marry her daughter. Haha. She was even nice when I told her that that wasn't going to work out. Haha. I think missionaries probably get that a lot...I mean Ammon had to let Lamoni down softly too right?
Have a great few weeks and I hope everyone is enjoying their summer, but not losing focus on the things that are most important.