So there I was...walking down the Street with Elder Conley, talking to people as we went and inviting them to learn more about our message and about the Savior, when I saw him. Walking our direction down the street was a man with a long black hair and beard, blowing in the wind, and a black beanie on too. As I saw him all I could say was "Dibbs." I loudly said "Hello!" as he was still a ways off, so there was no chance we could miss this wonderful experience. He turned and started walking straight towards me now across the sidewalk. As he got close to me (and then he got really close to me) I heard "do do dooo do do dododododo" Kind of like the song Istanbul (not Constantinople). He was kind of right in my face just do do doing away. I don't know how I was able to keep a straight face throughout the entire interaction...but I did.
I asked him if he was a singer, he said he was, and for a long time already too. Then he put him arm around me and said "Let's go" and we walked together in the direction that he had just came from, his arm still around me. As we began to talk I learned that he had been in Detroit about 5 years ago, possibly working in a Circus. (I thought he said that but I wasn't totally sure that I heard him right. He may have been talking about Church.)
So of course, he wanted to talk to me in English, but when he tried, I understood basically nothing, and was really confused. Actually it didn't really sound like English at all. After I stood in confusion for a few seconds, he realized that he had not been speaking English...but Greek. My new friend is in fact from Greece. After a while I stopped and asked him his name. I'm pretty sure it's Arphonius. (Probably not really anything close....but something-ius) We shook hands, and then he kind of didn't let go...then he raised our clasped hands to his face, and kissed the back of my hand. Yes. A partially drunk, Grecian man, in Russia, kissed my hand on the street. I'm impressed that Elder Conley didn't die with laughter. He actually kept it in really well, I'm proud of him.
We walked a little farther, I invited him to Church, of course he's Greek Orthodox...but I gave him an invitation anyway. As we got to Elder Conley's apartment there was a drunk man outside...he ended up kissing my hand too. I ran up the stairs...washed my hands really good, and fell on the couch laughing. Check that off my bucket list.
I want to initiate a really quick contest...it's called the "Ussurisk Branch Talent Show is on November 13th and Elder Fife needs ideas for what to do idea contest 2010" Send ideas either to my fam or to my facebook, or just post them on the blog...i guess...they'll get to me somehow...hopefully. So get creative and maybe I'll pick your talent. Think of things I can do with a companion (he really doesn't want to rap with me...) or with my entire district. This will be fun. Basically the contest ends Sunday, because I won't check my email again after Monday morning...so get thinkin' quick!
We've done a lot of goal setting lately in our District, and in our Mission. There is a lot more that we need to be striving for. Goals are awesome at helping motivate us and make more clear the things that we should do each part of the day. I'm really grateful that we have those simple kinds of things that can make such a difference in our lives and in the work that we do. You don't need to wait until New Years to make a resolution.
Well maybe I'll get on a little later and write more when I go to write with Elder Gmeiner. He is in Vladivostok today and is on a bus on his way back to town right now. Have a great November and remember to bundle up, it's cold out there!