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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Adventures in the Russian winter wonderland 12/23/10

On the 12th day of Christmas...ok that's about all I got.  Ha ha.  I was going to come up with something witty..probably about my companion giving me something...but nothing really came.  Oh well. 

I love that Christmas is so soon!  The holiday spirit is great.  We're having a sweet Branch Christmas party on Christmas night this year and it should be really cool.  They want us the missionaries to do some kind of skit...but not something so cool that it will steal the I'll have to tone down whatever I come up with I guess.  Should be interesting. 

We had some way fun adventures with the Pratts this weekend.  President and Sister Pratt came down to visit us and train some Branch leaders, so I took full advantage of them (and their car) to help us on lessons.  They turned out a little...adventurous.  The first one wasn't planned.  We weren't able to get a taxi to a lesson which we were late to because my interview with President Pratt went long. (They always do, because I always have a lot of questions.)  No taxis were available and we were already late, so we batted our puppy-dog eyes and got Sister Pratt to drive us and help us meet with an investigator. 

When we got there there was a surprise.  Our investigator's husband had come home from working on the railroad (all the livelong day) and he was a little bit drunk (or a lot).  Actually, I think that everyone was a little bit drunk, some just more than others.  We sat down and tried to salvage the situation by leaving on a good note, but it took more time than I would have hoped.  I had a good friendly argument with the husband, and in the end he did decide that he likes me and wants to talk more, so I was pleased with that, but it was a good eye opener for Sister Pratt.  All she said afterwords was "This is one for the journal."  We love Sister Pratt. 

The next day the Pratts took us to visit a new convert couple who was baptized a few months ago.  They live really far from the city and it is basically impossible to get there any other way than car.  So as we were going I knew that I didn't really know how to get there...but I had an idea, and thought I'd give Pavel a call on the way to figure out for sure.  The problems that I had kind of forgotten about were these.  1, I would be getting directions over the phone, and in Russian, in a place where I was totally unfamiliar with anything; 2, They don't even post street names on corners in's guesswork until you can see the address printed on the side of a building; 3, it snowed about a foot the night before and this family lives on a mountain outside of town...

All that was a fun trip.  Eventually we got lost close enough to their home that Pavel came out and found us.  He trekked through the forest and snow in tennis shoes to find us next to the one landmark we could both identify, a 5 story home on the other side of the hill from his place.  He then guided us back to his house.  There was absolutely no way we would have found that on our own.  I'm really thankful that my Mission President is a really patient person.  We sure love him. 

We've had some sweet winter adventures trying to help people shovel their driveways and getting cars unstuck.  It's a good thing that as a deacon and teacher I learned how to shovel driveways in church clothes.  Thanks Dad!

Well I think I am going to find some pictures to send home, have a great week and don't put off your Christmas shopping until the end!  Love ya'll! 

Elder Sam Fife

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