Well, as you can see from the attached photo, I finally got around to taking pictures with our dear Lenin. Sometimes, living in the former USSR is purely entertaining.
By way of update, we found an apartment for the new missionaries here! We may have signed the contract 10 minutes before they got to the apartment, but what of it? They have a place to live and their window overlooks Lenin, so what more could they want? I've been keeping my apartment absurdly clean, so that's good. Something about college and mission has turned me into the kind of person who organizes all her stuff and cleans up every night. Not sure what happened to Hurricane Hannah, but I'm sure Lorin's glad to know I finally learned how to take care of my stuff.
I hitchhiked out of a village this week! We were visiting a church member who lives like 2 hours outside of Житомир. We wanted to come back home and waited and waited and waited, but there were not any buses. I was not having any of that, so I flagged down a chocolate truck with a Житомир licence plate and was like "hey, you going to Житомир?" He was like "yeah, I'll be there by 3." I was like "that's good enough. Can we come with you?" He was like "sure, that's cool." So we got ourselves a ride home from him. We paid him a little bit, so it's sort of like a less-classy taxi ride in my book. Anyway, good thing I've always been a little fearless and independent else we would probably still be hanging out in that village.
I taught RS yesterday. We got to church and the RS President was like "well, no one's prepared a lesson. Pugh, you can teach right?" And I was like "sure, no problem, I can teach RS lesson in my second language on the fly." It actually turned out okay, but I will never again be afraid to teach anything in America, where they give you 12 years warning and you speak the language fluently. After the lesson we had tea and banana bread, so I'm pretty sure that made up for the 12,000 grammar mistakes I made.
We went bowling on Saturday for a youth activity. The best part was that the world's greatest 7-year-old came. (That's Masha, if you're having a hard time keeping track of the characters in my life right now). She was on my team. I got bumpers set up for her and she may or may not have beat me. It was so fun to see her bowl. She's the feistiest little thing and wanted no help from anyone. She even got a strike! But she got it because she threw the ball before the pins were set up, so the ball bounced against the cage and got stuck mid-lane. The worker kicked it back down and what do you know Masha had herself a strike. I also played a lot of uno this week, because Judy sent me a package and Ukrainians inexplicably love uno. Then again, who doesn't love uno? It's always been one of my favorites.
I have myself a new companion. Her name is Sister Cromwell. We are literally exact opposites. She's 25, from Idaho, has a degree in horticulture from BYU-I, came on a mission because she couldn't get married, is fairly dramatic, and is pretty much the complete polar opposite of everything I am. Is it a little tough? I'll be honest, yes it is. But it's good for me. It's kinda what I need right now. I'm sure I'm going to learn a whole lot about patience, which has never been my strong suit. (Pretty sure Lorin has been calling me "impetuous" since I started reading).
Anyway, Ukraine is still in "revolution" slash "war" slash "catastrophe" (all words I've heard people here use to describe Maidon). It's really quite tragic, because most everyone here is sad about it. Regardless of where they stand politically, the sentiment I most commonly come across is just sadness that people are unhappy, are suffering, are dying. I love the Ukrainian people for that. I love that they care more about human beings than about politics. Maybe that's something I need to pick up on while I'm over here. It'll probably depend on whether Rachel Maddow's still on when I get home.
All the love,