Monday, March 31, 2014

Hedgehogs and a ukulele

Hello world,

Well, clearly the highlight of this week was the hedgehogs. HEDGEHOGS. They are incidentally very common in this area of Kyiv as I saw three of them. I'd never seen a hedgehog before in my life and I basically die every time I see one. It's so odd because they're wild and stuff, but they'll just stand still while you pet them. They feel kinda like a hairbrush. And have the funniest little noses. They come out at night and run around and I chase them down because it's a hedgehog, obviously. 

I also bought a ukulele this week. It was kinda an impulse buy. I was just like "well, I have no hobbies any more other than learning Ukrainian (because Russian is a job not a hobby). I need a hobby." So I bought a ukulele. And I spent like every night this week learning to play it. So my journal entries are pretty mediocre, but what are you gonna do about it? I was busy playing "Come, Come Ye Saints" over and over and over and over again. I've pretty much got it down! I think my companion might break my ukulele before I learn my next song, but whatever, I'm enjoying it and now I have a hobby!

In other news, I accidentally turned my hands into Frankenstein hands this week. On Tuesday morning we went running and I kinda wiped out on the pavement. And I put out my hands to catch myself and took much of the skin off of my palms. So that's cute. We also have a really really sharp knife that I call the devil knife because it cuts everything it comes in contact with. Including 2 of my fingers, which is why I now refuse to wash it when doing the dishes. Also, a cat scratched me. So my hands are all gross and covered with band aids and people give me funny looks everywhere I go. 

Yesterday was Daylight savings! Saturday night I was like "Satan is stealing an hour of my sleep" but by Sunday night I was okay with it because the sun didn't set until 8! So it's like officially spring and I love that. The trees (what few there are, anyway) are all blossoming and it's just lovely. I love spring. You probably know that because I write it every week. Thanks for humoring me. 

The best part of my week was that I got to spend time with Zoya the Great. Zoya is like Judy's age and is just terribly awesome. She speaks English fluently and translated the Book of Mormon and D&C and hymn book and basically everything into Ukrainian back in the 90s when Ukraine all of a sudden opened up to the church and they had absolutely no materials. She's traveled all over the world and is a teacher and is just terribly kind and amazing. We helped her with her little after-school English class and the whole walk there she taught me about Ukrainian history, which in an of itself was a treat because I certainly don't know enough. Did you know that 1/4 of Kyiv was Jewish before WWII? I didn't. Anyway, I have a cool new friend.

I realized this week that I'm terribly awkward around people my own age. Like I can talk to real grown-ups and kids, but I have abandoned all social skills for relating to normal people. That should make dating and college fun, huh? Maybe I'll run away to a monastery. 

Anyway, that email was basically a list of random on-goings thrown together quickly but so be it. My theme of the week has been "don't believe your gas light." It's from an analogy someone recently told me; your gas light will go on long before you actually run out of gas. Similarly, you get tired and want to quit long before you actually will fall over. So when your gas light is on, go a little further. It made me think of Judy, who will get in the car at our house with only enough gas to get her 0.2 miles away and say, "it's okay, I can coast most of the way to the gas station, anyway." I've been trying to be that kind of person. I don't know if it's necessarily working in any terrific way, but I'm working a little harder and doing a little more and finding myself a little bit happier. I still love my mission and am so grateful for this experience every day.

All the love,
Hannah

PS.
The girls in this fun little clip live in my ward! Granted, Ivanna's now 23, but whatever, I know and love them anyway. And the church building shown is mine. So here's a fun little peak at my world:

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