Well, it is officially summer! More or less. It's fabulously warm and I would go around without tights or a coat or anything, but I'm not allowed to. Apparently there's this thing in Ukrainian/Russian culture where women have to wear tights all spring because if they don't their ovaries freeze? Anyway, the long and short of it is that they're convinced that a women's fertility is closely tied to her wearing tights all spring, and if you take your tights off you're super weird. So, tights are back on for a few more months I suppose.
Sorry every email I send home pertains to either borscht or the weather. I guess those are the two most important factors in my life right now. (I made borscht today, by the way).
ANYWAY. I left Житомир and it almost killed me just a little bit. I had a few moments when I was just like "No. I'm not leaving. I will not leave these people. End of story." Because we all know I tend to be obstinate and reluctant to regard orders. But, through my protests, I cleaned my apartment, packed my increasingly-full suitcases, said my goodbyes, got on a bus, and made my way to Kyiv. So now I live in Kyiv and it's basically the exact opposite of life as I knew it, and will take some adjusting to, but I'll get used to it. The area of the city where I live is basically the most Soviet thing you've ever seen. It's literally building after building of giant, ugly, old, white apartment buildings. Yet, somehow I love it. I mean, I wouldn't want to live here for the rest of my life, but for a little while it's a fun little "yep I live in the former USSR" culture experience. We're close to the river, which is lovely, because I just like cities that have rivers. So far my favorite thing about the area is the enormous grocery store across the street. That is not to say that there haven't been tons of other fabulous things, because there have been (my apartment has 10,000 windows and so much natural light for one), but I basically have Target across the street and it's been a while, so it's definitely a new privilege.
OH! A word on Kyiv vs. Kiev. Kiev is the Russian name of the city. Kyiv (the yi makes a sound like y in loudly), is the Ukrainian name. So Americans and pretty much the international community at large say Kiev, since that's what them Soviets named it. But I've never met a Ukrainian who called it Kiev, and so pretty much all the missionaries say Kyiv, because we're soooooo with it.
Sister Welling is my new companion and she's darling. She's blonde and from Utah and used to be Sister Clark's companion! (Did I write that last week? I might have.) Also, she has the most beautiful Russian accent so we're going to try to fix my "hello I just got off the boat" accent. We get along great and things are good. The ward is HUGE. Well, not actually, but it's about a 100 people more than my little Житомир so it's definitely the closest thing to an American ward that I've seen in Ukraine. The ward is actually very impressive; they know how this church thing works. We met some wonderful people on Sunday and I'm excited to be able to meet them for reals this week. I think I'm going to like life in a city.
All the love,