Monday, June 9, 2014

Movies and Kvass

Hello world,

Well, in a not-very-exciting way, a lot happened this week. There were full days and fun adventures.

A member yesterday gave us Kvass (квас). What is Kvass? It's this weird drink Ukrainians and Russians love. It's made from fermented wheat and yeast, but it's non-alcoholic. So basically it's non-alcoholic beer that everyone drinks all summer (not just Mormons, interestingly enough, but literally everyone). Anyway, I'd thus far avoided it, but yesterday I was told it was my turn to try it. And basically... it smells and tastes like a frat. So that'll make summer fun.

I have another great new friend. Her name is Ira, she's a member and she's awesome. We have this weekly sports night on Saturday afternoons, and last Saturday she and her husband were the only ones who came. As we were walking to the field she said, "Eddie (her husband) didn't want to come but I told him we have to because we need to support our missionaries." Which was actually one of the nicest things someone said to me this week. Member support is the best. So we played American football while the boys played soccer. Some other kids showed up and played with them, which was great until one of our elders accidentally broke some kid's nose when they both went to head the ball at the same time. So that was the end of sports night. But then yesterday Ira invited us over for dinner so we spent a good half hour cooking this potato thing with her and just talking. It was just perfect. We're going rollerblading today. 

We had a movie night this week! Somehow, the elders got permission for us to watch "the other side of heaven." It was so odd to watch a movie. We made popcorn and milkshakes and it was a hit. Definitely the best part, though, was that we watched it in Russian and I understood it perfectly. It was pretty much like watching it in English. I don't think I've ever been so pleased with my Russian (which still isn't great, but apparently sufficient for a Disney movie). 

Being on a mission is funny because doing things like watching "the other side of heaven" feels very secular.

My cute recent convert 13-year old friend Tiam sat next to me in Sacrament meeting yesterday. She really is one of my favorites. We sang "How Great Thou Art" as the closing hymn and she sat through it and cried the whole time. She was like "Goodness, I don't know what's wrong with me," and tried to rub it off as 13-year olds do, but she was definitely feeling something. It was adorable.

I went on exchanges again this week. The highlight was at night, when Sister Winsor taught me to play guitar (because she plays for reals) and we chatted as I painted my nails. Sometimes, it's nice to just be a real person. 

I had the worst taxi ride this week! We had to go to the mission office for leadership council. I should preface this by saying there are two "Yabluneva 1" in Kyiv, so we always clarify the area of the city where we want to go. So anyway, the taxi takes us to the wrong Yabluneva 1. Then he was just like "no, it's not possible that there is another yabluneva 1 in Kyiv. You gave me the wrong address." So we fought a little bit and I was somewhat worried he was going to kick us out. Finally, I showed him on the map where we wanted to go and convinced him to drive there even though it didn't look like much on the map. And so we made it there. And he charged us an absurd 240 griven. And we were 10 minutes late to leadership council. #momentofshame

Anyway, that's the short run-down of my week. Our email time's been cut a little bit, so you'll have to forgive me if emails are less fun/well-written/thorough/interesting. Things are good here and I'm happy and life's wonderful.

All the love,

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