Monday, August 11, 2014

"Is there going to be a fight?"

Well, I got new Nikes this week. Fun fact, in Russian (or Ukrainian, maybe?) Nike rhymes with bike. As in, they don't know how to say Nike correct, so they just start the word bike with the letter n. I guess it makes sense. Anyway, there's a nike outlet around here, so I got them super cheap and I am so very pleased with myself. We run a couple miles every morning and it's now just so much better. 

We went on a eating really healthy kick last week (we refused to call it a diet). Anyway, basically all we ate was vegetables and fruit for like 10 days. I very quickly got very grumpy, but it took me over a week to put two and two together. I was like "maybe I just miss Sister Welling?" or "maybe I need to go to bed earlier" or "maybe I need to speak English more" because we pretty much never speak English these days. FINALLY, I was like "oh, I've been hungry for a week! That's what's wrong!" So we bought some bread and my mood instantly improved 1000%. And that was the end of eating like a rabbit. 

On the topic of food, it is watermelon season in Ukraine! Literally every block or less there is a giant watermelon stand. Watermelon kinda makes me miss Whimzy. She's so darn cute when she eats watermelon! For FHE last week, dessert was watermelon with brown bread (the really good kind that's like almost black and is pretty much entirely made up of every kind of grain). It was surprisingly good. I brought babushka Valentina watermelon this week and she pretty much died. She was like "I keep wanting to buy watermelon, but I can't carry it!" So that was funny and adorable. Poor babushkas are suffering in the heat. We visited one this week and she was like "it's so hot I walk like a drunk and we have no hot water so I'm afraid to shower." So sad. I promise not to complain about anything for the next 50 years. 

We had a water balloon volleyball activity and it was so much fun! Somehow, it turned out to be the one day in the past 2 weeks that wasn't blazing hot, and we actually had to end early because of rain, but it was still super awesome. Eva (remember her from last week) came and had way too much fun pelting water balloons at her older brother and the elders. Sometimes, it's just a lot of fun to play on a Saturday afternoon. 

We had kinda a treat this week. Do you remember Zoya from my first few weeks here - recap: Judy's age, speaks English perfectly, translated all the scriptures into Ukrainian, AWESOME. Anyway, we had some stuff we needed to translate from Ukrainian and so we went over to their house. We ate chocolate ice cream and they told us ALL THE NEWS. But they told us in ENGLISH. So we understood PERFECTLY. It was ligit like watching the news for a while. Unfortunately, the news wasn't too good. I think I like it better when I don't really know what's going on in Ukraine and when I don't know what Putin's up to. Because then it's just kinda funny and absurd that there's a "war". The more I know the more serious and real it gets and I'm not sure I like it. Before long I'm going to turn into a "give peace a chance" hippie hanging out in the East. Anyway, Putin scares me. Pray for Ukraine. I'm pretty sure the only reason any of us are still here is that the Kyiv stake's been fasting for 7 months. 

Yesterday our awesome investigator Ira came to church. Relief Society was all in Ukrainian, and it must have been a gift of tongues moment, because unfortunately I understood all of it. Turned out to be a very heated discussion on the doctrine of the necessity of temple marriage for a place in the celestial kingdom. Lots of single women in our ward didn't like that and the married ones were being kinda bratty. Not awesome. Ira was so funny about it though. At one absurd point she smiled and whispered to me ""how do you say борьба in English?' "Fight" "Is there going to be one?" and then at the end stood up and laughed and said, "well, I'm going to go home and tell my husband our marriage isn't a real marriage." She's funny and quirky and I adore her. She's set to be baptized in September, and is doing beautifully. 

I went on an exchange with the one and only Sister Ford this week. We had so much fun! I love Sister Ford! Except we stayed up way too late talking, so the next day I had to sleep through lunch so I could keep going. Anyway, we did English class and talked about similes and metaphors, which was obviously a highlight of my week. We talked to a man who really liked us and invited us to his infant son's baptism on the 21st. So that was cool. "President, we set a date but it's an infant and he's not getting baptized in our church!" (Don't worry, we didn't actually make that phone call). Lots of people we talked to on the street gave us free food. In the course of 2 hours we got: 6 tomatoes, 4 pears, and two loaves of bread. It was awesome. Everything is awesome.

All the love,
Hannah

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