Monday, October 27, 2014

Fall is Beautiful

It was such a good week here in lovely Chernigov! It is fall and that is wonderful. To celebrate it being fall I have a new addiction to making sugar-free applesauce with lots of cinnamon and all good things fall spice. Did we talk about how I quit eating sugar a while ago? That happened. Here it's sunny if not a little bit chilly, see picture of me standing in leaves and trees. I'm definitely not in the Kyiv concrete jungle anymore.

I also made the best pot of borscht of my life this past week. Hurrah! Oh, and in other food news, this is a picture of me and Sister McInnes and several kilograms of salo, commonly known as raw pig fat that people eat for appetizers. I can't wait to be a vegetarian again.

I love living in this small town again because I feel like I'm right back in Zhytomyr! We spent some time with some babushkas this week, and they were having a sergic (mix of Ukrainian and Russian) conversations and I felt like I was right back in old times. Except I understand a whole lot better than I did last time, so that's fun. 

One of the babushkas, Vera, told us the cutest story. She's 70-something and told us about her childhood in a little village. She said that she has always believed in God, because as soon as she learned to read, her illiterate grandmother (born 1890) would have her read the Bible to her aloud, so that she could hear it. Isn't that darling? 

Yesterday as we were walking into Sunday school the teacher turned to us and was like "so, who's got the lesson?" Uhhhhhh... not you? So this week it was my turn to on-the-spot throw together a Sunday school lesson in Russian. Mission calls should come with a subtitle. Serving a mission: doing a vast variety of things in your second language on the fly. Anyway, the lesson was alright. Better than when I improv taught in Zhytomyr, so that was cool.

I learned how to sew a button this week! There are some way cute members here who are designers/seamstresses. I asked if they'd sew a button back onto my coat for me. I was told, "why give a man a fish if you can teach him how to fish." So we had a "master class" on button sewing and now I am capable of sewing buttons with nobs, two holes, and four holes. #domesticity

Daylight savings time was yesterday which is the best thing ever as a missionary because it's the only time you get an extra hour of sleep without breaking the rules!

Also, yesterday was the election! We went with the branch president and his family to vote  (the word for vote in Russian is literally to voice, isn't that neat?) before we had dinner at his house. The best part was that there was a star wars party, with Darth Vader running for Parliment. I would have voted for them. It was cool to see the elections, with real paper ballots! Yay for democracy. I hope things work out well and good people get put in charge of this little country of ours. We're all praying for Ukraine.

Oh. The most exciting moment of the week was when we woke up at 5AM to get to a girl in the branch's house by 6 to surprise her for her birthday. (I know, when they first told me we were doing that I was like "are you nuts? I would hate getting woken up at 6 on my birthday.") Anyway, she LOVED it and was so thrilled that we came to suprirse her and had a great birthday. So that was fun.

Okay, that is all I can write because the place where we are emailing is FREEZING and my hands are numb.

All the love,

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