Monday, July 16, 2012


Hi everyone! This is Laura's first email form Russia. It kinda a mess as she had to write the whole letter on an ipad which if you've ever done really stinks. I've gone in & fixed most of the spelling.  So enjoy!!

Hello family and loved ones! So this is a little difficult to type because I'm using the senior couples iPad but wow....I think that just about sums up my feelings right about now and concerning the last week. This past week has literally been the craziest week of my life. I've probably never felt so scared in my entire life so I know that this has been a huge leap of faith and probably the biggest trial of faith I've ever had. I've left the comfort of America, the MTC, my district, and my companion to come to a place where there is an overwhelming feeling of tensionin the air. I felt it the second I got off the plane in the Moscow airport. I'm not going to sugarcoat anything but just say how I feel. The flight to Moscow was only about 10 hours but I didn't sleep the entire time because I couldnt. We had to run through JFK airport to make our next flight by there was only an hour in between so I didn't really even say goodbye to America. I didn't really have any chance to talk to anybody on that plane by I was sitting next to sister welch in my district who I love. But it was crazy by I suddenly realized we were surrounded by Russians but it didn't feel strange bc I was with 5 members of my district. After we arrived we went through passport control-which is harrowing bc they don't even talk to you or smile at you or look at you barely. Presidente and sister Sorenson picked us up and we spent a couple of days at their house which is basically little America and in a compound gated neighborhood. I'd never felt so tired in my life and we stayed up the whole day but then went to bed around 7 and when I woke up I felt lime I'd been hit by a bus. Little miracles did happen along the way though-like sisters at the MTC helping me and sister carver with our suitcases and I didn't have to check my third carry on bc I shuffled everything around. We did some training at the central office and then we went to red square and met up with our companions. My companion is named sister polis chuck and is very sweet and kind and funny. She's from Ukraine but only has two transfers left in her mission. And speaks perfect English bc she's had a lot of American companions. So I'm blessed bc she can help me with the language and still understand. Each other but it's hard not to talk in english. We actually stayed in Moscow an extra day bc we had to fly to ukraine on Friday so she could renew her immigration card. So we didn't actually get to our area until late Friday night. We're in a city called Nizhny novgorod which is the secind or third largest in russia and is actually divided into two branches and we're in the lower one that is seven hours away  but we took a really nice train that only took 4 hours. So we had a whirlwind first could of days. It'd really crazy how much the church does to make it possible for us to be here with the visas trips since they only last 3 months. But apparently they might pass a law which will make it possible for us to get three year visas if Putin gets around to signing it. The flight to Kiev was probably one of the single scariest experiences of my life. We flew on a Russia airline and a smaller plane that wasn't a Boeing. I felt nervous when we took off because it was making creaking noises and was rough and even my companion was nervous and she'd taken that trip about 8 times over her mission but usually not a Russian airline. I remembered dad telling me about how the Russia airplanes were the worst and a hockey team died on one and my companion told me afterwards that they used expired airplanes because they spent more money on their train systems. I said a prayer but was still on the verge of a nervous breakdown but my companion shared with me that she had also felt afraid but after she prayed she felt impressed to share with me that she felt heavenly father said that we were in the palm of his hands and she knew everything would be okay....and it was. So i was grateful heavenly father answered my prayer through her. The plane back was a Ukrainian. Airline was better and used a Boeing so I wasnt scared as much. I'm having a hard time....I'm terrified here and intimidated and it's painful to look around me and wonder why was I born american? Why was I born with the gospel? My companion has had a really hard life. Her mom is estranged from her, her dad lives in Canada, and she joined the church three years ago. She's Ukrainians but also part Jewish and had a really hard last transfer and apparently there was some scary stuff that happened in our apartment before it was blessed by the elders....she said that it was okay now but I felt scared after she to,d me. She said that it's because Russia is a cursed land with a lot of blood and Americans usually haven't had experiences like that bc we are from the promised land. So you can imagine I've been making quite a few adjustments. People in public don't smile or talk but stare. I always try to smile back and talk but it's hard. One woman today on the bus was super friendly and I gave her an invitation to church. The branch is great though. I got to give a talk yesterday and basically just bore testimony. Everyone is very kind and says that I have really good Russian. We had a couple of lessons with a recent convert named anastasia who is a young mother who is absolutely gorgeous and very kind and sweet! With also had a lesson with her frend Sergei who is scared to read the book of Mormon but came to church yesterday and is a very kind and good man so we think he's ready now and is going to start progressing. We also met with babushka inna, a 91 year old woman who is a member and had done all the temple work for her family. She is in a lot of pain bc she broke her hip but she is very sassy despite her condition. She didnt seem impressed with my Russian or that I was from Texas....haha....but I told her I studied in Utah which she liked because the elder who baptised her is from Provo. 
I'm intimidated by a lot of people and it's hard because I feel like an outsider looking in. But my companion is very supportive and kind and undatands what I'm feeling bc she's had many American companions and knows that it just takes some adjusting. She's has a hard time bc her health is bad and has gotten worse on her mission and the doctors in Ukraine are not very good. It's crazy to realize the difference of the standard of living and how much I just wish these people could live in America, even though it's not perfect either. Its crazy b/c it reminds me a lot of what Anna experienced and witnessed on her mission. Althougb probably not to the same extent but its insane how different even from the rest Of western euorpe It is.  My companion is not sure what she will do after her mission. She has no support besides the branch back in Odessa and can't afford to come to America but I'm sure the lord will bless her and provide for her after serving him. 
Our apartment is really nice! A senior couple that left lived in it and it has a really amazing shower and air conditions g and modern furniture. We're not sure how long well live there but it's nicer than any place college students live so I feel pretty spoiled. I'm grateful for it but I also know I shouldn't get too used to it bc it wont be like that the rest of the mission. 
I know everything will be okay but it's just hard right now. I miss sister carver and my districts alot.I am surprised by how much I can understand and that people seem to be able to understand me but when we get going real fast its incomprehensible. Its not what I expected though that's for sure...please pray for me and keep emailing. This is the hardest thing I've ever done.....And right now I don't see how I will be able to do it. But I'll try, I'll give it shot, and trust that this is what the lord wants and I know that it's what the people here need. Id always read about enigmatic Russia and its history and knew how they'd suffered and that it was a different mentality. But witnessing it firsthand is a whole other ball game. I want to love it tough, and love the people and try to be proactive to bring the hope of the gospel first hand as a messenger of christ. 
I'm glad everyone is well. Mom for my birthday I don't really want anything. Maybe you can try to send peanut butter.
Btw our address
Russia Moscow mission
Muravskaya street building 143
Moscow 125310
Love you all! And please don't freak out about this email, sorry it's a bit of a downer. But I'm really okay!

Arrived in Russia

Dear Brother and Sister Schmidt, 
I just wanted to let you know your daughter arrived safely today in Moscow and we love her already! What a fine missionary she is.  Thank you for letting us have her for the next 15 months and we will watch over and care for her.  I have attached a picture of her that was taken this afternoon shortly after she arrived.  She will be here in the mission home with us tonight and tomorrow night and on Thursday she will meet her trainer.  My husband has given her one of our very best sisters as her trainer, Sister Polishchuk, from the Ukraine, and they will serve in our  upper Nizhniy Novgorod Branch.  Nizhniy is east of Moscow and is about a 4 hour express train ride.
Our P-Days are on Mondays and that is when they can email home, do their laundry, shopping, etc.  Our mission address for all letters, packages, etc. is:
                Sister Laura Schmidt
                Russia Moscow Mission
                Galvpochtampt  a/ai  257
                #101000 Moskva
We are excited to have our Sister Schmidt here in our Russia Moscow Mission.  If you ever have any questions or concerns please feel free to email me. 
Sister Sorenson

Halfway To Russia

Hello family! We are 4 hours away from Moscow right now! I've been up since 4:30am & have only slept for two hours but all is well and I love it! I'm so blessed to start this journey with
5 members of my district and some of my best friends! Love you all!
Love, sister Schmidt

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Last email from MTC & Leaving Monday for Russia

Hello family and loved ones and happy Fourth of July!
So the big day is this upcoming Monday that I will be leaving for Moscow! It is official that Moscow West missionaries are now simpy part of the Moscow Russia mission, so I will be flying to Moscow and staying at Presidnet Sorenson's house. We're leaving the MTC on Monday and 5:00am. We'll probably get to the airport about 6 and then get through security around 6:30 or 7. So family, I will be calling around 7am, which is probably about 8am on Monday, Houston time! Please answer the phones! Any-I'm not sure whether to call mom or dad's cell phone and I need Anna's number! Then our flight takes off from SLC at 8:30 and we fly to New York. We'll arrive at 3:10, & then we have an hour to hustle and make it to our next flight to Moscow. This flight takes off at 4:10 and then we arrive in Moscow 9:55 am (time change taken into account).
I still don't have my new address for Russia, because the one on my blog and facebook was for Moscow west, but I will send it my first email home in Russia! Until then, please do not mail anything to MTC, because I won't be here to get it, but if you want to write, email is probably the best way until then.
Today the temple was closed, so we had our whole P-day to pack, which has been a bit stressful but I think I have the situation under control. Delta now charges $75 for a second bag, which we have to pay out of pocket but then the church will reimburse us. I'm a little scared and excited and nervous and about a thousand other different emotions! This past Saturday we had our last weekly planning and last companionship inventory, and then we've had our last lessons with three of our "investigators" Lydia, Vanessa, and Rebecca, which makes me really sad. They've all agreed to a baptism date and I feel happy that we're leaving them on a good note.
Words can't even describe what this MTC experience has been like. I've never cried more in my entire life than since being here! Both the good cry and the bad cry! But I also have had some of the happiest moments, and have truly felt the Lord's love and have felt so loved by our teachers, and Sister Carver, and my district.
Last night was our last Tuesday devotional and we heard from an emiritus or retired seventy, Elder Yoshihiko Kikuchi, who has served as a seventy for 36 years, was president of the Tokyo temple, mission president of Asia north, and mission president of the Honolulu, Hawaii mission. He was really funny and very direct and bore a very powerful testimony of the importance of being obedient and clean. He stressed that we should read the Book of Mormon and Preach my Gospel, everyday for personal study unless the Spirit dictates otherwise. He told us that "Angels are videotaping" us and told us that when we're clean and pure it's like holding hands with the Savior. He said that our number one souvenir to come home with is the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and that when we are obedient and worthy we can feel his presence 24 hours a day.
I loved his talk and felt that it was truly inspired for me, especially before heading out into the field.
I've realized since being here, that this experience at the MTC is not about the language but about strengthening our own personal testimonies of Jesus Christ and of the restored gospel. I feel that I can leave the MTC confident that I was diligent and did my best to study both the gospel and this language. I had started reading the New Testament this past week after finishing the Book of Mormon, but I felt impressed that I should restart the Book of Mormon. After deciding that, we heard Elder Kikuchi speak last night, who stressed the importance of reading the Book of Mormon everyday, so I felt like it was an inspired decision.
I've decided to make some goals for myself the first week that my teacher Sister Alletto helped me set: I want to talk to somebody everytime I go somewhere, and I want to talk to anybody I sit down next to.
I know that if I have the courage to open my mouth, that the Lord will fill it and allow me to speak the words that that person needs to hear.
I'm excited to see who I'll sit next to on the plane, to meet my mission president, and to meet my trainer, but most especially to meet the people I will teach!
It is surreal that I'm leaving in a couple of days, but I feel so excited and I'm grateful that 6 members from my district will be going with me to the same mission, because my temporary family will still be with me!
I love you all and thank you so much for your love and support and prayers!
I'm so grateful that I get to spend 4th of July here before leaving and to be a citizen of this great country! Tonight we actually get to watch a talent show and fireworks which I'm excited about!
Love you all!
-Sister Schmidt

Pictures from the MTC: Enjoy!!

week 10 in the mtc

Hello family and loved ones!!!!
Oh my goodness time has flown by and this past week and has been jam-packed!!!!
Thank you as always for your letters and support-please send me more because I only have 10 days left in the U.S. and then once I get to Russia, I'll only get letters every 6 weeks!!!!!
And mom, please send me the stuff I asked for before its too late!
I still don't have my Russian address, but I will probably have it by next Wednesday for everyone after we get our travel plans!!!!
I hope everyone is having a good summer and doing well!
Right now it's new mission-president's conference at the MTC.
On Saturday we didn't have class because the new mission presidents were meeting with missionaries from their mission. We didn't have a new mission president for Moscow, so the rest of the missionaries got to watch "The Other Side of Heaven" which was a pleasant surprise! I'd never seen it the whole way through, but really enjoyed it. I was suprised how some parts of the film were actually a little uncomfortable to watch, that wouldn't have bothered me as much before my mission. Which I think is proof of how strong the Spirit is in the MTC and also how sensitive it is!
So yesterday we got to go to a special devotional, because it's mission conference for all of the new mission presidents!
So the prophet and all of the twelve and first presidency have been here, but we haven't been able to see them because they have seperate training with the mission presidents. I was kind of bummed about that.
But yesterday's devotional was a special one that was in the afternoon instead of the evening!
We got to be in the same room as all of the new mission presidents and then seated on the stand were Elder Perry, Oaks, Holland, Nelson, Ballard, Bednar, Scott, Anderson, Christofferson, and Cook!!!!! So TEN of the TWELVE!!! Presidnet Packer wasn't there or Elder Hales and none from the first presidency but it was soooo amazing to be in the same room as ten of the twelve apostles and the Spirit was so strong!
I was thinking to myself, "These are the closest men on earth to Christ....and there are ten of them here!" It was soo amazing and I felt so blessed to have that opportunity, because I know that if I was doing anything else in my life right now, I wouldn't have had that experience.
Elder Perry was the speaker, so we got to hear from him again which was wonderful.
I was a little suprised at the talk because I was thinking it would be doctrinal, but he actually spoke and shared statistics from the church from different studies that have been done around the U.S. by univesities and other institutions.
He called it "The Mormons Next Door" and here are some of the stats for the church:
LDS women live 5 years longer than non-LDs
LDS men live 10 years longer
Because of fasting, LDS are 40% less likely to have clogged arteries
90% of LDS report satisfaction with their lives as opposed to the national average of 75%
81% of LDS say that being a good parent is an important life goal
The more education LDS church members have, the higher percentage of church activity which is unusual because the opposite is true for most other religions
80% of those who served missions believe it prepared them for careers.
LDS perform on average 428 hrs of volunteer service as opposed to 48 hrs of average American. 9 times more!
100% of donation for humanitarian efforts go to charitable causes.
Beneficiaries of church welfare do not become dependent.
And according to the Wall Street Journal, the welfare program of the church, "Creates the kind of safety net that government can never hope to create."
He also spoke about the perpetual education fund and how 50,000 from impoverished backgrounds have benefitted from it and they earn 3-4 times as much as those who are not given opportunity from impoverished background. So it really struck me as to how the church is trying to help all of humanity-whether LDS or not!
And the church is making great efforts to break cycles of poverty in countries where people have no opportunity, and it in turns benefits those countries!
His talk really reaffirmed my testimony of how perfectly the church works, becuase it is GOD'S church, and it has only one aim: to benefit God's children, which is everyone!!!!
Unlike government institutions, there is no corruption, because it only wished to benefit everyone!
So that was a really interesting and eye-opening talk and helped reaffirm the knowledge that I'm also going out to do the Lord's work and try to better his children and this world! After the talked Elder Scott waved to us and Elder Holland blew us all a kiss! I was really hoping to get to hear from Elder Holland at some point in the MTC, but I loved Elder Perry and I was happy that we just got to be in the same room as ten of the twelve! Some non-Russian missionaries were complaining afterwards that they didn't think it was a spiritually uplifting talk and I was just so surprised and thought to myself "Seriously?! How can you be complaining?! What a priviledge to see them at all!!!!" I've been very impressed to realize the caliber of the missionaries going to Russia, because I rarely see behavior or hear things that suprirses me like that. But I might also be a little biased!
I can't believe I only have 10 days left in the US! We should be getting our travel plans here in the next couple of days, so we'll need to start packing and I'll find out exactly where we're flying!
Today was our last temple trip because it will be closed next Wednesday for fourth of July! Me and Sister Carver were pretty sad, because we've been able to go every week for the last 10 weeks, but we think we'll be able to go on Visa trips and hopefully get to go to the Kiev Ukraine temple!!!!
Last Wendesday, me and Sister Carver got to participate in the How to Begin Teaching workshop for new missionaries. We basically got to "knock" on a door of an investigator's house and then get to know them for about ten minutes before they let the new missionaries take over.
Our second investigator was this hilarious Japanese man who kept telling us about how his friend told him that he was sending the "cutest missionaries" and that he said that his friend said we were going to sing for him! We had a microphone and were in front of a huge group of new missionaries so were like....ummmm....please no!!! He kept making jokes and trying to get us to sing and we were trying to stall him by saying a prayer and asking him questions! Luckily, the teacher in charge of the workshop cut us off before he could get us to sing!!!
So that was a really fun experience and I feel blessed to have been able to participate in it!
We also got a new "investigator" this past week named Lydia who's very sweet. She's an elderly grandmother and was already taught in Ukriane by the missionaries, so she knows about the Book of Mormon and a little about the Plan of Salvation, but hasn't quite gained a testimony yet. So it will be fun to teach her for the next week before we leave!
I love you all and miss you all! Please write to me and pray that I will be able to get everything together before we leave!
-Sister Schmidt

week 9 in the MTC

Hello family!!!!
So I have to make this email pretty short and sweet today, but thank you everyone for your letters and support and most importantly for your love!
We have a little less than three weeks left before we leave for Russia, and it still hasn't quite hit me yet.
Tonight, me and Sister Carver are participating in a workshop called "How to Begin Teaching" for the new missionaries. We'll be going around to three different rooms that are set up like an investigator's actual living room and "knocking" on their door. This is what we did our first day, and Elder Turner and his companion were the missionaries who "knocked" on our door. We get to teach the investigator (who's an actor) for ten minutes before the workshop director tells us to stop and then let the new missionaries have their chance to teach. I remember being in that workshop the first day and being TERRIFIED!!!!!
It's pretty crazy to think back to two months ago and to realize how far we've come with the Lord's help! I feel like this might be an opportunity to make up for that first day when I was too scared to talk! What's nice about it is that it's in ENGLISH, so we actually will be able to get to know the person a lot more and I'm just hoping and praying that the Spirit will be there and that we will be able to love whoever we will be teaching and that we will be calm.
So that's pretty exciting, and I'm really grateful to have the opportunity.
This past Sunday was Father's Day-Happy Father's Day dad-I love you!!!!!
We had two of the most amazing speakers this past Sunday-Elaine S. Dalton, President of Young Womens, and then Sheri Dew!!!!!
We actually got the opportunity to give Elaine S. Dalton a hug after relief society, and she is so loving and gave us a list of scriptures to take with us out into the field.
Sheri Dew spoke at the Sunday fireside and it was my fist time hearing her speak, and I have the greatest respect and admiration for her! She speaks with POWER and AUTHORITY, and I love how direct and genuine she was. It was interesting because typically we hear from a male speaker and their wives will speak first. I always enjoy this, but sometimes wish that their wives were given an equal amount to speak. But Sheri Dew was the sole speaker Sunday and she is such an example to me! She is clearly a righteous woman who, instead of complaining or being bitter about being single, has gone out and made herself into something and has helped build up the Lord's kingdom regardless!
She said some really cool things: 1) Life isn't just about this life but what comes next. 2) The greatest evil of Satan is to try to make us forget that we're sons and daughters of a king and that we have an ETERNITY to prepare for.
I really enjoyed hearing her speak and was glad to have the opportunity. This upcoming week there will be a new mission president's conference and all of the 12 and first presidency will be hear and there will actually be a 2 hour special devotional next Tuesday, so I'm excited to see who will speak and grateful that I'm here at the MTC during that time!
This week I was feeling a little bit like I had hit the wall with the language and really feeling that I wasn't going to make anymore progress until I got to Russia. But then I felt that since I'm here for 12 weeks instead of 9 it's obviously for a reason and I need to make the most of it! So I've decided to try to memorize the chart that our teachers have given us with the 6 cases, because I want to do my best to show the Lord that I'm making the effort to be diligent, and then he will make up for the rest!
So just something funny: our teacher Brat Savage told us that during one of our first lessons with our "investigator" Koctya, (which was about 6 weeks ago) we asked him to read a verse out of the Russian Bible and apparently we gave him the wrong verse because it was something in Genesis about a man eating something. So he said that he had no idea where we were going with our lesson and had him read another verse that  mentioned something to do with food also, but was actually about the topic we were going to talk about (the Holy Ghost). So we asked him what the verses meant to him and he said that he told us in Russian:" .....They both have to do with food????" Which we clearly didn't understand. So he told us he just nodded our heads and said, "Yeah! The Holy Ghost!" and just went with it!
So we've come quite a long ways since then!
Thank you all for all of your letters and love and support! I only have three weeks left before I go into the field, but after that, email will probably be the best way to communicate with me because our Branch president (who was also a mission president in Russia) said that they take more than 6 weeks to get to us.
Dad: I'm so happy to hear that the office is going so well and I hope that you guys had a good time on your trip to South Padre! And I'm excited about the backyard update =)
I love you all!
Love, Laura

week 8 in MTC

Hello family!
So today we've started our 8th week. Which means we have less than a month left before we head off to Russia! Last week they called us all to the travel office to sign our Russian visas before they send them out. We still don't know what exactly is going on with our mission since it's being split, but I trust the whatever happens will be the Lord's will.
Thank you to everyone for the letters and packages! Mom-I hope you had a wonderful birthday and Dad: happy father's day this Sunday! I love you sooo much and thank you for supporting my decision to go on a mission!
I was so overwhelmed with gratitude when I got a package from a friend of mine, Stephanie Uhl, who I saw at the temple a couple of weeks ago. She sent me a bunch of baked treats and a really sweet note and I did not expect it at all and was so grateful for it, because it had been a pretty stressful day!
A LOT happened this past week! We got 40 new missionaries in our branch and it was a little hectic getting everything ready for them to come! Since my companion Sister Carver is coordinating sister, I got to help welcome some of the new districts and help her give them a tour of campus and bear our testimonies during the branch meeting for all of them!
We now share one of our teachers, Brat Adams, with a district next door and I found out that one of the elders in his new distrit is from our stake-Katy 2nd-and his name is Elder Grant! He's going to a different mission, but it was exciting to meet somebody from our stake also going Russian speaking!
This past week we got to help Brat Adams district during language study and just help them with their pronounciation and some of the basic phrases. It's almost surreal that the tables have turned because it feels like that was so long ago when we were new! I feel like I can relate to a lot of them who feel nervous about the MTC and the language and that I can tell them with confidence that everything will be all right and that they can do this!
Last night we heard from Elder Per G. Malm for the Tuesday night devotional. I remember him speaking at conference a year or so ago, and he and his wife are from Sweden! He was hilarious and we found out that he's getting assigned to be an area 70 for Eastern Europe, so he and his wife are actually moving to Moscow! So we might get to see him when we're in Russia, which would be so aweseome! He gave a really incredible talk and reminded us that we need to stop thinking about ourselves and that Satan will try to discourage us to not be our best, but that he only operates within the boudaries set by the Lord. So it's up to us not to let him discourage us and to trust in our calling!
Our "investigators" Koctya and Lora have both made a lot of progress in the past week! Lora agreed to be baptized this Saturday and we felt so blessed when we were able to teach her about repentance! It's amazing how the Spirit can help guide you to say what you need to say during a lesson, and to use the limited Russian we have! After the lesson, Sister Alletto broke character and told us how strong the Spirit was during the lesson and that she truly felt as Lora that she wanted to repent! So we were really excited abou that. Koctya though has been a little tough, because he hasn't been as responsive in our lessons and seemed confused when we taught about the plan of salvation. His wife hasn't given him permission yet to be baptized but he agreed to prepare to be baptized next Saturday. Me and Sister Carver were feeling a little discouraged and decided that maybe we needed to change the way we were teaching him. I've realized how important it is to listen during lessons and that I can't be so worried about what I'm going to say next, but that I need to allow the Spirit to guide me. Our next lesson with him ended up going MUCH better and his wife went to church with him on Sunday and is slowly coming around!
Something really funny (but also kind of not): right before the devotional a branch president got up and showed up a bunch of bent forks that apparently was found by the kitchen staff! He invited the Elders who were guilty of the crime to come to his office Thursday so they could repent and apologize to the kitchen staff! So clearly, he wasn't amused! I can say with good confidence though that I know it wasn't our Russian elders!
Something else that was funny: we LOVE to play sand volleyball for gym even though I'm TERRIBLE, but it's fun to get out in the sun and play in the sand! When we were playing on Satuday one of our zone leaders accidentally punted the ball right into the side of my face and he felt SO BAD! I thought it was hilarious though and luckily for him I have a pretty tough skin!
The language: is still hard but I love it! The word for friend in Russian is "droog" which is pretty much the most hilarious-sounding word ever! Whenever we see our friends we always say "Hey droogs!" even though its incorrect in Russian!
We learned about verbs of motion, which apparently are really difficult, but our teacher Brat Savage told us that it was all hype and that if we think that, then we are psychologically setting ourselves up for it to be hard! I was feeling a little worried about how Russian has 6 cases but then we talked to some elders who are going to Finland and apparently they have TWENTY-SIX cases!!!!! So when I heard that I felt very grateful that I'm learning Russian! It is getting much easier to understand our investigators and to understand when we teach at TRC and I give all the credit to the Lord!
We're having more speak-your-language days which are actually really helpful because they force us to use what we've learned!
Well I love you all!
Please keep writing!
Sister Schmidt