Thanks again for all the birthday love - it was the best day ever! Because of our new schedule we didn't have any responsibilities, so we pretty much got to lay out in the sun all day, and get this - I got a tan! (props to my tanning coach, Sister Shreck.) Yup that's right, volleyball AND a tan - I'm practically an entirely new person now.
It's been a really good week, but so strange - BOTH our teachers were out of town so we had subs all week long. It was weird, but awesome getting a range of tons of different teaching styles. I think we learned more this week than ever before. Also, one was a Native Ukrainian and acted like it too. She was kind of scary and made fun of us a lot because of our horrible Russian, but it all ended up okay. And like I said, we learned SO much this week. Still we were so happy to get our teachers back.
We had the first of our "crying interviews" this week. Our teachers have interviews with us to see how we were doing and they always just end up being this crazy out pour of emotions - even if you think you're totally fine, you cry! Anyway, the тройка (finally got the Russian characters kind of working) had an interview this week and we were a mess hahaha. But on our way back these sweet missionaries stopped us on the sidewalk and asked how we were doing. They explained that they were stuck here because they hadn't gotten their Visas to Uganda (что??!!!) and were just trying to learn all they could from the missionaries that were still here. They were just so sweet! it reminded me of a story I heard of a little Bolivian girl who said at her baptism: "My mom always told me there were angels on earth. We just didn't know they wore white shirts and ties, and had backpacks instead of wings" Awwww!! All these young men around me really are such angels. And the sisters too.
Can anyone believe I've been here for 6 weeks?! It's scary to think how little I know, and how I only have 3 weeks until I get out into the field and am surrounded by people I can't understand. Hopefully it'll come faster though when I'm surrounded by the people. For some reason words just don't stick here. Let me give you an example of why this is a problem. Yesterday we had this great lesson with our investigator, Anatoli. Everything was so awesome and then at the end we asked if he would sing with us. He smiled really big, and we pulled out our hymnbooks, and started to sing. He seemed so excited! We got back and talked about how great the lesson went, how much Anatoli loves to sing, yadda yadda... Then брать Okoren walks in (he had been playing the Role of Anatoli) And says, "старейшини [That's the word for elders - so intense!!] и Sisters [can't get that word to work] there's something we need to get straight right now." He then proceeds to write on the board:
cпеть- to sing
спать- to sleep
He looks at us, and we realize... In our lesson, what we had ACTUALLY said was, "Anatoli, we want to sleep with you!" Ummm, неловкa!!!!! haha those mistakes were bound to happen eventually though, and needless to say we all got a good laugh out of it.
Well I can't think of anything else really... I hope everything's going well at home! I'm loving it here, and can't wait to get to Ukraine and love it there!
Much love to all,