Sunday, August 23, 2009

An Insane Trip, but Arrival Safe and Sound

K. So . . . . I made it. I'm in Russia. But seriously the trip there was insane. So insane that I cannot speak of it for fear that as I sit here in the Russia Internet Club in Rostov, I will break down for the dreaded memories that happened only 48 hours ago.

Ok . . . Im just playin. Its not that bad but seriously it was nuts, and truly a day of Nostalgia. I left the Provo MTC!!!!!!! finally !!!!! I waited for this day forever. And headed to the Salt Lake City Airport. (The place I was born - the city, not the airport) We took off and we were "rolling deep" (tons of missionaries) on the plane. The plane ride to Atlanta wasn't that bad, and I even tried to preach the gospel, but the girl to the right of me was already a member and the guy to my right said he only spoke German. I thought he was just saying that so I wouldn't talk to him, but when he spilled coke all over my suit he still couldn't say anything in English, so I believed him.

When we got to Atlanta, I ate a delicious burrito, which is the closest thing that I will have to chipotle and headed to Moscow. The flight was 11 hours long, but since I wasn't that tired I didnt really sleep. Instead one of the members of my district in the MTC got this Russian lady to read the introduction to the Book of Mormon. (She wasnt interested.) And I had about a 3hr conversation with the lady in front of me ( I understood 20% of it) about religion. She took my Book of Mormon and promised to read and pray about it.

After a very long plane ride, we landed in Moscow and then waited in an airport (that I used to fly into all the time) that didn't have air conditioning or air and were greeted by the Moscow Mission President. Although it was good to see a friendly face, it was sad because we still had half of our trip to go, and we were saying goodbye to a lot of the elders that came in with us on June 3rd. We then said goodbye to them and headed to the American Embassy (where I lived for 2 years in middle school), and got our passports. I tried to sneak into the residential area to see my old house, but the security guard apprently liked his job and would not accept any type of smooth talking, flattery, or bribery.

After we came out of the Embassy, we waited outside for the bus and for the driver and somebody who looked like he had been staring at me for a while said "Hi" so of course I gave him a friendly wave back and said HI. Confused he told loudly no in Russian "NYET!" and said HEIL . . . . HEIL HITLER !!!!! Then continued to repeat this many times very loudly and angrily. Although I was very taken aback, I didn't get scared out of my mind until other random people on the street started screaming it too. At that point, the Russian lady helping us out had us get on the bus where I did some serious self reflection on what had just happened. I'm still not sure.

Anyway, we flew drove 3 hrs to another airport in Russia and were given some intructions in Russian and sent off by ourselves. After asking about 6 people where to go, we found where to go. All of the elders with me had never been to Russia b4 and were literally in "shock." I used all the Russian I knew and got us where we had to be, and got our luggage all checked in. We waited for about 5 hrs, and then flew to Rostov. We were greeted by President Nechiporov, and I almost started to cry. The whole day was so miserable. I was so tired. I hadn't slept in a day and a half ,and when I heard the president speak, I felt the spirit so strong, which reminded me of comfort and it was just so pleasant. We drove to the mission home and 5 min of being there, I notice a picture of a kid from Russia that used to go to BYUI and I was good friends with. I asked the Mission President how he knew him, and he said it was his son! Thats nuts.

Well, that's my story. The Mission pres and his wife are amazing, and Rostov is hot and insane. But I'm ready. My new comp is Elder Porter who is 5'1 and prob 119 lbs, and we are going to serve is Tuapse. I'm excited. I'll let you know what happens !!!!!

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