Wow. . . . . I cant believe its been one week. I really had no idea what to expect when I was coming out here but it has been a great week. After meeting my companion, Elder Porter, from Heber AZ, and getting to know him a little, we get along just fine. He's way funny and has tons of stories. He's been here for 21 months, so he speaks Russian almost perfectly, in my opinion. Which has its pros and cons. It's definately a blessing, because we can actually answer questions people have about the church. But at the same time we understand all the terrible things that people are saying to us.
I didn't expect to do so much knocking, but that's pretty much all we do. We wake up at 6:30, do some pushups and sit ups, and eat, shower, and get dressed. 8 - 9 is personal study. 9-10 is companionship study. Then we're out the door. On the way to our knocking area, we talk to people which usually consists of people either telling us to get lost or politely telling us they are "Praveslavni" which is the Othodox Russian Faith and that they are not intrested in hearing from us. When we get to our knocking area, we knock which consists of dogs barking at us literally for 4 hrs and people either telling us to get lost or that they are "Praveslavni" and are not interested. Then at 2, we go home have lunch and language study and do it again for another 4 hrs. Very occasionally, someone lets us in and listens to or agrees to meet with us at a later time. From those that either let us in ( Maybe 6 this week) none have actually met with us again :(. WE do however have 3 investigators, 2 of whom we have taught once this week and one we can't meet with right now because he was accused for killing his wife? IDK?
But anyway I have never been so tired and hungry as I have been this week. I lost 8 pounds this week. Ohhh . . and we aren't allowed to eat dinner. Breakfast, lunch, and that's it :(
Tuapse is extremly mountainous, so I'm pretty much walking up and down mountains all day. I convinced my companion to start English Club, so we have been promoting that for a few days and will start in a week and a half. Today, while my companion was getting a hair cut I somehow talked to an old gradmother about it and told her that her son should come to our free english class. She told us we were sent from God. And in my head I ws like "FINALLY! someone gets it," but I knew she was just grateful we had a free english class.
Only 2 guys tried to start fights with us, and they were under the influence. But surprisingly we have made quite a few friends who were under the same influence. Go figure. The Russian word for Black people is the "N" word, but its not a bad word to them, so I literally hear the N word all day, since I'm probably the first black person they have seen in person. So . . . yeah thats gonna take some getting used to.
Our apt is a dump, but we make it home. It's hot as all get out here, but at least we have air conditioning. I'm so grateful for that. At church, there are probably 6 active members, including the Branch President and his wife. So even though I escaped 12 weeks of giving a talk in the MTC, yes I had to talk in church, in Russian, to Russians. I think I did alright. Noone has thrown any rotten vegtables my way, but Ill let you know what happens.
Even though this week have had its downs, I have come so much closer to my Heavenly Father, because I honestly don't know what I'm doing and I need all the help I can get. I know that my Heavenly Father cares and loves all of his children tons! Well, that was my first week in Tuapse aka California of Russia ;) (In my opinion)
love Elder Curran
P.S. please forward this on to anyone and I would love to hear from you. Please write me at firstname.lastname@example.org instead of writing an actual letter. If the letter got here, it would take 6 weeks and email is just so much more convienent ;)