Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Week 5 in Tuapse

Switching Jackets

Elder Porter in a car

Tough Guys

Well, it's been a couple of weeks since I have written, so I will try to sum up the events that have taken place.

--Zone Conference Trip from Heck

Drunk ladies on the train, we left our house key in a city four hours away, we were homeless for a night, a guy pulled a gun on us had to run away, Tuapse flooded the next day and we were still homeless.

- We then helped a drug store unflood themselves for about four hours with five normal sized buckets, and it was about a foot and a half deep. That was crazy.

- We then got our key back and all was well.

As far as missionary work, we aren't having crazy success, but we are trying.

We have in my opinion five investigators, but only one is progressing. Lera is an18 year old English student and right now she is reading the Book of Mormon and trying to get a testimony of it. She is keeping her commitments, and as soon as she receives a testimony, we will commit her to baptism.

We have a woman named Sveta, who is very eccentric and loves to talk to us. she keeps promising toread the Book of Mormon and doesn't. But I think she's going to make us lunch on Friday, and I'm down with that!

Also, we have this guy named Zhenya, who always feeds us gross stuff like rotten fruit and warm tomato juice. They listen to us, but are not progressing.

And we have a really old woman that meets with us and I think she would progress, but every time after we leave her with a commitment to read the Book of Mormon, she forgets where she put her book. She is really old.

It's getting cooler here, so we have started wearing suits,which is pretty cool. I had a theory that more people would talk to us, if we wore suits, but that is definately not the case. The sme amount of people continue to yell, curse, and be rude. Speakin gof that, I almost had to "throw down" (hit someone) this week when this guy kicked us out of his mother's house after she had let us in. And then when his mother reopened the door to let us back in, he got in my face so close as he spoke he was spitting in my eyes. But I remembered what I was there for and who I was representing and walked it off.

Anyway, I have to go, but that was week 4 and 5 in Tuapse. On Saturday, I will find out if I am getting a new companion or getting transferred.

MUCH LOVE.. They church is true.


Elder Curran

P.S. The package did have peanut butter. And I'm glad the peanut is coming. Right now, I use the other thing you got me, but the peanut is way better. As far as missionary work, it's mostly just endless knocking and contacting. No one is very receptive. But for those that are, I will mention them in weekly group e-mail. I'll be trying to send pictures too. Thanks for everything and the package, too.

Love your son,

Elder Curran

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Transfer on the Horizon

Elders Curran and Porter after English Club
After English Club

Flooding in Tuapse

Train Ride to Tuapse with our drunk friends (and train conductor)

Elder Curran in Joobga


Number 1 -Thank you for the package. I got it at zone conference last week. Number 2 -- Thank you for the dictionary. Number 3 -- Still no peanut. Number 4 My peanut broke at zone conference, and I was like well, at least I'm getting the peanut after zone conference. No peanut. Please send the peanut asap so I can have it by next zone conference ... please.

I don't really need any American food. As far as food, we cook a lot of pelmeni and like this frozen plov stuff. We actually make all kinds of stuff, but its mostly pelmeni and Korean ramen. Oh yeah, I would like some peanut butter, too.

The girl who speaks English really well is taking the lessons, and last time she said she wants to get baptized. So.. we will, but we are getting transferred soon, so I don't know if we will be the ones to do it.

Well, hope all is well. Til next week.

Your son,

Elder Curran

P. S. How long did it take you to speak Russian fluently? Any advice, because it is not coming as fast as I would like.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Week 3 in Tuapse - English Club Starts

Its week 3 in TUAPSE !!!!!!

The good news is the church is still true. The bad news is that everyone still hates us. :(

Some sweet things that happened this week is that English club started. About 10 people came and I had 3 in my "Conversational Group" which consisted of a girl that spoke really well, a guy that spoke English but uses ginormous words improperly and a drunk guy that knew 10 phrases who sang for me in Slavic . . . every 15 min. The purpose of English Club is a finding tool, so I think I'll invite the drunk guy to listen to the lessons if he is sober next time . . . or at least not as drunk. I would ask the other guy, but I think he secretly hates me.

Something that is crazy is all the girls wear Hammer pants. I know you think Im joking but I'm serious. Hammer pants. Like the pants that MC hammer wore are trendy. Hammer Jeans, Hammer Sweats, . . even Hammer shorts . . Its crazy. Ill try and get a picture.

One cool thing is that we were walking down the street and we saw some Armenians doing some work on their house, and we stopped and asked if we could help them for free. They told us to come the next day, and we were able to teach them the first lesson. It was way cool, because I felt like Ammon. I don't think they would have talked to us unless we asked to serve them first. We'll see what happens. A member of their family is getting married soon, so we are gonna try and watch Together Forever with them and talk about our Heavenly Father's Plan of Happiness.

Other than that, the craziest thing we did was film a short documentary about this crazy guy who was walking around Tuapse with a GIANT, Im gonna say 17 ft, styrofoam plane replica. It was amazingly hilarious.

Also, one day we were walking in the park, and there was this group of old Russians playing jazz. During their break, as we passed by them, one of the played the American National Anthem.

Well the church is still true. ;) Tuapse is still hot, and I have now lost 17 pounds since coming to Russia. Not even kidding.

Elder Curran

P.S. fwd this bad boy on to anyone who wants to hear the weekly rants of Elder Curran. And don't be shy send me and email ;)

MOM: We kind of stopped telling people I was Obama's nephew, but it was funny for a little bit. I went on splits with Elder Hanks. We contacted in the morning and knocked at night, which was the worst thing . . . ever. We decided to "go somewhere no one has ever knocked," which is prob what every missionary thinks, and I think we went somewhere every missionary has knocked and People were literally SCREAMING at the top of their lungs at us. Well, at least earlier I got to eat Uzbek plov and somsa! It was way tasty and brought back tons of memories. As for the mosquitoes, I did use OFF. It didn't work. But they stopped biting me now. Thank goodness.

Elder Curran

PS thats HILARIOUS about Chavez!!!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Last Photos from the MTC

District pointing at the Map
(Elders Spjut, Williams, Velazquez, Curran, Kempton, Benson, Olson, Wesemann, Apsley, Probst)
Rostov Vs. Vlad Rivalry

Rostov is Number 1!

Vladivostok is Number 1!

Friend from BYUI (of course, Elder Curran does not share friend's name nor where he is going)

Look at our T-Shirts
Doing Laundry
Before Devotional

Elders Curran and Olson

Sister Curran and Elder Curran (They met at the MTC and saw each other every day. "Hey Sister Curran" "Hey Elder Curran")

If the Beatles had been missionaries

Brandt's district with the district of native Russian speakers

District at the Temple

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Week 2 in Tuapse

Tuapse Branch Picnic

Walking with Ira, the daughter of our investigator

The time has come . . . its P day . . . I'm in an internet club, and tons of Russian kids are yelling crazy things in Russian, swearing at each other, and playing some online game.

I'm not sure if I spoke last week about the ongoing war I'm having with the mosquitoes, but I feel like I'm finally winning some battles. I feel like the mosquitoes here got the word out to the other mosquitoes that some chocolate thing is walking around town in a white shirt and tie and he's delicious! The mosquitoes were having a heyday for about a week and a half, but just like how you can only eat so much chocolate cake without getting sick of it, I think that they are done with me and went back to drinking milk.
We had a branch picnic earlier this week and it was crazy! When I heard picnic I thought that we would all meet up at some park, eat some sandwiches on a picnic table, and then say goodbye. To my surprise, we took a bus to the middle of nowhere and then proceeded to hike for an hour to the absolute middle of nowhere and put a small thin layer of cloth made for maybe 4 and somehow sqeezed 15 people onto it and a bunch of food. We then made a fire and ate chicken nonstop for 8 hours as I strained every braincell I have to understand what everyone was saying. The picninc would have been more fun if I didn't crack my knee open when falling on a sharp rock and being bitten by a third of the mosquitoes in Tuapse. We did have an investigator there, and I think his daughter and he had a good time, so that was good.
Elder Porter and I get along beautifully, and one day we filmed a documentary of "the woman in the red shirt" climbing into a sewer drain to save a random cat. It was honestly hilarious, and I will do everything in my power to send that out. As I said in my last email ,we are promoting English club, and I told Elder Porter to start telling all the kids we meet that I was Obama's nephew, so. . . 1) Pretty much every kid in Tuapse loves us and comes up to us to say hello. 2) English club is gonna be packed!

Well, the mission is going good. Only 2 drunk guys tried to fight us this week. I have never prayed this much . . ever, and I know that my Heavenly Father is watching over me. :) The Church is true, that I promise you. And if you ever want to find out for yourself you can find out through prayer!
Love, Elder Curran
P.S. Fwd this to anyone who you think would like to read it and send me a letter. I love hearing from you.

PPS Mom: I have no idea how he killed his wife. The Uzbek resturant is a priority for today. I like the Russia tour idea. I just introduced myself in church. It wasn't anything particular. I wish I had a 2 hour lunch. We only have 1. But it's ok. I'm trying to clean the apt. But it's really hard to keep it clean cause Russia is so dusty.