Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Last English Club Part II

Since Brandt could not teach both the beginner's and more advanced English classes simultaneously, (his companion, Elder Aleksey Busov, does not speak English) English Club had to end. So here are pictures from the last English club, and other random pictures of Brandt and his companion.

Last English Club

Saturday, October 24, 2009

E-Mail from Mission President

The mission president sent an e-mail with a question for me, and a nice paragraph on Brandt, which I include on the blog:

Hello Sister Curran,

I've got your e-mail address from your son Elder Curran. I'd like to tell you that everything is good with him. I saw him last week during our zone conference. We had a chance to talk during my interview with him. He seems getting adjusted fine. His Russian is getting better and better. He proabably told you he had a Russian companion for this transfer.

President Nechiporov

Russia Rostov Mission

(Even though he is in the Lord's hands, a Mom can't help but worry a little. Getting an e-mail letting me know that he's doing great is always nice.)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Travels with Chibi

Elder Duersch and companion with Chibi
Brandt and companion Elder Busov with Chibi

Zone conference (with Chibi)

Uh Oh, Poor Chibi!

Brandt included the following e-mail from another missionary that discusses Chibi, the furry toy that appears to be a mission mascot. (The e-mail appears to have been written by one of the Russian missionaries.) Pictures with Chibi above.

We have some more pictures of Chibi's journeys throughout the mission.We've been able to get 2 of the last 3 challenges which is good but we hadn't received a letter from P-Zhok for a while. But we just got the following...

Dear Chibi,
I apologize for the long time between letters. We tightly have been working and we experiencing success. Why-to many of people have been trying to eat me because I am in the quality of food. They don't draw attention on my eyes, mouth and the fact that I speak. It has been to me scary not long ago and to me it seems that someone is trying so stop us and our work. Be careful there. Our conferences of zones have been pretty steep and to us it wants to work dilligentlier than ever. I love this work and our time is diminishing but work hard. Of luck keeping up with our pace. We are still winning, and when you lose, just remember, that there is always available in the school of missionaries a job in the cafeteria. P-Zhok

After we received this letter we received this disturbing's the last one.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Still Working


No pictures were attached, unfortunately. Maybe next week. As far as college-aged kids, that's not a good approach here in Tuapse. I don't know how to explain it, but pretty much 99 percent of everyone here hates us. Not just hates us, but literally despises us. So, that's what we're dealing with here. Anyway, missionary work is slow. But I keep trying.

Elder Curran

P.S. I need to buy a decent blanket and some other things.

Love, Elder Curran your son

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Keeping it Real

Elder Porter, Lyudmila, her son and his family, Elder Curran, Elder Gregersen

It's I'm going tosay 8 (it's really 7) in Tuapse, Russia and I'm going to say 65 degrees! That's nuts. I swear if we took a picture of where I tracted my first week here, you would think I was in Brazil. Anyway, on with the news.

The bad news is that my beloved traner and good friend, "Elder Porter" is gone. Also, they put me with a Russian companion, who doesn't speak English at all, Elder Busov. I don't know how to explain Elder Busov. At home, he's cool and relaxed and likes to eat weird Russian things with a ridiculous amount of mayonaisse. But on the street, it's like serving with as rude robot. But on the street if anyone, maning pretty much everyone shows disinterest or has conflicted feelings about the church, he talks to them like they're an idiot or shurgs his shoulders like it's their loss. Dang man, at least be kind. Idk.

There is an upside to this companion transfer. I am no longer a greenie. And my Russian is improving like crazy. In our bathroom, there are a bunch of signs with instructions about what to do with the water heater and toilet...and etc. When I got here, I was like man I might as well be reading Elfish. None of this makes sense. Well, today a miracle happened. As I was "doing my thing," I was reading the signs and was like holy poop! I understand every word on here. It was definitely a great moment. I haven't spoken Englsih in five days, so to write in English is a great relief.

Also the other night I was laying in bed looking out the window, and I see this Russian guy walk out of his house and straight up pee off his third floor balcony apartment, and it didn't even faze me. Russian pee anywhere whenever. All toilets except home toilet you have to pay to use. So kids are taught from an early age that if you have to pee or "do your thing," just find a nice quiet spot outside and go for it. Anyway, enough about peeing. And toilets.

Last transfer we worked hard and ended up with one progressing investigator, Lera. She is the 18 year old girl, who came to English Club. Well, we finally got her to come to chuech, and she brought her mother, who was visiting frou out of town. They had a blast. No doubt they felt the spirit, and acutally the mother left telling Lera that she needed to come to our church every Sunday. We gave the Mom a Book of Mormon and a bunch of Liahonas and sent them off on their way. Excited about her Sunday, the mom went to her batushka (Russian Pravoslavniy Priest) the mother showed he all the stuff she got and told him about her wonderful experience she had at church. The batushka immediately told her she had committed the worst sin she could and that she needs to pay "X" amount to the Pravoslavniy Church for "X" amount of time, say the prayer "Our Father" 40 times for a month, and come to the true church every Sunday for a year for Lera and her to be forgiven.

So...pretty much Lera is no longer an investigator, and the Tuapse missionaries are back at square 1. Nothing :(. We are teaching, but it seems that no one wants to pray about the Book of Mormon.

The other day, this Protestant group of young adults, probably about 23 or 24 years old, came to talk to us outside. And we taught them the first lesson. They were like there is no need for a prophet or a Book of Mormon and you just need to read the Bible, pray to God, and he will tell you everything to do. I was like why do you read the Bible if you see no need for prophets. The whole book was written by prophets and is their counsel. After that, I committed them to read 3rd Nephi 11 and pray if the Book of Mormon was true. They said they would and would call me. They didn't call me. Not surprised.

Anyway same old same old. Endless knocking. Lots of doors slamming. People calling us devil worshipers. yelling at us and calling me the N word. But hey. The Church is still true :). It really is and a testimony of that is the only thing keeping me out here. Cause, to keep it real, Tuapse is not a pleasant place.

I'd like to give a challenge to all of you to read 3rd Nephi chapter 11 in th eBook of Mormon and pray in your own words to God, your Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, your Savior to know if the Book of Mormon is true. If you already have a testimony, strengthen it. If you don't, I promise you that youcan receive, if your desire to know is sincere.

Well, I'm signing off.


Elder Curran