Sunday, April 15, 2012

Smile! You're on Candid Camera!

We have finished another week! We are continuing to learn a little more every day and even though the learning curve is huge, we are loving our mission and being in the mission office. Our Russian, on the other hand, leaves a lot to be desired  :o)  

This past week one of Dave's galoshes broke. He really felt it necessary to find another pair due to the rain, slush and mud that is prevalent this time of year. So, he decided to go to the Renock across the street in the Neptune building and see if he could find a pair of galoshes to wear over his dress shoes. He said the salesman didn't speak any English and after going back and forth, the salesman requested that Dave draw a picture of what he wanted. Well, he's no artist and all that happened at this point was a lot of laughter between the two of them as they each tried unsuccessfully to communicate with each other. Needless to say, Dave left without galoshes (which he didn't see anywhere in the store anyway). I guess it was a real Candid Camera moment. (he later got a pair of new galoshes from another missionary at the office who had an extra pair.)

A couple of days later we were shopping again at the renock looking for some potatoes at one of the open air markets. I asked for three. The woman started loading this huge bag of potatoes (3 kilograms) I wanted only 3. It was a process of frantically trying to get her to understand I only wanted 3 katoshkee, not 3 kilograms. David found the whole thing quite amusing as he was watching me make a spectacle of myself).Anyway, she was very kind and gave me my 3 hard-won potatoes.

A couple of days earlier on Wednesday we went to Zelonograd for English group and at the bus stop a man stopped and asked me a question in Russian. I said "I don't speak English." He said "good-bye" and walked away. He must have figured if I couldn't speak English being English I certainly wouldn't be much help to him in Russian. (I was a bit flustered,can you tell?) Then on the way home as we were getting ready to get off at our bus stop a young woman asked me a question in Russian. Silly me, standing near the bus driver, spoke to him in English and said she needed help. Hmmmm. I wonder if she got the help she needed. It was just not my day.(or hers - she definitely asked the wrong person for help) I really do need to spend some more time studying the basic Russian language. I have very good intentions and have a book at the office to study but haven't had much time to look at it.

Our washing machine was fixed this week thanks in part to two wonderful Russian missionaries (natives) who were here at the apartment to talk to the repairman and answer his questions and guide us through this. What would we do without our Russian missionaries? These two young men are actually missionaries from the Moscow West Mission (we are the Moscow Mission) but we work in the same office space and since our missionaries were out of town.

Russians aren't exactly known for being on time (kind of like our repairmen maybe) and we had an hour and a half to get acquainted as we waited for our repairman to show up.

We both have a goal to continue to work on our Russian. We'll let you know how that goes. We actually feel it's very important to try to communicate with these wonderful people in their native tongue. I think they appreciate our efforts, as ineffectual (and humorous) as it can sometimes be.

Anyway, these past couple of days have been BEAUTIFUL. Saturday was our p-day and we were able to walk around Mitina (our city) and enjoy lovely weather in the 50's. It felt like a heat wave!
We were pleased that we were able to make out a lot of the signs and read and recognize quite a bit.

One of my goals was to get something at the opteka (pharmacy) that I needed to have in stock for the missionaries who are returning home. We are sending one home next week and I needed to find this one kind of medication. I promise you this is something you have not bought at home or probably something you will ever need. Are you ready for this? I needed to pills. That's right. Every missionary leaving Russia has to take two different kinds of de-worming pills. I was able to find the first kind with no trouble and they each cost another $1 each. It wasn't until the 5th opteka that I found the second medication needed so I bought 10 boxes at about $4.40 each.  I'll tell you I can hardly wait until we go back home and we get to be the ones on the receiving end of taking these de-worming pills, that our doctor here in the mission says is a must. YUK.

There are some "firsts" coming up this week. We will let you know how we do. :0)

We have been here a month now and while we still are quite clueless about things, we are less clueless than we were and are feeling a bit more comfortable than we were. We are LOVING our mission and are looking forward to what is ahead. There are some big changes ahead which I will share with you later.

Until next week, dosvidonya and boods da rove.

1 comment:

  1. I love your stories! I can just picture Brother Sutton at the shoe store drawing that picture and then laughing with his contagious laugh! Maybe he should have brought his old galoshes with him!

    We had stake conference today and Elder Pieper of the Seventy was presiding. He was a mission president, at one point, in Russia (not sure which mission). He shared some neat stories about his time there.

    Good luck on the language. It has got to be hard!

    Have a great week!