I'm going to make this quick because it's later than I thought it was but I wanted to get an update out and post some pictures. I haven't been paying attention to the time lately so when I was walking home tonight (again through the most wonderful forest) I thought it was much earlier because it was still dusk out. Well it turns out it was after midnight. Apparently it stays light at least until midnight now and the sun comes up sometime before 4:30AM because that's when I wake up in a panic every morning thinking it's noon because the sun is planted firmly in the sky already. I love it.
President Uchtdorf and Elder Anderson came to Moscow on Monday and had a fantastic meeting here with the members. I sang in the Russian choir and got to sit up on the stage just right next to them. The members here in Moscow were so excited to have them come and their talks were so interesting and inspirational for the members here. Some neat things happened while they were in town. I would like to write more about one experience now but I don't think I'll do it justice because I'm so tired so I would rather wait. Just know it's a really neat story and feel warm and fuzzy about it.
Other than that this week has been another great week of touring and working. I went to one of the most beautiful services at my favorite Orthodox church the other day. My friend Jaclyn and I also got completely soaked in a terrible rain storm last night while trying to find a monastery. At least it hasn't been cold.
My Russian is all of the sudden getting a lot better this week. Don't get me wrong; I aint foolin' anyone into thinking I'm a native speaker but I'm communicating pretty well lately. It's like I just all of the sudden had this breakthrough. I've noticed that the guys in my office have stopped speaking English to me now which I take as a sign that they think my Russian has improved as they used to only speak English to me except for one who is from Ukraine and speaks only Ukrainian to me. But it's really nice; for the first time I feel fully confident and justified in calling myself tri-lingual without having to say "but" afterwards. I so wish I could stay the rest of the summer and keep working on it.
My friends and I had tickets to go to St. Pete's tomorrow but they could no longer go and I thought about just going alone but decided against it worrying that I would just spend the whole day lost and tired and without someone to laugh about it with. I'm kind of bummed about it but I've recently discovered some new things in Moscow that I would like some extra time for and I plan to return to Russia many many times for the rest of my life so there will be other opportunities. Fortunately we were able to get our money back on the tickets.
Ok I'll cut it off here. I'm safe and happy and having the time of my life. Would love to hear from you all wherever you are!
Singing in the area office for a farewell for two general authorities that are leaving soon.
Church of St. Nicholai of the Weavers. My FAVORITE church!!! Gorgeous inside and out!
Weavers church again.
Me and Dennis celebrating "Vafly Venesday." A day where I run around the office and make everyone eat a ton of vafly!
Me getting caught eating Vafly even though it's not Vafly Venesday. A BIG no no.
Crappy street band.
I'm sitting in there in the middle listening to the street band.
St. Basil's looking amazing at night!!!
St. Basil's again. And the Kremlin to the right.
Lunch and Vafly for the day at the area office.
President Uchtdorf greeting the members.
Onion domes under construction.
Moscow State University: the biggest building I have ever seen. One of Stalin's "7 sisters."
One of Stalin's 7 Sisters.
~It Just Gets Stranger