Well it has been just over 4 months since we first arrived in Novosibirsk and we are still feeling pretty inadequate when it comes to communicating in Russian. We can both read it fairly well and our understanding is better every day. Thought you might like a little example:
Мы изо всех сил стараются и обучения медленно, и мы очень любим русский народ и в Сибири. Translates to:
We are trying hard and learning slowly and we very much love the Russian people and Siberia.
So there it is – a little Russian lesson. The language is very interesting and challenging but certainly is a great way to stimulate the old brain. We are reading the Book of Mormon in Russian which is helping us a lot in our learning but if we are to finish we are going to have to pick up the pace. Our goal now is to finish by the end of the year which means we will have to read at least a half of a chapter each day. Now I know that doesn’t sound like much but it takes a little time when you are sounding out many of the words (several times) before moving on. I feel like I am in kindergarten.
This week we visited Centralie Park again and this time they had completed all their snow sculptures. We have included a few pictures at the end. Let me just say that they have the system down for photos. There were a few photo spots, like the one we took of the Huffakers with the stuffed animals, where you pay to take your photo with your camera. No one there to take the photo – just your money for the privilege of taking your own photo. Now this is the way to go – no processing costs, no equipment costs, just set up your spot and charge people to take their own photos. Pretty slick. Also, it was about 5f, the ground covered in snow and ice, the music playing and people of all ages just out dancing up a storm(mostly without partners) to old Russian songs. It had the feel of the county fair except that the people were a lot more lively.
We have found out that Siberia (at least in our area) is experiencing an unusually warm winter. Some of the long timers tell us it hasn’t been this mild of a winter for over 20 years. If this is mild I would hate to see a real Siberian зима (winter). Everything else this week was pretty normal until we got to Saturday. Saturday was Russian Orthodox Christmas so all the missionaries in our district (8 Elders and 2 Sisters) 10 total spent the day in our apartment. They were supposed to stay off the street so we had them all over to spend the day with us. A little crowded in our small apartment but we all had a great time. We played a few games, visited, and ate. We then played a couple of other games, carved some soap, did some origami and ate some more. They arrived at 10:30am and left around 7:30pm. It was quite the day. These missionaries are absolutely the best.
|Sister Webb with snow sculpture at Park entrance|
|Princess Leia with Master Yoda|
(This one is for Tyler)
|The BIG city Christmas Tree|
|The Huffakers with the WILD animals|
(This one cost 150 rubles)
|A one horse open sleigh - Russian style|
|Little girls getting in the action|