Friday, June 27, 2008

LONG... FLIGHTS, LAY OVERS, and TRAIN RIDES...HE ARRIVES in RUSSIA...Elder Dewey's story begins here in UFA this very church (one of few)...

Hello Everyone,

I have ARRIVED…and… SURVIVED…and…ALL IN ONE PIECE!!! The journey was LONG and INTENSE, but it is so exciting to finally be here in Russia. I have waited such a long time for this and it now seems so surreal. Sometimes I have to say to myself that this is actually real and I am not dreaming.

So, here it is… a breakdown of the journey. We left the MTC 8:00 am Monday morning for the SLC airport. We had sometime before our plane was to take off so, I made a few short phone calls to family and friends and grabbed a bite to eat, which later I found was a HUGE mistake! We boarded the plane and most of us had middle seats, that way we are were able to strike up a conversation on both sides and have the opportunity to share the gospel. The flight to Chicago was a little rough and bumpy and as we were ready to land, I started getting airsick!! I held everything down pretty well until we got off the plane and had to walk through a tunnel with a bunch of RED FLASHING LIGHTS and THAT DID IT!! I had to make a mad dash to a bathroom and was lucky enough to have made it in time, but unfortunately, my tie got in the way. After hurdling up my breakfast, I let my stomach settle, while I called more family and friends. I was excited to talk to everyone and that helped me get over the nausea.

Once we arrived to Franfurt, I made more phone calls and then I had to pull my companion away from his phone to grab a quick sandwich. It was tricking, because he was on the phone with his girlfriend of three years and was getting all tearing eyed. The flight from Frankfurt to Yekaterinburg seemed long, I guess because of the long layovers and flights.
When we arrived to Yekaterinburg at 5:00 am Wednesday morning we had some trouble, because they wanted us to pay a lot more for our baggage, but the AP’s jumped in and handled it for us. President Allen and his AP’s drove us back to the Mission Home where we were able to shower, and Sister Allen had a great breakfast waiting for us. We had orientation and then out the door we went to our new areas. My trainer, Elder T and I were the first ones out the door. We went to the office and then to the store to get some food for our SIXTEEN-hour train ride to …OKAY…HERE IT ISUFA!!! SO... IRONIC, because it is one of the few areas that actually has a church building. When I received my call, I found a picture of this church building on the internet and I set it as my screensaver. It's living next to the same church in the picture that I had been staring at on my computer screen all these months!! How weird and bazaar is that!!

The train ride was an experience in it’s self. We passed through Chilibrinsk, which was way cool and I saw a lot the Russian countryside, which was beautiful this time around.

When we arrived to Ufa, we went to our apartment, After arriving to our apartment, I showered…AND… GUESS WHAT??? I had NO…can you GUESS??? You got it!! NO HOT WATER!!! So I had my first VERY COLD SHOWER!! It’s a great way to get over long flights and train rides!!! After the shower, we had to move apartments. After moving, we met up with some other Elders at MacDonald’s. I had to order on my own, but that was good. My old Zone Leader, Elder T from the MTC is here in UFA as well.
Anyway, it’s weird to finally be here in Russia, riding busses and trains and having girls check us out, (which is a little creepy). I even had a five year old boy try to put his hands in my pockets to try and still money so I had to swipe his hands away. Oh, and my bed that I sleep on is…CAN YOU GUESS??? You GOT IT!!! A COUCH!!! It’s all AWESOME…but no one back home can give me crap because the living conditions are crazy. I really don’t mind any of it, I’m just excited to finally be here. We actually have a nice apartment compared to other elders.
Anyway, I need to go because I only have another minute at this place.
I love you all!
Elder Dewey

Anyone can email me. We are the only one’s that can receive email from anyone, so please send me emails!!


Bart said...

Chad, I will continue to encourage you to keep your space as clean and organized as you can(do as I say not as I do). I love you and appreciate your great letters. Your mom does a great job with your blog. Love ya

Brad's Mom said...

He sounds so excited. It will be fun for BJ and Chad to exchange mission stories. I'm glad he is safe and happy.

Anonymous said...

What an exceptional elder you are.You will have sooooo many challening experiences while on your mission in Russia. We continue to be proud of you and love you.

The Worthen Family... said...

You are the world's best writer... and so fun to follow. You are a darling missionary... keep up the great attitude!!