Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 Christmas in Perm Russia

Dear Family and Friends,
Well, I have decided I am going to start a new way of emailing home instead of my usual random rambling and babbling about things that aren’t really interesting and or important. I’ve decided that I am going to write my weekly letters home before I go to email so I can do some editing and revising before sending them off. So, today is my first real attempt and we will see how it goes.
My First piece of business is an attempt to apologize for my lame phone call home on Christmas. I found myself somewhat frustrated with hearing that there is “Nothing new” going on in everyone’s life. I might take that answer as legit if I had just left home and only been gone a few weeks or even months, but I’ve been gone for nearly two years…and that is not the response I should’ve been hearing, especially when there are so many changes going on. I have been on my mission far too long to think that nothing at home has changed. How can nothing change in the past 21 months? It just blows my mind. I guess someone just put the pause button on Mesa. Ha-ha… just kidding, I understand life is just the same old thing for you, but next time for anyone who will read this just think of anything new to tell missionaries! Often times one might think that the things you might think are just boring and lame could be very exciting to your missionaries. Missionaries love to call home but hate hearing that nothing has changed!!!!!!

Also, all the many comments from people saying "Hey don’t get trunky!" Do absolutely no good to a missionary. I am sorry, but my opinion is that all those people who tell a missionary not to get trunky probably got trunky on their missions! I am not trunky in the least. I find myself working harder than ever just trying to do everything I know how to keep this area afloat. If anyone has any good advice for a missionary coming down on the home stretch I would love it, but "Don’t get trunky" Is the sorriest piece of advice I’ve gotten. So now you know why I may have sounded a bit down. It was still great talking to everyone after we got past the trunky comments! I wish I would have had more time. And… I want you to know that I forgive all of you for those unappealing comments. Some of you still need to polish up those social skills every now and again...(BJ and Britt) But Britt has an excuse she’s about 12 months pregnant haha! And…it was a little too early in the morning for her.

Now that I am done with my reprimanding I will tell you about my amazing Christmas experience here in Perm Russia… I really enjoyed it this year, so much more than last year, being stuck with four missionaries in Kurgon. It felt a lot more like Christmas. However, talking to my family was still the highlight of the day, despite the above comments! I love the heck out of each and everyone of them! I still miss you guys even though you all seem like some made up piece of information that someone put into my head. It seems like I’ve been gone forever and you are all just a distant memory. Anyway, let me continue on with my Christmas experience…in the morning we stopped by the Central Market where we and went to our favorite donut kiosk and ordered 4 kilograms of donuts, the lady was pretty surprised that we ordered so much, but I am sure when she realized we were Americans everything was clear. Then we went to the Nearhrings (can’t spell) and helped them set up for our missionary Christmas party. The party was really great. We had tacos and played games. After eating, we had a white elephant exchange. We all picked out gifts a few days before. For my gift, I bought a Max Lucado book titled "You are Special" in Russian… how cool is that!!!!! It’s a story with an awesome meaning. It’s about a town filled with small wooden people. These people go around and give out stickers either a gold star or a grey dot. The gold star means you’re pretty or talented and the grey dot means the opposite. There is a small wooden guy who doesn’t get any stars and a whole lot of grey dots. His life is pretty sad to be honest and then one day he meets a wooden girl who doesn’t have any stickers at all and she tells him all he has to do is go and see the master that made them. So one day he goes and talks to the master and the master tells him how special he is to him and how much he loves him and that no one else’s opinions matter but his. And he also tells him once he realizes his is the only opinion that matters then the stickers won’t stick. It’s a really good book! I love it. I was worried for a while about whose hands it would fall into, but then when it all came down to it, Sister Rodgers got the book and I was pretty happy, one day I think she will be able to understand how awesome it is and what a great find it is. The ironic thing is, I got her gift she picked out which was a song book of all the Russian folk songs which was pretty dang cool and a tube of bubbles.... pretty cool huh? She is pretty funny. We also played some mafia which was a lot of fun. I am terrible at being Mafia, but really good at being the detective and persuading people… ha-ha. It was pretty dang fun and reminded me a lot of home playing with the family.

After the party, we went with some of the missionaries and Katya to the main square where we took pictures of lights and the ice sculptures which was pretty cool. We also had a big snow fight and about froze our hands and feet off!!! We just jumped around in this big field of snow it was a blast and a great night to remember! Honestly, Christmas kind of made me take a step back and look at my mission as a whole and a real sense of peace set in and I realized how happy I am with it and all that has happened and the growth that I have experienced. Mostly, I am grateful for the people of Russia and all that I have learned from them and the way they have touched my heart. I have a great and deep love for them. I am just really happy with my whole experience as a missionary and have made it through with very few regrets. I really am doing well and just trying to make everything better one day at a time. I am sorry for sounding a bit down on the phone. I want you to all know my spirits are back up and at full speed so don’t worry about me! Take it easy!

Love Elder Chad M Dewey

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