Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sunday...and the elevator adventure

Alright so already, things are looking up.  I have to say I love church.  It made me feel so much better today.  I heard just what I needed to in every class.  The relief society lesson was on Elder Whirthlin's talk, "Come What May and Love It" which I heard my mom teach in Australia and I can remember thinking at the time, this is going to be important to you, so remember it.  But the details that I remembered that time were much more general so that this time hearing it again, it really could speak directly to my heart and give me the comfort I so needed.  After church, I was able to go to a member of the branch presidency's house for lunch.  We had pasta and spoke English, which was a welcome respite.  Not that I don't love Ukrainian food and Russian all the time but you need something familiar every once in a while to bear you up and refuel your courageous spirit.  I definitely feel like now I can go back to eating cabbage, potatoes, and pickled fish with renewed vigor. Best of all, he had an embassy phone that could call the US so I got to call my family!!!  This was the greatest of the Lord's mercies today.  Just the night before, I had plead with Him saying, "I think I could keep going, if only I could talk to my family.  Please let me talk to my family."  And today I got to!  It made me unspeakably happy.  The only less wonderful moment today was a very Ukrainian moment which is hilarious in hind-sight when the elevator to my apartment stopped working.  When I got home, I went to get on and a babuska said "Elevator (I still don't know that word in Russian) не робатает".  I started poking around for the stairs, going down the lit hallway only to find apartments.  Then I saw the stairs...the dark abyss in the corner.  Seriously there were no lights!  And it was 5 pm so it was dark as pitch outside so the few slit like windows didn't help.  So I got out my cell phone and could see for about 1 foot in any direction.  So I groped my way up the stairs.  I miss counted and ended up going 7 levels up.  So then I went down a level.  But the door on my level was locked or actually I think it was nailed shut.  So I had to grope my way back down six flight of stairs to the main floor.  I buzzed back up to my apartment and tried to explain what was wrong but Vanya didn't understand because he didn't know the word for elevator in English and I didn't know it in Russian and my frantic gestures were to no avail.  So finally he just buzzed me in again and said "Okay, come up and I will understand you".  Only I still couldn't.  So I just stood in the lobby looking stupid until finally my host dad came down.  Apparently at some point the elevator had recommenced operation and he was thinking I was a retard. Unfortunately, I was so flustered that I don't think I countered that assumption at all with my babbling in English since he only speaks Russian.  But it was an adventure.  So the two take-aways are God is great, Soviet housing stinks. (And as a side note: Annilyn is amazing at alliteration).


Deedles said...

Oh Annilyn I really loved this part

But it was an adventure. So the two take-aways are God is great, Soviet housing stinks. (And as a side note: Annilyn is amazing at alliteration).

I can't wait to hear of your adventures to come

Ang said...

Lynnie, Thanks for letting us share in your adventures. You are a strong and amazing woman and I am feeling so proud to be associated with you, let alone related to you! You are an incredible writer and I am so enjoying your insight. I am loving the whole elevator story... It reminded me of the time in Costa Rica at our home where the elevator broke while I was in it. I was stuck in between floors and my Spanish wasn't so good then...So picking up the phone and calling the security guards was difficult when they said, "diga me" (talk to me). I, too, did not know the word for elevator (which I later realized was emblazoned on the wall of the elevator (asensor). Somehow, after checking on each floor, they found me and after much prying, they got the doors open, and I had to literally climb out of the elevator to the floor above. What adventures!
I am praying for you and hope that you get to avoid too much more food-induced illnesses and that you continue to find your days filled with God's beautiful mercies. I know you are blessing the lives of the children you are teaching, as well as the family you are staying with! Love you!

Angela said...

Oh my gosh, Annilyn, that was the funniest story I ever read! Thanks so much for sharing! I'm sure it was really lame at the time--hindsight's great, isn't it? Life would be a lot less fun if we couldn't look back on crazy adventures we've had and laugh. My first couple days of teaching Basic Reading will be like that--one day I will look back and laugh at how horrible it was. Luckily I am also teaching a Level 5 class with six wonderful 11 and 12 year old girls who LOVE to participate! They will be my salvation this semester, I can tell already. Love you! Keep plugging along, and please keep sharing your stories!