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).