No, I have not gotten the package yet mom. Maybe something that will make you and grandma feel better together: there is a lady in our ward that is dad's age and she looks much older. She is very kind to us young missionaries (much like you and grandma are nice to me and Shane). She does have a problem though, and it is with her husband. He is a drunkard, and he drinks every day. He yells at her just for the amusement, and he refuses to bath for long times on end. The house she lives in is very, very small. The only escape she feels like she has is relatives. It is tough to live with someone that constantly yells or complains, but add alchoholism, smelliness, and live in a very small space, and it would be even tougher. Just hold on a little longer and try to find those good ways to escape offered by the Lord. Rely on him, and he will help lift you.
It is good to hear about the football team. I do not think that I write grown up. It is just as grown up and very great to include those funny stories. President Monson does that. We got to see the Ukraine temple dedication broadcast, and it was amazing. President Monson threw in a ton of jokes as well throughout each session and the cornerstone laying. He poked funny at the translater and threw him for a loop when he started talking about his favorit old songs and what mongrol meant. He also acted very silly towards the audience at the cornerstone laying (including petting a man's head saying he had nice hair that he should give to the bald man behind him). He thought Elder Nelson had a good hand in putting some morter in the stone (as he was a doctor( He also bor his testimony in Russian), and he called a lot of the little boys tigers. He was really funny and also spiritually uplifting. It is great that these people have a temple so much closer to them. The members were all very excited to see such an event happen. I was excited for them, and I am glad that there are some strong members willing to make sacrifices to receive the great blessings.
In Ufa, there are a lot of Muslims, feeling like it is almost 50% here. People look like they are asian and almost native American. It was a hotter summer here than in Kurgan, and though I thought it was cooling down, today was also warm. There are more hills here, but about the same amount of trees, and it is slightly cleaner here than in Kurgan. Central ufa is also a more modern city. I am staying here again for this next transfer that is coming up.
We do not have a whole lot of investigators right now, but we are talking with many people on the street and trying to find more people who are interested. Something funny that happened to me this week is we came across a man. We asked if he believed in Christ, and he said яа сам, which means I personally, and we thought that he was trying to say he was Christ. What he meant is that he believes that he doesn't need anyone else to tell him what to believe in. Then he wanted to shake hands, and he said he was 60, and he was proud to be that old. As a way to show his health he wanted to have a competition to see who could squeeze stronger. I didn't want to squeeze my hardest for fear to hurt his pride? (I don't know), and then we parted was after that. I also told him that my dad was older than him. Many people here do not live that long, and they look very old. Dad would have been stronger than that man. It is sad to see some of the people here who drink often, but also shows clearly visible, that the Word of Wisdom brings many blessings if you follow it. The members we have are really kind, and funny, and you can also see in them how much the gospel blessed them in their lives as compared with others. That is so important why the others get a chance. Well, I love you all. How is Molly, Matt, Ryan, Leisha, Nathan, Kirsten, and extended family doing? When do other missionaries leave? I love you again. Bye-Elder Larson