My companion is Elder Hasebi, he is from Utah has been in Russia for just over a year, he is very hardworking and makes sure to follow all the rules. He hates mayonnaise and cheese and yesterday he just grabbed a tomato out of the fridge and ate it whole. Which was pretty funny. He laughes a lot and is a pretty cool guy over all, I think we will get along very well.
Irkutsk is a normal city, well a normal Russian city which means its a super ghetto city. It is hard to explain but it is almost more of a feeling that a physical thing. Everything either looks like it is under construction or abandoned. Russian people are exactly what the stereotype is. They are angry/crazy looking they usually are angry/crazy and I love talking to them. I have been swore at in english (and probably Russian) been told to go back to America, and just laughed at. But other people are great to talk to they just aren't as common.
So the flight over here was awful even though we took Korean Air which I think has been voted the nicest airline in the world and we were on an A380 on the way over here which I think is the largest commercial jet in the world. They gave us little slippers and a tiny toothbrush. I had some korean food in the airport in Seoul. It was dumplings and soup and it was pretty good. We got to Vladivostok at like 3 PM went to the mission office and did a ton of paperwork and got fake passports (you know to give to the cops when they ask for it, duh) because U.S. passports are a big ticket item on the black market. Then we went to the mission home did some training stuff. Didn't get to go to sleep until 10:30 and President Brinton woke us up right at 6:30. We did a little more training stuff then found out we could only take one suitcase with us and it could only weigh 44 pounds. So I went from 100 pounds of stuff to 44. Still not sure why they don't tell you that sooner. So my other suitcase is in storage and will be for the rest of my mission. Then I met my companion elder Hasebi who I already told you about. We went and stayed the night in Artyom because it is closer to the airport and we were flying out early the next morning. When we got their Elder Hasebi wanted to go street contacting. It was raining but we still talked to a solid amount of people I was even able to say the first vision twice. One lady we were talking to said that I look like a vampire (I didn't know that Hasebi told me) so that was neat. Next day flew to Irkutsk and started doing regular missionary work its mostly been street contacting. Our landlord said that I look like a Russian so I shouldnt tell people I am from the U.S. Another elder in the city was having a lot of mouth pain and wanted to go to a dentist in the U.S. but they sent him to one here in Irkutsk. They kept trying to pull out the tooth that hurt but he didn't want them too so they just prescribed him some pills. The prescription cost 10 Rubles. Which is about three cents... Lots of stuff has happened already and I can already understand people a little better. The russian I learned in the MTC is Moscow Russian. and it is very different here in Siberia. I would compare it to a british person trying to understand someone from Mississippi. and also the British person barely speaks English, Its tough.
I am having a great time here though it is pretty fun in general.
Oh and at church on sunday a crazy exmilitary Russian dude gave me an old spetsnaz war medal. It is super sick. Has the batman symbol on it.