So, I just returned from a mission. Which means that, because this is my blog and my blog=my rules, I can be that annoying returned sister missionary here and talk about my mission all.of.the.time. Because, let’s be honest, it’s just going to happen. *just a disclaimer that you already knew*
People have been asking me what some of my favorite things about being home are/what my favorite things about Ukraine are. It’s a hard question, and there’s no way to be pithy about it. It’s not fair for me, my mission, or Ukraine. But just for posterity’s sake, here’s a compilation of favorite firsts about home and some things I miss about Ukraine:
· Seeing/hugging my family as I came down the escalator. So surreal. A dream, really. But so, so good.
· Teaching my sister how to make пироги (peer-o-gi), which are Russian pies. Did I speak to her in Russian while making them? Yes. Did she understand me? Of course not.
· Finding the words to my favorite musicals in Russian! And then singing them around the house.
· Fireworks. I came home around Independence Day. So I got to have an American Fourth of July. Beautiful.
· Catching up with friends and family. But it’s weird because you feel so different and they don’t really see you as such. And it can be hard for you to see how they’ve changed. If you’ve come home from a mission, you understand.
· Going to the temple for the first time after 18 months. Wonderful. So, so good.
· My first sunset. You just don’t get to see sunsets very often in Ukraine. The concrete doms block them.
· Culture Shock. Ohhhh, man. My family looked at me so weird when I was freaking out about—
1. The front lawn. It is green. It is gorgeous. And I can sit on it (and the concrete sidewalk, for that matter), and no one will yell at me and tell me that I will never have children. Beautiful world.
2. The mountains. Um, hello, sleeping giants.
3. People smile at me here. And it’s not weird for them if I smile at them. Why are people so nice?
4. People speak English here? Um, what? But really, it’s weird for me not to hear Russian on the streets all of the time.
5. Consumer overload at Wal-mart and Costco. [help me. cannot breathe. suffocation.]
6. Almost crying when I used our oven for the first time. Um, guys. It is big. It is electric. And it is so full of light. Is this real life?
Things I Miss About Ukraine:
· The people. I miss them so much. Members, members, investigators, people on the street. I love them. They are so resilient and determined and strong. My best friends are still in Ukraine.
· Walking everywhere. I really do miss just being able to get everything and go everywhere just by foot.
· Russian. The end. Do I still slip into Russian sometimes? Конечно же.
· The food. The fruit and vegetables there are so incredibly delicious. And it’s watermelon season right now.
· The fields, trees, and skies. (Look at my banner for a glimpse of my beautiful Украина.
· Getting to be a missionary there. I love being a missionary so much. Good thing missions never have to leave you, right?