Mother (and the rest of you too, I guess),
Well, I made it here. You haven't gotten a letter yet, because I couldn't find the stamps and I didn't have the time to go and buy any until today, which is my P day. So a lot has happened and I feel like I have been here for a lot more than one week. My companion's name is Elder Schindler and he is a pretty awesome guy. We kind of have similar personalities, so I don't think that I will have any trouble with this companion at least. My district has eight people (three companionships of Elders and one of sisters) and we're the only ones in the whole MTC who are Ukraine, Ukrainian speaking elders, because they only ever have one district of Ukrainian speakers at a time. We've already gotten pretty close and all of them are pretty cool. Yesterday, I went to my first Tuesday devotional and the speaker was Elder Shayne M. Bowan of the Seventy. He gave a really awesome talk about finding people to teach and I was taking notes pretty much the whole time, because it was that awesome. I kind of wish that I had been here a weak earlier, because Elder Bednar came last week and when we got here everyone was raving about how awesome his talk was. He talked a lot about the announcement that was made about lowering the age. I heard that when the announcement was made during conference, the whole MTC cheered, which, while normally irreverent during conference, would have been awesome to hear. I also heard that there was something like 4,000 new missionary applications in by last Friday, but that may have been just a rumor so don't quote me on that. Oh, and my departure date for Ukraine has been moved up to the 18th. We are the first Ukrainian missionaries to go for less than twelve weeks. I think it's something like ten weeks? All I know is, I'm leaving on that day. A lot of details from my first weekend are in my letter which should get to you Friday or Saturday. I'm doing a little better with the language and way better than I normally would be if I wasn't a missionary. I can already say a simple prayer and bare my testimony which is cool. We started off teaching a mock investigator in Ukrainian on our second day, which was pretty scary. She's actually from Ukraine so that was cool. It didn't go very well, because neither one of us remembered very much Ukrainian when we got in there, but we were able to pray, so that's good. We've taught her twice since then and it has gotten a lot better now that we can at least use simple words and we know the words for a lot of gospel topics. The food here is a lot better than I was expecting, although I don't think they give us enough time to eat enough food to get fat (not that I could anyway) and I also discovered that my lungs are severely out of shape, which is something I have to change in the next few weeks. Well, I better go so that I have enough time to write the other Elder Jolstead. I love you and I hope to hear from you soon.
Elder Jolstead the Younger