One very important thing that Frank and I have been working on is studying the Russian language. Since we have had more time recently, we have been working with the Rosetta Stone program to begin to get a basic understanding of Russian. Frank is way, way ahead of me. He has a much easier time hearing the variations of sounds and then repeating them correctly. I can't seem to get the correct pronounciations.
One very important word that we must learn is the word for 'hello'. A transliteration of the Russian word is: ZDRAHfst - vwee, which sounds something like zdravstvuite. I cannot get the first syllable, zdr. I'll just have to keep practicing and hope that sooner or later I'll be able to get the z and the dr to come together correctly! The word for 'hi' is much easier and I can say it without any problem (sort of). preeVYET. Not too bad, except that it is not suitable to use this word with older people or people in various positions of authority. Young people use it casually with each other, but never with older folks.
We have found a young Russian woman to help us twice a week. Olga is a student at Southern Nazarene University, which is nearby, and she was very pleased to have the opportunity to earn a little extra cash and help us practice her language. Olga is actually at SNU on a tennis scholarship, she is not a Nazarene and is not very familar with spiritual issues. She is a member of the Russian Orthodox Church and was put into contact with SNU through an international tennis organization that matches colleges with students who want to get to the U.S. and play competitive tennis. I haven't taken any pictures of her yet, but when I do I'll post some here. We're thankful that we were able to find her and learn some Russian from someone who is native to Russia.