Tuesday, March 1, 2011

March 1, 2011

I SAW MATT AT THE TEMPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know you probably already know, since he said he would call and tell you, but yay! It was perfect timing. I was not expecting it at all. So my district decided to do sealings this week, so we went to the temple early like we always do. We waited around at the recommend desk for a bit because one of the Elders had gone back for his recommend, but after a while we just decided to go in and get dressed without the Elders. So us 4 sisters are walking through the hall to the sealing office, which is right by the stairs men come up from the locker room. And I see someone who I could have sworn was Rees Atkins coming up the stairs with someone else. And then I realize that it is Rees and that the other person is Matt. I just kind of stand there are say "That's my brother!" Of course, I went up and gave him a huge hug and started crying and it was great. He went off to do a session, and then we went and did sealings, but oh my goodness. It completely made my life. Sealings were also really cool; I had only done them once before, and that was the first time I ever went to the Provo temple for anything but baptisms. Our sealer actually speaks Russian (And Czech and German and French) and does the ordinances in Russian with the natives who come here to the MTC. He gave us some really great advice afterwards. And then we ate breakfast in the cafeteria there like always and that was delicious. So. Pretty much. Everything rocks so far today. One of the best days ever and it's only 9:30, and I have the rest of the day to write letters and do laundry and study and prepare 2 Plan of Salvation lessons in Russian for tomorrow, and go to choir and devotional and laugh with my district and it's going to be awesome. I SAW MATT!!!!!!
Um. That story about Leah was maybe one of the funniest things ever. Besides this past week when the Elders were playing hockey with Cectpa Bullough's desk (with her in it) and she ended up flying and tipping over with her desk. We were all laughing so hard. And then seriously only 2 minutes later, while we were still laughing about C. Bullough, Ct. Woodruff was scooting his chair backwards out into the hall to keep an eye on his companion while he got a drink and he just completely fell over backwards. I haven't laughed so hard maybe ever in my life. But anyway. Tell Leah that waking up early is good, even if it's hard. I have been waking up at or before 6:30 for 7 weeks now and it has not gotten any easier, even though I get to bed at 10:30. I'm not tired during the day for the most part, but getting up is still the hardest thing. C. Clark says she loves to watch me get up in the morning. Apparently she finds it very entertaining.

Let's see. What else. We got new missionaries last Wednesday! There's a solid group of them. 4 Elders and 1 sister who are going to Moscow too, which means that we have pretty much a 1/4 of our entire mission here in our branch. There's only 2 other sisters besides the one going to Moscow though. 1 of them is even Ukranian speaking, but she's great--I knew her at BYU. We were in the same ward, and she got her call on the same day as me. It's still weird to have Russians who's faces I don't know, but I'm sure I'll get to know them all over the next 4 weeks.
Yes! You read that right! 4 weeks! It's now March, which means I can say that I leave here at the end of the month! Our estimated departure date is 4 weeks from today, exactly. I can't believe it. Every time I think about it I get super excited and super nervous all at the same time. It is starting to seem a lot more real, since we hardly ever teach in English anymore and we're officially the older district AND WE GOT OUR RUSSIAN NAME TAGS this past week! It's super cool. Let's see if I can figure this out: СЕСТРА АШБИ. That's what my tag says. It's soooo cool. Also, it took me like 3 minutes to type that out because I don't know the Russian keyboard well enough so after switching the computer over to Russian I just had to go through the entire keyboard to find the cyrilic letters. But hey. It worked. We also are getting to a good point with teaching in Russian. At least with the first lesson. When we taught in the TRC last week, it was so great. C. Clark and I walk into our assigned room and our investigator is one of the same volunteers we had taught the week before. It was a pleasant surprise, especially since we loved teaching her the first week. But we gave a great lesson completely in Russian, that actually sounded pretty good language wise, and even better and more importantly, the Spirit was there and we taught to her needs. That's hard enough in English, let alone in Russian. She commented on it afterwards and C. Clark and I just felt so good. Tomorrow it's the Plan of Salvation though, one that we haven't officially taught po-Ruski, so hopefully it continues to go well. Granted, I'll get to Russia and my abilities will be cut back to nothing again, but still. It's nice to be feeling like we're making progress here.

Um. What else cool happened this week? (I usually keep a sticky note of things to write, but I wasn't very good at filling it out this week) Our district has given 3 of the 4 Russian talks in church this past week, so that's exciting. We really rock. Sister Dibb (Pres. Monson's daughter/2nd YW Presidency counselor) spoke in Relief Society on Sunday, which actually made me think a lot of Elizabeth and Rebecca. We're moving sometime in the next week or two to a different building, most likely on Monday. So that will be interesting. i don't know how we're going to get the time to move--apparently they're not very considerate of the missionaries they kick out. Oh well.
Oh! Thanks for the cookies. They are sooo good. Always. Next snail mail thing you send me you should maybe send me some stamps. I go through them really fast, and I still have 4 weeks left. But not a whole lot, since I only have 4 weeks left. Thank you everyone who has sent me mail. It is so great to get mail; it is such a blessing and a fun, nice reminder that we have family and friends who love and support us back home.
Most importantly, we were all talking about banking stuff earlier this week, because Ct. Johnson had to go to BYU campus to close a bank account and all the sisters were talking one night about how we'll all have to call our respective banks right before we leave to tell them that we're going to Russia for a long time. And I realized that my debit card expires in November. I hadn't even thought about that. So...yes. Something needs to be done about that. When I lost my debit card a while ago, I just called to cancel that one and get a new one. I'm not sure what all information you'd need, but if you could maybe pretend to be me and do that...I really don't want to have to leave to do anything. Going to the Wells Fargo on campus would be the most distracting and worst thing. Anyway. We'll figure something out. I'll talk to you about it more in a snail mail letter or something that's not so easily online findable.
Anyway, that's about it. Hope you enjoyed "the novel," as Lindsey called it in her letter to me. I don't mean to write so much. I'm just a writer and that combined with my fast typing...yeah. Cectpa Clark always makes fun of how much I write. Man, every single time I have gone to type write in this entire email I've typed right first. Yeah. In 16 months I'm not going to be able to speak any English and my emails won't make any sense. It's going to be awesome and then I'm going to have to learn English again so that I can actually pass my classes and graduate. Oh well. Totally worth it.
Love you,
Ceстра Ашби

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