So things here have been going great! I got your package last Thusday! Whoo! Thank you so much. We made some of the brownies the other night.
It's been cold and rainy this past week, which makes things difficult, but entertaining. The great thing about being here in Moscow is that it is not weird to see weird things. For example, a few nights ago our keys got stuck in our door, so we had to wait with our door open for a while before someone could come help us get them out. And yesterday, we were walking down the sidewalk, when an SUV comes speeding down the sidewalk towards us, trying to escape from a police car that was racing down the wrong side of the road behind it. Haha, I love Moscow.
Miracles are happening here every day. Sunday was such a blessing. We were able to have 4 lessons--3 of them with investigators and all of those with a member present. They all went really well, and Okcana even said she wanted to be baptized when we asked her about it, but then got kind of shy when we really tried to committ her and never gave us a real answer, but she just needs more faith, which is understandable since we havne't been teaching her very long and she works so much. But we had a great lesson with our other new investigator Sofia, who is simply a miracle. And we even were able to meet with Tanya (the one who comes to church, but wants to do everything on her own and not really meet with us and just have us be her friends and answer questions at church, etc.) and give her a real lesson to fill in the gaps of the Restoration! And an inactive lady we visit pretty often came to church for the first time in like 5 months, and each week I feel like there are more and more people at the branch. The Lord is truly blessing us here in Moscow.
That's about all I can think of right now. I love being a missionary. It is the hardest, yet best thing I've ever done. Russian is still frustrating but slowly coming. I love seeing the look our investigators get when we tell them that God loves them, or hearing the members talk about the stake and praying for a temple here. This Church is so true. It is so understandable why people are scared to commit--their families are really against it, they work almost 24/7 just to survive, etc. But as somone who knows that the Gospel will help with all of that once you'e living it, you just have to gently push them in the right direction and help their faith grow. I have never learned more patience with myself and with others than I have in the past 4 months.
Anyway, I love you all!
P.S. It's super weird to think of myself as Rachel. When people from home send me letters, it's not weird, since they always knew me as Rachel, and it is sometimes weird when they call me "Sister Ashby" but in my head, I'm Sister Ashby, and if someone here were to call me Rachel it'd be super bizarre...