Wednesday, May 25, 2011

May 25, 2011

Wow, it's been quite the week! We are all busy here getting ready for district conference in a week and a half where Elder Nelson will organize the stake here. The Lord has truly blessed us with almost 100 new investigators of our goal of 120, and many, many miracles. 

The first and most exciting news is...we have a baptismal date! Sofia, the girl I mentioned in passing last week as a new investigator, is going to be baptized on June 11! She is simply a miracle. In our first lesson with her, it was great, as she prayed and just had some of those answers where you feel like you are truly just reminding her of something she already knows. Then in our 2nd lesson after English Club on Wednesday, we taught her about the Plan of Salvation and asked her about baptism. She said that it was something she wanted but wasn't ready for yet. She felt like she still needed to repent and get ready. But we could tell it was something she was excited about and felt that she would get there eventually as we kept working with her. Well, Thursday she went to the YSA choir, and loved it and even gave the closing prayer. Friday morning, we had just finished our companionship study (The chapter in Preach My Gospel about preparing people for Baptism and confirmation) and got a phone call from Sofia. Jokingly, we were like "Oh, I bet she's calling to tell us she wants to be baptised!" Well, she told C. X. about how much she loved choir and things, and then when we thought the conversation was over, said, "I have one more thing I need to tell you. I want to be baptized!" So we gave her a baptismal date right there on the phone, and then afterwards said a very grateful prayer. She is simply a miracle. She prays every lesson, is reading the Book of Mormon and LOVING it. We asked her to read Alma 32, and she came to our next lesson with it all marked up. Although we haven't specifically taught her about the Word of Wisdom yet, she has already decided to stop drinking coffee and has asked us to go shopping with her to help her find some skirts for church. In Relief Society on Sunday she introduced herself and told everyone that she is going to be baptized. She is shy and quiet, but so excited for her baptism, and so ready for it. Other missionaries asked us what we did, and the truth is that we didn't really do anything. She's just ready, and we just invited her to English Club.

We had Zone Conference this week, and now that the weather is warmer and (mostly) sunny, we've been able to do more contacting activities, like chalk drawing. We went with most of our district the other day. Just outside of a metro station, a couple people draw a picture relating to the gospel, while everyone else passes out prigs and answers questions. It attracts a lot of attention, as people ask what you're doing, and then it also just stays there (you write the church site by it when you go) so that it's a missionary tool after you leave. It's lots of fun. 

Other adventures from this past week. I had an entire heel in my nylons disappear 5 minutes after we left our apartment. It's also been a week of running into drunk men. I mean, we see them all the time, but like 3 nights in a row this week we were in close proximity (either on the metro or in stairwells, etc.) with completely plastered men. I don't understand drinking. Or smoking. Breaking the Word of Wisdom has never been tempting to me, but being here has made me definitely want to never ever deal with anything like that. First, this city would be miraculously cleaner and less trashy if there were not cigarette butts and beer bottles and cans everywhere. Second, and more importantly, it just ruins lives. 

Lastly, this week we got to go to Luba's for dinner. Luba is kind of our lawyer here. She's a member of the church, has a son on a mission, etc. and she always invites missionaries over to her house for dinner. The Elders in her branch eat there every week and when people are going home, she invites them over as well. So it was our turn this past week, since C. X. is going home soon. It was so much fun. Borsh, GREAT food, and they are so funny. It is what you imagine a Russian meal to be like. A great spiritual thought, Russian food, and then Luba's husband pulls out the guitar and their family sings these Russian-sounding awesome songs about random things (one is about missionaries) that they've written. And they're so funny. Her husband told me and the very-brand-new Elder who was there (in half Russian, half very-Russian English) that we need to learn how to speak Russian really well and then come back. It was so fun. 

Anyway, that's about it! Happy Wedding Anniversary a few days ago! Happy Birthday to Leah in a few days! I'll write more next week!

Sister Rachel

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