Okay, so this might be all over the place this week. I usually right down a list of things that I need to write about, but I forgot to this morning because we went ice skating with the Elders and we were running late and I completely forgot, so we'll just be doing this off the top of my head. But it's not like you know if I miss anything, so...yeah.
Anyway. Thursday I was in Kiev for visa trip! It was SO great. We actually did get to go to the temple, we just didn't have time to do a session, so the Elders did sealings, but then they were all full, so we sisters did initiatories. It was sooo wonderful to be there in the temple, especially since we didn't think we were going to get to go. And then we saw some missionaries over in the stake center, so we went over to talk to them while we wer waiting for one of our drivers. Turns out they were having like a 2-zone conference, and I saw my dear friend from BYU/the MTC, Sister Kristin Stiles! It was a miracle. Plus, it was just so wonderful being around my MTC district. I love them a lot.
Most of the rest of the week, we've been busy preparing for the baptism. Ksusha is wonderful wonderful wonderful. She is so ready. Even if I didn't teach her and commit her to baptism, I'm so grateful to get to be a part of her life and baptism and teaching and stuff. Our other investigator who was going to be baptized on Saturday decided to wait, which we were going to counsel her to do anyway. She loves coming to church and meeting with us, she's just not ready yet, plus her husband and daughter are really protiv. Wait. That's a Russian word. Against. They're against the church, but are hopefully starting to feel better about it.
Oh! But we're also starting to work with a few people, we hope, anyway. And there's a girl in the ward who we are helping prepare for baptism. It doesn't count as a baptism for us, obviously, because she's not a convert baptism, but she is SO cute and she reminds me of Leah. Plus, this is what we're here for--to build up families so that parents can baptize their own children. I'm super excited to be helping to teach little Olya.
Oh, you mentioned names, and actually, it's a VERY Russian thing, so I figured I would talk about it. So. Here people have their given name, their ochestvo/patronymic (middle name based off their father's name) and their familia/surname. But everyone has the same given names pretty much. And each given name has a few options of "short-form" names, which are like nicknames or informal. But what is really funny and Russian about it that I love is that most "short-form" names are just as long as the long/original names. Like Kcenia and Ksusha. Or Maria and Masha. Or Natalia and Natasha or Sofia and Sonya and Olga and Olya. Some really are shorter, like Tatiana and Tanya, but it's just something that is very Russian.
Dad mentioned Conference. Of course we don't get a live broadcast, we're 10 hours ahead of you. Plus people here speak Russian, and they need to send the translation over here. So we'll watch it next weekend. So next week, please don't really say anything about conference, because I'll haven't watched it yet. :) Also, Dad, your Russian that you got from Google Translate is pretty horrible. You told me to "Speak Russia always." Not Russian. Sigh. ;)
Anyway, all here is great. I love being a missionary. Keep up the good work at home. Depending on when I come home (separate email for you coming soon), I'm pretty much halfway done. :( I'm not good enough at Russian and I haven't worked hard enough to be halfway done. But anyway. Life is great still. This Church is true! It's His!
Sofia's baptism back in June
Hatalia Vargina, one of my favorite members (although less-active) in Kahovski
Tsaritzino park for Culture Night, with Masha, one of the girls in the stake