Wednesday, October 12, 2011

October 12, 2011

So yep. Today is a weird day. 9 months ago I went into the MTC. I'm halfway. Okay, not exactly, but istill. It's really weird. There's no way I can be considered a "new" missionary now (not that I've felt like a new missionary for a while or anything, but still). I have more time behind me than in front of me. :( Also, fun fact: a year ago tomorrow I opened my mission call. It's weird. I think back, and it doesn't seem like that long ago at all. But at the same time, I can't imagine being anywhere else but Moscow. I think back to when I didn't know where I was going and it just seems absurd to place me anywhere else. Oh, sending things. You should send me Christmas CDs ASAP so that they get here in time for me to listen to them before Christmas! Yes. Please. :) Anything Christmasy, but especially the newer MoTab Chirstmas CDs and the Forgotten Carols. Also, for general sending stuff ideas...I don't know. Warm tights? Maybe a cardigan or something cute? I don't know...I feel like I don't really need anything. Maybe just bugging people to write me letters. haha. Letters are the best. :) Anyway, um. Of course the best part of this week was CONFERENCE! Oh man. I love love love love loved it. There were so many answers to questions I had and things I had been thinking about. It is just amazing how you can receive answers to problems in a conference talk that you never dreamed would be able to be answered by a conference talk--like how to better learn Russian vocab (answer was right in Elder Scott's talk, very first). And so many of the talks I feel were focused on things that we have been or are currently focusing on as a mission. Of course, it was awesome when Moscow was mentioned--once in Elder Clayton's talk Saturday morning (which also talked about Argentina), and then again by Elder Nelson. Elder Nelson also mentioned sister missionaries. Basically it was cool that most of the international stories from conference this time around were about Argentina and Russia. :) I loved President Uchtdorf's talk, and President Monson, of course. He is SO funny. And he seemed so young this conference! I barely recognized Elder Hales though. :( But all the talks on missions, like "Are those REAL missionaries?" and the one the 70 from Japan gave were wonderful. Oh, and Elder Anderson's talk reminded me of our family. And Sister Dalton's talk was beautiful. Thanks Mom and Dad, for being awesome. One of the cutest things about conference was that little Olya, the girl we're helping prepare for baptism who reminds me of Leah, wanted to watch it with us. Saturday morning she comes upstairs and says, "My mom said that the missionaries are watching it up here, and I want to be with you!" We tried telling her it was in English and she wouldn't understand anything, but she just wanted to be with us. She wants to be a missionary one day. :) On Sunday morning, she comes upstairs again, and I try telling her, "Olya, you won't understand anything. You should go downstairs." But she insisted on staying up with all the missionaries (besides Sister Marty who was watching in Russian), because it was "too dark to color downstairs." We ended up making her a missionary nametag: Сестра Оля. She is adorable. One of our investigators has been actually starting to make progress, though. She's 15 and is CRAZY! Sometimes I think she's challening Michael's spirit, when he's the most hyper. But lately she's really wanted to meet with us, and has been paying more attention, and has even been calmer. She's called us and told us that she had a hard time with her homework, so she prayed and was able to do it. And also she called and said she wanted to quit smoking (yes. She's only 15. Kids start smoking when they're like 7 here, it's horrible. Cigarettes are soo cheap). We gave her some gum to chew whenever she wants to smoke, and she says she hasn't smoked in a few days! I look at her life and at Elizabeth and Rebecca and there is just such a difference. She's so funny and sweet, I just want her to be happy. Other than that, not much has happened. Just a normal missionary week. I set some great goals the other day, based on some revelation from Conference. It's been rainy and chilly, with the exception of last Thursday-Saturday. Apparently that always happens. Around the end of September (it was late and short this year) there's a warm, dry period again for about a week called "baba leta." But unfortunately now it's back to being chilly and wet. It wouldn't be so bad if I could wear jeans and my waterproff hiking boots. haha. No, really, it's fine. I'm not even wearing my pea coat and real tights yet, although I think it will soon be time to pull them out. That's it from Mother Russia, right now. I love you all! с любовью, Сестра Ашби

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