Monday, December 5, 2011

December 5, 2011

Hey hey hey! I can't believe it's December already. Where has the year gone?!

This week has been wonderful wonderful WONDERFUL!

First off, Sveta! She is awesome! I guess I didn't tell you last week, but we met her 3 Sundays ago (so like 2 weeks ago) when she came to church with her friend/coworker. We started meeting with her about 2-3 times a week, and she is just so great. Monday night when we were planning, we decided that we were going to try to set a baptismal date with her during our lesson the next morning (Lesson 3) and that it would be my responsibility to bring it up. If for some reason it didn't work out (Spirit prompting otherwise, or whatever) then Sister Martyanova would do it on Thursday. So Tuesday morning we're giving the lesson and it's going great, but whenever I want to ask her about baptism and a date, the subject would just veer off to something not related. So at the end of the lesson I was kind of bummed and feeling like I had failed at  my job because I could tell that she wanted it and that she understood baptism was important, but I hadn't been able to invite her, and all of a sudden (we're about to walk out the door and are talking about ward Christmas activities) Sveta gets this ponderous look on her face and says, "I need to be baptized before New Year." !!!!!!!!!! We asked her if she wanted to set a date right then, and she said she needed to check schedules and think about it, but that we would set one on Thursday, when we met next. Which we did. So, as of now, we're planning on Sveta getting baptized on the 24th! Best. Christmas. Present. Ever! She also wants her son Denise to get baptized with her (he turns 12 on the 23rd), and he loves the Elders, so the Elders are teaching him now, and we're also planning on him getting baptized the 24th as well. The other companionship of Elders also has some people they're teaching who are almost ready for baptism, so we're hoping to have at least 3 more (Sveta and Denise and one more out of a few possibilities) in our ward by the end of the year. The Lord is really working miracles here in Z-Grad.

This week has been pretty crazy besides that. Wednesday we were down in Moscow for a zone PMG training, which was really great, and on Saturday I was down in Moscow on a split with one of the "AP Sisters." (Now that mission turnover is done and we are all not training or in training or new on the mission or some combination of the two, President has assigned two sisters to go on splits with all the other sisters, since we don't get to do that with DLs and ZLs like the Elders do) It was so great--she was in the MTC with me for a bit (she's from Latvia and speaks Russian fluently, so she was only there for the last month I was) and we had a lot of fun, and I even got to sing at a baptism for a little girl from her branch.

In other news, we've visited some great people this week, I have really felt good about my Russian lately (especially since I revisted some of my journal entries from right when I got here and so I've been thinking about how I felt about my Russian abilities 8 months ago...)--I know I'm super far from perfect, but I really hope that someday soon I can be. And, last night I tried holodetz, which is maybe the grossest thing ever. It's a Russian dish, where they basically overboil some meat for like 6 hours until all the fat is out and in the broth, and then they let it sit so that the water and fat gets all jello-y. I had sworn never to try it, but last night Ksusha brought some to the branch building and when the Elders found out that I had been in Russia 8 months and hadn't tried holodetz it was either try it or not live it down for the rest of my life, especially since some of the other Elders tried it too. Oh was horrible. The taste wasn't bad, but the texture is unbearable. But I am really glad I tried it, just so that I can say that I did and was able to keep it down. Really, it's so hard to swallow, since the texture is like eating...I don't even know what. I think I'll stick with borsh and blini and smetana...

As for weather, I've actually decided that Moscow area is just like Idaho--you never know what is going to happen next. This past week went from being super cold and me thinking that it's probably time to pull out my big winter coat that I bought here, to it being like 40 degrees and rainy. So...yeah. I'm probably warmer than you are right now.

Anyway, the Church is true! Love you all!
Сестра Ашби

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