Monday, November 28, 2011

November 28, 2011

It's crazy how time is. On one hand, I feel like I just wrote home. On the other hand, I feel like it's been forever since last P-Day. The same applies for my mission. I just got here, I think, but at the same time, I feel like I've been a missionary in Russia forever. I think it's because time is just a mortal thing, and so it feels funny to the eternal side of us. I don't know. But speaking of time, can you believe that I've been in Russia 8 months? Yeah, crazy! Time flies.

This week has been awesome. AWESOME. Last P-Day we went to Kleen, it's a smaller town up north, but still in our area, about a 40 minute train ride. We journeyed up there as a district to go to the Chaikovksi museum--aka his house, because turns out he lived in Klin. It was a lot of fun. I would really love to serve in a town like Klin. Just so quintessentially Russian. It was really cool. Don't get me wrong, though, I love Z and I love Moscow. It's just different. I'll send some pictures sometime, but I keep forgetting to bring my harddrive with me to the branch building to email.

So the main person this week is Sveta. She is so great! It is amazing how the Lord brings people into your path as a missionary. Sveta is friends with a rockstar member-missionary in our ward, and came to church with her last week. She's had a really rough past due to some poor choices, and she has an almost 12-year-old son. She really wants her son to be happy and she loves him and wants to have a real family. Meeting with her has been amazing. If she doesn't understand something--either in concept or why it's necessary or anything at all--she'll ask a question. I've never taught someone who does that before. She is just so open and curious and it has been so rewarding already to watch her put the pieces together in her head, seeing that not only does the gospel make sense in your heart but in your mind too. I'm so excited to watch her learn more things about the gospel, how to receive her own answers and such. Plus, she is just so fun and friendly and great. AND, after our first official lesson, she was the one who initiated setting up the next meeting, before we even had the chance to bring it up! What the?! That never happens. She brought her son to church this week, and I just hope and pray that things continue to go well and that the Spirit is able to touch them and help them fully understand and receive a testimony.

On Wednesday, I got the package of Christmas CDs. THANK YOU! Oh mad, it has been so great listening to Christmas music. Especially since I got it right on time for...

THANKSGIVING! Honestly, it was one of the best Thanksgivings of my life. We gathered at the Gronning's for an afternoon of...well, basically, Thanksgiving. Lots of good food, and my mission family. We had a lot of fun, talking, playing Phase 10...we laughed so much, and it just felt like home. I can't even describe it. I am just so grateful for this opportunity to be a missionary, to be in Russia, to be in this great district, to watch the Lord work His miracles--both big and small. I'm grateful for all the companions I've had (okay, all 3--4 if you count Sister Clark) and for all the missionaries I've served with in some way or another. All the friendships I've made here. My family, and being raised in a gospel home, and that our family is so awesome. Being on a mission has made me realize just how much I've been blessed in so many aspects of my life, temporally and spiritually. But especially, for the Book of Mormon, the Gospel, the Priesthood, modern-day Prophets, baptism, prayer, the Plan of Salvation, and my Savior Jesus Christ.

The week kind of slowed down after that, because I finally gave in and succumbed to the cold that had been trying to get at me since Sister Martyanova had been sick last week. Friday I had a babushka tell me that I was sick because I'm not dressing warm enough. (Don't worry. I've been dressing warm.) I told her that I got sick from Sister Marty and other missionaries and she told me that it's impossible to get a cold from other people--you only get it from the cold. Haha. I just kept quiet, but remembered with a smile all the times other people have given me colds, or I've gotten one in the summer when it's burning hot outside. No worries, though. I slept pretty much at every moment I could and I'm feeling a lot better now.

You all are awesome! I'm praying for you, and I hope that you had a great Thanksgiving and everything. The Church is true!

С Любовью,
Сестра Ашби

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