So I just remembered that in the Pirates That Don't Do Anything Song one of them talks about how he's never been to Moscow. :)
Well, greetings from real Russian winter. Here's the thing, I know that back in the Eastern part of Russia it gets a lot colder, and that it will probably get colder here. But it has been sooooo cold this week. This entire week it's been about -15 Celcius. Plus a wind chill. Weather.com says that right now outside it feels like -11 Fahrenheit here in ZGrad. So...yeah, it's pretty cold. But don't worry, I'm staying warm. I found some warmer gloves in our apartment, layering, my coat is warm, always my hood or shopka...sometimes my legs get cold, but I do what I can. It's really not so bad when the wind doesn't blow. Or when you're not out on the street for hours at a time trying to contact...haha. :)
But that's actually what we've been trying to do this week. We contacted for 4 hours the other day. It was soooo cold. And we didn't even get any contacts. But we did give away 2 Books of Mormon and had some good conversations with people, so we had at least a little bit of success. There was one lady who was with her friends; we started talking to them and they originally were kind of laughing at us. But at the end of our conversation the one lady wasn't laughing, was sincerely listening, and took a Book of Mormon. She was super impressed that we would come all the way from the Urals and America on our own money for a year and half. Anyway, we are just trying to contact and build up our pool of investigators. I know that this happens, and that sometimes it's a slow build-up, but I am getting kind of baptism-greedy...we need people to teach! And I don't mind contacting...it's just really cold outside. :) Plus, often the first question people (especially men...) ask is if we're married. I've gotten that question so much more as a missionary than I ever did at BYU. I don't know. I don't mind contacting anymore, I just mind not seeing success.
Tuesday was really fun though. All the Sisters were at the Mission Home for a Sister's Conference. It was so great to be with all the sisters and just to talk and listen to some trainings and eat good food and just have a great time together. It was funny--at the beginning we divided into groups to kind companion study with new people and drew women from the scriptures to study. Guess who I drew. :) It was funny. Rachel drew Rachel. I promise it wasn't on purpose. Everyone got a kick out of that. But the Spirit there was so great. Plus, we all got earrings and a copy of the book Daughters in my Kingdom about Relief Society. That is an awesome book. I sent a picture already of Sisters' Conference. We really have the best sisters in my mission.
Wednesday for the Spiritual Thought at English Club, Elder Hayes and I sang "I Know that My Redeemer Lives." We also sang it as a musical number in Church on Sunday. It was a lot of fun, plus we got more people to stay for the spiritual thought, and after church on Sunday a less-active man who had come to church came up to me and said that that's his favorite hymn and we sang it the best that he's ever heard it.
Other than that, not much is going on here. Just trying to find new people to teach. Trying not to freak out when people who don't really know anything about missionary work try to tell me how to do my job in a not-constructive manner. Transfers are this week--I can't believe that C. X2 (who gets more and more awesome every single day; I love her so much) has been here a transfer already! I think this next one will be my last up here in ZGrad. Of course, I don't know for sure, but 1) it's the pattern of my mission, 2) That puts me in one last area for about 3-4 transfers, and 3) C. X2 will more than be able to run this area without be by the end of it. Probably better than I can. One of our Elders is leaving--it's funny, he's one of the Elders who's been up here only 2 transfers, but I'm glad that most of our district is staying the same (plus, the one who is leaving is going to the office where he can track down my package, haha). Bundling up. Whenever I think it's cold, I just remember that I asked for this. :) So yeah. It's cold, I'm a missionary in Russia, contacting for hours on the street in the chilly wind. Maybe next week I'll attach a picture of the probably-half-inch-think frost on the inside of our balcony windows. :)
Love you all!