So I can honestly say that the 1st of February 2012 was the coldest day I have ever lived in my life. Yep. It was -25 Celcius most of the day. And most of the day we were out contacting! WHOO! Actually, it was a lot of fun. Wearing my thermals and 4 pairs of tights and lots of layers and no one was out on the streets at all, but we couldn't get any meetings so...contacting! You know, it really wasn't all that bad. There was all this ice on my coat and scarf from my breathing. You can't really take a lot of pictures or use your phone all that much because the batteries freeze. So even though it was probably like 40 degrees (Fahrenheit this time) colder than it was back home, it was a lot of fun. I have always hated the winter up until this one. God knew that I hated the cold so he sent me to Russia. But he also knows that I hate the cold and couldn't handle days like Wednesday every day for 2-3 months, so he sent me to Moscow, where it is at least kind of warm. And after Thursday it has started to get warmer, so don't worry. It's not even that cold
This week has been super up and down. Really, Wednesday and Thursday were probably some of the best days of my entire mission. But there have been some really hard days (not really for any particular reason) this week too. But anyway, Wednesday, we were really hoping that Dima and Olya would come back to English Club and that we could set up an appointment to meet with them. So we fasted, and the Elders fasted with us (our Elders are soooo great), and I was freaking out because when it was time for English Club to start there was pretty much nobody here. But then they showed up like 15 minutes late! And not just Olya and Dima, but they brought their son AND her mom! Wow. It was soooo great. After English Club, it was kind of hard to talk to them; they were kind of in a hurry, and the grandma hadn't even wanted to stay for the spiritual thought, but Olya and Dima convinced her. But we were able to give them a Book of Mormon that we had written our testimonies in, and invited them to meet with us. They werent' sure of their schedules and gave us the typcial "We'll call you, you don't need our phone number" but they seemed genuinely interested. And I think we've definitely got them hooked with English Club, especially since the son needs to practice what he's learning in school and the grandma really loves English and already speaks it pretty much fluently. So I'm almost positive we'll see them again. I just feel really strongly that we just need to slowly work on them and not scare them off. So we're just trying to invite them every week, strongly but not being pushy....I hope that makes sense. I just want it to be sooner rather than later, especially since I am pretty sure I will be leaving ZGrad after this transfer.
Then on Thursdsay I had the best (really) contacting day of my entire mission. No joke. Our district went up to Kleen, a town about 30-40 minutes north (I went there once before on P-Day to see Chaikovski's house). In 2 hours, we gave out 2 BoMs and got 5 contacts. Plus, the Elders, between their two companionships, got another 4 contacts and gave away a BoM. That's more contacts than I've gotten in entire transfers before. I was blown away. We met a man who took the BoM super willingly--turns out he knows Mormons, and about 2 days before was talking with one of his friends about how much he likes Mormons and our Church. He's not super interested in travelling to ZGrad, especially in the winter, for church, since he's already retired, but I think one day if---WHEN--there is a branch in Kleen he'll be ready. Then the Elders also met a lady who already knew about the Church and liked it. That has never happened to me on my mission, and it happened to us twice in one day. Plus, I just love Kleen as a town. And it was a lot of fun to contact there. We're going back this week to follow up with a couple contacts. Unfortunately, those we've already contacted aren't super interested, but hey, it's a start. At least we got contacts. Maybe in a few years, they'll be ready. And it's just a start. You need contacts before you can get new investigators. But yeah. This week we gave away 6 KMs on the street, and I hope that we're just building momentum. Eventually something has got to break and someone has got to want to meet with us. I am hoping that it's the family from English Club, but really, any investigators would be great.
So yeah, those are the two main events of this week, besides saying goodbye to my dear Gronnings, who fly back to America-Land on Wednesday. But we're not going to talk about that, because it's sad. I'll just think about how I can go see them all the time when I'm back home, since they just live in West Jordan (West? There are too many Jordans...)
Ny vot. That's missionary life here in Russia for right now. I am having a lot of fun, and trying to be a good missionary. I hope I succeed. Life is great.
Coldest day of my life, with my "ice beard"
Me in my hood. I never really wear it like this because it's ridiculous, but Sister X2 makes fun of me that I'm an eskimo
Me and C. X2
Us with Ludmila Gorbatkina, maybe my favorite person in the entire world
In snow up to my knees. It really is only this deep in snowbanks, where no one really walks, but I love to walk there and didn't realize it was so deep.