This week has been interesting. I don't know exactly what is different, but I have felt like a missionary this week. Not like I had felt not like a missionary, but I think I had just gotten complacent with a lot of little things and with the start of a new transfer and having a new companion, I've tightened up on them, and then after the slow missionary work 2 weeks ago, just having a few good days in our area was super nice.
The main highlights of this week were Mission Tour with President Schweitzer, our Europe East Area President, and my visa trip! Wednesday was just a great day. First, I have to just say that I have the ABSOLUTE BEST mission president EVER. President and Sister Sorenson are just the best. And not to brag or anything, but I have had 2 General Authorities tell me that. :) Conference was just great, as usual. Really, conferences are one of my favorite parts of the entire mission. There is just always such a great Spirit there, and love. I also had the great opportunity to have an interview with Pres. Schweitzer. Pres. Sorenson came up to me and my companion after conference and said that they were doing interviews and there were two last spots open--did we want them? It was such a wonderful experience. Our church leaders are such great people. Conference was also great because we got TRIPLE COMBINATIONS IN RUSSIAN! THE NEW TRANSLATION! I was so excited. It is so great. It has all these great resources in the back that they didn't have in Russian before, and the new translation is just sooooo much clearer and better. It is just such a beautiful book. I love the scriptures so much, and it is such a blessing that we have them. It's just the cheap bound ones, but if you're looking for a good birthday present for me for when I get home, a nice leather-bound one would be nice. :) It was also a great day because I got to see some people that I love a lot, but hadn't seen in a long time. Like Olya. She got baptized right before I came to Russia and I taught her all the new member lessons and she is one of my best friends here in Russia, but I hadn't seen her since the beginning of my time in ZGrad. And I also got to see some of my favorite sisters from Kahovski! My birth ward provided lunch for us and so I got to see some of those wonderful, wonderful sisters for the first time in 6 months. They are so wonderful, and said that if I ever had the opportunity to come back to Kahovski, I am always welcome. :) The members here truly are great.
Thursday was a special day with my visa trip. It started out exciting, because we woke up at 5:15 to the Elders calling saying that they were almost to our apartment to take us to the airport. I can't even describe how funny it was. I don't think I have ever laughed that hard or been that awake that early ever. But when we got to Kiev, it was great. We had the wonderful opportunity to go to the temple. I just started crying for joy when I saw it. The first time in 6 months. I know that it's really not all that long, especially considering that so many missionaries don't get to go their entire mission and some people only get to go a few times in their lives, but...the world just wears on you, and missionary work just wears on you, and I just really really wanted to go to the temple. We were able to do initiatories, all in Russian. It is so awesome to be able to understand. And then we had the great blessing of spending 30 minutes in the Celestial Room, just me and my MTC sisters. The time went by way too fast, but I am so grateful that I at least got that little amount of time. I love the Kiev temple, and the temple workers there. And I just love the temple in general. I'm glad there's our temple in Twin so that I can go as soon as possible when I get home.
Other than that, it's the same old, same old. Contacting has kind of slowed down a bit. It was easier with C. X2, her being native Russian and just having this instinctive love for contacting and all. The other day we contacted all morning and didn't give out anything at all. We didn't really get rejected super hard, we just got a lot of nos. And yesterday when we were contacting after church, we didn't have a lot of people want to talk to us or take anything, but we did have a few cool experiences. First, I saw this man with a dog and two little girls. I started talking to them about the BoM, thinking they were a family or something. The guy wasn't interested and just kept walking. But the little girls asked me more. I was kind of nervous that the guy was their dad and would get mad at me for talking to them after he said no, because they were probably about 9-10. But the one was like, "Is it really free?" And the other one asked what it was about. I said something like, "It's about Jesus Christ and how we can make good choices in life and our families can be together forever, even after death." And this girl says, "That's way cool, I need to tell my dad about it." I asked if that guy was her dad and she said "No, my dad's at home." In the next few seconds, I found out that she also studies English in school and her dad knows English too, so I gave her a pass-along card about the BoM and invited her to English Club. I wanted to do more, but her friend was calling her and she wanted to leave, but as she ran off, she said that she would talk to her dad about it. Even if nothing happens, it was a cool experience for me. Just a few minutes later, Sister Thrall offered a BoM to this babushka and we ended up teaching her the first lesson there in the park. I don't think she was super duper interested, because I kept trying to offer to meet again and get her phone number, but I think she will remember us and read the BoM. It's way cool--the other day Sister Thrall prayed that those we talk to will remember our nametags. Way cool. Everyone I see everyday notices my nametag, and it is so important that they look at it and remember it.
In other news, we had a record number of people in sacrament meeting yesterday-111. It's warmed up a lot here. The sidewalks seem a lot bigger, the snowbanks seem a lot smaller, and there is even grass and pavement in places that I haven't seen it in months. It is crazy how fast it is all melting. Before I know it, it will be warm and green again. Sister Thrall is great and we are starting to find our flow and how we work together. I love studying with her, and for some reason it's actually easy to wake up in the morning with her. That is a miracle that I am very grateful for.
So yeah, just keeping on keeping on. The Church is True!