Monday, April 23, 2012

April 23, 2012

It's been kind of an up and down week. But we have a brand-new greenie in our district. I'm kind of wondering why I'm still here in ZGrad. I mean, I'm not complaining, I love it here and I love Sister Thrall and's just weird, and I'm kind of ready for a change. I guess that I just haven't done what I'm supposed to do here yet. I'm really tired today. I'm want the last few months of my mission to be like the first few months of my mission, and I'm worried that they won't be. But the work goes on, however slowly or quickly.
Last Monday night was really cool--we went to go drop-by some less-actives. And the first one, we get there and 1) we can get into the building and 2) they're home. Her mom (who I guess was an old investigator) opens the door and invites us in. The less-active woman got baptized like 10ish years ago, maybe a little more. Most of her friends got married and moved away, and then she also got married to someone who's a little protiv (oh whoops, I forget that not everyone speaks kasha...protiv=anit. and kasha=porridge, and Sister Martyanova and I would use it to mean English-Russian together). But she let us in and talked to us and we gave her a spiritual thought. She was super nice, and she still knows a lot of the members--she remembers all the youth when they were babies and a few of the kids go to the school that she teaches at. And she's expecting a baby girl in a month or two. She invited us to come back anytime, so we're hoping we can start working with her regularly, but she also said that the weekends are the only time she gets to see her husband, and since he's not super religious or interested, that will be an obstacle, but whatever. We try anyway.
That same night we were riding back on the bus from stopping by another inactive (she wasn't home though), and we ran into the less-active deaf son of one of the members of our bishopbric! He came up to us and started talking. It was an interesting conversation, since he was kind of hard to hear and then he also can only barely hear and we were on the bus, but he and his friends were super cool.
This weekend, I went down to Moscow on a split with Sister Frolova. She's from Latvia and came to Russia with me. She goes home a couple months earlier than me due to school, but she is soooo cool. I am glad that I've gotten to go on splits with her, to at least kind of make up for the fact that we never got to serve together. It was kind of a crazy two days, but it was a ton of fun. ON Friday we went street singing with some Elders. I love that. It was super the end, we had already decided that it was the last hymn because most of the Elders had a visa trip and had to take off to the central building to meet up with the other missionaries. And then this lady comes up to us and just starts talking. She says that she's a choir director at a university and she was so impressed with us and our singing and that she thought we were professionals and wanted us to come to Florence (yes, Italy) with her choir this summer to sing with them on the street. hahaha. Unfortunately, it's about a month before I get home, so probably not possible. ;) We talked to her a little bit about why we're here and tried to give her a BoM, but she mostly just wanted us to sing another hymn. So we gathered up all the Elders and sang one more. Afterwards she was said something to the effect of "You are just such beautiful young people! And when you sing, there is something in your faces like you have power come down from heaven."'s true, isn't it? :)
Also on the split, I got to play piano at a baptism for the International branch. Three Elders were singing and I was playing for them. We hadn't practiced ever before, and we didn't get to. Because black people here in Moscow are always late. It's just a fact. They love the gospel, but they are late. It's kind of one of the mission jokes that if you serve in International, you learn how to be even more flexible than you do with just Russians because you're running on Mormon-Russian-African time. So the international missionaries and one of the guys who were being baptized were an hour late to the baptism. But they all eventually got there and it was a great baptism. The musical number went well, despite the fact that we had never all practiced together. It was soooo weird that everything was in English. Basic gospel subjects in English just are weird to me know. I cannot talk about baptism in English. It has to be in Russian or it sounds weird. I translated all the talks in my head. It was also fun, because one of the baptisms had to be done like 7 times. And that's not really an exaggeration. The poor guys--first, it was super cool. The guy baptizing his friend was only baptized a few months ago. I actually went to his baptism. But he was kind of nervous I think, and in addition, the guy was super tall and there wasn't all that much water in the font. And he kept popping his elbows up. It was kind of funny, but also super cool, because the look on his face when he realized that he had done it right and that he really was officially baptized was so special.
Well, the only other news this week is more sad. So last Monday, we call Yulia to ask when we can meet, and she is in the hospital with bronchitis. :( We called her one other time in the week to ask how she was. But then when I was in Moscow, I guess Sister Thrall got a call from some random person (a doctor, or someone, we're not sure who it was), who asked for me (I have no idea how they know my name) and then told us that Yulia's mom doesn't want her talking with us or meeting with us and that we shouldn't call her or anything. Weird, because we have a signed note from Yulia's mom saying that it's okay to meet with her. But...yeah. :( That was really disappointing. She was doing so well, and I've worked with her for...well, for my whole time here in ZGrad, and I love her a lot. And now we're not even sure what all happened. But that is what happens when people have baptismal dates. Satan works super hard. But so does God, so maybe we'll see a miracle.
And that's about it for this week. The Church is true!
Sister Ashby

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