Monday, June 11, 2012

June 11, 2012

Another crazy week. It's always crazy, but this past week and next week are especially crazy and then things will kind of get back to as normal as you can get on a mission...besides the fact that it will just be the 2 of us and I still don't really know our area. Oh well. Shto delat? Snimat shtani e beget. hahahaha... (translation: What to do?--like in the meaning, We can't do anything, that's the way it is...I can't remember exactly how we would say that in english... and then the answer: take off pants and run. It's super funny).

So this week, Sister Maxwell got better, Sister Frolova and I both took days kind of feeling sick/tired, I went on a visa trip to Riga, and we got to know some more people in the branch/area. Due to sickness and visa trip though, there were a few days where I felt like I hadn't done work in a long time, so I'm super excited for when everything settles down and we can have normal study and I can train normally and we can just work. Here's the run down:
  • So, yeah. Riga. That's in Latvia, if you don't know.Things changed and we can't go to Kiev anymore (bummer, no temple). So we basically just fly to Riga and then eat in the airport and then fly back. I was super bummed we didn't have time to leave the airport, but I already have plans to go actually see Riga someday soon because that's where Sister Frolova is from and even before we were comps we had plans that I was going to go see her. It was a pretty crazy day, involving one of our Elders not being able to come with us due to a passport problem (LONG STORY), everyone being super happy and smiley and serviceable in Latvia, and a lot of running back and forth through various airport security and passport control. It didn't seem like so much when we were in Kiev, because we had longer in between and go to do something else, but it was still fun to be together as missionaries.
  • The other main event was church. There were hardly any people there yesterday, and it was actually a really interesting Sunday. President came to do interviews, so we had those instead of going to Sunday School. Just for the record, I have the best mission president in the world. And then we helped in Primary instead of going to RS. There were only 2 kids there, but I was playing piano and the Elders were teaching a lesson or something...I'm actually not sure why we were all there, but the lone Primary leader really appreciated it. And on Sundays, our branch feeds us. They are so awesome. They tell us that it's their service and every Sunday after church, some ward members either take us to their house for lunch, or make us some food at the branch. Our branch is really small and spread out, so it's hard for them to feed us on other days, and so they do this for us. Man, this branch is so great. There are so many powerful, funny, wonderful members of the church here, and because it's so small, it's a lot like a family.
  • Music lessons. I guess right before I got here, President gave Sister Horspool permission to teach piano and things, and so I kind of continued that and we've had some interesting things this week. There is an older lady in our ward who, bless her heart, really really really wants to learn how to sing. But she is pretty much tone deaf. Not completely, but almost. So I got to spend about 40 minutes playing notes and trying to help her hit them. It was kind of funny. But she is a sweetheart and we had a great spiritual thought with her afterwards. She's less-active and I guess in the past year has started to become more active, so it's really great that we can help her. I also got to help an inactive girl about my age with piano. She used to go to a different branch and then stopped going all together, but hopefully she will start to come, especially if she realizes that the best time for me to help her with piano is right after church. ;) And there's another awesome girl in our ward who wants to start learning piano and it's just going to be awesome to help this small branch actually have more people who can play, and also try to reactivate some people through it as well.
  • Anyway, our branch is awesome. Have I said that already? Our branch president and his wife are super funny, and I just really love all our members. It's just such a fun, happy, strong branch, even if it's small. I'm happy that I've been able to get to know some people and already start to build relationships quickly, since I only have so little time to be here in this branch. okay, moving on...
  • Lastly, there is Olga. Olga is our main investigator right now, who is slowly progressing, and she is a sweetheart! One of our super-missionary ward members (she served a mission in New York and is now married with 2 kids, who are 8 and 5?) lives in the building next to hers and they met each other on the train. Olga was interested in learning English, so the member gave her number to the sisters for English Club, and more. They started meeting with her twice a week, once for English, and once in Russian for the Gospel. She is already so full of light and so bright and happy and loving. I loved her the minute that I met her. Wednesday before English club we were supposed to have a meeting with her, but she hit traffic, so we were just able to get to know her. And then we went out to her place (about a 30-45 minute train ride) on Saturday to actually have a lesson. Her prayer was so wonderful. She has so much potential, and she is just so wonderful. Hopefully we can start to see her progress even more than she already is.
  • This week will be full of awesomeness. On Thursday we have a mission conference (actually, 2 mission conference, our mission and the West mission, which will be our mission in...3ish weeks) with Presiding Bishop Stevensen, Elder Rasband, and Elder Christofferson, who are all coming for Area Review and Stake Conference, which will be this weekend. Right after that we say goodbye to Sister Frolova, who goes home on Friday. :( I will miss her a lot. We have been together since the MTC, and we can just talk about anything. I am just very grateful that I got to serve with her for at least 2 weeks. And then Sister Maxwell and I are on our own. Time to whip her into shape! Just kidding, she's already doing great. I just hope that I don't hop on the wrong train with her or something and take her to nilsya-area that is off-limits to Americans without permission or something (a lot of our area is closed to Americans). It will be awesome. I have no worries. And I have big plans.
Well, the church is true! Read the KM every day. Say your prayers. Be good. Don't die.
Love you lots,

Sister Ashby

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