Monday, June 25, 2012

June 25, 2012

So. Things that I've learned this week.
  • The trains on weekdays have this super obnoxious lunch break that's like 2 hours long, right when I need to use it half the time. i.e. come email, go to district meeting, etc.
  • I can feel my body starting to give out. I've just been so tired and emotionally unstable half the time. I think it's just a training thing, though, because I was like this with Sister X2 too.
  • There was a lot of really cool stuff that I did at the beginning of my mission that made more of an impact than I thought it did--with investigators, or projects like my musical fireside with Sister Mordwinow, or things like that.
  • Half the elders in my zone are scared of spiders.
  • I don't know what I'm going to do when I'm a real mom, because just being a trainer I feel like I do everything (mostly just because I'm the one who speaks Russian and knows how everything is supposed to work) and I don't have enough time. However, as a real mom I won't be a missionary, so maybe it will balance out a little bit.
So there was quite a bit of cool stuff that happened this week, even though I've been exhausted. I have yet to have gotten lost or have gotten on the wrong train (well, we did once, but I realized it before it was too late, and we got off at the next station and waited for the real train). That's a big deal. Visited a less-active woman. She said that she was lucky, because we called like the day before she was going to leave for the summer, so if we had called just a few days later, she wouldn't have answered and we wouldn't have been able to see/meet her. It's really funny though, a lot of the members and investigators are leaving for the summer, and since I just got here, they don't realize that I'll probably be gone by the time that they get back. haha. But we did service as a zone this week, which was pretty cool and a lot of fun. Got to spend some time with some missionaries that I haven't really been around in a really, really long time.
We've gone singing contacting twice this week. That is probably my favorite way to contact. It attracts attention, brings the Spirit, and you get to build district unity, all at the same time! Plus, I love to watch "my" Elders contact--like, the ones I've been with since the MTC, or that I served with when they were brand new, because I can see how much they've grown. I mean, I was with them when they didn't know any Russian at all, or when they didn't feel like they could talk to people, and now here they are, doing it, talking to people in Russian on the street and getting contacts and stuff. We had backpacks dropped on us as we were walking in the metro, I'm not sure whether it was on purpose on an accident, but it was funny. Talked to some super super crazy people. One guy told us that we have to read in libraries more, that Columbus opened America with help from the Russians, and that we're practically related, because all my ancestors were Pravoslanie Russians. Oh boy... There was this guy from Vietnam who started videoing us singing "I Need Thee Every Hour/Ti nuzhen mne Gospod" and then he told us that he knows the Church in Vietnam. He barely spoke RUssian or English, but he was super nice. My favorite part though was how one day there was this obnoxious Subway ad guy who we see quite a bit, and he came up to me and thrust a prig into my hand for subway, and I thought, okay, now you take mine. And he wouldn't, because he was like, "I already know your religion, something something blah blah blah." I was kind of mad. I was like, "No, you come take this prig and you like it! At least beacuse I took yours!" Well, about 45 minutes later, he comes back up to us and asks what it is, because as we were singing he realized it wasn't what he thought it was, and he took a prig. I was like, "Ha! Victory. I win." People have also started just talking to me themselves a lot this week, like the ticket checker on the train who asked if we were sectanti, the lady who told me that I forgot to take my nametag off when I left work, and a lady who asked for directions on a train platform.
Sad news: Olga is going out of town for at least a month. She might not even be back before I head out. :( But that's okay, I guess, because I met Nactia this week!
Who is Nactia? Well, we had gone to see this other Olga (a dropped investigator who I don't think understands that the Sisters dropped her and invited us over, and we decided to go to meet her...or to meet Nactia and we just didn't know it), who lives super far away. And we were waiting on the train platform for the train. And this girl comes and sits next to us. I'm thinking, No one sits next to missionaries. I want to talk to her. And then she pulls out a Bible and starts reading! I asked her where she was reading--James 4. So we start talking, and we end up talking for 15 minutes waiting for our train. We get on the train together and keep talking for another hour until it's her stop. She was awesome! At first I thought she was about my age, but it turns out she's married with a kid in 2nd grade, so she's probably a little older. But she was super nice and open, I felt like I could just talk to her for forever. She believes that different churches are true for different people, and that as long as you believe in Christ and do good, you're good to go. Her husband is studying to be a pastor, and she invited us to their churches services. But she was also really excited just to talk about what we believe. She was sooooooo interested in the BoM and kept coming back to it, asking why she had never heard that Christ appeared in the Americas before (she said it like it was true already), and things. She already lives the Word of Wisdom, doesn't even drink tea or coffee! I mentioned that our calls are assigned by revelation and she said, "Well, yeah, that's probably why you learn the language so fast. God knows it's already a part of you somewhere." AHHHHH. She is just so prepared and open and awesome! I'm hoping that we can definitely meet this week. When I called on Saturday she was so excited that it was me. I can't even describe. I know that I shouldn't get my hopes up, because I have so many times and nothing has come of it, and even if that is the only time things work out to see her or if nothing serious happens with her and her family, I won't be disappointed, but oh man. I finished that conversation, and I just kind of sat there in this super happy shock. That was by far one of the best things of my mission. And I just feel so different about her. I don't want to count my chickens before they hatch or anything, but maybe she and her family are who I've been looking for, yearning for, wanting to teach my entire mission. She was just super great. I don't even know what else to say about her. Pray for her and for us that we can meet up soon and that they'll be interested and that things will work out. She is just so happy and open and good already, and I just know that the gospel can add so much more to that.
That's about it for this week. You all are great. Enjoy your theme days. Those sound...either fun or...I'm not sure. Also, I watched the Christmas Pageant last night. I love the part where Elizabeth/Mary (who is a virgin and hasn't even been appeared to by the angel yet) walks in with her big balloon belly. And Rebecca saying, "DAD! I didn't have my part!" Cracks me up every time. Love you all.
Sister Ashby

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