So today we've started our 8th week. Which means we have less than a month left before we head off to Russia! Last week they called us all to the travel office to sign our Russian visas before they send them out. We still don't know what exactly is going on with our mission since it's being split, but I trust the whatever happens will be the Lord's will.
Thank you to everyone for the letters and packages! Mom-I hope you had a wonderful birthday and Dad: happy father's day this Sunday! I love you sooo much and thank you for supporting my decision to go on a mission!
I was so overwhelmed with gratitude when I got a package from a friend of mine, Stephanie Uhl, who I saw at the temple a couple of weeks ago. She sent me a bunch of baked treats and a really sweet note and I did not expect it at all and was so grateful for it, because it had been a pretty stressful day!
A LOT happened this past week! We got 40 new missionaries in our branch and it was a little hectic getting everything ready for them to come! Since my companion Sister Carver is coordinating sister, I got to help welcome some of the new districts and help her give them a tour of campus and bear our testimonies during the branch meeting for all of them!
We now share one of our teachers, Brat Adams, with a district next door and I found out that one of the elders in his new distrit is from our stake-Katy 2nd-and his name is Elder Grant! He's going to a different mission, but it was exciting to meet somebody from our stake also going Russian speaking!
This past week we got to help Brat Adams district during language study and just help them with their pronounciation and some of the basic phrases. It's almost surreal that the tables have turned because it feels like that was so long ago when we were new! I feel like I can relate to a lot of them who feel nervous about the MTC and the language and that I can tell them with confidence that everything will be all right and that they can do this!
Last night we heard from Elder Per G. Malm for the Tuesday night devotional. I remember him speaking at conference a year or so ago, and he and his wife are from Sweden! He was hilarious and we found out that he's getting assigned to be an area 70 for Eastern Europe, so he and his wife are actually moving to Moscow! So we might get to see him when we're in Russia, which would be so aweseome! He gave a really incredible talk and reminded us that we need to stop thinking about ourselves and that Satan will try to discourage us to not be our best, but that he only operates within the boudaries set by the Lord. So it's up to us not to let him discourage us and to trust in our calling!
Our "investigators" Koctya and Lora have both made a lot of progress in the past week! Lora agreed to be baptized this Saturday and we felt so blessed when we were able to teach her about repentance! It's amazing how the Spirit can help guide you to say what you need to say during a lesson, and to use the limited Russian we have! After the lesson, Sister Alletto broke character and told us how strong the Spirit was during the lesson and that she truly felt as Lora that she wanted to repent! So we were really excited abou that. Koctya though has been a little tough, because he hasn't been as responsive in our lessons and seemed confused when we taught about the plan of salvation. His wife hasn't given him permission yet to be baptized but he agreed to prepare to be baptized next Saturday. Me and Sister Carver were feeling a little discouraged and decided that maybe we needed to change the way we were teaching him. I've realized how important it is to listen during lessons and that I can't be so worried about what I'm going to say next, but that I need to allow the Spirit to guide me. Our next lesson with him ended up going MUCH better and his wife went to church with him on Sunday and is slowly coming around!
Something really funny (but also kind of not): right before the devotional a branch president got up and showed up a bunch of bent forks that apparently was found by the kitchen staff! He invited the Elders who were guilty of the crime to come to his office Thursday so they could repent and apologize to the kitchen staff! So clearly, he wasn't amused! I can say with good confidence though that I know it wasn't our Russian elders!
Something else that was funny: we LOVE to play sand volleyball for gym even though I'm TERRIBLE, but it's fun to get out in the sun and play in the sand! When we were playing on Satuday one of our zone leaders accidentally punted the ball right into the side of my face and he felt SO BAD! I thought it was hilarious though and luckily for him I have a pretty tough skin!
The language: is still hard but I love it! The word for friend in Russian is "droog" which is pretty much the most hilarious-sounding word ever! Whenever we see our friends we always say "Hey droogs!" even though its incorrect in Russian!
We learned about verbs of motion, which apparently are really difficult, but our teacher Brat Savage told us that it was all hype and that if we think that, then we are psychologically setting ourselves up for it to be hard! I was feeling a little worried about how Russian has 6 cases but then we talked to some elders who are going to Finland and apparently they have TWENTY-SIX cases!!!!! So when I heard that I felt very grateful that I'm learning Russian! It is getting much easier to understand our investigators and to understand when we teach at TRC and I give all the credit to the Lord!
We're having more speak-your-language days which are actually really helpful because they force us to use what we've learned!
Well I love you all!
Please keep writing!