Hello friends and family!
Thank you so much for your letters!!! I absolutely love them! really they are wonderful so thank you!
This week has been a lot better as far as homesickness goes so thank you for your thoughts and prayers! I have felt them!!!
This week has been a really good week!!
Last P-day we went to the mall and oh my golly goodness I was taken aback. It is the nicest mall I have ever seen. Way nicer than any mall in America which I find to be crazy because when you walk out onto the street you think, "is this the same place?" hahah crazy. I also had blenis which were so good!
Tuesday we did service for an inactive. We drove really far away from the city and walked down these old farm-like paths and finally got to her dacha (like a summer house). Boy it was spooky hahah. They hadn't actually finished the dacha so it was this huge cement building with a whole bunch of overgrown weeds and just crazy stuff haha. If you have seen any scary movie ever, this house was probably in that movie haha. Plus the day was foggy and there were lots of dogs barking and stuff. hahaha spooky!!! :) but we worked in her yard which was fun! Then after she wanted to have a bonfire and roast potatoes but we couldn't do that because of rules you know.... but she had set up this table full of apples and nuts- pretty much just everything she had (also the things that she got from her garden that day) so we sat for a little while and ate apples and nuts:) she also offered us milk, but we couldn't have it because it was like real life milk haha. so we refused and she was a bit annoyed with us and then said, "well OK at least have some water!" (and mind you- we can't drink the water here, we have like big storage containers we drink out of.. and we bleach all of our food..) but she said that and we all looked over at her water and we could literally see bugs at the bottom so we had to refuse that too hahaha oh man... but she was a sweetheart and it was really fun to do service! the sisters don't get a lot of opportunities to do service here because it is "man's work" psh. whatever. I could do it better than anyone!!!! :) (still working on my pride out here in the field!!! :))
Russians are really weird about what they think is acceptable for women to do and not to do. They are really worried about fertility so they don't think women can sit on the floor or sit on cold seats because they will go infertile.. also people think you are crazy if you eat ice cream this time of the year and they will yell at you for doing so haha. also you have to wear tights here (as opposed to bare legs) or else the babushkas will hit you with an umbrella (hahah true story!!!)
This week we contacted an old woman and when we asked if she needed help she looked at us and gave me this HUGE hug and she gave me a couple of kisses!!! hahahah man it was so weird. I thought that maybe I just didn't recognize her or something... but nope!!!! hahah man she was so happy to see me and sister Mcmurray because she has two grand kids who need wives. oh man hahahahaha many marriage proposals here in Russia for any American girl haha. but yes she continued to tell us all about her two boys and how they needed wives and told us about them and then asked what ones we wanted hahaha. She was also a very very touchy person and was like really into me for some reason hahaha..... yyyyeeeeeeaaaahhhhh hahhaa oh man. During that same contacting block we met a really promising potential! it was so great too because that morning had been a little bit rough... :) :)
Here are my miracles of the week:
Last Monday morning when we were going to service, I had felt a little bit of a wave of homesickness (ok maybe a lot:)) and so I prayed so hard to just let me be happy and be able to do the service and have a great day.. but also not to forget about family or friends. We went to the bus stop and I was feeling better... but then.... the cutest little girl with down syndrome got off of the bus:) she was probably about 6 years old and I just felt the spirit when I saw her. I could feel the love of my Savior comforting me and helping me through this time:) I then also got to see her play with a puppy that was at the same bus stop:) definitely such a tender mercy! and then the puppy came and played with us too while we were waiting for a different bus:) oh man such a cool experience! I testify Christ knows us and knows what we are going through. and he wants to help us! He wants us to feel his love! I know this to be true:)
We had one really great lesson this week with our investigator Anna about the book of Mormon! 80% of the branch is inactive so we spend a lot of our time visiting them and taking treats and flowers and such:)
update on pregnant Julia: still can't tell if she is really pregnant or not, but this week we are leaning towards no:) I'll keep you posted!!!
This week we were sitting at a bus stop and this guy ran out of a car and took a picture of us sitting there and then ran back to the car... so we had to go home a little bit early that day. But everyone is safe and it really isn't that big of a deal:)
Larissa came to church!! we went and visited her this week and talked about sacrament and I was a little bit nervous because we were a little frank with her about how important church was BUT SHE CAME!! really so neat:)
We went to the pblhok today (ree-nok) and man it is so cool! I bought socks. I am obsessed with socks hahahaha. But man it is like this underground place with just like thousands of these little stores just selling everything and anything. if the black market was a place I think it might look like that hhaahaha but man it is so cool!
I have seen 2 black people in Russia.
The Russian is.. coming!!! haha oh man.. Russian. I can really clearly understand when people say "she doesn't understand a lot of Russia" but that's about it!!! hahaha no just teasing. I have actually seen a lot of great things coming from my language studies! it's coming!
I love you all! thank you for your support and love! I miss and love you but I am loving it here in Russia!!!! :) :) :)
I LOVE YOU!!!