Monday, January 25, 2016

Visa trips and Baby Monkeys

Hello hello!

This week was a great week full of greatness! (do you ever feel like you say the same thing over and over and over again again?) ;) But really it was great! 

So on Tuesday we went to try and meet with the potential that we met at church.... but it didn't work out. We traveled for like 2 hours to get there and we were so ready and pumped but we got out at the house that she says was hers... but it was just a one story house and she told us she was on the fourth floor. I got this terrible gut feeling when we got to her apartment and it was a home and not an apartment building. So we called and talked to her and tried to meet at a bus stop BUT I was taking all the calls and I had this terrible feeling we were in the wrong place so I kept trying to explain but she was really impatient with me. We tried to meet at the stop and we both said we were at the same stop... but she wasn't there and she told us that we weren't there and that we stood her up and that my Russian sucks and that she doesn't want to meet.... yyyyyyeeeeeeaaaaaahhhhhh haha that was a hard day. I think that one was the hardest of my mission so far! So I cried a lot and missed my mom and dad a lot hahahaha and then later that day got on a train ride for Rostov! 

We made it into Rostov late that night at about 11:30. The sweet center Sisters welcomed us with open arms and gave us some sweet water and pears haha:) Then Sister McMurray left to her new apartment with Sister Mead. The rest of us, Sister Moore, the center Sisters Campbell and Robinson, and Sister Kennard and I, all crashed for the night. We woke up on Wednesday morning at 4 and left around 5 to go to the airport! Sister Jameson was on my visa trip so that was really fun! It was like an MTC reunion with a couple of older misisonaries too (like more time in the field) Which was SO nice. we couldn't have done it without them! there were 13 of us in a group We flew from Rostov to Armenia! it was great! We went to the Armenian airport and just had some down time there. 
Flying into Armenia was so beautiful! They have some really nice mountains there and it had snowed so everything was white and pretty:) On visa trips we aren't allowed to leave the airports so.. we did some great studying and catching up with each other. We also ate lunch in the Armenian airport and it was really yummy! they have a great airport and the bathrooms are really pretty, hahaha just in case you were wondering!  It was also pretty neat because they had a piano in the waiting area of the Armenian airport and so we all gathered around and sang Nearer my God to Thee in English and Russian. It was pretty neat and we had a lot of people's attention! I felt a little awkward too on this visa trip because we just stuck out SO much. but it was all good and people were very nice to us. From Armenia we flew to Moscow and hung out there for a long time, and then from there flew back to Rostov. We got back into Rostov at 2am on Thursday. This visa trip was fun! It's a little strange but the first 12 hours seemed a little more pleasant than the last 12! ;)

On Thursday I got to work with Sister Robinson and Campbell as Sister Moore worked with Sister Kennard and the new Russian sister! This transfer we only had two missionaries come in.. and we won't have any more until summer i think. We received a new Russian Sister and an Elder. so woo hoo! but anyway, we met with this sweet member named Marina (SHOUT OUT TO MARINA JOHNSON) and she is so cute! She is like moderately paralyzed and shouts everything that she says. She is super cute though and kept just yelling compliments at me. She loved my ring (hey thanks curt) and my necklace (hey thanks mom) and my skirt hahaha in Russian if you want to say "what is this?" you say "shto takoe?!" and it was like a big MTC joke and when I first got in and sat down she yelled and pointed at my ring "SHTO TAKOE?!?!" hahaha I loved it. 

Friday we had a really long district meeting because we got to see the new missionary broadcast! and then we tried to do stuff for our visas but they forgot the stamp so that didn't work out. We also did weekly planning that day. 

Saturday we did our visa things again! it took a little bit longer than expected.. but we had to get it done so is is good that we got it done! Nxxxxx is the lady in our ward that helps us and she is SSSOO pregnant. Like I think she was due last week. But the baby is turned the wrong way and it is a little bit worrying for her and her hubby.. please keep them in your prayers and if you could also put her name on the temple roll that would be awesome. Her husband's name is Sxxxxx.  
Saturday was also my day of tramby contacting! I talked to so many people on the tramby haha. and a lot of them talked to me first! One man saw my book of Mormon and I thought he said that he needed a book of Mormon so I was so excited and said, "oh yeah you need a book of Mormon?" and he was like "No it's not needed in general!" haha that sounds weird in English but it makes sense in Russian. So we had a nice little chat... hahah yyyeeaaahahhhhahahhaafda jhfakdjncvkajhn fkdnanfdkajflewmd/a  missionary work is awkward haha.  
We also met with a member named Bxxxxxx and she is so so so darling. :) it was a great meeting! Her husband isn't a member but drives the family to church every Sunday and is just such a cute cute dad. We talked to her about him too and she just said that she knows one day she will have an eternal marriage:) I felt the spirit so strongly. It was another testament to me that we can live with our families together forever! and how sweet and beautiful a promise that is:) 

Sunday we did some contacting and man oh man it is so so so dang cold!!! Yeah. SO COLD. 

Overall things are good here in Russia! we have a great week set up and i think a lot of really great things are going to happen:) I love serving here in Russia! 

So we were going through customs in the Moscow airport and there was an open suitcase and all of these security gaurds standing around the suitcase. There were also a whole bunch of these wicker baskets all around the floor. Well we were walking past and I saw two animals in this cage. I thought they were rats because I saw these tails but then they were like dark brown and then we saw these little fingers and ears!! MONKEYS!!!! someone was trying to smuggle in monkeys. So yeah I flew to Armenia in a day and also met some really cool monkey friends. Pretty good week if I do say so myself:) I love you all!! 

С большой любовью,сестра Price

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

A week of Miracles :)

Hello Friends!

I think you all have been praying a little bit harder this week because we have seen so many miracles! I am so excited for this email hahaha. 
A Sunset

So on Tuesday we went and met with a potential named Gxxxxxx. She is a referral from Church Headquarters and she is awesome! Her friend that lives in the United States referred her to us. The other sisters have been out a couple of times and we have been trying to meet her for the past few weeks but because of holidays and everything we just weren't able to. So this week we met with her again and it was awesome! She doesn't want to be taught the lessons but she is such a sweetie. She also knows English perfectly. She is a teacher at university teaching English. When sister Sommers and beach went and visited before, it was hard for them to get in anything to do with religion so this time we took our language learning stuff (because she wants to help us with Russian) and we just took the TALL book--which is pretty much just all the sentences you would need to use in a discussion and she helped us read through them. SOOO! A very odd way to try and teach the gospel but we are doing all we can haha. She is so sweet. 

That night we went and tried to find a less active, so we went to their house and went through their gate and knocked on their door and this sweet old lady came to the window and we had a nice conversation! She wasn't the less active we were looking for, but she was super sweet! We tried to give her chocolate but she is diabetic... so we are thinking maybe we will make her something real good and healthy or take her some fruit or something... She was so nice! Maybe instead of a week a miracles, maybe it was just a week of nice people hahaha. 

That night we also had some time to do contacting ( because we didn't see the less active you see) and I was not in the mood hahah. But we went and worked and we met another really good potential named ear-ya (how do you spell that name in english??? hahha) and we have actually been keeping in really good contact with her! We haven't had a meeting yet but she seems pretty interested in the Book of Mormon! 

On Wednesday we did a lot of running for trambys haha. I don't know why but we had some confusion on a lesson with Axxxxx so we were running like crazy! It all worked out though and our lesson with Axxxxx was solid! also a bit awkward haha. We talked about the word of wisdom and he follows it really well! so cool! The only things that he struggles with is coffee and drinking red wine every now and again. specifically after working out. So we had the whole lesson on the word of wisdom and he said, "yes of course! I have lived the word of wisdom all my life and will continue to now." so we all nodded and said "ah yeah great job" and the like... and then it got really awkward and I asked him about wine. So pretty much he will live it all except for wine and coffee so we are still working a little bit with him on that one! It was really cool though because last week we asked if he wanted a blessing and he said he did but he wanted it this week. So Elder Tolokonikov came and gave him a blessing after our lesson and it was really cool because a lot of the blessing was about things that we had talked about during that lesson. Things like his desire and how he needs to act and things like that. Definitely a testimony builder of blessings:) the Lord knows and loves us! 

Also on Wednesday night we had English club and our potential Machran (Mxxxx in Russian) told us he would be coming! So we were so excited and we were waiting outside the church for him to come. Ad then we just kept waiting,..;... and waiting..... and waiting...... We tried to call a couple of times and no answer. We were bummed to say the least and because the other missionaries were already teaching English we went out contacting. We had been contacting for about 10 mintues when we find this really awesome lady! I stop her and we are talking and she is just listening to me and then I just stop. I feel like the spirit like stopped me from talking and she said," oh it's ok you can talk in English!" so it turns out she speaks English (duh haha) and she had just returned from America! We had a really nice conversation with her and it was a conversation not like any other because she asked us about where we were from and what we were doing here. We actually had a real conversation!!! hahaha. She was just so so so incredibly sweet. We ended up getting her number as well and she is interested in English club too! But while we were talking to her Mxxxx called us and told us he was on his way to English club! I tried to explain it would be over by the time he could get there, but he came anyway. So after we talked to Axxxx we walked back to the branch and met Mxxxx there soon after and had a pretty neat conversation/lesson with him! He is amazing. he was born in Lebanon and then moved to Syria. then he came to Russia to continue in school. He is a dermatologist and is now going to school in psychology. His native tongue is Arabic and then English and then Russian. Pretty awesome man! I would guess he is in his mid 40's maybe 50's. (extremely handsome) We had an awesome lesson and gave him a book of Mormon! It was really really cool  :) The thing that I love the most about that experience though was that when we were so disappointed but went out and kept doing the work, we found Axxxx  :) And I think that we really needed to find her! We were contacting for about 15 minutes when we found her  :) really so so so cool. The Lord is mindful of all people! So neat! 
I think that was my favorite night of the mission so far:) 

Friday we got transfer calls! I am staying her in Krasnodar with Sister Beach as my companion (the one with black hair) and sister Sommers will still be in Krasnodar but will finish training Sister Moore upstairs, taking the place of Sister McMurray who is going to east Rostov. A couple of the elders are leaving too. 
Sister Sommers and Sister Beach - at McDonalds

Saturday we went to find a potential from the area book. We found their apartment but not them :) In Russia they have these underground tunnels to cross the street underground and usually they are like super cute and well lit and they have all these little stores but we went through one that was really really creepy hahahahah. It was so cool! Man I love Russia.  

At church one of the members brought her friend who is interested in the church! so we got her number and information and we are meeting with her this Tuesday:) I am so excited for it! She lives like 2 hours away and has come for the past two Sundays so pretty much I am so incredibly stoked to teach her. She is such a cutie and I hope that we can bring the light and life and joy of the gospel. 

Sunday night we went with the Elders to give a less active the sacrament. We had tried to find their house and these people were pretty rude so we went with them to find it. They are the cutest ever! They have been members for about 15 years and they were some of the first members here in our branch so they have seen everyone come into the fold:) Exxxxx is the husband and he is a little lost and then Kxxxxxx is his wife. They are just so cute and love each other so much. But in the "I am going to argue and role my eyes at you" kind of way hahha. They are awesome. But I really loved having the opportunity to take them the sacrament with the Elders. Just having the two little pieces of bread and two cups made the sacrament seem a little bit more meaningful to me  :) 

I love my Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ. I know that the Book of Mormon can give us strength and comfort and can smooth out our rough patches :) I know we have a loving Heavenly Father who really knows and cares for us and is in the details of our lives more than we realize. I was challenged this year to pick a word. A word to cherish and study and make my own as I learn and grow this year. I have chosen the word Grace. I especially love the definition in the Bible Dictionary. I know I have seen and have witnessed that divine means of help and strength and I feel like I might continue to feel it this year! I am sorry my big letter is so long today and I haven't had time to respond to individuals, but my heart is so full and I feel like I need to share these little miracles and tender mercies with you all! 
I love you all so much! thank you for your love and support! 

С большой любовью,сестра Price
Canned Tuna

Canned Tuna .....  Yummy?

Monday, January 11, 2016

THIS WEEK 1/11/16

Hello friends! 

this week was a fabulous week! I only wish I had more time to write! 
Yes, it is Russia, and we do have snow.
So first off, President Miner has changed the policy on Sister Missionaries talking to men! so we can do that now! Woo hoo!.... So on Monday I met a nice man named Stas on the tramby. We had a great conversation and he gave me his number. I gave it to the Elders and when they called he said he only wanted to talk to the girl on the tramby so we called and invited him to church. Unfortunately he just wanted to go on a stroll with me. He was super nice though and one of the most polite Russian men I have met I think! I hope one day he will come to church! But why I bring up this story is because it was during my conversation with him that I found out that I can pretty much understand Russian. Some parts are still pretty rough haha but good! 

Tuesday we met with members in our ward Sxxxxx and Vxxx. They both do so much for our ward and are so cute! They both served missions in Russia and know some english so yeah! She also made us the best hot chocolate I have ever had. YUMMY! (oh besides grandma's at Halloween!) 

We went over to Axxxxxx's again on Wednesday with the senior couple the Johnstuns. She showed us all her paintings and made the Johnstuns some pizza and like fruit bread stuff which was yummy! IT was so funny because Sister Beach did most of the translating and took some creative liberty in translating her paintings hahaha. so fun! 

We had a couple more meetings during the week... and then Saturday we HAD TWO BAPTISMS!!!! yeah you might be asking yourself, what? Why didn't I hear about these baptisms last week? well my friends, it is because I too only heard about these baptisms this past Thursday haha. The Elders in a different area- tuapse- had a baptism planned but they don't have a font and the river is a little cold this time of year... so they came to krasnodar for their baptism of Exxxx! And then Krasnodar also had a baptism! Elder Lord and Burwell have been teaching Vxxx and his family, and Vxxx committed to baptism! So we had a wonderful baptism service! It only started two hours late because Vxxx was working on his car:) BUT IT HAPPENED!! haha;) We were hoping Vxxx's family would come. but they didn't make it. His wife is also being taught by them but recently mentioned that she might want to be taught by the Sisters... so that would be cool if we had that opportunity! The baptism was wonderful though and I just felt the spirit so strongly when Vxxx and Exxxx were both immersed. It was a really cool experience:) That Sunday Vxxxx was also confirmed and it was awesome! That sweet spirit is amazing. President and Sister Miner were also in town for the baptisms and for interviews which went well. 
AND THEY ALSO BROUGHT MAIL!!!!! I got some packages and letters!!! thank you SSSOOO MUCH!!!! It made my year!!!!!! seriously though, thank you so so so so much:) 

Letters and Packages!

New Wool Mittens

Another couple of funny things that happened this week:

(well this was from last week and I can't remember if I already shared it) We were riding on the tramby and this man was drunk and kept trying to sit on people. It wasn't super funny in the moment but later it was hahaha. He went and sat in between these two people where there wasn't any room and the woman just rips into him and the guy on the other side of him is just trying not to laugh. hahaha man it was funny a couple of days later... 

There was another really drunk man at a bus stop that we were trying to avoid. The bus stop was like a long bench with a wall as a backing so for a good 20 minutes while waiting for our tramby we would walking on one side of the wall while he would walk on the other side hahaha. It was like a movie! hahah man. There were other people there and there was a nice man that was aware of how we were feeling I think so he finally went and sat down and talked to him... but yeah I felt like I was in a cartoon and I can't wait to see that one again from heaven haha. poor guy. 

On Sunday we were riding on the tramby to church and all of a sudden we hear and accordion start to play!!!!!!! Oh my golly goodness this man on the tramby started playing and just singing his heart out. he was an old man with a mustache that curled up both ways hahaha. Man that was probably my favorite thing ever that has happened-- but I forgot my camera. I am praying it will happen again when I have my camera!!! SO FUN!!!!! :)

My favorite two scriptures this week: Mosiah 5:13 and Mosiah 7:33

Well, I love you all!!!! 

С большой любовью,
сестра Price

The Mall in our City

Hannah's New Boots!

Hersey Kisses - Thanks so much for the packages!

Monday, January 4, 2016

It's beginning to look a lot like.... Russia.

Hello friends!!!

It finally snowed!!! Yes this week we received our first Russian snow fall. And boy did it snow. and boy is it cold! hahaha. It finally feels like Russia!! 

This week was a wonderful week full of lots of contacting in the cold:) I'll talk about that more later! 
 Last Monday after emailing, we went to the mall in order to go and get Sister Beach her purple shirt from H&M that she has been dreaming about for weeks (hahah P-days are the only days where we can be real people hahaha) so we went to the mall and went to an ATM in order to get money off. We went up to the ATMs and Sister Sommers said to me (but I don't think that sister beach heard), I feel like we should just use the green machines. about 10 seconds later Sister Beach put her card in a blue machine due to the fact that she didn't hear Sister Sommers. Well, as you can guess, the machine broke with her card in it hahahah. We said a little prayer and then got to work.The rest of the day was spent trying to get her card out of the machine. We had a little bit of help from a nice security guard, called the company of the ATM, and then called the elders (specifically elder Tolokonikov who is a Russian haha). We had lots of little tender mercies- like our phone dying only after we told the elders that we needed help and where we were. and the security guard letting us use his phone to let the family that we were meeting with for FHE know that we would be late. I had lots of fun talking to the bank on the phone. you never know how much Russian you don't know until you have to tell the bank about your situation and try to get instructions on what to do! but really, the lord helped me so much and even though I couldn't get everything that he was saying, I know that he helped me get as far as I did on the phone call.

It ended up we needed to leave the card there so we left it there and went to FHE that night with recent convert Oxxxx at the Johnstons which was awesome! Also a little bit frustrating as we tried to understand her broken English and she tried to understand our broken Russian and her son Dxxxx was hanging from the drapes:) but very great night! 

Tuesday we went to the bank with the Elders and pretty much figured out her card is doomed and she just needs a new one. We also had a lesson that night with our investigator Axxxxx which was good! he didn't have a lot of time though so we didn't get to have the lesson we had hoped for. 

Wednesday we had a lot of time planned for contacting. Contacting can be rough sometimes but I am learning that it is really awesome if you put in the work! to be quite frank, contacting is a little bit of a rough patch for me and my companions and so when we contact, if we are going to contact anyone, i have the beautiful privilege! So this Wednesday we had lots of time to contact and I was really nervous we wouldn't use our time effectively. So I prayed my heart out and asked if we could be more confident and comfortable in our contacting. We left to start contacting and I honestly didn't feel super great. But I had read Enos 1:12 that morning and realized that I need to pray AND labor diligently (yes it is my favorite scripture this week:)) We left and were only a little ways away from our apartment and I saw a lady and stopped and contacted her. It was the first lady we saw and the first lady we contacted that day. The Lord answered my prayer as this was one of the best contacting moments I have had as a missionary. I told her why we were here, testified of the book of Mormon and had her read the first vision out of a pamphlet. She didn't seem extremely interested, but I felt things changed when she read the first vision. we ended up getting her name and number and I walked away from that contacting moment with tears in my eyes. That contacting block ended up being one of our most effective. We didn't get any other numbers, but we were brave and had courage to talk to everyone. Friends, the Lord answers prayers:) 

Some other funny contacting moments this week:
Didn't understand what this cute old lady was saying but she laughed really hard, yelled "girls!" and then hit me pretty hard in the arm hahaha. all in good fun... I think;) 

This young man came up to us on the street giving us this long spiel, stopped, looked at the BOM and asked "what book is that" I told him and then he kept going. Turned out he was asking us for money BUT I hope one day he will see the book of Mormon again and be interested:)

It snowed and it is absolutely gorgeous here:0 seriously so gorgeous! 

We spent a couple of days inside and made Yaryeneke! It is like mashed potatoes in noodle stuff. I don't know how to explain it- look it up:) 

We made lots of great good and got to catch up on our studies! we got a little stir crazy so it was nice to go outside again:) 

New years was CRAZY everything shut down and I remember waking up on new years eve because I thought we were being attacked, but it it was just fireworks. Man I have never seen fireworks like that, it was crazy. I sat on the top bunk of the bunk bed of the 11th story and watched all of the fireworks and I think that will be one of my favorite memories ever:) 

Well I think that is all for this week! I am loving it here in Russia! 

I love you all! 
С большой любовью,сестра Price
Christmas Dinner with the Senior Couple Missionaries, The Johnstuns

Christmas Dinner - This time with Hannah in the Picture

At a Member's home