Ok, a quick update on this week and my doings and then i will write a little more story.
It snowed for the first time on the 30th. its getting pretty cold here, especially since i got my hair cut today. I am going to day to get a scarf, maybe some good gloves, and a good hat. On Friday and saturday i went on exchanges with the zone leaders and i went to another part of the city with Elder Kazikov. I'm finding i get along much better with native russian missionaries than the american ones... or maybe its just the utah ones? I dunno. But i do get along pretty well with elder crookston, I'm just not used to living with him yet. on saturday we had a fireside with the members of the branch where we talked about Christ as our shepherd. we're trying to get the members to go find the 'lost sheep' in the branch and help them to come back to church and take full advantage of the gospel. they're building a building here for this branch, but they have stopped work on it... maybe because they don't actually need it for how many active members there are. 20-30 out of 350. so in the fireside we had 300 sheep cut out and laid on the table. bless sister tolkachov's heart for cutting them all out for us. we told her only 100 would be good, but i guess being bored and pregnant she decided to go the extra mile for us. we now have a lot of sheep to take notes on and use as reminders, haha. The most frustrating thing this past week has been canceled lessons. for example, yesterday we had 6 lessons scheduled. but, as the day went on we found ourselves with only 1 of those actually occurring, and that was with an active member family. We have had 1 or 2 lessons this week tho, one with alyssa. she's 18 and knows she needs to get baptized by immersion, but isn't sure which church really has the authority. we showed her the restoration film and asked her to pray to know if Joseph Smith really was a prophet of God. We haven't been able to follow up yet because she has been out of town but we have a lesson with her tonight. the other is a less active part member family. the mother and the son are both baptized and confirmed members, the 9 year old daughter isn't baptized, and the father was baptized, but took up smoking again that same night and so was never able to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and be confirmed a member. we're helping to activate the mother and the son so that they can help the father and the daughter to be baptized AND confirmed.
president satori came to our branch yesterday and in my short interview (mine are ALWAYS short.. but i guess that's really not a bad thing) he told me that i better be preparing to be one of his leaders because he's going to use me as such not too long from now. kinda intimidating. he told me one thing that i need to really work on is becoming an expert in the language so that i can interpret for him.... scary signs. I'm building more faith that i can learn the language well, but I'm not exactly sure how to go about it yet.
well so much for the 'short' update.
i hope all is doing well and that my new niece is learning how to be a handful!
love you all!
terminal c to get my bags. well, terminal c is 30 minutes away. so we tried to take the shuttle but they wouldn't let us ride because our tickets were for terminal d. so finally we caught a bus for terminal c and noticed the the other samara missionary's bags were still there. i hadnt seen them since that morning. so long story short, after 3 hours of trying to find my bags i was finally able to get a hold of them and rejoin with everyone else. so we waited for my samara buddies... but they never came. it came time for me to go through security so i did, grabbed some borsh at one the the 2 restaurants in the Moscow airport, said goodbye to the rest of my mtc friends and got on a russian airline alone and flew the hour to samara. i tried to speak to a few people on the plane, but i couldn't understand them and they couldn't understand me. finally i arrived at the airport, crammed myself onto a bus with 100 other people and made it to the terminal. I met president satori and told him about the missing missionaries and then went to the mission home where i was FINALLY able to shower and sleep after being in my suit for.... 2 days? i don't even know. the next morning the missionaries were able to get a flight in and were finally found. long story about how they got lost... and i don't have time to get into that. but i am in russia now! so, first day in russian... cold, wet, stressful... i better get used to it! But i am happy to finally be here doing this important work.