The balloon was stomped to smitherenes by the world's smallest babooshka.
Hahaha- settled. What a wonderful, fast week 'twas. Christmas was delightful to see all of your faces. It wasn't until yesterday in RS third hour that I then understood that Philip had been MIA 3 1/2 times as he continually dished himself up seconds of nothing other than the famous Christmas rice pudding. Good choice bud, and the only worthy justification for burning camera time. Officially excused. Haha, and where's my portion? Anyway-- it was the best Christmas present, and sister hancock and I just hugged eachother afterwards as the final tears of happy, spiritual bliss were shed as we remembered our families and how happy we are to be serving Heavenly Father.
It was quite funny to be in on the famous FHE at the Gorina's last week. We anxiously awaited the arrival of our investigators, Rooslan and his kind of tude-oriented buddy Deema. They finally showed up at the tail-end--just as we had hoped to squeeze in a last word of spiritual thought before jumping out the door and on a panic bus ride home to make thedeadline. Instead of warm-up and smooth segway in to what the gospel of Jesus Christ really means for us, and could mean for Rooslan, Natasha Gorina took the liberties of immediately saying to recently-seated Rooslan-- "what is your name, young man??" He answered. "Well, it would be well for you to know that here in this church we forego with pride alcohol, tobacco, narcoticss, tea and coffee. And, life is tremendously better because of it." Hahahah-- the crickets sounded as the festive room of adults and missionaries felt silent and Rooslan took in the new, most likely utterly confusing introduction he'd ever heard-- as sister Hancock and I did all we could to put a stop to hit, but could then do no more as we turned our heads to silently giggle at the misfortune of his first 15-second impression of the event we had so encouraged him to attend. Hahaha, there is no replacement for those kinds of situations. And even better, as sharp Elders Wixom and Tippetts were making their way out and attemtping to befriend our investigators, because to bear a quick testimony of the Plan of Salavtion in passing. Elder Wixom, clearly on the spot and many thoughts in his head, attempted to say, "Death, it's a scary thing..." but really mixed up the closely-related Russian vocab and said with the earnest, turned up eyebrow look of concern, "Death, it's a funny thing....." hahahah and I couldn't hide the instant smile on my face as Rooslan's eyebrows were also now turned up in again, confusion. AHHHH. Hahaha, so we booked it down the stairs, all investigators following behind us like a bobsled race through the snow and to the busstop.
I've been thinking a lot about how there is this kind of frequency comfort we've reached here as missionaries in the field. Where we can average and maintain a frequent constancy of gospel-oriented contact-- so much so that there is no time to fear, procrastinate, worry-- just let it happen because it's our duty responsibility and joy. I've thought about what life could be like afterward---and how with time, it would be easy to fall in to a place where that ability, that frequency drops--- and discomfort and worry might be much more apt at truncating the gospel encounters that would be prime for taking place!!! I want to ensure that that frequency, although might not remain the way it is as a full-time missioanry---- never distracts me from the life-long effort to keep doing what we are doing. Keep it up!! I'm so amazed with the legions of strong, faithful adults in the church, who still work so much to serve in their families, callings---and also share the gospel amongst others in the nonmember workplace. And how years, even decades, have not changed these oftentimes once-missionaries to share the truth that is so incredible important.
We had an amazingggg youth encounter on the way home from knocking last night!!! The teenagers, two guys and a girl, were tickled pink at the fact of our nationality. Hahah-- When tall basketball seeming Vova, fun cute guy found out, he insisted that we meet and follow up, after the other two Pavel and Nastia knew we were missionaries--and happened to still be interested, despite their proclaimed atheism. In excited parting, Vova threw Sister Hancock and me into his arms in a hug and there was nothing we could to have stopped it. Hahah-- so we both gave the polite one-handed double pat of approval on the shoulder so as to not be dead finish adamently against the nelzya embrace. Hahah, good boy Vova. Carry on.
I am so excited about Christmas Tree woman Meela!!!!!!! This is the week her work schedule disappears and she can finally meet!!
We set baptismal dates yesterday with Dasha and Nadya, teenage girls who are worried about membership in the churhc--we'll see where it goes!!
Last week had the WEIRDEST opportunity in the world to hear a cute autistic Russian kid sing every single world to "Call Me Maybe" as he stuffed more mashed potatoes in to his mouth---including the ones I was inconspicuously dishing out of my bowl and in to his since lunch had happened an hour ago and I didn't want more. hahahah, he just kept looking up at the ceiling, in his singing element and Sister Hancock loved every second.
Love you all!! Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, be safe!!
OLYMPICS AROUND THE CORNERRR