Ugh, my heart sank when I had one less gmail address to put in the recipient box for this.
BUT, when one address closes, another one OPENS--hello Samantha Clyde?
? Is that right?
I can't believe she's wearing a name badge right now!!! I thought of her all day on Wednesday, and just kept reliving day number one there for me too to be there in spirit. haha, how incredible. I prayed that her thoughts would be "calm," as she fell asleep after her first day. Haha, something probably tying in with the 100mph ones I remember experiencing when my head hit the pillow last. Something like; "MTC food is incredbile, never seen so many cookies in my life- who are my MTC teachers and what are they doing to us- how am I ever gonna get down what was on the board- can't believe I have a nametag and I actually have chosen to part with it for the next 8 hours- hope the fam's ok- this is my MISSION- Russia is real- and you three in the surrounding bunks, could you keep your thoughts down? I know we're all experiencing the same thing, and the energy from your thinking waves are borderline audible, too. Shh."
Whoo. Where does the time go. This past week flew- and there aren't a whole lot of spare moments. Ever. Had a cold this week and have discovered what it means to be tended to. Against one's will. haha-just inklings as to what kind of companion I have, making me cups of hot honey tea, corn chowder, and forcing me in to taking a back massage. She is so wonderful and I'm so grateful to have a friend like her. Last night we had a really neat lesson with three men from a different country who are here on business. We brought Mackim and Liodmilla with us, wonderful members from our ward. We talked about God-- after knocking randomly on their door earlier that day and getting an invitation back. They had smiled, revelaed they were Muslim, so Sister Young and I weren't expecting anything big to happen. Because they're usually so devout, they never get past a few lessons.
But, we went back--and we talked about God. And we read in Alma about Ammon and Aaron's experiences with the king. We talked about what faith in Him means to us in our lives. They responded so well when we asked them if they believe in anything more. Wow, and Mackim bore wonderful testimony. He used to be less-active, and his story is so neat for others to hear. Anyway-- it was clear that they weren't as religious as we'd expected- but were totally game to hear more and welcomed us back for Friday!!! Plus, one of the three totally looks like a darker version of the main singer of Rascall Flatts, just sayin.
Today we went to the Renok!! That means market-- basically an outlet mall for Russia, where you bargain and there are sections everywhere with foreigners hoping to get a little somethign out of anyone, especially smiling--but trying ever so hard NOT TO, Americans. Our best friend Anaitt came with us. She helped sister young find a coat-- and me find what I've wanted since day one--a Russian Athletic Jacket!!!! Except I got the full out suit, because I had no choice-- and am basically ready to compete in Sochi in a few short months. hahaah. The thing is, Anaitt warned us that we needed to hide our reactions and all else, let her do the talking, in order to get the best deal. (Turns out they like to take advantage of Americans looking for souvenirs.) So--I made the mistake of smile laughing when I was led finally to what I wanted--and sister young shook her head, and thus begun the self psychology--smiling is prohibitied-thought process. But you know me. I can't not smile to save my pet's life. Thankfully, it wasn't QUITe what we were looking for, so we moved on. Lesson learned, too. Finally came to a lady-- and tried it on, and was shown reflection in mirror--and immediately threw my hands over my face to cover up the euphoric excitement. THIS WAS IT. EXcept the Russian woman took it as shame-- and said "no, no no, you look great, don't be shy......." even though I and sister young knew very well Sister Clyde was completely giggling with joys of approval, and hiding it so very adaptly. Hahaha, so finally to relive it together afterwards.
A few times on the mission, my companion adn I have had a hankering to play some good old-fashioned hide and seek, but the rule of sight and sound presents severe complications. But, when there's a will, there's a way. We'll finish a conversation with someone, then start off again on our path. Usually the sister to have the last word/hand the person some kind of pass-along will be a quick step behind the other, until she can shuffle back up to companion to synchronize again. This time it was me. When Sister Young can't see me in her periferal, her head will turn to the side to find me just a few inches back, and all is good again. Sometimes I'm just in the process of edging around another pedestrian, and happen to switch to the other side of her, for convenience. On Saturday I decided to capitalize more for fun. Her head began to turn--no SIster Clyde in sight. Instant reaction, flip around to the other side, as I slyly stayed my ground--crouched directly behind her back. No Sister Clyde again.
The nervous gasp as her head whips around again, just before she turns her entire person to locate missing noparneetsa. ...Priviet, it's me. haha, a funny good laugh as she knew exactly the mischief I'd been up to. And then I took off running anyway. Just when she thought she was safe.
Do you understand how much we love our investigator, Bogdan?? The 12 year old in the picture sent last week. His mom is less active, and revealed to someone somewhere that she wants her son to be baptized. He, this little guy, as shown up TWICE, on his own, to sacrament meeting. In an outfit strongly resembling that of little Henry's, who I miss so much. Bogdan sat square between me and Sister Young. She jokes she wants to marry him. I just want adoption papers. He sat right next to me, singing the hymns, and giving the most spirited "Ameens!!" at the end of each Russian's testimony. Ugh, my heart.
We had a lesson during third hour--and talked about the Restoration- how he, too, is like Joseph Smith, as he tries to find this out for himself. We asked him if he would be baptized---and he answered in his sweet little voice, "boodoo." That means, "I will." Hahah. We set the date for the end of September-- because we know he'll be ready as past weeks have shown--he just wants to talk to his parents," --which is already what his shy kind mom Yulia wants. He just called me to ask how I was doing and where I was. And he really wants the cookie recipe for the snickerdoodles we made and brought to our missionary activity. What a champ.
SIster Young and I realized while falling asleep last night-- that little Bogdan will one day be able to pass us the sacrament. That will be my happy thought for the next couple weeks.
Other amazing windows are opening, as we continue to talk with everyone. The gospel really is a way of life. Sharing it is too.
I love this gospel, it's done everything for me.