Russian specific noticings. Ahh, my thoughts while writing don't wire as quickly anymore
It is bad luck to shake hands through a doorway--I've had many a handshake turned down and rescheduled--by pulling me IN to the home, by the man head of the house, as I carelessly extend just above the threshhold. Haha, superstition is a real real thing.
Russian men can be spotted everywhere on the street with a bouquet in hand, soon to be delivered to waiting sweetheart. So sweet to see that they're not ashamed to broadcast it to the world. Not even for big occasions--just to say hello.
So I came to the conclusion long ago- under whitehandbook direction alone--that what happens in Saratov, stays in Saratov. Haha-- one of these days we'll sit around a campfire and collectively know all what really went on during these best 18 months...hahah that being said, I couldn't help but tell of the street encounter as we headed on foot to district meeting. A man named Volodya, formal name Vladimir, decided to accompany us without permission. A nice friendly chap, who had apparently been drinking not water. That is not a typo for hot. After insisting that he stay with us after we'd explained that we're missinoaries and sort of hurrying, I asked him what he occupied his time with. A lot of times it's the occasional "oh you know, work--" with usual career responses like accountant, lawyer, storeworker. Russian declination allows one to throw words around in any order, because grammatified endings will always make the sentence. I was surprised to hear him utter the words "people, and first person conjugated form of the verb, to kill." Heh heh heh.... really Volodya," not buying in based off his happy tone of voice. And details later when I'm home:) Hooray for cliff hangers and distance??? hahaha, all in all, we made it safely and happily to district meeting!!!
So on to lighter matters, shall we?? There was a wonderful lessonwith a fun lady, the Russian version of Aunt Rinda. She was so colorful with her stories and descriptions, wide eyes and bebop glasses. She had a lot lot of faith and love for her husband who was recently diagnosed with cancer. We were teaching the first lesson, when her black cat starts giving me a run for my money that I WASN'T PAYING. Ie, please get off me, no one understands critical points of the Reformation while you are perched upon my shoulder. We're heading back Tuesday and she agreed to read 3 Ne 11. We'll take it!
So the news is out--- Gallia's baptism came to pass!!!! I'll do what I can to desrcibe one the more powerful experiences on my mission. She's had a lot of hardship in her life--being born right in the middle of the ward, and suffering what childhood was like behind the iron curtain. She's been worried about her upcoming surgery, and often has a look of concern on her face.night, the eve of her baptismal interview--my companion and I went over the questions so that she'd feel a little more prepared. Thinking question specifics at the end about tithing and things would be where a hold up might pop up, we were surprised to find that Gallia was having serious trouble with number one--that is, her faith in Jesus Christ.
Sister Young and I both had the impression the following day in companion study to watch Finding Faith in Christ with her, just prior to the interview.She sat there, tuned in to the entire thing--as she had read and studied each of the stories in the bible on her own--nodding, and taking it all in. Elders Brieden and Romney showed up--and we were all careful not to move a muscle, as the spirit permeated the room. The screen went black, and we were all awaiting her response, to find out if precious Gallia's heart was just a little more sure of who our Savior really is. I knew testimony needed to be born. I was seated behind her, and in order to be in front of her face, I hopped off the bed and around to sit up on the stool placed directly in front of her: sometimes teh spirit speaks and manifests itself in urgency. I looked Gallia in the eyes, and said to her that I know, I know---that Jesus Christ is real. That He did everything He said He did and would do. That He is our Savior--and only through Him can we ever hope to return to Heavenly Father. With tear filled eyes, I felt the confirming, mutual witness of the spirit- as she, herself, came to know who He was too.
I'll never forget her smile of joy, as she was brought back up and out of the water on the following.
So much happy indescribably joy to see another come unto Christ and utter the words, "I'm clean! I'm clean..." hahah and she knew it.
Love you, have a great week
|Fun on the Train! Can you spot Olivia?|