Monday, February 24, 2014


Family family family. Frostbite frostbite frostbite.

Yesterday we talked to the world's most glamorous 60 year old. Such a colorful woman of sparkle, shine, and character. Her name was Valentina, who was promised always to have guardian angel protection from Provoslavni saint Valentine. She believe in going all out for all holidays, and it's household protocol that every kid gets a quantity of balloons equating his or her age, come each new birthday. She puts her hand on her heart for her grandmother, who had 15 children during the war, and treasures her handsome son who she feels looks like a young Schwarzenegger. We explained our church on several different occasions-- and she finally revealed that fear was what kept her from coming to us. Nat as much positive promotion going on around Saratov Russian streets as we'd like.... we detailed sacrament meeting, a time to renew self, and our baptismal covenants while singing hymns, and partaking of bread and water.
"Well, I'll be honest. You don't know how many elderly folks can't take standing up in our dark temple for hours on end... Sitting down on chairs sure sounds nice..."

Valentina, come. But she doesn't want to. YET. So, we offered a prayer, she took down our number, and I helped her collect her shopping bags off the ground. And almost fainted, because the one on the right was filled with 53 potatoes and I though my arm might fall off. Haha, she went her way, she Sister Hancock and I commenced our frostbite survival dance because it had been 33.5 minutes since the last sign of any blood circulation. OWWWW.

This week we had a lesson with cute recent convert Natasha. She showed us her my little pony pictures. Such a good artist!!! At one point Natasha and I said the exact same word at the same time. Sister Hancock calls out, "jinx!!" And then promptly explained that it's what we say when two English speakers simultaneously say the same word. "Oooooo," Natasha and her frosty emerald-eyed grandmother's expressions seemed to say, as they both attempted to pronounce the newly found English entity. "CHEEKS!!" They victoriously cheered.
I give it a B-. Job well done. 

This week we went knocking. A woman saw at the door, thought us JW's. No no, no need to worry. "Ahhh, gotchya. Just a sec." We both sat there, wondering what in the world we were waiting for as she disappeared in to her house for 3 more minutes.
Next thing we knock, she come to the door and offers us a 100 ruble bill.
Mam. Surely you have not taken us for beggars.
But, she had.
Hahahah. Take it and run? Nope. We are good sister missionaries. Not much time, I promised I'll write more next week!! Huge men's day celebration of Saturday. So fun to see everything that the members of our branch served up, and the military man who got up and showed us all his world war 2 sketches.

I need to tell you everything that happened at Zone Conference last week. Especially with regard to the two elders who were caught up in the almost kidnapping. I am so sure that Heavenly Father is real, and words cannot describe what their closing testimonies communicated with regard to the near-death experience. I know Heavenly Father lives, and knows and protects his servants.

Have a wonderful week,
Love Sister Clyde

found a funny man like Russian elf who I LOVE and speaks great English hammering away at the piano.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Check This

My fingers did the dialing, as the spirit did the string-pulling. Nothing like the sweet clear echo of a wine glass's finger-traced brim than the sound of Lena the lawyer's lesson-end words; "I had the very thought today--'where in the world is Clyde?? Been years since she gave me a call. I figured-- maybe she went home---and within half an hour I heard the phone ring." :)


Lessons with her happen only one in a periwinkle moon, due to the fact that they've developed a sort of "Music and the Spoken Word" pattern. Haha, inductively reason as you wish. A few gospel thoughts will be expressed--and then a 5 minute discourse by Lena---and then a calm, cool, spat out Segway "you know, it's funny that you mentioned the world 'love,'-- in fact, that reminds me of a hymn about how we can love more our neighbors," while companion speed shuffles through the pages, Sis Clyde humming starting note, "three, FOUR!!" and all three LDS maidens break out in to Plan B version of "Love at Home. Hahaha, which happens to be more repetitive than I thought. The theme became starkingly apparent on verse #3 of 4--and pretty soon turned in to the call-response section of a rock concert when the lead singer on stage goes;
Schooooooooollll'sssss. OUT! FOR!
Audience: --SUMMER!!!!!

Except it was Lena's living room, missionaries and a member, with a one-man audience of Lena answering every opened ended conditional phrase of her tone deaf "loooovvveeeeeee, at hoooommmmeeeee.
And then us, with controlled clenched stomachs erupting in to giggles after the third or fourth time it happened.

---alright girls, that's enough"
hahahah. I feel like we're just getting started.
And then Lena told us how a woman can know whether or not she and a man would make a good match--not personality match, not talents humour, common interests---but indeed by the scent of his perspiration. Sweat. What?!! EWW.
Needless to say we made the eye contact to signify that it was time for hymn number 2.

Haha. Sorry if that was too much info.
Had a nice week. I love these Russian people so much. The people in my ward have become my brothers and sisters for life. Anaitt and her husband are so warm friendly, funny, and charming. In their living room for Armanian dinner and testimony exchange, or missionary council meeting after church. I never want to say bye. I love Grisha, Maxcim is like our brother. Amazing Zhenya in the man and missionary leader we got to work with in Balikova. Who is the driest wittiest person you ever did see, and passed me a five ruble bill immediately upon meeting, in response to my comment, "that'll be 5 rubles," on the telephone after giving him someone's phone number."
And then that night, telling over the space of 40 minutes how he had gradually and completely resolved to live every facet of the word of wisdom before age 12, without ever even knowing it existed. hahahaha. Just how his taste buds experienced, detested, and vowed that they would never touch THAT specific substance again. It was amazing, and I am so happy for the sisters that are so privileged to work with him and hear him bear testimony on meetings.

Ahhhhh. I love the gospel. I don't have a whole lot of time. Digging in to the Limhi, Zarahemla, middle goodness of Mosiah. So great. Read your scriptures if you want to understand more how Heavenly Father works with His kids. And loves them so incredibly much.

I love you all and miss you,
Have a LOverly week,
Sister CLYDE!!


hey hey.

our activity at the church!!! I translated for the lovely Russians to the right of me while Elder and SIster Reed gave their talk on mini acitivni people 

Monday, February 10, 2014


Nothing like subway sandwich lunches on the mission leadership council---in SAMARA. Woot woot ( we were given pressing notice right after transfers and moved right on up on an 8 hour train the next day), while everyone judged the size and taste of the newly-delivered variety of 50. President Schwab asked if anyone had any recent stories, on a more casual note from our more serious discussion. Well, we'd hate to disappoint....
"So there's a backwoods path that Sister H and I often take home when we're in a hurry to make curfew. At one point on the sidewalk is a thick black pipe that stretches right across the middle---we've noticed it on several occasions, and are always sure to give each other a verbal "heads up" when moving swiftly, before smoothly hopping over it while the desert, hills, mountains and vales sing and ring "carry on." Well, it was a chilly frosted night not 2 weeks ago, when two quick-paced sister missionaries could bne spotted from afar across the dark horizon. Movin, movin, movin through the snow, gots to go. Sure enough we reached the sidewalk, but this time with concentration fixed apparently elsewhere---Thoughts got topsy-turvied as our boots catch something, and our bodies are so to say propelled in to pen air, effectively catapulted by the sly slippery black serpent of a notorious pipe from below. "OOF!!!" we seemed to say as we simultaneously hit the ATE IT on the earth. Hahah--mutual looks of "where in the world am I?" and "I'm so glad you're on the ground with me." Hahah, with President and wife completely laughing at the news of the spill.

You can thank us for the no shame in self-deprecation when we're home.

Fast fast week. Mostly in Samara, then shot to Penza еще by train, for immediate exchange with sisters Coleman and Henricksen. Just neat to see how Heavenly Father knows the exact size and slice of what to dish up for a quadruplet bunch of missionaries on an opening ceremony Friday in February. Sister Coleman and I this time were working together---and it sounds like they lived in NJ at one point and can remember Sam and me from our nursery days??) Usually there's plenty of dross to get through, when it comes to all day street conversations......and therefore rejections:)  but, it's all in a wonderful day's work as we are out on the streets to represent Jesus Christ and appreciate just a little bit more what He did and does. I don't know--there was something interesting in this exchange, as Heavenly Father just seemed to opened up the window of opportunity, snap his fingers, and poof, pops the perfect person walking around the corner at drop-second timing. I love picturing that, every time we have a conversation of gold. Sister Coleman and I just laughed together, looking back on the day after coming in 20 minutes early at night due to some good old-fashioned frost bite:) Reminscing about the seemingly perfect situations--of Angelica, a 16 year old who at first had no interest---but then, let the spirit warm her up as she began to randomly tell us of her concerns in life. "I don't know why you would ever choose this town, Penza." Then looked at me and continued, "the devil walks these streets." Whoa. "The sun goes down, it gets dark, and then the violence comes out." She was so stark and serious in expression. Completely unexpected to see a younger girl talk about that kind of thing. And so neat, as 2nd cycle sister coleman was able to bear her testimony about how in our church, she could find safety. Feel safe, and escape the dangers of society, penza, the world. Angelica then insisted that we accompany her a little farther on her walk home, clearly new-found friends in her book. She agreed to drop in to FHE, can't wait to see!!

Then, another couple at night, as well as a former friend that the missionaries had bumped in to. She was speeding home and we joked that she had ample pace for Sochi, and what was she waiting for. Hahah. Something like that, so we stopped and chatted with this here Tatyana for a little. It was nice to have some background conversation before jumping in to our purpose since the allotted time frame doesn't always allow for it. I told her she looked like Liv Tyler, American actress from Lord of the Rings. She was happy to hear it. And then, hear a little more about the gospel. Unfortch she declined to leave her number, insisting that she'd call the next morning since she had our flyer. (New and improved, I might gush.) A little disheartened after the situation, we mutually decided to have faith, saying, "she'll call. she'll call." Haha.
'Twas a sweet experience on the Saturday morning bus ride home through the snowy winter meadows of Russia to receive a text from Penza sisters saying, "Tatyana CALLED!!!!! She's coming to church tomorrow!!!!"
A little faith never hurt anyone:)

Yesterday we were sitting in RS with our baptism-bound investigator Anya in-between us. The teacher is an older, jolly woman with gray hair and a lovely warm winter fleece. All of sudden she starts getting a little flustered and mid-sentence says, "Sisters, everything is bad to me,"  before 3 hopped up to catch her in a chair while fanning her. Hahah, what's uh...goin on here?? We all just sat and observed, as she must have felt faint in the middle of her lesson. She submitted to the sips of water from a plastic cup, but soon enough couldn't take it any longer--- It  was perhaps the oddest thing yet to see her face poke between the nursing arms of her RS sisters in action in order to continue, without skipping a beat, the exact same gospel-topic lesson she had just beforehand truncated. Hahahhaa, I'm not quite sure how many in attendance could take her sincere attempts seriously as she said "the gospel was restored by a prophet in the latter days."   Wait, like don't you need an aspirin or something??? We couldn't help but graciously laugh.

Last night we met a nice young man while sliding in to an apartment stairwell to sit on a FURNACE, warm up, and send in our weekly numbers to our district leader. His name was Eric, and he is from Azaberjhan. He is muslim, and thought it was fantastic that we girls were sporting skirts. Hahah he wants us to call him as soon as we ever have car trouble or someone's getting up in our face. Will do.
Hope you're loving life and 'lympics without me!!!
The Olympics will never not hold place in my heart. How is Bob Costas. Anyone. I am here in Russia so tell him to stop by.

Haha, have a lovely week, keep praying for missionary opportunities!!
Sister Clyde

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


I'd know those bright orange lips anywhere.

Forward was the only direction our feet could hope to take us---the surrounding area void of any substantially stocked bushes, trees, stop signs to hid behind and whimper 'til the coast was clear. We approached the long lost acquaintance from Christmas past--this time, with a strolling sidekick. Yay, looks like this contacting positions calls for Sister Clyde's obligation to do the undoable. That is, entertain the mandatory small chat with this Russian Rouge character, simultaneously masking all indication of very present fear. I stared cooly in to her crystal eyes, ornated with all the eye shadow and liner this side of the Black Sea has to offer--while picturing someone calm, cool, and collected like Joe Nydegger to put me at ease. Except Joe never had the defined ivory cheekbones of a doll and the creamy bright orange lips of an Arabian sunset. AAAH.

"So.... do you have children?.... How's your family???"
Low gasp of a laugh, "а как же!!!" = "I wouldn't picture life without it, How EVAHh NAUGHT???"
And then a little more inquiry as to the whereabouts of each, dancing around the lack of material I actually had---since the gospel is still not something she's drawn to. 
"Well, we'll be running now," she indicated delicately---before stopping dead in sentence tracks to add, "Don't freeze now," before she froze us anyway with the ominous eye contact of mystery and ice.

Then they continued their shuffle away. I turned to the nearest source of sympathy, surely Sister Hancock would understand.
"I'm so scared of her."

Dear Vova, and all other roommates of Russian One Direction---we can't autograph your Book of Mormon.
Elders, go ahead and make your ND jokes about being socially permitted to drink whole milk, as long as you pick up 1.5% kind for us sisters at your stocked grocery store.
Neighbors, thank you for the chance to do our new JUDO jumping jack workout in the chilly cement hallways 
Liodmila, you are my Russian  hero for adding while discussing a recent inactive woman, that it's all the same- no matter how much she might be unintentionally neglected by the ward in any case, it would be no reason to fall away from the church. 

Bogdon, thank you for giving the opening prayer in sacrament meeting yesterday.
As for spraying Sister Clyde with cologne last night when she wasn't looking--- she's not too happy. And I still smell like Bloomingdale.'s Yugh. 
Haha, what a lovely week. Lots of things happening with NEW CYCLE, after an 8 week one. Transfers were juicy--- as there is a war going on in Ukraine right now, so now all Ukrainians and surrounding Eastern European country people are in danger with visa requirements and on the fence, apparently with bags packed should they be pulled out---missionaries included. So, we are on the edge as a mission and praying that the three main ones can stay since they are visa-less. Sister Hancock and I are still together for the time being----- told to "enjoy the time we have remaining together," seeing that delayed MTC visas may come in any week, meaning new missionaries and needed trainers from the sister pool. Hmm. We're nervous, concerned, excited, and hopeful. 

I don't got no time, so I will copy and paste what I shot to my president already today
This has been a good week, as the Lord continues to teach us things together as a companionship, and separately as individuals. There have perhaps been few moments when I have experienced the amount of faith, hope, excitement, and enthusiasm I had for my calling and the work to be done here than when, for the first time, we were let in to the home of recent convert and brother forever, Bogdon. The little boy you've met on a few occasions. His mother is less active, baptized 14 years ago. We had a meeting with the Reeds, and with their good help, encouraged him to invite his mother to attend sacrament meeting with him again. He shyly, hopefully said he'd try.
And then, Sunday night came, and I gave him the call, wondering if it'd be alright to stop by (as it hasn't been in the past.) At first he turned it down, surely doubtful as to how his mother would react, (who is married to a nonmember man who apparently hasn't been super supportive of the mother attending church). Two minutes later, in the middle of a conversation, my phone rang again, Bogdon telling us to be over in 15 minutes.

So, we were there sharp.
Wow, Yulia the mother invited us in. Usually quiet, like she was at his baptism, was more talkative and warm. She wanted us to sit down and eat the sandwiches they'd quickly prepared. She began asking questions about missionaries, missionary life, all sorts of things-- with, I'm sure, astonished Bogdon sitting and watching all mystery unfold--as his shy, less active mother befriended the two sisters who he'd come to know so much over the past few months. We eventually were able to suggest and invite her back to church. "I've been thinking about it--and wanting to," was her response. I wanted to die of happiness, to imagine this little boy, who weekly boards a bus alone to faithfully show up, surrounded by others who have family support. 
Bogdon, for quite possibly the first time vocally and in front of family members, offered the closing prayer. I can't imagine the feelings and thoughts wiring between this mother and son. I couldn't stop gushing after we'd left the apartment. President, I am so excited about this little priesthood holder-- whose future is so, so so bright---and would and WILL BE so much more, when he has a mother, and younger brother accompanying him to church. It was a miracle. This is what the gospel is all about.

Dasha, Anya still working towards baptism!!! 
'Twas rathuh cold this past week:) If the new accumlating collection of gloves, scarves, moo moos, and hats in our front hallway THROWN at us by all Russian church members isn't indication enough, I don't know what is.
Love you all!!!!
Sister Clyde

One of my favorite!! With all of these incredbile people during the children's primary program!!!

EVGENNIYA the woman in SORCECOR ROBES that I always bring up totally snuck in on the left!!!! hahahahah