Monday, March 17, 2014


So I'm hurryin' on up back to sunday school yesterday-- just dried my hands and about to head out of the bathroom, when one of the babooshkii from the Dachney branch, hair snow-white, comes right on in. She happens to be one of my pals, I just don't know her name, but if you could keep that on the downlow I'd be forever grateful. I hug her and ask how her week went--when she drops in to story mode. So I drop in to courteous listener mode, because I like that kind of thing. Haha this email isn't mapped. 
Apparently she'd been on her way to church that morning. You should know that Saratov is a beautiful post-winter-depression mess in terms of weather conditions:) The sun is shining, the skies are blue, and the streets, sidwalks, and roads are mud mud dirt water and more mud. Along with washed up ice patches of snow still trying to melt. Anyway. Boots not the shiniest they've ever been. In fact, never more atrocious:) But Mom doesn't have to know! Haha--SO this woman. She took a spill on her way to the church, tired, frail, old as she is. Banged up her poor knee. She showed me her coats, skirt, explained they were!!! And how, in a jumble, managed to brush herself off and rise to her feet. A woman, hurrying past, gave her one look and threw in her insensitive 2 cents with the words, "you forget wherever you are going and head straight home, clean yourself off!"  

Well, my nameless Russian friend knows better than to consent to the verbalized opinions of inferiority from irrelevant passerby's-- and called back "I most certainly will not!! I have the sacrament to take this morning!!" And continued on her hastened way. Hahaha, what a hero she was to me. Even moreso when she again recapped this woman's attempts to deter her from her righteous goal, with the resolute, "of course I'd never heed that devilish girl." Hahaha. Heehee, my smile seemed to say. On that note--"Scatter Sunshine," sister Clyde's smile seemed to sing as I curtsied and ran out of the bathroom. Best behind-the-scenes pick me up I ever got. 

Companionships and the quality thereof come in alls hapes and sizes--but each and every pair shares one underlying characterisitc---there are two of us. Understandable, the anxiety was of a distant district leader upon the recepit of SIster Clyde's 'just tryin' to spice things up/we are home safe and on time text. Every single night, I send the commonplace, flavorless singular Russian word, pronounced "Doma," which means "at home." Thursday, in a rhyming panic, the addendum my fingers came up with was
"Doma, Doma, home alone-uh!" 
Hahah--the prose part giv ing a somewhat Dr. Seuss-like falre of whimsical apathy, regarding the fact that I was seemingly Sis. Hancock-less. Elder Wall, just beacuse someone cites beloved Christmas babylon doesn't mean you need to call in the big dogs. Zone Leaders-- we're hooommmmeeee!! :)

There was nothing like making our way around the outback apartment buildings, away from town center one a crisp sunny Mid march afternoon. All Russian retirees began to creep out of winter's fast-fading shadow in order to pich a lawn chair and enjoy eachother's company. A few elderly folks stopped us in our tracks, and we had the most pleasant street chat, as we asked if they'd been athletes--and other ears perked up, joined the conversation, at the desire to tell a little of his or her glory days. Some threw in some Ukraine comments that we didn't address, and then we were able to talk about what we were doing there. It was rather charming. I won't ever forget 79 year old Genaddi, with his blue eyes and nice gray trench coat. At first a tease, who didn't take the two american girls seriously. Whose thoughts and opinions softened, and wound up welcoming us back next time he was out to play stickball with the neighbor kids. 

We then caught a glimpse of an upclose Russian wedding!! As guys in tuxes hopped out of decked-out hummers where bridesmaids awaited them outside an apartment building. Thus began the bag of tricks and obstacles that the groom is required to pass through in order to advance up the stairwell and snag his prize of a bride. We saw her, Rapunzel, wave and giggle outisde the window on the stop story, and couldn't help but sign up to be flower girls. Story for next week.

Favorite moments of the week--- the sunshine filling Gallina's kitchen, as we thought two women in Relief Society about the miracle of the Resurreciton--a theme that we so often take for granted--at least I do--since I've heard about it since primary days. We shared Abidadia's glorious take on it in Mos 16--- how Christ is the light and life of the world. It is my favorite. The spirit ever present, as we together sang a colorful version of "He is Risen," and lonely Lioba loved every second, seeing as how her beloved son as fallen ill and passed on at the age of 30. 

Bogdon brought his bud to church a week ago. Meet Danielle, or Daniel is Russian. Um. This kid is due for baptism in a month. 14 years old. Already committed to read the Book of Mormon. Mom already signed his permission sheet. He prayed, although nervous, at the end of yesterday's lesson. Miracles, Moroni 7: 26. 
I just keep having this feeling, that life is a whole lot simpler, when we simply aim to make our will line up with God's. Until there is little to no overlap. No margin for error. I love this gospel so so much.

Have a great week. Call me!!
Sister Clyde

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