Astronaut day was! Everyone loves Gegarina, however it's spelt in English for his space accomplishments--not to mention dashing billboard pearly whites.
Speaking of teeth.
Sister Henricksen and I were enjoying our last of 4 exchanges together, when we came comin' round the mountin' when we came--meaning up and over the beautiful bridge of the Balakovian canal. It stretches over the gorgeous Volga River, one of the few things I've been slighted on throughout my time here in the motherland. Anyway-- the sunshine dancing on the rolling blue waves, a view that stretched for miles, and the chilly breeze brushing our pony tails all over our faces. Not the best contacting strategy if you ask me. Haha-- so we're walking, when all of a sudden this Russian middle ager man leprechaun strides his way up to on the spot inform us that we are the world's most beautiful girls, and where in the world did we get those bright beautiful teeth, doggone it. Taken aback by the absolute lack of normalcy for how to greet 2 passing maidens, I couldn't get a word in--- before he asked more pressingly, "must've gotten them implanted in Germany---they got GREAT TEETH THERE!!!
Sir, don't put words in my mouth, (or for that matter, foreign teeth), in my mouth. Thank ya.
Hahah-- we were already on our busy way past him, distance now increasing, when he tipped it off with yet more detail, "I SERVED THERE IN THE ARMY!!!" and at this point anything might pacify him/ deter him from booking it after us, so I called "ZDOORAVAH!!" meaning splendid, with a fitting over the shoulder doubled thumbs-up. Haha. I don't know why I did that. But, it got a laugh out of him so I guess that's all the world really needs.
Give or take the incredible light of restored gospel truth.
We loved loved loved conference. Loved.
Boyd K. Packer's closing testimony anyone. Anyone.
A miracle, as we were finally abe to see dear dear friend Olevtina, who has been on her sick bed for so long.
And then, Remember how Natasha again came to church??? We joined her in her kitchento hear the warmest, most wonderful review of her first-time experience at church. There was a tangible, contagious lightness in the way she gracefully smiled, thinking back on the light she felt. And then her thoughts that she didn't shy from sharing about wanting her daughter, Kasoosha, to also join in and see for herself. Oh. She will be baptized. And to see Rustam, basically silenced from the spirit and disbelief at someone so receptive to our meeting. Rustam's silent mode happens rather rarely. Haha.
Family, I just know the gospel is true. We had a kind of scary experience, heading in to a podezd, stairwell,after watching conference and a baptism with our investigator, Daniel, who is soon set for baptism. It was finally time to confront his parents and hear their voiced permission for his decision--something we've been attempting for weeks. Daniel nervously dodged the task, turning down even hints of approval from his mom over the phone. We finally stopped on the dark staircase, and I offered a prayer so that we could have the spirit with us, and to calm Daniel's nerves. And then the miracle happened with them in the kitchen.
More for next week. No, I can't say that or I'll burst in to tears because it will be my last email home.
I know the gospel is true, I know it I know it, it makes me cry, and I know it.
I love you all, pray to be kinder!!