My dearest readers,
It's been super crazy. Where to start?
I don't even know. We traveled for almost 40 hours,
between three flights and layovers. Luckily I am used to long flights.
In the process, I managed to talk to two Bible preachers.
The first man didn't seem to like us much.
He politely alluded to the fact that we are going to receive greater punishment
for teaching false doctrine and leading others away.
He doubted our intelligence. That was fun.
Before that, we were able to talk to and teach a little bit
to a lovely French couple on their honeymoon.
They we are the SLC airport and had gone to temple square.
We got to try on our teachers hat before we left
Anyways, the 2nd preacher was on our 9 hour flight from NYC to Moscow.
He was a super nice Moldolvian man.
He said that me and this other sister were really brave
to go out and teach the gospel to all of these Russians.
We probably spent 5 or 6 of the hours talking with him.
Some of which might have included of bunch of Bible references
and scriptures being tossed to and fro.
It was pretty frustrating since we didn't agree on some points.
I'm just grateful to have the knowledge that I can pray to God about anything,
including questions to gain further knowledge.
At last, we finally made it to Russia.
Our mission President and his wife are super sweet.
They picked us up from the aiport. They made us breakfast the next morning.
Probably the last homecooked meal from someone else that we'll receive in a very long time.
The juice is really yummy here. During training,
it was cool being debriefed on all the safety procedures.
Then we found out who our trainers would be and where we are going.
My trainer is Sister Palmer and I'm serving in Balacova in the Saratov district!!!
DUN DUN DUN! Yup I'm not in the actual city but in the general area haha.
YASSSSS! I am sooooo stoked. This is the area they anticipate
to have the next stake in Russia.
Our first picture together!!! Featuring Sis. Mckell's eyebrows
We are expecting to have the stake by the end of the year!!!!
This just means that we need to work that much harder, be that much more obedient,
and have that much more faith. We are sooo close to having a temple, I can just feel it!!!!
The most noticeable miracle for this week would have to be
when we went contacting on Friday night.
We must have walked around for an hour without talking to much of anyone.
Then on our way home, a young girl calls us over asking if we give out Bibles,
we (as in Sister Palmer) told her that we are giving out a book like the Bible
in the sense that it is another testament of Jesus Christ.
The young girl was so excited to hear what we had to say. She was with two other friends.
We explained some of the things we believe and she said she believed them, too!
We then gave her a Book of Mormon and one of her friends one.
We would have given the third girl a Book of Mormon but we ran out.
We have to meet them again and give Sonya's friend one.
It was really cool to see how God works.
She seriously came out of nowhere. I'm so grateful to have been there to experience
that miracle and look forward to many more to come!
The first dish I made in Russia! and my baby water bottle.
I had my first Sunday in Russia. I understood very little of it all.
It's been great to meet all the members.
It's super tiny, but I love it. There are Elders in our ward, too, which is nice.
We can only really teach women and they teach men.
One Elder is new to the ward too so he bore his testimony with me.
He also got proposed to by this babooshka. It was gold. She said he was beautiful hahaha.
On our way to Balacova. So many Sunflowers! Russia is sooo beautiful!
Okay call me crazy, but I think I may have found someone I knew in the pre-mortal existence.
There is this inactive member and her 12 year old son.
He is so amazing! He has such a light about him. He just seemed sooooooo familiar!!!!
Like I've known him before, which I'm starting to feel confident that I have.
I can't make any guarantees, but I'll keep you updated. If we can get him to church,
then he can be baptized!!!! I'm soooo excited. I already have so much love for them.
I have been really humbled. It's insane, I thought the MTC was a challenge.
Luckily I have an amazing trainer who is teaching me the ropes around here.
She is carrying the team since I don't undertand Russian at all.
I know a lot of gospel words haha. I have contacted a little bit. Things are different here,
but also really simliar. It's sooo interesting. We have a tiny little apartment.
My time is up!
LOVE YOU ALLLL