Monday, September 19, 2016

Week 67 - September 19, 2016 We're Not in Kansas Anymore. . .

   Hello there my beloved readers!

I can't believe it's already Monday. Time is flying by. Seriously, I can't catch my breath. 
Neither can Sister Palmer, but that is because the poor thing has a constant battle 
with bronchitis, so it's a different story. 

It is super cold now in Russia! 
So we took out our tights, coats, and beanies! 
Wish us luck!

We have been sooo busy and so much goes on. We literally have NO time to do anything haha. 
Being busy is a really good feeling. Here is a day-by-day play-by-play:

Monday: We went on a little shopping spree at a mall and I was able to get 
some super cute clothes. Then we had FHE with one of my favorite members in Bezi. Zina. 
She is just such an inspiration. She is 80 years old and yet still goes to church every Sunday 
and does her monthly visiting teaching! What a super star.

Me on the bridge over the street. 

Tuesday:  Splits with Sister Howe! It was so much fun. We met with a great member, Inya! 
She is so wonderful. She, as a senior sister, served a full-time mission with girls like me 
about 20 years ago. What a pro! She went out contacting and knocking and all that jazz. 
She is super sweet and has a lot of experience that would really help us if she just 
came back to church. It is so sad to see someone so great not take the steps to church attendance. 
We got interviews with President Ottesen before our training this week. 
He is just a wonderful man. He really helped me see what I needed to do in order 
to just give my all over to God. 

Prayer! It is sooo important. That is how we are able to get to know our Father in Heaven 
on a super personal level. He knows each of us personally. It's only fair that 
we get to know Him personally! We can do that through sincere, heartfelt prayer. 

Then we went to game night at Bezi. Man, I love these people. So crazy.

The sisters made Borsch!!!!

Wednesday: We have this new program coming up, "Behind the Wall." It has been 
running a lot in Ukraine already and other places. We are finding friends through 
common interests, such as volleyball or music. So we went to a park looking for people 
to play volleyball with. It didn't turn out well since is was overcast and cold so no one 
was at the park. But instead we talked to the people who worked the booths and rides 
(think tooney town at Six flags or lagoon statues for my Utah friends). 
Then we went to a members home and helped them with English.

We found this bad boy in the park this week. 

Sister Johnson and I on the sketchiest Ferris wheel ever!

Thursday: MLC. We were able to discuss a lot of things that have been going on 
in the mission and with the new law and aspects of the work that are or aren't working. 
Then I burned a cake while still managing to have the batter uncooked in the middle. 
#skills. Then we met with Yulia and she did our hair and then we had FHE. 
They are crazy haha. 

Bonding with the Bezi sisters!

Friday: Bussed back to Kazan. Then we dropped by the branch to visit the relief society sisters. 
They made a blanket/comforter thing. So fun! We didn't have any plans, 
but the Lord provided for us to serve the sisters!

Saturday: Busiest day ever!!!! In the morning I realized that I left my scriptures 
and study journal from my mission on the bus. My life! Seriously it was 
the saddest moment ever. That is the most valuable thing to me out of all my possessions! 
Then I had to do district training, then we had sports day, 
which no one came cause it was too cold.

 I felt like sharing my beautiful face with the world. . .

 PUPPET THEATER!  Our cultural activity for the week was a puppet theater 
which looks like a palace. The elders told us the times randomly while we were 
on the bus so we had no idea what to expect. It turned out to be a show for kids, 
so there we were in a theater full of Russian children. Lucky for us, 
because the concepts were not too hard to digest. It was The Wizard of Oz . 
I know right? How lucky are we? We understood it all and it was super sweet to see. 
Also, simultaneously creepy. . .oh puppets.

Us after the puppet show. So beautiful. It is literally a castle!

Then, we asked these guys with a cello and violin if they knew where to buy a guitar. 
Sister Palmer has permission to buy one to teach members and what not. 
They turned out to be performers and had a gig later that day. We dropped by 
and they are just amazing! We roamed around and met wonderful people! 
It is all a dream to me. 

Sunday: Church was fabulous! We had a great sacrament meeting and the kids 
were soooo darn tootin cute as always. We taught on prayer. They are just so sweet haha. 
Then choir practice and then we went on a search for my scriptures. 
The lady at the bus station made a lot of calls and then gave me info on 
how to reach the bus driver. She told us to come back tomorrow 
at 7am to see if it was still there.

Luckily, we dropped by today and they were there!!! They said I was super lucky. 
I know it was the hand of the Lord. I was super sad when I found out that I left them, 
but I knew that God values scriptures and spiritual knowledge. With that in mind, 
I knew He wouldn't let me lose those golden plates. I was never too worried about it. 
I am so grateful that Heavenly Father wants to give us good gifts! 
We just have to let Him!!!

This is us in that museum from last week that we talked about.

Picture with the Elders for our Pioneer night activity

 Indiana Janes?

Love you all!! I have my first training as STL in front of our zone of 12 volunteers haha. 
We are small but great!

Much love, 
Cectpa Graham

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