Wednesday, June 29, 2011

First Week in Moscow

Well, I am alive! And good news for everyone: anyone can email me at Anyone can email me but I can only email family still. But I would love to hear from you and hear how your life is going! I also hear the mail takes a little while.
I am survived my first week so far. Our group landed in Moscow on Wednesday and we were awake for a few hours while we handled some paperwork and interviews with President Sorenson. When we arrived in the mission home we were all exhausted. A few of us took naps before dinner. President and Sister Sorenson are very nice and I am very excited to work with them. 

The next day the Assistants to the President took us to Red Square to go contacting. They had arranged for one pair of sisters to meet us. When they arrived one of the sisters looked at our nametags. When she saw mine she gave me a big hug and exclaimed, "I'm your grandmother!" The other sister, her previous companion, is now my companion, Sister Bullough. Together we went contacting for a while before we had a testimony meeting.

Sister Bullough is from Indiapolis, Indiana and has been in Moscow for 3 months. She just finished her own training when President asked her to be my trainer. At first she was really nervous because she has only been here 3 months and does not know the language fluently. But she knows more than me. She is very nice and helpful. In a lot of ways we are similar in that talking to random people is difficult. We set some goals and we are working on overcoming that weakness. 

Friday was a busy day, especially because on Saturday my companion had to fly to Ukraine for her visa trip. We travelled our area and she introduced me to a few of our investigators. Some of the places were a ways away. By the way, I am serving in Perova. It is on the east side of Moscow. Although it is part of the city it is not in the central city. Our area is pretty big. That night I went on a split with another sister, a native from St. Petersburg who is leaving in 3 weeks, until Sunday morning.

Sunday we attended our branch. During Branch Council I did not understand everything. I was happy with what little I did understand. I told myself if I could survive Sunday I could survive the mission. I was asked to bear my testimony in Sacrament Meeting and introduce myself during Relief Society and gave the closing prayer. It sounds like I said a lot but most of it was very simple. 

After church we were supposed to have a meeting with a referral we received from the mission office. A member who lived in the area helped us find the appartment building. Unfortunately, our appointment fell through. But the member invited us over to her apartment and gave us some juice. She showed us some pictures from her mission many years ago (she served in New York and Connecticut) and we shared a spiritual thought. We talked about the Book of Mormon and why it is important to know that it is true. I bore my testimony that I knew the Book of Mormon was true and it has been the answer to many of my prayers. We asked the member if she knew anyone who would be interested in our message. She gave us some more delicious apple juice and called up a friend. Afterwards she took us over to a friend that lived nearby and we talked to a very nice lady and her son. We are hoping she will be interested in hearing more and we will be following up with her.

Yesterday we contacted all day. To contact we passed out flyers about families and "answers of the soul". My first impression is that they are not always super effective. I am trying to find ways to make them more effective. However, we did have one man stop and he liked our flyer. He was interested in knowing who we were and we ended up talking to him for about 45 minutes. At first he did not want a Book of Mormon but in the end he took one and we told him it had the answers to the questions he had been asking us. 

I know all of this was very brief. But I love you all and am so happy to be here. I know it won't be easy but salvation, and missions, are not a cheap experience. I know this work is important and I am so thankful for the trust the Lord has given me to be here and to teach His children in Russia. Until next week!

P.S. If any one has simple recipes, preferably for the stove, please send them my way! We are striving for a variety of meals but with lack of recipes we feel limited. Thanks!

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