Well, in order to give you an idea of what the past week was like I will tell you what my district leader said on Sunday when we reported our numbers of lessons and other stats: "You really improved your number this past week."
But first I will give you some fun things things that have happened, not proselying related. First off, we have no hot water at our apartment. Because the tap water is not santitary once a year during the summer the hot water in apartments is turned off so that they can clean the pipes. The hot water is off for 10 days. So far we are halfway through the 10 days. Surprising, it is not as bad as I expected. Only the first two minutes are hard, just like jumping in a pool during the summer. I miss swimming.
Another interesting tidbit: everyone in my mission says "Buck" or "Buckwild". I noticed that on my first day with my companion but I thought maybe that was one of her quirks. Turns out it is a mission thing. Everyone says it so I finially asked Sister Bullough about it. She says she doesn't know who started it but everyone has been using those words from the time that she arrived. We'll see if I end up picking up that habit.
So on to the work! This was definitely a better week than last week. We had our regular meeting with Karina and it went well. We did not get to recommit her but we have gotten her to read from the Book of Mormon everyday. We will have another meeting with her tonight and we will be discussing the Sabbath Day and hopefully, she will come to our Branch on Sunday.
Remember my first Sunday in Russia? Sister Bullough and I met with a member and when we asked for contacts she took us over to meet her friend, Tamara. Well, on Thursday we met with Tamara and the member that introduced us to her. She is awesome and believes in God so much. She has two boys and her greatest wish is for them to grow up to be good people. We did get far into our lesson on the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ but we talked about families and how God is our loving Heavenly Father. At the end we asked if we could come back and teach more. She said yes, which means we can count her as a new investigator! And she invited us to see a renovated mansion, now a museum, that was built for Katherine II on Friday. It was awesome and the grounds were so pretty. I will include some of the photos we took.
Saturday we met with Irina Victrova. She has been an investigator for 9 years and has a lot of health problems and was not keeping commitments. Technically, she is not an investigator now so we did service at her house and then had a good lesson on baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. She likes coming to Church (she gets a ride) and likes the Book of Mormon although she does not read it. For her it is hard to move past her health problems and whenever she gets close to baptism something always stops her.
As we left Irina Victrova's apartment we got a call from two other sisters in our mission who asked to meet with us. "Can you meet us in an hour? We have an investigator we have been teaching but we found out she lives in your branch. And she has a baptismal date for next Saturday." So we rushed over and met Margaret, our other new investigator. She has amazing faith! She is from a country that used to be part of Georgia and she has nothing except her faith. Due to problems with her registration she can't get a job. But she believes God brought her to Moscow and is a rockstar. She's have concerns about commandments but she will say "If it is God's commandment then I will do it."
Working with Margaret has been a roller coaster. She is really independant and because she has no money to get to our branch she needs the help of the members. The biggest stumbling block for her is fast offering and a living prophet. When we talk about President Monson she always says, "Time will tell if he is a prophet." She is almost ready for baptism and because she feels she does not have an answer on whether the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church and Joseph Smith is a prophet we have pushed back her baptism to next week or the week after. She has received an answer but she doesn't know it because she expects, like many people, a marvellous answer or the answer to come in a dream. Right now we helping her to understand how the Holy Ghost gives us our answers. But everything will be alright, I know it will.
That brings us to today. Our district played football (European) with some Africans. I did not play very long because I wanted to work on my letters which I started my first preparation day. But within 2 minutes I skinned my knee trying to get the ball from a really good African player. (Why there are so many Africans in Moscow will have to be a story for another day.) My knee ate the pavement.
Things are looking up! Thank you for the all prayers because I know they have played a huge role in the success of this past week. I love you all and am so grateful that you in my life. The Lord has always blessed with wonderful people in my life.