Wednesday, August 31, 2011

First off, I will address the long-awaited question about the weather. I don't know if a lot of people know this but the summer is pretty humid. July, in particular felt very humid. I would be sitting on a train and I have to wipe my forehead quite a few times. Since August first the weather has not quite as humid. In fact there have been a few days where I wore a sweater. I could have gone without the sweater, but it was nice to wear it still. It hailed one day as we were coming home from church and we have gotten some good rain. Typically, when it rains it does not rain all day, but there was one or two days where it rained all day. I remember that day because Sister Bullough discovered a hole in her shoes and we walked a few hours to find a less active woman.

Despite the hot weather Russians will still drink or offer "chai" (tea, herbal for us, or hot water with a lemon or honey). You know me and you know that I don't like hot drinks. However, I can drink a cup or two. I have also eaten a lot of watermelon. I tolerated more than my companion who -hates- watermelon. But Ninel insisted that we keep eating. Really. She put her foot down when we tried to tell her we were full.

Sister Bullough is very excited for the cold weather to come because she loves winter and Christmas music. I know some people don't like to listen to Christmas music before Thanksgiving or December. I think we broke out the Christmas music my second week here. I'm anxious but excited for winter to see if Moscow winters live up to their reputation. I am not looking forward to buying a winter coat or winter boots. 

As to the possibility of a native companion, I really don't know. In a former email I wrote that there are not a lot of natives. There are three natives sisters in our mission and one is going home at the end of next transfer. The other two came not too long before me so there is a possibility. I don't know how high the possibility is but it is possible. Transfers are coming up and so many sisters have been in their areas for 4 transfers. I think we all expect a big change for the sister but we don't know who will stay or leave. 

Now to the work: 

We have not been able to meet with many of our investigators. We met with Ninel (that was when she forced us to eat watermelon). In our meeting we extended the invitation to be baptized and, at first, she said yes. Then when she found out we meant baptism like her granddaughter was baptized she said she did not want to because she was already baptized. We explained the priesthood and then extended the inviation again and she said the same thing: yes at first and then said no when we clarified. We aren't entirely sure why she changed her answer, whether there is a fear or doctrinal concern because we had to leave to get home on time. But hopefully in our next meeting we will find out. 

Because we have had a hard time meeting with our investigators we have been doing a lot of less active hunting, contacting, and updating the area book. I'll admit I have loved updating the area book because I have gotten frustrated with the lack of thoroughness. When I write about our meetings I try to put information that help missionaries that will come to our area. Often we will look at a teaching record and hear how great things are going and then it stops and never says what happened with the person.

Monday we went less active hunting and thankfully a member showed us the way to the lady's house. We went and called the apartment phone. Like in France, you either need to know the code or have to dial them on a speaker outside. No one answered. We were about to leave when the member pointed out that a lady was on her balcony. The less active lady lost her legs a few months ago. But this lady was on the balcony and smoking. We asked her if she knew the member and she responded, "She moved. She switched apartments." When she asked why we were bothering her we told her we were missionaries. Almost immediately she said, "I don't understand." And kept cutting us off, telling us to leave, when we tried to say the name of our church. And when we called the phone number for the less active lady the lady on the balcony picked up. So... we think that was her. We aren't entirely sure because she never said her name. 

That was my week. Aside from fixing our clogged shower it has not been too eventful. The pictures are from when we went roller blading last preparation day with our district. Today we played ultimate frisbee (my first time) and gator ball (a mix of soccer and football).

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