Well, I am now in Sokolniki. If you look up a metro map of Moscow you will find Sokolniki on the red line in the Northeast and our apartment is found at the top of the orange line.
The past week has been good. On Thursday we went to the central building (the stake building) on metro Novakoznyestskiya with all of my baggage. The elders from Perovo helped us get there which was very nice. I met up with my new companion, Sister Rasmassen and while the Sokolniki elders took care of my bags we ran to a meeting in an outer city with a less-active lady. The meeting was good and I was complimented on my Russian.
Afterwards we returned home and unpacked and I found out more about the area. In Sokolniki we have a few investigators. The Sokolniki ward meets in the same building as the international ward. Because there are only elders serving in the international ward we, the Sokolniki sisters, double as the international sisters. So on Sunday we go to both wards. Sokolniki is the northeast of Moscow and considered "in the city", although we do sometimes head to outer cities. Before in Perovo most of the time we went to outer cities that are considered "part of Moscow" but are more like suburbs.
Friday we met as a district and divided up the ward list and compiled all of our information. We then got a look at the ward building and stayed for a Relief Society activity where two women, other than the President, showed up. It was hilarious and so Russian. They argued for about 10 minutes about what they were going to do with this cloth and the measurements. Eventually they came to an agreement and made a pillow.
So far Sister Rasmassen and I get along just fine. Actually, our biggest issue is that we get talking and sometimes get distracted. She is from Oregon and went to BYU, majoring in computer science so we have been able to talk about the Talmage building together. She went to the Jerusalem Center and knows one of my roommates from my sophmore year. So we have talked a lot about Israel and Saudi Arabia. All in all we get along and I think it will be a good transfer. She is not decisive and neither am I but I have been the decisive one, a shock right?
Saturday we finially got to our weekly planning. As we were planning we heard some noise out in the hallway. At one point the noise became louder and than we looked and saw the door handle jiggle (it was locked). Intrigued we went to the door and looked out the peep hole. There was a drunk man talking to himself loudly who was trying to open our door and the neighbors door. When he could not get in he tried again and then started pacing and talking to a light fixture. At one point he layed down in the hallway and talked to the ceiling. We were not scared but instead got a good laugh because we live on the fourth floor and it was so random. By the time we left the apartment he was gone.
Because I did not get a chance to say goodbye to anyone in Perovo all of the sisters that moved for this mid-transfer transfer returned to their old companions so they could say goodbye at church. I somehow flew under the radar on bearing my testimony or giving a talk but I was able to tell most people that I was leaving and get some photos with a few of my friends in Perovo. I typically don't get attached to places and when I first heard about transfers I was excited to move to a new area. But as I said goodbye to some people it hit me how much I was going to miss these people and I realized how many people I truly love and care about and am going to miss.
And the Perovo sisters had an investigator at church! She was a girl Sister Carlson and I contacted on the train a little over a week ago. She is amazing! The Perovo sisters met with her on Saturday and when they gave her a Book of Mormon she said, "You are the mormon church? [because our nametags say "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints"] I have been reading about you on the internet and was wondering if it existed in Russia!" Then she had the missionaries write their testimonies down. In Sunday School the lesson was the Word of Wisdom and she told us that she does not like black or green tea, coffee, alcohol, or tabacco. Wow! And she asked us about temples and why there was not one in Russia then she paused and said, "I know why. Russians drink and smoke too much." Talk about a miracle! I was so happy I was able to be at Church with her because Sister Carlson and I were the ones to find her and I am excited to see how she will progress. She is one of those people who Heavenly Father has been preparing for the Gospel and it was a huge spiritual boost.
And that has been my week so far. I am excited for my new area and to progress. Lately, a lot of people have been complimenting me on my Russian especially after I tell them how long I have been out which has been an esteem boost so I feel like I want to talk even more and truly study diligently. I don't know how I have changed but I feel stronger and my testimony becomes more precious to me everyday.
Thank you for all of your emails and words of support and letting me know how things are going. I am slowly getting caught up on my letter-writing and sent out my first batch of letters two weeks ago. I love you all and am so thankful for your prayers. I feel their power everyday.
PS. I am in an apartment with an oven! Yay! But our toilet is interesting. You have to turn on the water before you use it, flush, and then turn off the water when you are done. Thankfully, Sister Rasmassen took care of the cockroach problem during the summer. Her words: "I think the problem is gone. If not, that's what the flip flops in the kitchen are for."