Monday, January 2, 2012

This week was an interesting week and a week full of trials in some many ways. Monday was P-Day and our landlord was supposed to come and fix our sink since last week he said he would come on Monday. So we stayed inside waiting for him to drop by once our P-Day was over. We worked on the area book and tried calling a lot of people. Unfortunately, he never called or showed up. Tuesday we had district meeting and it was something that had been on my mind a lot. Our district leader talked about finding people, and more importantly talking to people. Then we went carolling, probably my favorite form of contacting, and when we returned home for dinner I felt really tired. I took some of my dinner time to take a nap and when I woke up I still felt tired. On a whim I decided to check my temperature. To my surprise, because really all I felt was tiredness, I had a fever. The fever got worse on Wednesday. Again, I felt fine except that I was so tired and had a high fever. It went down throughout the day but we still ended up staying at the apartment during the night because our landlord decided to come and an hour earlier than he said he would come. He tried to fix our sink himself but discovered he couldn't so he called his son to come over. So our landlord stayed with us for 4 hours and it ended up being an interesting night since he knows no English and he is an interesting man. But now our sink is fixed!

Thursday we had a Preach My Gospel training with our zone. We did a lot of roleplaying and it was interesting to see the focus of the training. We spent the longest talking about the Book of Mormon and President Sorenson made a comment that it would be an important tool, perhaps more so than it already is, in our missionary work this next week. Interestingly, during our roleplays I ended up with two Russians so I got my Russian work out. But over all it was a great reminder about how much fun teaching lessons are and teaching and testifying about the Gospel. 

Friday was also interesting because I woke up at 3am feeling awful. That feeling continued until later in the night. When I started to feel better I was so sick of being coped up inside the apartment, since I had already been sick earlier that week. Besides, I had a goal to meet. The previous night as I called our district leader, Elder Francom, we started talking about Russian and how everyday is a new battle to talk to people and open our mouths. We talked about how when we talk to people we just feel good about ourselves and feel most like a good missionary. So our companionships set a goal to talk to 8 people. I was determined to reach this goal. As we travelled to visit inactives I made an effort on the metro to talk to people. Mostly, I asked Russians how to say certain words correctly. The first two were scary but I did it and the people were really nice. One of the people that I talked to spoke French! We were walking on the street and I saw a black guy so I wished him a new year in English. He responded with a "Bonjour" so I reciprocated in French. We had been walking but when I spoke in French he just stopped in the street and looked so happy to hear French so I went and talked to him and invited him to church. I learned a lot from trying to reach this goal. At the end my companionship talked to 6 people and I talked to 5 of them. But I tried to talk to someone on every metro ride. As we returned home I had only talked to 4 people and I knew this would be my last chance to talk to someone. We were riding the escalator up and so I turned to the lady standing behind me. My first thought was that she looked really scary but when I asked for her help she was very nice and helped me a lot and would come up with a way to help me remember the word. At the end of the night we reported to Elder Francom the results and we all felt a lot better about ourselves and more determined to reach this goal because we knew we would be reporting to each other.

Saturday we went to President's house to stay the night. The elders in our district stayed together but all the sisters in the mission went up to President's. It was a fun night and it was interesting to see and get to know better all the sisters in the mission. We watched Harry Potter 7 Part 2 which made all of us really excited. Afterwards we had dessert and sat around talking. Close to midnight President shared a spiritual thought and even quoted Harry Potter! At midnight we drank soda and listened to all the fireworks. The fireworks continued all night. By 1am most of the sisters had gone to bed. Those of us still awake watched Charade, an old Audrey Hepburn movie. It was a fun night. 

On Sunday we returned home and I had a good chat with Sister Bullough. Although it has been 3 months since we served together we still love being together and even joked with President that we would like to serve together again. She mentioned to me that she was thankful to have me as her companion because I wanted to work hard and even when things did not work out we still had fun and a good time. Those were words that I needed to hear.

Because New Year's is a big Russian holiday we only had Russian church for one hour at 5pm. The black man that spoke French came to church! But he missed the intertional ward so he stayed for Russian and I ended up trying to translate into French. Try is the key word in that sentence. It was really hard and as I was trying to translate I forgot a lot of basic verbs like the word to remember, souvenir. But I gave him a French Book of Mormon and was able to bear testimony of it. He said he would read it and come back next week so I am very excited. But of all the miracles this week I think the one that meant the most to me happened last night. I called a recent convert to ask she would have time to meet. Those who know me know that I hate talking on the phone. Well, talking on the phone in Russian is worst but I still do it because I need to and I know it is important. I ended up talking to Vera for 25 minutes and it was fun! The conversation went all over the place but I had fun talking to her and it did not feel awkward or strained considering that it was in Russian. 

This week was an interesting week and a humbling week. I felt alone a lot of the time and I have learned that sometimes I need to be vocal about things that bother me. I am not good at resolving conflicts since when I have tried in the past the results have not always turned out well. But I was honest and tried to be loving and show my love afterwards, following the advice the scriptures. I still have a ways to go but as President Uchtdorf said, "Learn to be happy now". Sometimes dealing with companions is tough but I can control my attitude and so much depends on the attitude with which we approach things. I am learning about courage and exercising faith. All I can say is thank goodness for the Atonement.

PS: In other news I finished reading the Book of Mormon (in English). We started reading it as a mission in October and I finished! 

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