This past week was crazy.
So, I am now in the city of Tyla. It is a little bit funny because two sisters I served with always joked that they would get a transfer to Tyla (this was in the old Moscow MIssion days when Tyla was not in our mission). Well, surprise I got transfered to Tyla for the last week and a half of my mission. It was certainly unexpected. President Sorenson called me on Friday and asked if I would go to Tyla on Monday and stay there for the rest of my time in Russia. I don't know what the reason is for the surprise transfer. Anyways, it was very sad saying goodbye to some of the members that I had grown to love but I am excited to be here. The district here is great and in a lot of small ways it was an answer to some of my prayers. So I am now with Sister Welch, my 11th companion in the field.
As I mentioned last week was crazy and involved a lot of running around. We were supposed to have zone conference last Thursday but we did not receive our tickets until Wednesday which stressed us out. When we got the tickets we noticed that the seats they bought us were a lot more expensive than usual. So amidst all of the other craziness of the day we went to the train station, running all the way there because we were late, and exchanged our tickets for tickets that were not inexpensive. Then there was a crazy running around because we lost our new tickets because on accident they had been placed in the bag of the member who was helping us exchange tickets. By the time everything got resolved and we had our tickets our district leader called us. This is what I heard from Sister O'Neal: "Is it good news or bad news? Please tell me you are joking!" She hung up and I tried to think of the worst possible thing that could happen. I asked if zone conference had been cancelled. It was cancelled because of protests against our church in Moscow. We just laughed all the way to bed.At least we managed to save a lot of money because by the time we found out most people could not get refunds on their tickets resulting in a loss of money.
Thursday turned out to be a good but interesting day. We were told that on Thursday we could not wear our tags or go contacting. Because we had planned on being in Moscow we had no meeting set up and most everyone thought that we were gone. Since we couldn't go contacting we did the best that we could. We sat down and called lots of people and tried to set up something. We managed to get a meeting that night and an inactive agreed to meet on Saturday. Sister O'Neal didn't feel good so while she laid down I got our area book all up to date, which turned out to be a good thing because of the surprise transfer. Then we planned all of our english clubs for the next month and then we had one of my favorite meetings with a member during my mission.
Friday night was Sister O'Neal's birthday and our culture night. We found out about the transfer just before the night began so it was a nice last hooray before leaving. We went and saw a Russian dance folk group from Yaroslavl. It was the 55th birthday of this dance group so we got to see them and a few other local dance groups performed to congratulate this group. The best was in addition to seeing Russian dance, we saw an Irish step dance and a Chinese dance. All for 200 reubles. It was a steal and so much fun and then afterwards we went and grabbed dinner at a great price. Elder Kuzmin told us that it was the day where all of his dreams were fulfilled.
Despite all the craziness of moving, ticket and travelling problems, unexpected riots we did see quite a few miracles. One is particular was Janna. We teach English to this group of girls at their work. We do a spiritual thought with them but it is a mixed group. Some are interested in the gospel and others aren't. Janna was given a Book of Mormon but because of the other people we have not been able to ask her about it. We tried inviting her to other activities so that we could ask her but something always came up. Well, we had been praying for a long time that we would be able to have the chance to meet with her alone. We went to her work and she was the only one there. We helped her with English and then we had a great spiritual thought and it honestly was an answer to our prayers. The Spirit was there so strongly and she is reading!
We also met with another lady who is an investigator but always so busy. We managed to meet with her and had a great meeting. All in all the Lord allowed me to experience a lot of miracles and tie up a lot of loose ends in Yaroslavl which is further proof to me that He truly is in control. When I found out about the transfer suddenly a lot more things made sense and I could see how the Lord had been preparing me or helping me. Although there were still lots of crazy things that happened I was able to remain calm because I knew who I was trusting and I knew the Lord would help us so everything would be alright. You would surprised at how cool headed I managed to stay yesterday when we missed a train, had to haggle with a taxi driver, and then our phone unexpected stopped working in Moscow. I just tried to look for the silver lining and the little miracles and then I managed to remain calm and keep smiling.
These last days are going to be great. Like I said this is an answer to prayers and if nothing else I am grateful that the Lord felt He could give me something crazy and knew I could do it. One of the best feelings is to feel His trust and to feel His love. I am excited for the chance to work with Sister Welch and help her in any way that I can.
Thank you for all of your prayers. Please continue to pray that we will find those that are looking for the gospel. I love you all and am so grateful for your examples. Until my final email!