more pictures!!

1. a beautiful pathway we walked past when we were contacting (typical Russia–I love it)
2. an abandoned building we joked about sleeping in after da clubs
3 and 4: JESS BARRINGER (I guess Stowell now?) on the seminary/institute manual hahahhaha I opened a cupboard and then was like WAIT!! I know her! craziest thing ever–such a small world. Thank you jess for being a sweet reminder of home (Erin pass on the word because obviously jess doesn’t read this but you should show her the picture and tell her i say hi!)
Speaking of Erin–I’ll be thinking of you on Saturday, I’m SO happy for you and love you so much. I’m jealous all the girls will be together but I’ll be there in spirit–shout out to nicole, candice, and amanda–I love you my soul sisters and think of you always! and lauren and carley! jeez what a party. maybe i’ll eat some pizza in your honor, Erin…I have yet to see pie, however…..

Have a great week I love you!!!

MY FAMILY!!!!!! I love you all so much and am delighted to hear Costa Rica is going so well!

To answer Kevin’s question about my companion: we have almost everything in common from our taste in music and love for international cinema at BYU, our obsession with planning and lists and such and a whole bunch of other random things. and our views about the mission/why we’re here/what we want to accomplish…and we get along really well and work hard and laugh a lot, but we haven’t quite figured out our teaching chemistry yet..I definitely don’t feel N*SYNC (that’s punny to me) when we teach and our teaching approaches are verrry different but we’re working on it and I know it will “click” soon. This week has been wonderful with its ups and downs–but that phrase isn’t quite right because the “downs” don’t feel like “downs” at all, if that makes sense. But I do have some funny stories–I’ve been trying to have specific prayers and made a commitment for a few days to talk to everyone wearing polka dots. Once again, Heavenly Father has quite the sense of humor and decided to prompt the craziest of the crazies to wear polka dots that day hahaah but one in particular was my favorite. We were walking out of our neighborhood and I saw this lady with polka dot shorts who kinda had a crazy look in her eye…but that isn’t very unusual here in Russia and one of my goals is to be no respecter of persons, like Jesus Christ. AND I had made a commitment and had every intention of keeping it, so I walked up to her and asked if I could ask her a question, she responded by yelling, “I DON’T UNDERSTAND RUSSIAN!!!” And she said this in perfect Russian of course and is clearrrrrrly Russian. I was so caught off guard and it was just the strangest/funniest thing that I couldn’t respond and she just laughed with her no teeth smile and walked away cracking up. ahahahahhahaha to help illustrate, it was as if a person had come up to me, and in kind of broken English asked me a question, and then as if I responded by yelling, “I DON’T UNDERSTAND ENGLISH!!” and cracking up and walking away. I wish I hadn’t been so surprised by her answer because then I could have responded by saying, “PERFECT! me neither! what language shall we speak?” but anyways, that was the best and it’s hard to explain how funny it was.

I think I mentioned this before but our branch is teeny tiny especially right now because everyone’s out at their dachas which are like summer garden homes kinda so that’s been a bummer and there’s only one boy in the primary and he’s 8 and C. Daniel and I are in charge of primary and it’s been interesting because kids have a different vocabulary/speak differently so it’s really hard for me to understand him and so we need to get verrrrry creative and find ways to entertain him/think of fun games, but also teach him something. Any ideas?

We had some interesting lessons and contacting experiences and we’re trying to work with the members as much as possible and are looking forward to this week! It will be great! I pray for each of you by name everyday and hope the rest of your Costa Rica trip is the best ever. I’m so grateful that miracles have not ceased!! The power and love of God is so real! and I’m SO grateful to be here, in Ryazan–I love Ryazan so much and could live here my whole life. I think I will. Yep. Good idea.

Here are some pictures from our P-Day adventure last week. I don’t want to brag, but I’m pretty sure I live in the most beautiful place in the world. Most of these are of Ryazan’s kremlin/orthodox temples and then there’s a lock lock fence and then just forests and meadows behind–it’s unbelievably beautiful!!!! and then there’s a picture of  C. Daniel and I being babooshas and is one of my favorite pictures ever. You have to wear head scarfs if you go into the Orthodox temples–which we did (that’s what the pictures are of) and they’re so beautiful and we totally nailed it. and there’s a picture of a note I made in my planner–note the “H” instead of “N”…that’s what happens when you learn Russian. yikes.