Items of business: credit card came. Thank you!!! and Vladimir is still working on his visa so his original trip is being “postponed” but hopefully he’ll know more about it soon…I bet he would love to stay in St. George with grandma, though–thank you grandma! I will let you know when I get an update. Also NICOLE!!!!! I am crying right now. I am so proud of you and so happy for you!!!!! AH ecstatic! You are going to be the best missionary in the whole world!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the best dad in the world!! I am so sorry this is late AND even sorrier that your birthday card probably won’t get to you until christmas haha but know that I was thinking about you all day and can’t possibly express my gratitude and appreciation for you. You are diligent and wise and kind and you lead our home with love and meekness–I miss you so much! And you don’t look a day over 35….Russians here are astonished whenever I show them pictures of our family: “those are your PARENTS???” because they think you two look the same age as….”so young! so beautiful!!” also they are astonished by our “perfect smiles”…if you ever want a confidence boost, just come to Russia!

Serving with Sister Carver is the best thing that has ever happened to me. She honestly is my best friend and we have the BEST time together but also we are working verrrry hard. She’s just the most incredible example to me–she radiates light and love and is the happiest, kindest, most beautiful human being. I want to be her when I grow up and she pushes me to be a better missionary everyday. I have contacted more than ever, testified more than ever, and felt the Spirit more than ever. When I feel the Spirit I get the chills like crazy and it is the best feeling in the whole world and I know that in that moment, God is so near. And that my words are not my own. And that He is happy and proud of me….It is so powerful when we’re teaching and testifying and we feel the Spirit and we say that we feel the Spirit–we help those we teach recognize that what they are feeling–right then–is the Spirit of God, the love of God…and it testifies of truth. And what we are saying is true!
Angela’s baptism is on Saturday and it is so surreal. I know now more than ever that I did not teach her, the Lord did. He taught her and He changed her heart. She is a completely different person than she was when we met her and when I pray I am just overwhelmed with gratitude because I am SO grateful that the Lord trusted me to play this tiny role–I got to be His mouthpiece…and it is the greatest honor and the greatest blessing. I can’t describe it…I wish you could be here! I wish you could see what I see and hear what I hear because it has changed my life.
We take this old rickety bus out to see Angela every week and Sister Carver and I call it our Safari Bab Bus (Bab referring to grandmas because we are the youngest people on the bus by at least 30 years). But these babushkas LOVE us and we started sharing the gospel with them on our rides out to this little village. Tomorrow we’ll go out to Angela again and I can’t wait to see all my soul sisters and ask if they’ve been reading the book of mormon we gave and teach them more about it. Our goal is to get the whole bus to come to church–including the bus driver so he can just pick them up from the bus stop sunday mornings and then park it out front hahahah it would be the best ever!

I love it here. I could not be happier.

 

P.S. my visa trip in Latvia consisted of us hanging in the airport for an hour before we got back on the plane 😦 it was crazy to be SO close to my maddie but so far away!! I almost “accidentally” cut off my legs so that I would have to be rushed to the hospital and stay in Riga for a few days…sister missionaries probably would have had to come visit me because it’s part of their duty to visit the sick and afflicted. Maddie wrote me and we decided a good idea is to pray for a winter storm next time so our flight will be cancelled and we’ll have to stay the night! Riga looked so beautiful from the sky…and when we got off the plane I yelled for Maddie but she never answered…

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