Hello my family!! as always, it was so good to hear from you. This week was incredible–Angela was baptized!!!!!! It was kinda crazy because we don’t have a baptismal font so people get baptized in saunas…and the sauna they have used in the past is closed for a remodel so we had so go on a sauna hunt. Most saunas around here are kinda sketchy/scandalous but we finally found one haha and it was Egyptian Bathhouse themed but we made it work. On the day of the baptism we had a curveball when we realized the “font” was an optical illusion!! When Elder Brasier got in the water, it came up to his neck hah and he’s 6 feet and Angela’s 5’3″…obviously this turned into a little chaos as everyone was voicing their opinion/solution but everything was fine–he just lifted his knee and she sat on it haha it’ll definitely be something she’ll never forget but we were all amazed that despite the craziness and despite the fact that we were in a sauna…none of that mattered–the Spirit was SO strong and we were just in this tiny room sitting in a circle and Sister Carver and I spoke on the gift of the Holy Ghost and just looking at her–how clean and happy and bright she was! It was the best feeling ever and she bore her testimony and stood up with such confidence and spoke with such clarity and conviction. I read this quote by M. Russell Ballard in my talk, and it is so true: “When the Spirit enters the heart, hearts are changed.” When she bore her testimony, she thanked “her best friend in the whole world”….”Sister Hawkins.” I almost cried–it was the sweetest thing. I am SO happy for my Angela and feel so blessed to know her and to have learned from her-she has strengthened my testimony so much and we are soul sisters for life. It’s such a rare opportunity that I had the blessing of being able to teach her from the beginning to the end and I am so grateful because I got to witness her transformation. She’s a different person now from than when we met her.

Last night we went contacting and we started talking to this lady and the second we said we were missionaries she said, “GET OUT OF HERE!!! AWAY FROM HERE! RIGHT NOW! I NEVER WANT TO SEE YOUR FACES AGAIN!” she thought we were baptists (which we aren’t, but I wanted to say, “hey! i have baptist friends! not nice.” But I didn’t have the time to respond at all because she then attempted to cast the devils out of us and told us she was calling the police. I feel much better now that the demons have left me…
Here are some pictures: (they didn’t all load in the right order so you may need to guess a little which is which)
1. eating borsch in Moscow a few weeks ago after the transfer meeting–the girl next to me is Sister Eisenhower and she happens to be friends with seth chatterley–small world. hey love you seth! miss you!
2. sister carver and I in front of the quidditch statue we found (or maybe a statue symbolizing the brotherhood/alliance between russia and poland sealed by their sharing of weaponry…demonstrated by them flying on their guns like broomsticks..wearing capes. i love russia)
3-4 yay for fall!

5.  the light bulb in our kitchen went out so instead of buying a new one we brought in our little desk lamp….now we have romantic dinners together
6. deceptive sauna/font!
7. a miracle story! we got there a little early to set up and people were about to get there and I noticed these topless egyptian pictures in the hall and so we obviously panicked and were trying to take them down or flip them over but it was impossible! so I remembered the bamboo place mats I had just taken off the table before I put the table cloth on and it was pure inspiration!! I draped them over the tops of the frames and I was JUST tall enough to reach. it was hysterical and perfect. MIRACLE!!!

8-9 us with Angela after the baptism!!
10. when we had to come from moscow to ryazan with sister carver’s stuff

11. how we survived: Muhammed
12. my hair’s turning brown 😦
13. album cover
14. Ninja! my new favorite game

15. walkabouts
16. this is in angela’s neighborhood–so beautiful17. sunset! don’t know why it’s upside down