My family!!! We get to watch conference in English on Wednesday and Thursday and in Russian on Saturday and Sunday so I am anxiouuuusly awaiting BUT we did get a call on Saturday night from the Ottleys telling us the big news. I couldn’t sleep that night because I thought about all the people it’s going to affect…especially my Nicole. I already emailed her my thoughts about it but I’ll share a little of what I said to her. First off, I just had the chills and kept screaming because it is SO exciting. This experience and opportunity to serve and love these people is the most important thing in my life. I shutter and quake to think about my life without it…and I try to cherish every SECOND. The thought of more people getting to share this joy…and sooner than ever…is sublime. It’s such an exciting time and just shows how much the Lord needs us and trusts us to do His work. And it is so funny that this is what I wanted my whole life and I just so happened to be in the last batch of the oldies haha but I know that the timing was right for me, personally. And to clarify for Nicole and for all the single ladies thinking about serving–it is so personal and I hope that people don’t feel that it is now an expectation or something they are pressured into doing. But if you want to serve but don’t feel “ready”…in my opinion, don’t delay or feel nervous or wait longer simply for the reason of “preparing” because a mission isn’t something you can really prepare ridiculous as that sounds. But honestly I think that’s one of the reasons why they changed the age. I have seen a common pattern with people here who are preparing for baptism and for the temple, etc. and they don’t feel “ready.” But that’s part of human nature–we don’t feel ready, we don’t feel worthy, we don’t feel adequate. What I say over and over is that we just need to be willing. unfortunately those two words: ready and willing, are the same word in Russian! HELLO Russians, those are not the same things. So instead I say that we just need to have a desire. A desire to serve, a desire to be obedient, a desire to sacrifice in order to come closer to God and align our wills with His. In Mosiah 18:10 it says, “Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against (fill in the blank)?” Baptism, going to the temple, going on a mission, etc. And then in Doctrine and Covenants 4:4 it says, “Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work” That’s it. That’s all it takes. Then we just have to “let this desire work in (us), even until (we) believe” and trust the Lord and go and do what He asks us to do (Alma 32:27 and 1 Nephi 3:7).
Highlights for the week: Sister Carver is the best thing that has ever happened to me. She is so full of light and such an example of radiating Christ-like love. I want to be her and am trying to learn everything I can from her…we are BFFs and I realized whilst teaching our first lesson together that we had instant teaching chemistry and that’s something that often takes a loooot of time so I am very grateful. Of course there’s always room to improve–especially with teaching skills, but it’s fun that we get to improve and learn together. It’s easier that trying to N*SYNC myself (always funny to me. never gets old), with someone who already has her teaching approach signed sealed delivered (i’m on a role)…so though it’s upping the pressure and we have a lot more responsibilities now–we can’t rely on our trainers anymore–it’s fun and an adventure!!
Speaking of an adventure–this story is for Aaron Jessee!! We were leaving the central building in Moscow with all of Sister Carver’s stuff which was literally a joke–the wheels of one of her suitcase broke so it was bungeed to a bab cart she bought haha and then we wore duffel bags on our backs as back packs and we looked like ninja turtles and took up so much space so everyone on the metro hated us and then we had her other suitcase whose wheels were ABOUT to burst and it was pouring rain and we were praying for a miracle because we had to go to the end of the metro line and do all of these switching to different lines and up and down stairs, etc. to get to the bus stop for the bus to Ryazan and it was dark and pouring rain and we were never going to survive! but then we were saved. By the means of Muhammed. Not the Islam prophet, but a member of the church in Moscow who’s from Uzbekistan (obviously. because Uzbekistan is where all the nicest humans in the world are from) And Muhammed was our angel, hero, and champion (our russian is very limited so we just kept repeating those words over and over and thanking him). He took the bab cart and came all the way to the bus station with us. then the next bus wasn’t for two hours so he waited with us! on a friday night! because he said it wasn’t safe for us to be hanging out at the bus stop so late and he refused our assurances that we were brave and tough and strong. Anyways, Aaron–Muhammed is the man and tell him thank you from the bottom of our hearts. He said he sent you a really embarrassing picture of us on facebook. Also Denise (probably not helpful–I don’t know his last name and I know there are a thousand Denise’s) but I met him when I was in the Central Building–he lives in Moscow and he knows you and loves you/says hi (probably in this 30s?)
Last highlight: Angela is getting baptized a week from on October 20th and she’s SO ready and SO happy and I’ve never been more thrilled. She is a different person than the girl we met 7 weeks ago and I’ve never seen eyes so bright.
I love you my family!!!