The night of thanksgiving, we received yet ANOTHER miracle to be grateful for. We’ve been meeting with this lady named Raya from Armenia for awhile but our lessons are far and wide because she works every single day..she’s a hairdresser and luckily the salon is two doors down from our church building so when things are slow, if we don’t already have a lesson, she leaves the salon and we have 30 minute lessons…otherwise we just make her treats and drop by every now and then and she loves us and calls us her “daughters.” sometimes it’s been hard on lessons because we don’t speak russian very well and neither does she haha because armenian is her native language (which sounds like parssel tongue by the way) but we had been preparing for this lesson for weeks (because our lessons with her kept falling through) and we prayed for the gift of tongues and that we’d be able to understand each other and we tabbed the scriptures we wanted to use in an armenian book of mormon and we used a timeline and an object lesson and we taught about the apostasy and reviewed the restoration and when we were testifying about the restoration we felt the Spirit SOOO strongly–I had chills literally racing up and down and I could tell that she did too. And then, I did something we hadn’t planned at all! I asked if she would be baptized!! I have asked that question before, but the other times I knew the person had already been asked (like Vladimir’s sister has been asked over and over and we challenge her every lesson…we’re just waiting for a YES!) and the first time we met with angela, she said “when i’m baptized….” just casually in the conversation…so this was the first time I had asked, unplanned, someone who had never been asked and who had never thought about it before! and….SHE SAID YES!!!! at first our hearts stopped because she said, “if i’ve already been baptized…” but then she finished with: “can i be baptized again?” we (probably with too much excitement) said yes. she said she hopes her husband will let her–she needs to talk to him about it. so we’re praying for a miracle and said we’re willing to do whatever it takes–talk to him, let him get to know us, etc. because family is the most important and if he says no, she shouldn’t be baptized. but i find comfort in the fact that when king lamoni’s dad found out, he wanted to kill the missionaries, and asked lamoni to do it! then he wanted to kill his son! but when he saw how much the missionaries loved his son, his heart was softened. so hopefully her husband won’t want to kill us haha but i can definitely show him how much i love his wife. she is one of the kindest humans i’ve ever met and i am so happy for her that she has this desire to make the best decision she’ll ever make!!!! sister carver and i walked out of the lesson just overwhelmed with gratitude–for each other, for Raya, for the Gospel and for the restoration of it (which we had just testified about)…it’s the best feeling in the world.

 
funny story!! last night we were on a bus home after visiting a bed-ridden member, Larissa, who is a riot by the way hahaha i love her. but anyways, our new baby greenie elder and i made a pact to contact on the bus home no matter what! we were a little bummed when the bus was empty. literally. haha but then a man got on! and sat by him. so then it was my turn, and a couple got on. we started chatting and one thing led to another and then i don’t even know how it led to this but all the sudden she started singing. then her husband joined. and they weren’t just singing, they were harmonizing and crescendoing and more and more people started to get on the bus, and they just kept going. and they’re singing old traditional russian songs (my favorite) and i am in HEAVEN obviously and can’t smile big enough or believe that this was really happening. and then they were winding down, but i asked if they knew “Katiyoosha” (sp in english?) and of course they did, so they sang it will all their hearts. dreams come true. i had one of those moments, that i have almost everyday, when i just looked around me and realized where i was and what im doing and how much im obsessed with these people and this language and their culture and this country, and i just wanted to yell out the windows of this run down trolley bus: “I LOVE RUSSIA!!!!” and i do. i asked if they were profession, and they said, “no, we just LOVE to sing. we always just sing around the house” (best image in my head).
 
today we woke up to our first snow! attached is a picture. let the enchantment begin!!! also  6 months of sunless frozen land. but honestly, im excited. how many people get to live through a Russian winter? this is my only chance. and i’m going to love it.
1. snow!
2. Irina our BFF
3. cuddle time with sister carver

4. the man in the front right is from the 70 and is Russian and came to our branch conference and is the sweetest funniest human
5. pilgrims
6. pilgrims
7. Elders had another baptism! Round 2 in the Sauna
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