SIENA!!!!!!! IT WAS YOUR BIRTHDAY!! I am so grateful for you. You are my number one favorite human and I want to be with you all day everyday. I love your passion for…everything. I love your big hugs and kisses. I love your precociousness and your big words. I love your dance moves. I love your desire to follow Jesus and choose the right. I love how much you love Avenlea and take care of her. I love your imagination and your drawings (the butterfly you painted is hanging on our apartment wall). I hope you had the best birthday ever and it’s crazy that I’ll be home to celebrate your next birthday with you!
 
NICOLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I could NOT be happier for you! I will never forget the moment I found out (mostly because I recorded it)…but I tell EVERYONE i see/meet/who’s within ear shot about my little nicky going to argentina. I can’t wait to hear all about how you’re feeling! is it hard to concentrate in class? do you just wikipedia argentina all day long? you know that’s all i ever did after I got my call…I’ve just wanted to call you so badly this last week–I want to hear your voice and hear all about it..did you record opening it? can you send it to me?? What was your immediate reaction? did anyone guess argentina?? It’s so nice you’re going to the MTC for my Birthday present!
 
it was so fun for me to hear about your time with vladimir! thank you SO SO SO Much! for battling LA traffic etc. to make sure his dreams came true haha and im glad he didn’t shower all week because now you know more about the smells of russia haha gotta love it…. We all miss Vladimir so much…I probably say it at least once a day. Things are just not the same without him.
 
Right now I am dressed as a pilgrim, as is Sister Carver. Keeping the tradition alive. we’re making a feast at the Ottleys…and I am obviously overwhelmed with gratitude. I don’t know where to possibly start or how I could possibly finish if I started to list all of the things I’m grateful for so today I’ll just say that I’m grateful for trials. I’ve learned that weeks of highs are usually followed by weeks of lows, and that’s because humility is always combatted with pride and vice versa. This last week has been a week of trials, but I’m so grateful because it led Sister Carver and I to a point yesterday where we simply resolved to change. You know what they say, always gotta make Thanksgiving Resolutions. or something like that. So that’s it. we’re going to stop making excuses and we’re going to be the missionaries we always dreamed we’d be and that the Lord needs us to be. We’re going to be brave and talk to more people..even if it’s quiet on the marshootka and it’s awkward–are we really scared of awkwardness? NO. we are dressed as pilgrims right now. anyways, I am SO beyond thankful for all of you and love you so much.
 
1. ryazan. statue of sergei ecennina (sp in english?) –famous poet
2. me being sergei. nailed it.
3. the top word means “mission”–we were so excited when we walked past this
4. elder merrill leaving us.

5. elder brasier leaving us (he leaves next week and he’s my best friend. besides sister carver. im depressed/have a hard time with change still)
6. sister mcdaniel!!! she’s a transfer behind me and we lived together in the mtc and she’s my SOUL sister/kindred spirit/bosom friend and i got to see her for the FIRST time since i left the mtc, this last friday at sister’s conference in moscow.
7. russia
8. FINALE!!!! HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!!!

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