We couldn’t decide on which one should be our Christmas Card, so you can decide
This is what we did last P-day and obviously it was a dream come true/the best thing that has ever happened to me. I can’t believe I’ve lived in ryazan for so long without doing this. there’s a museum in the kremlin. and this went down. when i first got to ryazan, i asked the elders about the museum in the kremlin and they said it was boring–WRONG! they didn’t do this. and this could not have been less boring. we got pretty good at making “russian faces” by the end.
this week has been grand! it is now -20 Celcius (whatever that means) and i am finally buckling down and buying “winter boots” today because thin leather is not doing the trick and they’re too tight to layer on socks. but the highlights of my week were carol contacting–the zone leaders were in town for the day and we stood in this plaza and sang christmas hymns and then there was a box of free stuff–like books of mormon and pamphlets and stuff and then one of us would be a wing man kinda and contact those people who would listen. It was SO fun and we all know the best way to spread christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear! 
We’ve also been going tracting more now that it’s freezing and harder to street contact–it’s really cool because they cant contact in moscow because of legal/safety issues but we can in “outer cities”–it’s definitely pushing yourself out of your comfort zone but i love it because it’s really a time when I have to rely completely on the Lord. 
Other highlights: we gave our friend Natalya a Book of Mormon (she was in a picture with me that I sent last week or the week before from our Thanksgiving party) and we’re meeting with her this week to teach her about it. Also for the first time this week we will be teaching this adorable girl form English club who’s 16 but super smart and bright and we’re SO excited! So many Christmas miracles everyday. 
Unfortunately on the other hand, Satan is working hard and everyone, it seems, is sick (except us)…so our Raya hasn’t been able to meet all week and we need to push back her baptismal date, and church was almost empty yesterday. But the Spirit was so strong and I was reminded once again of how important Church is–going every Sunday. It is such a privilege and an honor to take the sacrament. to learn from each other. to ponder. and i’d say almost 90% of the personal revelation I’ve received about big decisions (and often just little ones) have come at church. Yesterday our humble branch president spoke about the commandments and more specifically about tithing. We will be teaching Raya these things this week and trying to prayerfully plan how to do it in the best way, and our branch president was an answer to our prayers–he spoke about Laws of the land, laws of man. and then the Laws of God. And it’s so true! if there was a Russian law that we had to come to church every week and take the Sacrament, we would! we wouldn’t think twice about it. We wouldn’t say, “i;ll try” or “if i’m not tired, i’ll go” or “if the weather’s not too bad.” NO no no! you do not mess with Russian law. ever. But what about God’s law? do we make excuses and rationalize? do we think that the consequences are worth it? the consequences of missing out on the blesssings of the Lord. of not being worthy to have the Spirit with us. of not receiving exaltation and living with our families and with God forever? Is it really worth it to break the law if it means prison? Is it really worth is to break God’s law, the commandments? NO! and these laws are not from Man, they never change, they are never selfish or corrupt. They will never exploit you. They are eternal and designed by a loving Heavenly Father who is omnipotent and knows everything. Who wants to protect you and guide you and bless you. I can’t WAIT to teach Raya these things.ImageImageImageImageImage