family!!! you know what’s ridiculous? the fact that today is july 1st. that is preposterous.

tomorrow i meet the new mission president at the mission leadership conference in the mission home and i can’t wait. it’s still very  strange that the sorensons are gone and i alreadymiss them so much and just realized i actually don’t have any pictures of them except for the big mission picture…so sad. but i know the Borders will be wonderful! they are from washington and i’ll tell you more about them after i meet them.

BREAKING NEWS!!!!! the killers came to moscow on tour and Brandon Flowers gave a devotional on thursday night and missionaries could come if we brought investigators so we would laugh and say, “let’s go killers contacting” and we invited everyone we knew and we had like 6 people come and it was life changing. i never even knew that i was a killers fan! i was never a not-fan, but i never really listened to them on purpose and now that’s all i want to do (but i’m still just jamming to motab of course). but yep. now i’m the killers’ number one fan and i will go to ALL of their concerts when i get home.

Brandon was so normal and humble and kind. He wasn’t an eloquent speaker or anything but it was as if he was just chatting with his friends and he is secretly so funny. but american sarcasm doesnt translate so us missionaries were craaaacking up (especially me) and the russians were kinda confused haha but they understood when he talked about his testimony and stuff. i didn’t really know what to expect because the word “fireside” doesn’t translate so people just told us that Brandon Flowers was going to come and speak and i didn’t know if he was going to sing or if it was going to be a q&a (whih\ch it was at the end), but he walked in in his shirt and tie holding his scriptures and i realized it was going to be way better than i expected and it was! he talked about his family and his dad’s conversion provesss-he was a catholic and worked at a grocery store and after a decade of saying no (because his wife was a member), he knelt down in the back produce room and prayed about the book of mormon and said he felt the spirit from his toes to his head.

Brandon talked a lot about living in the world of sex, drugs, and rock and roll but just making the choice….he just chose to not get involved and shared his very simple recipe: he goes to church at EVERY opportunity he can, he stays away from pornography, he reads his scriptures and watches general conference talks in his hotel room sometimes, and mormon messages, he tries really hard not to swear haha etc. etc. he is such a good example and so open and honest. he said he watched an interview with brad pitt where brad said that religion is just suffocating and it reminded brandon of something he read in one of his favorite books: Jesus the Christ. James E. Talmage said that because He was sinless, Christ was truly free. And brandon said that he decided to go with James on this one–sorry Brad. Brandon talked about how he loved that idea—and he wanted to be free….truly free…so he decided to make changes and try to follow Christ.

He talked about how often people say that religion is designed for the poor who just need to cling to the hope of a better world, but he talked about growing up in poor and humble circumstances and just knowing that the faith of his family was not because of these circumstances, but rather because the Holy Spirit of God had told them that it is true. He said that now that he’s on the other side of things, he is more and more aware that wealth does not bring happiness and does not suffice or replace faith. The happiest people he knows are the Havens, a regular family in his home ward in henderson nevada. It was so cool to hear his thoughts and his testimony and to shake his hand and get a picture with him. I wish i could send it to you–curse these computers in the post office!

anyways, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and im so grateful.

speaking of graatefuul, yesterday we got to watch the missionary broadcast in sunday schoool/relief society in russian and it was realllly long and i felt bad that we had twopeople with us as church for the first time and it was probably really confusing and intense to be at church for 3.5 hours but i felt the Spirit so strong, and i hope they did, too. when they showed those video clips with the music, i was just overwhelmed with the Spirit and with gratitiude–as it showed children singing “I hope they call me on a mission” and it showed them preparing from such a young age–in the home and at church, in young womens, etc. etc. i couldn’t help picturing such a montage of my life and everything and everyone that helped me prepare for THIS. i am living my dream! and everything i ever learned and felt and experienced, thought, said, did, influenced my decision to serve and influences the way i serve. I remembered in the mtc in our zone at church all of the sisters sang, “the armies of helaman” in russian, but we switched to English as we sang the words, “and we are NOW the Lord’s missionaries to bring the world His truth” and I remember how i felt then and i still feel the same way—so honored, so blessed, so grateful—grateful for the magnitude of the trust of God in me. SO grateful for every young women’s leader, primary, sunday school,  seminary, and MTC teacher. so grateful for my parents and siblings and friends. so grateful for the companionship of the Holy Ghost. And most importantly, SO grateful for the One whose name I wear next to mine–that of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World and my Savior.

I can’t believe that I am here–in Russia–doing what I’m doing. I’m in just as much of a daze as nicole is. Nicole, i love you and am praying for you!

I hope you all have a wonderful week….and you should all listen to the killers. how about magdalena.

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