i wanted to say this last week but i forgot—DAD. i’ve been thinking about you a lot and as I pray i just feel so overwhelmed with gratitude and just truly thank the Lord for you and for your devotion. devotion to mom and devotion to us and then i realized that it all goes back to your devotion to God. thank you!! i love and miss you so much!!

and mom. i haven’t forgotten about you. this morning i read something in personal study and it made me just beam with pride because my mama is not just a teacher, she’s the best teacher in the world. and  teaches at school, at church, and at home–the most important school of all. so this is for you mama: “teaching is the noblest profession in the world. upon the proper education of youth depend the permanency and purity of the home, the safety and perpetuity of the nation. the parent gives a child an opportunity to live; the teacher enables the child to live well” -President David O. McKay.

my parents are the coolest. have SO much fun in costa rica and BLAKE take soooo many pictures, okay? i got a little teary eyed reading what dad said about how you taught in Deacon’s quorum about the sacrament and how special it is to you to be graced with honor to pass it. you truly are representing the Lord and everytime i show people pictures of you, i say, “vot, nastayashee angel” which means, “Look, a real life angel” that’s you blake. i love you.

kev–i’ve been praying for you and i hope you nailed all your finals and take care of tyler and andy on the trip hhahaha sister carver is the best and is now in on all inside jokes i have with all humans because we’ve spent so much time together and we are One and so she sometimes quotes tyler and says, “you’re grounded” hahaha and speaking of tylers and inside jokes—tyler, lauren, maddie, carley & co, sister carver and i always say, “happy 6 month anniversary my babe. oooooo i love you”…ESPECIALLY when it real life was our anniversary in russia. we said it all day. tis the best.
anyways, here is a scripture that i’ve been thinnking about recently: “cast all your cares unon the Lord, for He careth for you.” i can’t think of more beautiful words and a more beautiful truth. i don’t have access to my scriptures and forgot to write down the reference but i thiiiiink it’s philipians 4 sometime before the :i can do all things with Christ who strengtheneth me” verse. or something like that.

anyways, this week was grand. we went to smolensk round 2 and it was awesome and on saturday we got permission to switch our p-day kind of (so i’ll be hitting the streets after i write to you) because we have these people we’re starting to teach and they;re a couple and they’ve been together for 6 years and they remind me SO much of kieran and ange. they are seriously the russian kieran and ange and so obviously im obsessed with them and always want to be with them. They’re names are aksana and yuri and they work on mondays but they really wanted to show around town and adventure with us and they have a car which is realllllly unusual and so they picked us up and we went to all of these different parks and we bladed and picniced and strolled and it was SO fun! moscow parks are UNREAL and it was kinda rainy and we’re just surrounded by forests and it smells so good and is so green. it’s even more green and foresty than new hampshire!! i was in heaven.

then saturday night we were joined by our ksyoosha. she leaves for her mission tomorrow (she’s going to the spain mtc and then to the st petersburg mission) and she got set apart last night and she’s staying with us and we’re in a threesome kind of and it’s the best!! nicole, it’s given me a tiny taste of what it would be like to serve with a native. it’s so awesome doing EVERYTHING in russian–ccompanionship study, chatting before bed, everything. and she’s such an incredible example and we’ve felt the Spirit SO strongly just flooding us these last few days. We forgot she’d be with us sunday and already set us a lesson with a member present so it turned out to kind of just be a lesson with double members present because ksyoosha (now sister krooshkina) wasn’t set apart yet. We taught about the Atonement’s role in the Plan of Salvation and it was so incredible. I was just so touched as I studied and prepared and then taught and testified. I know that Jesus Christ is the reason that I am who I am and that I am where I am and I’m without end, eternally grateful. I can’t describe it for even a second. but nastya, the girl we taught, stayed for all three hours of church after our lesson. it was incredible, and the first speaker in sacrament meeting stood up and said, “today i would like to speak on the Plan of Salvation. And i want to specifically focus on the Atonement” hahah we just started laughing! the Lord is so aware of us!
After church we booked it to a lesson with the chinese family we’re teaching and sister krooshkina was with us AND the only chinese member in moscow, Mike. hahhahhahahah sooo much miscommunication happened. we thought we were going over to their apartment ffor dinner. mike was an hour late. it was pouring rain. and turns out they live in a tiny flat with tons of other families so there were too many of us and they planned on us just meeting at the park but it was raining so we stood in between the two sliding doors of a grocery store (like you walk through sliding doors and then there are grocery carts and then another set of sliding doors into the store) and mike and the mom just ratttttled off in chinese and would laugh and point at us hahha but in a friendly way? and then randomly they’d say something in english to us like, “ohhhh i really like eat beer” hahah so we were like, “ohh okay so they’re talking about the word of wisdom now” hahahha it was the funniest times. and me and sister carver and sister krooshkina just chatted in broken english with the father and played with the baby. they are the best. and want to learn more! they have zero religious background but are so open and kind and we love their family SOOO much. mike is from taiwan (shout out to caleb!) but is leaving for a vacation in sweden for a month and we’re doomed!!! maybe they can skype with chinese members or missionaries? i don’t know. we brought them a book of mormon in chinese but it was in traditional chinese so we need to get a simple chinese one. crazy stuff. chinese is hysterical to listen to.

anyways, i am happier than ever.

right now we are in the shmancy “computer lounge” because the post office is closed and this is the only one we can find but we are alone in this huge room with dimmed lights and big screen computers and french music and velvet arm chairs hahahhahahah it’s hysterical.

anyways, i love yoU!!!!! have a great week!