SO i can’t send pictures from nastya’s baptism but let me just tell you, it was one of the most sacred experiences of my life–just the Spirit there. I literally can’t even imagine my wedding day because i don’t think anything could be happier than this day–the day of nastya’s baptism! she received the Holy Ghost yesterday and left today for italy for ten days and my heart definitely broke into a million pieces saying goodbye to her yesterday because she comes back two days after the transfer and who knows where i’ll be. honestly it’s not real to me at all that in a week, i will begin my last transfer as a full-time representative of the Lord in russia. it fills my whole body with kind of an ache. and transfers are always a surprise, but this time it’s just so weird that MAYBE yesterday i just said goodbye to someone who has changed my life forever or MAYBE i’ll see her in 10 days. MAYBE i’ll see troy simmons at church a week from sunday and i’ll translate the meetings for him, or MAYBE he’ll just meet sister carver without me. so so strange.
but i was so touched my our little nicky’s email, and SO proud to read about her via that other sister missionary. i am so so jealous that that sister gets to be with MY sister. nicole, i want to be you when i grow up. i wish you could be my trainer. i’m so excited to hear what’s going to happen to you and who your next companion will be.
yesterday in relief society, the lesson was in unity and we talked about unity in the moscow stake and in the arbatski ward and in our relief society and then in our families. I raised my hand and told about the power of prayer. I unexpectedly got a little emotional as I testified about the reality of prayer and it’s ability to unify and bind us as families. I talked about how though i’m on the polar opposite side of the world, i have never felt closer to my family. i have never felt more gratitude towards them. i have never felt so unified. I am so strengthened hearing from you each week and my heart is always just so filled with humility–i am so humbled to be a part of our family. your stories and your testimonies and your faith embolden me and i feel your support. And my heart is so full as i think about all those memories of us kneeling as a family in prayer–praying for each other. and now i think about my family praying for me and for those i teach and for my companion….i think about siena and avenlea reminding each other to pray for their aunts on missions and tears just stream down my face. I really reallly feel those prayers. I need them. I know that i have been so safe, so protected, so healthy, so happy, so strong, so blessed, because of your prayers. I know those i have taught have felt your prayers–though they don’t know it. and i’m praying for you!! and i hope you feel it. and i talked about how right now, sister carver and i are a little family and our companionship is so unified as we pray together and when i pray personally, i pray specifically for her and for her family and i know she does the same. I know that as we turn to the Lord and show Him our desire to be unified as a family, He will bind us together. Whenever I talk about how the Gospel blesses families, I use my finger to make a point in the air that represents the Lord. and as we grow closer to the Lord as inidividuals (my hands move in upwards towards each other to make a triangle kinda…can’t explain it), we grow closer to each other. I know that that’s true.
before Nastya was baptized, she said to sister carver and I, “I’ve been thinking about why you are here….and I think you are here to gather spiritual families” what an honor! to gather spiritual families. that is so true. and my testimony of that has been strengthened one hundredfold throughout my life as I felt the unity and unique love and closeness we have in the marina hills ward–we really really are a ward family. traveling together as a family, we were able to feel the same Spirit and right at home, even if we were in Mexico or in Hawaii or peru. Nicole and I felt so much love for the 8 people who were at church in galway in a little rented office room. at byu it wasn’t as hard to be away from home, because i had a spiritual family there. and i can’t even begin to explain the kinship and the eternal relationships i have formed with people here in russia…they are my family. nastya is my sister and we are eternally soul sisters. the youth here in moscow inspire me so much and the babooshky treat us as their own. I feel so at home here, so much peace, so much unity and love.
i am so so happy. and im so happy that our family will be together forever. i really love you, and best yet, i really like you!