All is well,
First off something that happened yesterday.... during the devotional Sister Marquis and I were sitting next to each other in the choir. Anyway my pen wasn't working so Sister Marquis told me if I suck on it then ink should start flowing again. I didn't really think it would work, so I sucked, and then sucked again... and surprising got a really interesting taste in my mouth. I made a sour face at sister Marquis and she just cupped her hand to her mouth and started laughing. Apparently I sucked too hard, because I had black ink ALL OVER in my mouth. I had her take a pic so I could see and my tongue was completely black. I looked like a pirate or an old woman with disgusting rotting teeth. It wasn't super easy to get out either, I didn't end up getting it all out til I brushed my teeth that night. I would turn around during the opening hymn and just smile at people super big with the most disgusting black teeth and would get some pretty concerned and sorry looking smiles back at me. We joked about how embarrassing it would be if the cameras zoomed in on me and showed on the jumbotron while we were singing in the choir. Just some poor sister with gingivitis. Sister Marquis is going to Rostov, and is super fun to talk to because she went to high school with me and we hung out with a similar group of friends, but were never friends ourselves. Too bad! Because she is a champion. I love her to death.
Anyyyyway! This week we have planned for a week of miracles. Sister Palmer and I have come up with sacrifices that we are going to make every day until we leave that will help us to be better missionaries. I saw my first miracle on Sunday!
In case you didn't know, I am absolutely terrified of playing piano in front of people... like if I am practicing and somebody walks into the room I start messing up because I get so nervous. Well, Elder Young asked me at the beginning of last week if I could maybe play a solo musical number on Sunday. I told him I'd practice a song, see if it was good enough, and then get back to him. Well... I never found time to practice cause we've just been so busy, and so two days before Sunday he says to me,"you're still playing on Sunday, right?" .....right??? I never said I was going to! But I took courage, put a dumb smile on my face, and said, "yeah I can do it!"
So Sunday rolls around I am just praying so fervently to my Heavenly Father. I told him that I am definitely NOT playing this song for my own glory, I am playing to help others feel the spirit, and I can't do that if I'm messing up the song the whole time. I KNOW you can help me with this and make it perfect. I kept getting reassurances like, sharing talents will increase them, and have faith have faith have faith! I walked up to the piano, hands shaking, and silently praying I'd somehow manage to play despite my nervous state. As I sat down the music flowed through my fingers so naturally, and I took courage! I concentrated everything I had into that song. And the parts where my mind went black? Heavenly Father filled it with other notes that made it nearly impossible to recognize the mistakes. I asked for perfection, and what does he do? Because of course I am not perfect, he makes up for my imperfections, he provided another way to accomplish the task in an even more beautiful way than my way... his way.
That's how I want to do my missionary work ALL the time. I want to concentrate all of my efforts into this, I want to rely on Him fully. Because like I witnessed while playing the piano... I didn't fail, because not once did I doubt him while I was playing, otherwise I would have failed. His abilities are far greater than mine. God is the master piano teacher, he is the master Russian teacher, He is our Heavenly Father and the greatest teacher of all.
I can't believe that I can count on one hand how many days I have left in America. I am so in love with the MTC, I feel like this place is my home. I loooove my district, they all have such character and the most different personalities which always keeps things interesting. But I also can't stay here another week or I am probably going to lose my mind :) Samara needs me, for some reason or another... so Russia, here I come!