January 5, 2015
All is well,
Russians certainly know how to celebrate New Years... there's been lots of drunks on the streets lately that's for sure! But in Balakovo we have a member with us on the streets every single night, so it's okay :) We had to be inside at 6:00 and I set some good New Years resolutions. However, I think I would have stayed up all night long on New Years if it weren't for my ear plugs. I woke up at 3:00 in the morning and took them out just to see if there were still fireworks going. Russian fireworks sound like bombs... and our neighbors were still bouncing off the walls, playing music at full blast, 3:00 in the morning :) Thank goodness for ear plugs. Somehow my companion can sleep through anything. I can't even sleep if I hear somebody breathing loud, I am the most OCD sleeper. Anyway, interesting facts about Sis Wilson... anyways...
If I could describe the view that I see of Russian people every day... I would say that everyone looks like they are dressed for going sledding or snowboarding all the time. Snowboots, snowpants, patterned snow jackets. It's kind of silly looking to me :) There are also women who are dressed like divas in long fur jackets and high heeled boots. And yes, everyone pretty much wears the same outfit every day, and let's be honest. Every sister missionary has that one skirt that they wear every single day... mine is the grey ruffle j. crew skirt.
This week, what happened? Wellll... Mom your worst nightmare is about to come true :)
I'm leaving Balakovo, and I will be serving in Saratov, Solnochney area. And mom don't you worry one bit! My companion is Sister Busman, she trained sister Martinez, I am really about to get whipped into shape. She's the most obedient sister in the mission,
actually maybe the most obedient missionary in the mission period.
And obedience equals safety, therefore do not worry about me in Saratov :)
I loooove Sister Martinez so so much, we've grown so much together, but we both know that our time together is up, we've seen amazing things in Balakovo, and now it's time for me to leave my cradle. My work in Balakovo is done, and any work that went undone will be made right by the Atonement. I have heard that the area that I am going to right now is struggling a bit and I am really just so excited to work with Sister Busman. It's her last cycle and I know that she is going to work me to death but I am sooo ready for it. I know Sister Busman and the way she works is like a bulldog. If you're wondering what kind of prayers I'm going to be needing... it will be prayers of physical and mental energy. We'll be doing a lot of finding in Saratov!
Remember Sv? She was baptized while I was here, and we have been teaching her parents now. Well the other day we went over to their home and told them that I would be leaving and Sv's father was shifting in his chair and kepting saying, "For good? Are you coming back? Do you have a warm apartment there? Who will you be with?" Then Sv's mother burst into tears and said, "But we're already used to you." Oh it just broke my heart! I am in love with these people, it made me feel so grateful that someone can feel that way about me. It often seems hard to love so fully with this language barrier, but with us speaking to them in their native language they can feel that love so purely. Yes, Russian is hard! But if I won't preach the gospel in Russian then who will? Someone's gotta do it :) And I'm so glad that I was also able to tell my Heavenly Father, "send me!"
Miracles... well about 3 weeks ago my companion and I got off a bus where we had just been yelled at by basically a mob of angry women. We stood there a moment with our heads down and a few seconds later a woman approached us and asked if we were from Germany, we told her no, told her we were from America, and then began to explain our purpose in Russia. She took a Book of Mormon, then almost immediately gave us her phone number and address, and then came to church with us the next day. WOW, what a miracle right? Well we FINALLY got to meet with her this week, and she told us that when she saw us she had a warm feeling come over her and she felt strongly prompted to approach us. I was in shock when I heard that. We hadn't even explained to her who the Holy Ghost is, what he does, and what he feels like, and she pretty much just perfectly described the third member of the Godhead :) That's the first time someone has said something like that to me on my mission! It just built a testimony in me that not only is God real to me, but he is real to all people, if a very literal sense. It really IS the spirit that does the work, and not us, because SHE came up to us. That goes to show me that God really is preparing people. That he does the work. Did Sa. get baptized because of us? No... We didn't even find her, she happened to be the daughter of a woman we met on the street. Actually now that I think about it, the majority of the investigators that we have right now haven't even come up because of our own findings, God has led them all to us. I remember when I first came to Balakovo... and Balakovo is literally overflowing with miralces right now. And I can honestly say that it's not thanks to me! It's all God, he led us to every single person. I'm sad to be leaving during such a special time... but I do know that my work here is done. I am ready for Saratov :)
Enjoy the new year, make new years resolutions and write them down! Otherwise, like Scott Robley used to say, "You have goals? Really? Have you written them down? No...? Ohhhh, so you have wishes!" A goal is a wish until you write it down :)
With Love, Sister Wilson