Friday, February 13, 2015

Saratov - Week 3 - "Russian bus rides"

January 26, 2015
All is well :)

I used to think that maybe it would be cool to get one of 
those pictures where the frost is all along your eye lashes because it's so cold outside and you know why? I really couldn't care less if that happened, I don't want it to get any colder! I am staying really warm every where but Russian winter really stings your face! However, the way that I start out probably every conversation on the bus is by saying, "Holy moly is it always so cold here in Russia?!" it always gets them... they hear my accent, laugh, and then it starts things all nice and naturally :) speaking about buses... I think that Russians could fit 300 people onto one bus if they wanted to. The other day was so crowded that I was just nice and snug and comfy with 1,000 other bodies around me, and I didn't even have to hold onto anything while we were riding :) then I looked over at my companion and she was so smushed that she couldn't move her arms from her sides at all, and the best part was that her hat had come down over her face so she couldn't seen anything either. 150 people on one bus, and ALL OF THEM are silent except my companion and me, we just couldn't help but laugh at how ridiculous it was. (no one talks on buses, ever, it is always a silent ride, and if you do talk sometimes people will turn around and ask you to be quiet, as if we are in a library) 

I have noticed that I feel the spirit much more in abundance when I study something about the Savior during my personal studies. Sometimes we just read the scriptures or conference talks, and it's wonderful, and we feel the spirit and peace, but studying specifically about Christ really has helped me to take more out of my studies. 
I have specifically learned a few valuable things about faith this week. In PMG on page 62 it says, "Having faith causes us to try as hard as we can to learn about and become more like our Savior. We want to learn what His commandments are and then obey them." 
What shocked me a little bit here is that it says, "we WANT to learn what his commandments are, and then obey them." As we develop faith in Christ we actually will want to know God's commandments, probably because we are excited to see the results as we exercise our faith in Christ. That really helped me this week knowing that the more faith I have in Christ, the more of a desire I will have to keep any rules and be obedient.

Well. I think the fact that my companion and I still happen to keeps smiles on our face even though it is -25 degrees outside is a miracle. But a real miracle happened yesterday. The elders have been teaching a young boy who has agreed to be baptized in a week. There was a baptism at the branch building yesterday and this boy's mother came to check things out, her name is F. F watched the baptism and we were shocked when she turned around and had tears running down her cheeks. She apologized and said she didn't really understand what she was crying for. I would have to say that getting investigators to baptisms is one of the most important things that will help investigators to desire to be baptized themselves. She was so touched by the spirit and we explained to her where the feeling came from. It's amazing the way that the spirit works on people, all we had to do was get her to the baptism and the spirit did the rest! We will be meeting with her tonight at a member's place. She is so ready to be baptized :) 

This is F and her son :) This is also probably why I have gained so much weight out here.... We went over to have a lesson at their place the other day and just wanted to tell her what baptism means for her son, and were horrified to see this display of food... oh man. Mom you bet I used my magnesium that night.  

Our mission is about to get reeeally young. 14 missionaries go home this cycle. And then 4 sisters go home next cycle. Trust me that's A LOT. We we only have about 16 sisters after that. 

I wish you all a warm winter in America :)

Love, Sister Wilson. 

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