June 29, 2015
All is well.....
This week was absolutely insane. So Sister Twede was supposed to be serving with us because her companion didn't get her visa, but apparently there was a mix up. President Schwab wrote the MTC about the trainee not getting her visa, and a couple hours later President gets a call from the MTC and says, "We have a problem..... that sister that apparently did not get her visa, just landed in the Samara Airport 20 minutes ago." That poor girl landed in Samara with no greeting party. I can't imagine how scary that would be, especially because she was all alone! But some people noticed that she was a bit distressed and let her use their phone and she was able to get a hold of the Schwabs and the Schwabs let her know that they were coming to get her. So, Sister Twede is not in a trio with us, however that would have made for quite an interesting companionship seeing that we are all the oldest sisters in the mission. By the way, my star of a companion, Sister Sotnikova is sister training leader. She has been beaming the last few days, it has been so fun to see how happy the responsibility makes her.
Next cycle 6 new sisters are coming in. And By October half of the mission will be filled with missionaries who have been out 2 months or less. That is crazy. As of right now there are 51 missionaries here and pretty much all the senior couples are going home in the next 2-3 months, so sad :( They might have to call some office missionaries.
Tuesday and Wednesday are always contacting days here in this area. They can sometimes be verrrry long, but I have gotten used to contacting 7 hours a day :) Uuuuuhhhhhhhhh tell me about the heat. It's like 105 degrees here I swear. I am costantly soaking wet. Thank GOODNESS we have been contacting in the mornings. I would die if we weren't allowed to do that. We have A/C in our apartment, one of the only apartments that does have A/C and it is a HUGE blessing. Seriously I remember last summer how hard it was to fall asleep because you were so hot, and yes we had fans blowing on us all night. It probably doesn't help to fight to heat that I drink burning hot tea and eat hot Russian borsch every day... By the way, here in Russian the sun starts coming up at like 2:30, it's really interesting. The sun is already up by 4:00.
On the way to the airport I was with a couple missionaries I had never met and some who are really new. Man, I love love looove the missionaries in this mission. They are all such champions, I feel like on a mission its such a privilege to be around other missionaries because we are all trying to be as Christlike as possible out here. I couldn't help but laugh at some of the topics that came up... talking about Marshootka drag races (Marshootkas are these EXTREMELY old and broken down buses that are just filthy and usually in really poor condition). And also, talking about "Bab squads". More than often, sitting right outside of every apartment is a group of about 4-6 babushkee. They just sit outside on these benches all day long and chat with each other, and every time you try to get into the apartment building they ask who you are, why you are trying to get in the building, and who you are going to. They either end up being your best friends or they hate you :)
|Sister Sotnikova and Sister Wilson|
On Thursday we had a visa trip to Lativa, I was supposed to be on a flight with Elder Graf to Moscow and then to Kiev, but the APs called me and told me that that was a mistake... and that I'd be leaving 4 hours later than everyone else on a flight to Moscow and then to Lativa. I was a bit bummed actually when they told me that because I'd been working myself up to see him. But, God awards us according to our desires and provided a way ;) When we landed in Moscow, turns out that Elder Graf's group going home to America had a really long layover and we ended up running into them. However he had gone to get some food with another elder and some of the other missionaries going home stayed to watch over their belongings. Our group going to Lativa had a 2 hour layover ourselves, so we just plopped ourselves down with them and decided to wait and surprise him. A few minutes later he came walking up with his companion and a big smile on his face. Oh man it was SO WEIRD seeing him in the beginning, it was like, are you a real person standing right in front of me? I haven't seen him in 2 years!! He's been such a good missionary, so hard working and all missionaries love him so much, especially the mission president. It's impossible to cover 2 years in twenty minutes, but we were able to do some good catching up. He's still one of my closest friends and it was such a blessing to be able to see him on his way home. So interesting to know that the next time I will be in that airport, I too will be going home.
Our area is really struggling right now... and our investigators really just aren't progressing much or taking things as seriously as we'd like them too. I am praying that we'll find some new investigators this week.
I am so so grateful for my mission. There's nothing I'd trade this experience for. I'm grateful for opposition, I am grateful for the good and the bad days here. I am grateful for bitter and for sweet, because the contrast with it all just makes everything so much richer.
Be good :)
Love, Sister Wilson