First of all.... I cannot believe that it is already NOVEMBER. What on earth happened to October?! Time is flyyyying. Anyway. This week has been amazing. I feel like I've said this a thousand times, but it will never cease to amaze me the amount of events that can take place in just one week, or in just one day. I have had so many mission/life changing experiences this week and I feel like the Spirit is really taking over.
On Tuesday my companion and I took an 8 hour bus right up to Samara. We stayed at one of the sister's apartments with 7 other sisters. At 1:00 a.m. there were 5 new sister missionaries straight out of the mission field who joined us. Later that night at 4:00 a.m. 3 of the sisters had to wake up to go on a visa trip..... soooo it wasn't the best night's sleep I've ever had :)
The 5 new sisters had training all day, but that night I got to take two of them out for their first night hitting the streets in Russia. Honestly that probably one of the best memories that I have had on my entire mission. I served with Sisters Johnson and Warnick. And I don't know what happened that night... I honestly think that Heavenly Father wanted them to have a good impression of Russia for their first day because everyone that we talked to was on their best behavior. They had new missionary written all over their faces and the biggest smiles for each person we talked to. Half of me is really sad that I'm not training one of them. I have never seen young missionaries with so much zeal and excitment for the work. It really rekindled a fire that has been dying in me. That night I spent a good amount of time on my knees thanking my Father in Heaven for such an amazing experience. It was just what this old missionary needed to get me going again. My heart was full of gratitude and I went to sleep with a big smile on my face :)
That night we had 12 sisters in that small apartment and the next day after they all left it was just absolutely filthy... and we'd be staying 2 more days still. So we spent some time cleaning things up. Also sister Thomas joined us and the cleaning went way faster with three people :) The worst part was cleaning the sink.... which smelled like rotting fish. Gotta love it.
We are now back in Kazan with the 3 of us and things couldn't be better :) we've been working so hard and it's been so fun. We loooove having Sister Thomas with us. She's on her third cycle and just came out of training, just like Sister Neilsen. She's from California and has a cute southern accent even though she claims that she doesn't. She's a little fresh spice to our companionship :) We've only been together about 5 days total, but so far it's been pretty refreshing! Everyone complains about being in a trio, but it seems pretty great so far! Working with new missionaries has done so much to strengthen my faith. I feel like our companionship is so strong. We all love each other and are always supporting bearing one another's burdens and with three of us I feel like it's really easy to work fearlessly.
I've never seen so many miracles on my mission. I feel like a flood of them are coming and I honestly believe that part of it is because of the faith of these new missionaries. Something that I've really been trying to do lately is studying the Spirit in the Book of Mormon and the way that he works. I've been trying to pay close attention to his still small voice, because really I feel like that's something that will really come in handy when I get home and face problems that I forgot existed :) He'll tell me what to do.
And actually.... last night we had plans to go visit a less active. I wasn't feeling right about it, so I called to make sure it would be okay if we came over. She said yes, so we got on the bus and we on our way, however about 20 minutes later we get a call from her and she cancelled our appointment. So that was a little bit of confirmation from the Spirit. We decided to go knocking instead and switch things up a bit. Going knocking in huge Russian apartment buildings is actually one of the sketchiest things I've ever done in my life. So many men answer the door in nothing but their underwear and a chain necklace with a cross nestled in their hair chests. Never ceases to be amusing. Well our genius companion sister Thomas chose the building and what do ya know... the last door we knock on, we meet our miracle :) A 55 year old man opens the door, he was so kind, but wanted to know nothing about our religion and hands us a book he wanted to give us... turns out he wrote it. Then we gave him a Book of Mormon and asked him if we could teach him a 10 minute lesson. After warming up to us and seeing that we're harmless he gladly let us into his house. This man is a genius, and a little odd :) He just had graphs and charts hanging all over the place full of theories he's thought of. We taught him the Restoration and he understood everything. He was a little hesitant to pray at the end but promised he would pray for lesson number 2 :) He believes in science, but he also believes that there are some things that science just can't explain. We'll be coming over this week on Thursday.
Heavenly Father is pouring out his spirit on this part of the vineyard. I have never had more lessons planned for this next week than I have had my entire mission. People are popping up all over the place, and we're meeting sooo many more people with a third companion, especially with us all transport contacting. People have been calling us themselves and we're working with part member families and it's just AMAZING. I'm so so grateful, what a perfect way to end my mission :) God is so good.
The next few weeks are just going to fly. I know it. I have exchanges with the sisters in Toliatti next week, and then the week after there is zone conference, then the week after that the sisters from Penza are coming down to Kazan on a 15 hour train ride... and one of those sisters is sister Warnick, I'm so pumped to work with her again, we really hit it off well I'm not gonna lie. I'm so sad that I don't get to spend more time with some of these super cool people. All good things have to end!
I love my mission. Always will.
I know that Christ is my brother.
And I know that God delivers us from our afflictions
if we have faith in Christ :)