Thanks for all the Bday wishes! I have the best family. Mom and Dad, that is so crazy you met a lady from Chili in Ruidoso, definitely a coincidence! She is very Russian looking. And yes, Russian women are gorgeous, and they all say that Russia has the prettiest girls in the world. Yay for me... : ) I have come to just love Russia a lot and I think I want to do something with it after my mission, if only I could learn the language better. I speak about as well as my new companion who has studied it for two years, but my grammar couold use a lot of work and so could my accent. It's a very beautiful language though.
Joe and Katie, I'm keeping you in my prayers : ) Hope everything goes well with your delivery-- you're gonna have three kids soon! How awesome. You are so amazing! The Bear is moving out? How sad! I'm sure it's for the best though. I like the idea of using film to help her clients Dad, what a good idea. I can't believe Colin is already submitted and ready to go!! Wow! My guess is South America or somewhere Spanish speaking... we'll see! Does he have a preference?
Let's see, where to begin... my new companion is Sister Schill, and she is doing such a great job for her first week in the country! She is from Virginia, is 6'1, already knows Russian, has lived in Ukraine as an English teacher for 5 months, has lived in France and England, and has been to just about every place in the world you can imagine. So, needless to say, she hasn't really had to adjust much at all, and it helps that she already can speak pretty good Russian. She has a lot of good desires, and is very sweet and easy to get along with. She is a very intelligent girl, and she has a very good knowledge of the scriptures. I feel really lucky to be training her, and I hope I can set a good example so she will know how to be good missionary for the Lord. She is a double major at BYU in Art and Chemistry.... yep. Very smart : ) I attached the usual first day photo with her and I at the Mission President's home.
Well, Sunday was a gret day. We had Brother Arkadia Kozman come to Church on Sunday! I almost didn't believe it when I daw him come! I think I told you about him. He is the older man who lives alone, his wife passed away, and he has a drinking problem? He is a less-active member that missionaries have been working with forever. He keeps promising to come, but then he doesn't show-up, or even if we drop-by his house before Church, he will make some sort of excuse for not being able to come, like he doesn't have a white shirt, he's sick, etc. Sister Hanks and I both felt impressed that we needed to make a focus on him because everyone in the Branch seemed to have given-up faith in him. Well, after a lot of hard work trying to get him to feel the Spirit again, he came, and he is already talking about coming again next week. He is a little older, and he still walked by himself to the Branch about an hour away by foot. So, we need to keep praying for him and working with him and getting the member's involved. We've talked to our Branch President a lot about him, and he sems very willing to help. And, his neighbors are three younger member girls, Liza, Lena, and Anya Kaigorodavi, so they are wiling to do FHE's together with us. We love him a lot and are happy to see his little progress. We just need to make sure he keeps progressing!
Sister Schill and I planned a really great lesson for Lena on Saturday, but she called during our English Club and said she couldn't make it becasue her parents surprised her and came into town. Her parents live about three hours away in a small little village, and she invited us to come over to her apartment and meet them instead. We were able to sit and talk with them for about 35 minutes. It was such a blessing! I know Lena's family is really important to her, and I know that us meeting them gave her more courage to change, because they seemed to approved of us. They would be a great family to teach if the were here in our area. Lena has already mentioned that her Dad believes in God, and that when she is home at her parent's house, he like to read the BOM a little, and is interested in what Lena learns from us.
What else.... I wasn't in my area all week until Thursday mid-day, so there is a lot of catch-up to do, which means we should be busy, like usual. I really love this work. I'm starting to feel more relaxed and confident in the work. Not really confident in myself, but confident in the Lord and that he really is with me every step of the way. I'm always striving to try and strengthen my relationship with Him, so that the work feels less like work, and so I can feel more peace with myself and with whatever happens in life. I know my relationship with Him can be stronger, and that's probably my biggest desire, to know my Heavenly Father and Savior better. I feel like I have already come such a long way with this, and it is exciting to see little glimpses of how the Lord has changed me already. I feel so blessed. Really.
Have a great week!