Hey, hey, hey, everyone!
GUESS WHAT?! 6 MONTHS! I've been on a mission for 6 months! Crazy!
It's been a long, long, long week. I'm exhausted. Last night, I just crashed. I was whipped. I had nothing left to give. So, we took a night and recouped, talked about the MTC a little bit, cracked some jokes, watched Legacy. It helped a lot, actually.
It all started last Monday. We met with Dima again; it went really well. We had a mini testimony meeting, talked about families, told him to read the Book of Mormon. He asked when we could meet again, we invited him to a baptism on Saturday, he said he'd go. It was all peachey! He even gave a Book of Mormon to his other friend, also named Dima. haha. A couple days later we invited him to our culture night and he agreed to go to that too. Needless to say, we were pretty excited.
The next few days were spent dropping by less actives, including a family in our branch called the Aydarovs. They've been members for years and years, but they've got a bit of a problem with alcohol. We dropped by and had a pretty good meeting with them. Every time we visit, they promise to quite drinking, they promise to come to church, they promise they know it's all true. It's exhausting, actually. haha. Lots of crying, lots of interrupting. We ended up stopping by the next day to see how they were doing and they were completely sober. It was great! Both the wife and husband were up and about, cracking jokes, laughing, reading the Book of Mormon. I thought it would be a good idea to invite them to the same baptism we invited Dima to. They jumped at the opportunity and promised that they wouldn't drink. When we left, I actually thought it might happen.
The next day was district meeting/sisters interviews/CULTURE NIGHT! We spent the whole day in Central Saratov with the zone leaders and the rest of our district. A few hours before the show we got a call from Dima asking if his friend (Dima) could go instead of him. Apparently he really wanted to meet with the missionaries. So, we agreed. We headed over to the theater to see MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING! My favorite play in the whole entire world! Dima got there a bit late, but it all worked out. The play was interesting...I think they tried to be a little too edgy. Also, it was in Russian. Shakespeare...in Russian. I was exhausted. We rode the bus home with Dima and invited HIM to the baptism too. He said he'd try to come, but he couldn't promise anything.
The next day we were out contacting and got a call from a man named Viktor, asking if we could meet him. When I asked when, thinking it would be in 2 or 3 days, he said, "Well, now?" We met with him at a cafe by our house and he proceeded to tell us that he met with missionaries starting at age 16 at his father's request. Since then, he's always been interested. He said he had no interest in becoming a member of the church, but he wanted to understand our doctrine more. He's a doctor with a wife and baby boy; he really wants to move to Canada since doctors aren't paid very well here. He asked to meet with us once a week-we agreed. We asked him to read the Book of Mormon-he agreed. We asked him if he'd be baptized if he found out if was true-he said anything was possible!
After that we headed over to the Aydarovs to pick them up for the baptism. When we got there I couldn't tell if they were drunk or not, but the insisted on going to the baptism. While we were walking outside, I asked Sasha, the husband, if they'd been drinking and he said they had. SO, I conviced the wife to come back inside after she started throwing a fit in the middle of the sidewalk, and met with them back at their apartment. Sister Moffatt and I were both pretty disappointed. We both love this family a lot, but they just keep messing up. In the middle of our lesson with them, Dima #2 called and asked where we were. He told us he was at the church already, waiting for the baptism! We jumped on a bus and got there as fast as we could, but when we got there, he was gone. At that point, I just didn't have the energy to deal with him, so I told him we'd deal with him later (in nicer language than that). After the call, I went to the bathroom to breathe for a minute, and Natasha, the girl who had just been baptized, came out and asked me to brush her freshly baptized hair. Honestly, it was just what I needed. She was so clean and innocent. You could just FEEL how pure she was. I almost cried. Haha. I hope she remembers that moment.
So, while the Dima we wanted at the baptism wasn't there, and the other Dima bailed as well, and the Aydarovs were drunk, we still got to be a part of it. :)
After the baptism, Elder Long hit me in the face with a snowball. That has nothing to do with the story. I just had to throw it in there.
The next day was church as usual. I made a fool of myself when the sunday school teacher asked me what happened to Lucifer after the council in heaven and I couldn't explain what I was trying to say. In English OR in Russian. Whatever. Haha.
Anywho, it's just been a long, long week. I just feel like things were pulling at us from every direction-investigatos, members, less actives, people on the street. All I wanted to do last night was curl up in bed and watch a movie. BUT, the night is always darkest before the dawn. I can only expect that we're about to see something cool. We just have to hold out a little longer.
I feel like I just rambled this whole letter. I'm sorry! It's been a scattered week, but we're better today. This week should be an interesting one. People are popping up all over the place, we're having cool meetings every day, we're talking to crazy people on the street. I love it all. I really do love this place. I feel like I was born here, left for a few years, and now I'm back again.