One month in Russia. It's official. This week's been a great one. We have seven progressing investigators. SEVEN. I don't know how it happened. Haha. I love them all. They're all doing some really great things. And we got a baptismal date last night! Woohoo! We're not celebrating quite yet; baptismal dates are pretty fragile. But he wants to be baptized, he knows he has to be baptized, and he's working towards baptism, so we're happy. His name is Vladimir, he's 23, and he's the coolest Russian man you'll ever meet. Seriously, I don't know why he lets us hang out with him.
We've been watching a lot of The District for training this week, which has spurred a lot of District-envy. Haha. It's getting bad. We watch all these segments about missionary work in America and how missionaries work with the ward mission leader and have members on every lesson, etc., etc., and then we go out and do missionary work...not...that...way. Haha. We've decided we're going to make our own version of The District for Russian missionaries. We're real excited about it. That's a lie. I'M really excited about it. It'll have segments on things like what to do when your investigator shows up drunk to a lesson or calls you in the middle of the night to tell you he loves you, and how to reactivate your ward mission leader before working with him (true story).
Joking aside, I love it here. I love everything about this place. I wouldn't trade it with any other mission experience in the world. I've never felt more genuine love from people in my entire life. I'm learning every day. I've learned SO MUCH from so many people. It's crazy. The other day we met a woman named "Madame Nina" or at least that's what she wants us to call her. We stopped her on the street and she started speking to us in perfect English. She was sooo happy to find English speakers. She invited us over two days ago for pancakes (which were delicious) and had a great discussion about the gospel in her living room. She's had a really, really, really hard life, but she has all the faith in the world. I'm so happy that I get to be a part of her life, even if only for right now.
Also, interesting news. We've been getting calls from church members and our investigators all week telling us to be careful on the street. Both Sis. Pearce and I had no idea why. It was kind of worrying both of us. Well, turns our President Putin visited Samara this past week and talked about sects in Russia and how they're affecting Russian society. He wasn't talking about Mormons, but the people who think Mormonism is a set think he was. So, there's been some talk about having to take our tags off for a few weeks, which would be crazy. Things are alright for now, nothing to worry about, but keep praying for the work in Russia.
ALSO, we studied Lehi's dream as a district this week. It was the coolest experience with the scriptures that I've ever had. I'd never gone that in depth with the scriptures before. My challenge to all of you is to read Lehi's dream and think about each individual verse as you read it. Cross-reference it, pray about what you can learn from it. I promise you you'll come away with something great.
Random notes: I saw a Russian Zach Galifianakis on the street yesterday. It was great. It was seriously like Zach Galifianakis as if he were playing Einstein in a movie or something. That's a terrible explanation-just know that it was funny.
I love you all! Remember who you are. Keep praying, keep reading.