Well, everyone. It happened. I was transferred.
But I wasn't just transferred anywhere...I'll be serving in a part of Saratov called Dachney...with SISTER. MOFFATT.
THAT'S RIGHT. For whatever reason, the heavens have seen fit to put Sister Moffatt and I together during our third cycle in Dochnee. I'll be a senior companion my third cycle. No one knows how that happened. All I could do was laugh when I found out. Oh my goodness. Right now we're in Samara hanging our for the day, hence the late email, then late tonight we'll get on an overnight train to Saratov then start workin tomorrow morning! I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little scared. I had life pretty easy in Tolyatti. We always had investigators, we always tauht lessons, people talked to us on the street. From what I hear about Saratov, though, Satan is just very aware that is almost has a stake, so the work is HARD. The sister before us had a completely clean slate when they left, meaning no investigators or anything. It's gonna be interesting, especially with our Russian the way it is. I mean, I can speak pretty well, but understanding is a completely different ball game. BUT, miracles happen every day on this mission, and Sister Moffatt and I are gonna work as hard as we can to make those happen. We're also in the same zone as Elders Astle and McClure, so it's just one big reunion! I'm so excited to see them again!
That excitement came at a price, though. Sayin goodbye to Tolyatti was real hard. I fell in love with Tolyatti. It was my first Russian home. The ward was my first Russian family. Our investiators were all found and taught by Sister Pearce and I, and saying goodbye to all of that was heartbreaking. There are two investigators in particular that I didn't want to leave: Tanya and Marina. I told Tanya on Saturday that that was our last lesson with her and her face just went blank. She asked where I was going and how we could talk to each other and I had to fight so hard to hold back tears. Sister Pearce asked her if she's be there for my last day and church and she looked and her Mom and said, "Po-yedem" (We're going.) After I left there apartment building I just started crying. I might even be crying a little bit right now. I loved Tanya with all my heart. She was a complete miracle, she and her mom. We were just doing drop bys on an old inactives list and found them, thought they'd blow us off, then ended up meeting with them twice/three times a week for about 5 weeks. She became like my little sister. I received revelation for her, we bonded over drawing, we bonded over her father-problems, I studied for her, I lived differently so that I'd be worthy to teach her. I changed as a missionary because of her. I gave her a letter and my English name tag so that she'd have something to remember me by, but it doesn't feel like enough. It's like training a prize-winning horse for years and then having someone take them away a month before the big race. She'd started reading the Book of Mormon on her own, she said she'd been thinking a lot about baptism and wanted to see one before the end of the month. She's the best. I'm so excited to see where she goes, but I'm sad that I won't be there to see it all happen. I know Heavenly Father will take care of her, though.
Then there's Marina. We'd been meeting with her about twice a week for about the same time as Tanya. She fed us, we laughed, we taught lessons, it was a blast. She'd call us in the middle of the week to see how we were doing. She's great. We also met her daughter, Maria, who's fluent in English, so talking with her was always fun. We had one last meeting with her last night and she gave me a picture book, a CD, a hat, and a picture of her and Marie that was taken maybe 13 years ago. haha. Then she called around 10:15 last night to wish me safe travels and to tell me we'd see each other again when I get transferred BACK to Tolyatti in 3 months. haha. I would LOVE that.
Anywho...that's the mission for ya. It's all goodbyes and hellos.
In other news, I had my first visa trip this past week...with Sister Moffatt! haha. We were in a group of elders AND we got to see Sister Platt again. It was just 48 hours of flights and layovers and food and more flights and layovers and food. I think I gained 8 pounds. We had a lot of fun, though. During our layover in Moscow, there were maybe three hours where we did NOTHING but laugh. AND, now I can say I've been to Ukraine! Woohoo!
Things at home sound good. I'm still praying for you guys every day. I hope everything's well. I hope things work out for Christmas calls. I don't know exactly what will happen this Christmas, to be honest. We might be at our senior couple's apartment, maybe not? I don't have anyone's skype address or anything, so....maybe I'll just call? I don't know! President wants us to call between 6 and 8 pm our time on Christmas, so I'll sign on my Skype account AT that time-just call me on Skype and I'll answer! My name's the same- Annalee Sine. Woohoo!
And now for the spiritual thought. I think if there's one thing I've learned this week, or this CYCLE, it's that Heavenly Father is in EVERYTHING we do. He knows the end from the beginning. He's always got something up his sleeve. I have no idea why I couldn't stay and teach Tanya, or WHAT will happen in Saratov with Sister Moffatt, but I know it's for the best. I've also learned that we will only ever see that 'best' if we're worthy of it. Strive to be worthy of the things Heavenly Father has in store for you. If you have things holding you back, repent of them and let them go. Your life will be so much better because of it. I promise. Mosiah 4 (or 5?) talks about having Christ's name written on your heart and being able to reconize His voice when He calls. I thought about that a lot and shared that with Tanya, actually. What name is written on your heart? Can you reconize his voice? (I know that sounds cheesy, but think about it, okay?).
Oh, and Mom- HAPPY BIRTHDAY!