Monday, August 10, 2015

From Russia With Love

Well Friends,

I'm in Russia. Currently, I'm in the city Volgograd, which is awesome. They have TONS of memorials to World War II here, especially since this year marks the 70th anniversary since the end of the War in Europe, and this city was the site of the battle that turned the war around in favor of the Allies.

Anyway, it's so fantastic here. Everyone always jokes about how Russians are these frost-hardened, gruff people, but it's simply not true. Not only is it like 100 degrees here, but people are just so kind. 
We have quite a large branch here. We even have our own building! Everyone in the branch LOVES my companion, Sister Marquis. She's amazing. She loves the people here so much, and she loves helping people. I'm amazed at her ability to love. AND her mastery of the language. She's great. I could not have asked for a better trainer.

There is this one woman in our ward who used to be a Jehovah's Witness (for some strange reason there are A LOT of Jehovahs Witnesses here...), her name is Nadejdah (which means hope). We were standing outside the branch building on Sunday welcoming the members and seeing if anyone passing by would want to join our meeting. We asked these two women if they would like to come in and see the building, and they kind of laughed us off and began to walk away. At the same time Nadejdah was walking to the building, and as she passed these woman, she told them "There will come a day when you need God!" and she turned to us and said "Good job, girls. The day will come."

People here are so quirky and weird. I love it.

I also love all the babushki (the older women). When we stop them on the street and begin to tell them that we're missionaries, they say  "Oh. devushki (girls), Ya Provoslavni (I'm Russian Orthodox). Ya Provoslavni." And they'll pet us and walk away. It's great.

We met someone really wonderful on the street the other day. Her name is Marina, and she's just so kind. She's a lovely woman. We taught her the beginning of the first lesson. and she was so interested and receptive. She had the best questions too. "What does it mean that Christ took upon Him our sins?" She's amazing. We prayed with her on the street, and as Sister Marquis finished the prayer, there were tears in her eyes. Unfortunately, she didn't have a cell phone, so we hope that she will come to church on Sunday. I can't wait.

We have a lot of investigators right now, and I could go on for hours because I love the work here and I love the people here, but I'll sign off with my testimony that I know Heavenly Father knows all of His children individually and if you are broken hearted or hurt, He will help you. It may not be in the way that you think it should be, but He will answer your prayers and He will help you in the way that you need it.

Until next week!

Sister Jarvis

(Also, if I send pictures of people other than the missionaries, you cannot post it on Facebook or any other public site because it is illegal in Russia and we try to not make the Russian authorities mad at us)

Here's the mission home address. I can't tell you my personal address, but I promise the letter will get to me eventually!

Russia Rostov-na-Donu Mission
Per. Semashka 117B
Rostov 344018

Some pictures of me and my new companion, Sister Marquis

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