Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas in Russia...

... is actually not this week.

One of the greatest things about Russia is that I can celebrate Christmas TWICE! Once on the Catholic calendar on December 25th and the second time according to the Russian Orthodox calendar on January 7th

BAM! Double Christmas. #RussiaWinsAtLife

I love Christmas. Not just because of the snow, or the songs, or the Christmas trees (which surprisingly exist here in Russia, but they call them New Year's trees not Christmas trees). I love Christmas because it's a time of the year when everyone is serving one another, thinking about their families, and there's just a spirit of love and joy everywhere. I know it's kind of cheesy, but it's true.

This past week, Sister Greenwood and I did a lot of getting lost in Volgograd. Since, I don't really know where things are and neither does Sister Greenwood, we've had a fun time exploring parts of the city we didn't even know existed. Last Monday, we got lost on our way to visit a member in the first snowstorm of the year. Luckily, we met this really nice woman who helped us find our way to the right street. I think the best part about being almost completely new in an area is that you get to meet so many kind, helpful people.

Russians are the best when it comes to helping strangers find their way. Most of the time if you ask where something might be, they will drop everything they're doing and take you to the place even if it's far out of the way or if it's really cold outside. I've been very grateful for their help on many an occasion.

We've had a bit of a hard time finding people to teach here, Sister Greenwood and I. There have been days where we didn't really even want to go outside, but I know that what we're doing is the Lord's work. I know that if we just keep pushing and keep going, we will find success and that the work we've already done is not lost. The scripture I've been thinking about this week is Romans 8:14-18 and the last verse goes a long really well with what I'm trying to describe.

"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."

Life isn't ever going to be easy, but the joy that lies ahead and around us when we focus our eyes on Christ is sweeter than any pain or sorrow we might ever experience. 

Make sure to keep your eyes towards the source of light, Jesus Christ, this Christmas and to remember that He can make any wrong in your life right through His Atonement. All you have to do is ask for His help and reach towards His love.

I love you all. 

Have a wonderful Christmas,

Sister Jarvis

P.S. You might have thought that I forgot that Star Wars came out this week.  FALSE.  If you have watched it, DO NOT tell me about the plot.  I will watch it in a year and enjoy it then WITHOUT spoilers. Thank you.

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