Monday, March 21, 2016

Janna the Miracle and Lessons on Russian Culture

Добрый День

Life in Volgograd is wonderful. Sister Montierth and I frequently joke about how we're never going to leave, or if we have to, we'll bring the members with us. I love this branch and all the people in it. Not to mention my wonderful companions! I have no idea how any of us are going to go back to being in a two person companionship. We have a non-stop party everyday!

On Saturday, we had a branch activity put on by the amazing youth. It was Stilyagi themed. For those of you not so fresh on your Soviet Union history, Stilyagi were the counter-culture rebels of the 50's and 60's in the Soviet Union. They idolized American culture and were known for their extremely bright clothing in reaction to the strict styles of Stalin and post-Stalin era USSR. Cool little fact about Stilyagi, they smuggled American and British music into the country on X-Rays since records were banned, and they called these smuggled records "bones". Honestly, I don't think history gets cooler than Stilyagi, and I'm totally directing a play one day about them. 

But, I'm getting off topic. The activity was a talent show and the youth prepared a swing dance to showcase, which they did fabulous on. The two companionships of elders combined to sing the old Russian folk song "Katyoosha," and everyone clapped and sang with them. It was so cute. I was called up to do a dance competition, and I'm sure those who have seen me dance can understand how utterly hilarious it must have been. Overall, it was a success, and a bunch of investigators came and had a wonderful time.

Also, on Saturday, our tri-pan went street teaching. We met this man who was very interesting. He told us that women should never cut their hair because our hair is an antenna to the cosmos. So, I guess my goal of not cutting my hair before I come home was a good choice.

On Sunday, we had a surprising miracle. Sister Greenwood and I met this adorable old woman, Janna, about a month ago on our way to do something else. We didn't really have time to talk to her, but we gave her our number and invited her to church. She promised she would come, and she did. Since then we've tried setting up lessons with her, but she's a very busy lady since she works for a few of the theaters in town here, but she's come almost every Sunday since the first time she came. Yesterday, she was talking to the district president, and she decided that she wants to get baptized! So we finally had that first lesson we've been trying to have, and she loved it. She's already met like all of the members and they all love her, so we had quite the crowd join us to help teach her. She kept saying how the Spirit was in this church and she's been to other churches, but they don't have the Spirit in them. It was amazing. I don't think anything could have strengthened my faith more. I'm so grateful that I get to see the Gospel shaping people's lives. She's going to be baptized on April 9th at the latest maybe even April 2nd, if we can get all the lessons in before then.

Every week on my mission has been different, strange, interesting, and wonderful. I love it.
I love you all! And I hope you all are doing well!


Sister Jarvis

Blini!  (Please ignore the fact that my coat makes me look like I have no neck)

We attacked our Zone Leaders' door with sticky notes! (Sister Nelson is the tall one; Sister Montierth is the one in blue.)

This is Elder Boyer (and Sister Nelson).  He's great.

Sister Montierth got artsy.

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