Monday, April 4, 2016

Break Through to the SUNLIGHT

The title of this email is attributed to my long time desire to start a band and the fact that spring has officially made its way to the streets of Volgograd (for good).

This week was a lot better than the previous week (remember when I wrote about how all the bad weeks have to end sometime). We still lost investigators instead of gained them, but the investigators we have left are amazing. Janna and Galia are getting baptized on Saturday; Andrei, who has been investigating the church for 18 years, is beginning to make some real progress towards baptism; and we tried calling some people who used to be investigators yesterday with a lot of success. We're meeting with one of them today and a whole family tomorrow.

Funny story time! Our branch mission leader had planned out this activity for last Saturday and was super excited about it; however, he did not tell any of us what we needed to buy or how to organize it, and then he disappeared for about a week. So, on the Friday night before the activity, Sisters Montierth, Nelson, and I started planning when we realized that no one had done anything for this activity and that no one knew what was going on. We then delegated tasks to the two companionships of elders and scrambled all Saturday morning to get some games put together for this activity. We boiled eggs for egg dying, cut up fruit for refreshments, and we even forced our zone leaders to draw us a bunny so that we could play "pin-the-tail-on-the-bunny". The time came for the activity to start and our investigator Janna showed up, the branch mission leader came, and one of the young men... and that was it. We waited for like 30 minutes, and about 10 other people made their way to the activity, so we just started and had a cute little party of 15 people. Janna liked it, and everyone there had fun; it's just funny that we worried so much and then had such a small turn out.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to translate Janna's baptismal interview (people are interviewed for baptism into our church because we want to make sure that being baptized is something they actually want and are ready for). It was an amazing experience being able to translate for President Miner (our mission president) and Janna. I understood and could translate everything they said, which I was amazed that I could do. Janna uses a lot of big words, and it's often difficult to understand her because she's quiet and lisps a little due to some missing teeth. Plus President Miner also tends to use some pretty big words in English that are difficult to translate into Russian. Right after the interview, Janna and I talked for a little bit, and immediately, I was no longer able to understand everything she said. It was really strange, and I can only explain that I was spirit-led in that moment. I was able to remember words I had only heard others use or seen a few times. It was really an amazing experience. It gives me hope that one day I'll actually be pretty fluent in Russian.

We haven't yet had a chance to view conference out here, but we'll be doing that this weekend right before Janna and Galia's baptism. It's going to be pretty awesome.

Also, if you were wondering why I haven't written the custumary missionary email about Easter yet, it's because Easter isn't until May 1st out here in Russia! So just you wait, it's coming.

Hope your week is going great!

Sister Jarvis

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