Monday, April 11, 2016

The Plague, Janna, and the 8 Kid Family

Дорогие Мои,
This week started off with me getting THE PLAGUE!
Okay, I didn't get the plague, but I did get pretty sick. Not to worry, though. It didn't last for very long. Being sick was kind of an adventure. When Janna found out I was sick, she was adament that I not use any of that "chemistry" stuff they sell in pharmacies (Don't worry friends, I did anyway) and instead just drink some tea (I also did that). The one day I spent in was awful. I just wanted to go out and teach some people! Luckily, it was only one day and then I got right back into the swing of things. We all woke up sick yesterday with sore throats, though. Hopefully, they don't last for very long.
This week, we were able to meet with a family that has 8 KIDS! Which is TOTALLY unheard of in Russia. Everyone has like 2 kids TOPS! It was CRAZZY! Unfortunely, the day we taught them was also the day I was in sick. So, I'll have to give more information about their awesomeness in next week's email.

Janna's baptism went off without a hitch last weekend. Her smile was so bright, and she just glowed as she came out of the water. When I came on my mission, I wasn't sure that the Gospel could really do anything. I wasn't convinced that people could change. I just believed it because I had always been told that. But watching the way that the Gospel has changed so many people's lives has changed me. The thing is, just like President Uchtdorf talked about in Conference, we can all change and become like Jesus Christ; we're hard wired to change. And Janna's example to me has shown me that the message we share is one of joy. That what we, as missionaries, share with people really does bring happiness into people's lives. She is one of a kind, and she's really going to make a difference here in Volgograd.

Funny story about Janna. Actually a few. She started reading the Book of Mormon about a month ago, and she finished it the Thursdaybefore her baptism (she also read the entire book of Alma 3 times within that time as well). She's about 4'11" and when we were taking pictures for her baptism she made us all stand on the stairs so she could stand a few steps above to be our same height... she was still shorter. When she recieved the gift of the Holy Ghost on Sunday, she said she could feel a warmth spreading from the top of her head down through her body, but the blessing ended before the feeling reached her feet. She hates pharmacies with all her little heart and will make disgusted faces and say the Russian equivelent of "ew" every time she sees one. I love Janna. She's my little Russian babushka.
Unfortunately, Galia didn't end up being baptized this week. She kind of disappeared, so we're trying to find her. Shouldn't be hard, though, because she studies across the street from the branch building.
I just want to say that Conference was awesome and that the messages the prophet, the apostles, and other leaders of the Church gave were beautiful. I'm so grateful that I can say I know that there's a living prophet today and that I know that Jesus Christ is the living Son of a living God. I hope you all have a week filled with rainbows and spring!

Sister Jarvis

The Volgograd Zone

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