Monday, May 23, 2016

Mosquito Bites, Prostitutes, and a Bucket of Miracles

Highlights from this week:
*We helped an old man tune his guitar and pick strawberries.
*I currently have 42 mosquito bites.
*We sang on the street for an hour (it was way fun)
*We witnessed a robbery
*We saw not just one but several carcasses of various dead animals in various states of deposition.
*Some guy thought we were prostitutes... I'm still laughing about that one.
So overall a pretty exciting week. I have never been mistaken for a prostitute before in my life. I don't know how that happened, but вообще that's funny.
Anyway, Stephin. He is just such an awesome guy. This is the same Stephin that I was talking about way back in December, the first investigator Sister Greenwood and I ever had. He's been making slow progress since then. We decided to lay off the baptismal question for a while and let him feel the Spirit at church and in lessons with us. He's come to church every single week since December! He's more active than 70% of the members here! He's even reading the Book of Mormon in English. That's not his first language people! He's awesome, and he's finally starting towards baptism again.
I think that when a missionary is called to a certain place, there are certain people that he or she needs to meet. Stephin is one of those people that I needed to meet. I'm pretty sure that one of the main reasons I've been in Volgograd for 10 months now is because of him. He is special, and I know he's going to do a lot of good in the world.
We also gained a new investigator this week. Her name is Nina, and she owns an afterschool English program for school boys. She was a referral from our other investigator (the one who taught us how to make pelmeni), and she was just ecstatic to meet two girls who spoke English and were in Russia to teach about God. 
Cool fact about Nina: When she was getting her English degree way back in the USSR, she had to go through an interview of sorts. They were to ask her questions and her answers would be recorded, so that they could later grade her. To her surprise one of the questions they asked her was "Do you believe in God?" This was kind of a terrifying question back in the day when the Soviet Union was still around. She faced possible persecution if she were to answer how she really felt about God, but she all the same answered truthfully that she did believe in God and that she could not deny the fact that she did.
So, she's a pretty cool lady.
Life is awesome here in Volgograd.  As this transfer winds to an end this week, I'm hoping that I get to stay here and stay here and stay here. The people are wonderful, my companion is wonderful, and even though it can be difficult at times (pesky mosquitos), it sure is worth it.
I hope you all have a wonderful, happy week. Sometimes life isn't easy, but it's in those moments that God is trying to teach us something, so don't worry! It will pass!
Сестра Джарвис

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