Monday, June 27, 2016

Yaroslav the Bright Pink Horse

Приветствую вас,

This is Yaroslav! He's a bright pink horse!

We went on splits last week, and I was reunited with my former companion from Arizona, Sister Montierth! Which was so fun. All the weird, crazy stuff happens with Sister Montierth for some reason. This time it happened to be, we visited a less active family, and they asked us to take this rocking horse back to the branch for them because they wanted to donate it. We said we would, but the family lives like 1 hour ride on the street car away from the branch! So... This happened.

Oh Yaroslav. He's now at the branch, and no longer with us unfortunately. The primary kids love him, though, so I guess he's fulfilling his purpose now.

Other things that happened this week...

STEPHIN HAS A BAPTISMAL DATE AGAIN! Yes, friends, the very same Stephin from like 6 months ago! He's been coming to church every week, and he has a baptismal date for July 9th. Pray that he will receive an answer to know that the Book of Mormon is true while he reads it this week! He's so close! 

​Something really cool that happened today! We had a lesson with a former investigator named Gobi. He's a student from India. In the lesson, we asked him what feelings he had while talking with us today. He went silent for a minute thinking over our meeting and said "freshness... peace, and silence." That was his description of what the Holy Ghose feels like. I know that the message we carry is true. I know that God is our loving Heavenly Father and that he cares for us more tenderly than we can imagine. I know that He is there and that He answers our prays. I know He sent His Son to die for us and rise with living breath. I love Him very much and because I love Him, I try with all I have to help His children know who they are and Whose they are.

I hope as you go throughout your week, you find the times when you feel the freshness and peace of the Holy Ghost. Recognize that you are a child of God with divine purpose and potential. Knowledge of that is power.

One more photo for the road!
Sister Lindquist and I rocking the now approved sunglasses look and practicing our Russian selfie faces.

Love you!

Sister Jarvis

Monday, June 20, 2016



So, we knocked into the apartment of some Catholic Nuns this week! It was awesome and totally unexpected. They were so cute! We made them some cookies and sang "I Need Thee Every Hour," and they gave us bracelets! They were from Slovakia, and they really were so nice. They didn't want us to teach them the lessons, but it's all good, we're friends now. The only Cathedral in Volgograd happens to be not too far away from where we live, so we see them every now and then.
This week was a contacting kind of week. Which is always a week filled with fun stories! Because we meet the coolest people!


Vadim! Our newest investigator! He's an older man, electric engineer, and the most honest person I have ever met in my life. It was so fun to teach him because he was just completely honest about his feelings the whole time we taught the first lesson. We found him on the street and had a lesson with him the next day after Zone Conference (a once every 2 month gathering of the missionaries in our zone which happens to be the cities of Volgograd, Volzhki, and Astrakhan). It was one of the best 1st lessons I've ever had. 


Lena and Alksei! 
At Zone Conference we talked about finding people to teach through our own efforts, so, right after our lesson with Vadim, we went out on the streets determined to find someone! After about 2 hours, it was time to head home, but we were talking to everyone we could as we walked back to our apartment. At 8:58, two minutes before we had to head in for the night, we stopped this family and started talking to them. It was the coolest thing ever! Sister Lindquist asked them if they believe the Gospel blesses families, and they were like well duh! Turns out they are friends with our investigator Nina! And we met their son when we helped Nina out at her school. Isn't that awesome? God really is preparing these people to meet us. We're hoping that we can meet with them again sometime this week and teach them more. So, say a prayer for them, too, if you can!

Today, I wanted to just thank my father. And fathers everywhere, but my father in particular. My dad told me before going on a mission that if I was going to do this, I needed to be sure that this was a call from God because there were going to be days where I would wake up and wish that I was anywhere else but there, and there were going to be days where I would be yelled at, turned down, and crying, and if I wasn't sure I was about God's work, I wouldn't be able to do it. Well, my dad was right, and I'm so grateful I followed his council to turn to my Heavenly Father and ask Him if this was what I should do. I'm so grateful that prayer was answered, and that I am now here serving in Russia. I'm so grateful that although there are days where I feel like giving up, I never do because I know I'm about my Father's work. I'm so grateful I have a father on Earth who loves me and is such a wonderful example to me, and a Father in Heaven who loves me and has given me so much joy through my mission here.

Here's to fathers! Aren't they wonderful?

I hope you all have a wonderful week and that you'll be able to see all the blessings your Father in Heaven has given you. :)

с Любовью
Сестра Джарвис

P.S. Sorry about the lack of photos; the computers at the internet cafe don't like us very much.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Ожидаете неожиданый

Nina's favorite phrase is the title of this email. It means "expect the unexpected". 

We stopped by her house and surprised her with some soup since she wasn't feeling well earlier in the week. When we got there, her face was very downcast, and she just wasn't her usual Nina self. She explained that since our last lesson she's really been missing her husband. By the time we left, she was smiling all over again. She told us that every time we come, she just feels so happy. Well, my friends, that's the Spirit of the Lord, right there. She's starting to recognize that, so hopefully she'll be able to set a date for her baptism soon! Pray for her!
This week was kind of full of the unexpected.
-We unexpectedly ran into two of the elders' investigators on the street.
-We taught this adorable backpacker/hippy couple who unexpectedly lives out in the middle of nowheresville Volgograd.
-We were unexpectedly offered a kitty.
-I played basketball for like the first time in my life unexpectedly.
-We unexpectedly made ourselves Mexican food this week. (Best spur of the moment idea Sister Lindquist and I have ever had. Thanks, Mom, for the taco seasoning.)
-We unexpectedly bought ourselves two blocks of ice cream (Okay, that one was a little bit less of an unexpected experience.)
Life is just full of the unexpected. Things never really go the way we plan them. And, that's kind of God's plan. We aren't suppose to have all the answers, we learn them as we go. We, of course, fail sometimes, but who doesn't? In the end, if we learn to learn from our mistakes we become stronger.

I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
Ether 12:27
Well, that's all for this week! I hope you all expect the unexpected and buy yourselves some ice cream because at least over here it's HOT!


Sister Jarvis

Monday, June 6, 2016

Families Can Be Together Forever

Do you remember a couple weeks ago when I wrote about Nina?
Well, we had our next lesson with her this week, and boy, what a lesson!
We planned to talk to her about the Plan of Salvation (God's plan to help us be happy) and center it on how families can be together forever thanks to the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It was one of the best lessons I've ever had the opportunity to be a part of.

We started off the lesson by singing I am a Child of God, and Nina was in tears. She was so focused the whole time we were talking to her and when we told her that she could see her husband again and that they could live together for eternity, she was physically affected by it. I've always had this information in my life that my family will always be together, and that there is life after death, so to see it take so much effect on someone else to whom this information was new made me grateful all over again for my parents who taught me this starting from when I was very young.  Nina is an amazing woman. And she always stuffs us with chocolate when we go over to see her, so basically she's perfect.

We also had an opportunity to go do some service for this sweet old man named Ivan... I think I talked about him, too, a little while ago... He's about 80, and he's one of the sweetest people I've ever met. It was so fun. We went to his dacha, (The russian word for a country home, most people have them. They're just kind of like little shacks in the middle of a small plot of ground, where they plant fruits and vegetables that they then sell to markets here.) and pulled all his weeds to Russian folk music. I know one folk song all the way through, and Ivan and I sang it together. It was great. We also started teaching him the 1st lesson, but we found out that he actually lives in Volzhki, the city across the Volga from Volgograd, so we had to give him over to the elders who live out there. Which is really a жаль because I love him so much. Luckily, if he gets baptized, they'll have to come to Volgograd because they don't have a batismal font in Volzhki, so pray that he gets baptized!
Overall, our week was full of just amazing things that happened. Sister Lindquist and I were the busiest we have ever been; it was like I was back in the tri-pan doing the work of two companionships! 

The scripture I've been trying to apply in my life more this week is found in the Bible. 
"For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it." Matt. 16:25
I know this scripture is true; when we try our hardest to focus on others, we find ourselves happier and closer to them as well as God. I know that families CAN be together forever, and that this is news that needs to be shared with everyone around us. I'm so grateful I have the opportunity to help others be with their families for forever and to heal the broken hearted.
I love you all! And I know the Savior does too! Have a wonderful week!
 с любовью
Сестра Джарвис