If you think that Russia is a frozen wasteland here a few facts that may just change your mind:
-Dolphins frequent the shores of the Black Sea.
-Palm trees grow in Sochi.
-It's so humid in Novorossiysk that the spiders get quite large and even salsa dance at branch parties.
-Most men in Novorossiysk don't wear shirts.
-Some women as well.
-There are beautiful, breathtaking vistas of the Black Sea to be found almost everywhere in Novo.
- And if you are an unlucky duckling, like Sister Sommers and I, you will wish that Russia was a frozen waste land as you get a call Monday morning at that instead of leaving Tuesday at 1, you are now leaving that day at 1. Oh! And you have to close down an apartment, return the keys to the landlord, and help your companion pack up her earthly possensions for a year and a half all in an hour and a half. Because by the time you get on a train with no air conditioning for a 9 hour ride to Rostov, you will be bathing in your own sweat.
Luckily, we didn't do all that alone. We enlisted the elders to come help because they were leaving on that same train at .
They deserve many kudos for the help they gave us.
This is the Novo Elders with us at a service project we did. Sister Sommers, me, Elder Burwell, and Elder Faught. It certainly was fun being part of their district for 2 weeks. We had a Mexican night, a game night, helped the branch president's aunt paint her fence at their beautiful home (pictured above), and moved the sisters out of Novo.
But, I will be in Novo no longer. I'm heading back to Krasnodar this week, and my new companion is.... (drum roll please)... Sister Lindquist! WOO! Being apart for a transfer was just too long. It'll be good to have her back. Kind of strange though. I've never had a companion for longer than 2 transfers, so it'll be a fun time.
In other news, I finally reconnected with all three sisters from my original MTC district!
Aren't they just adorable (especially the one in the center).
Missions just give you the best opportunities to make amazing friendships. It may be the case that what I've enjoyed the most about my mission is the good company I always find myself in. I've been so blessed to be surrounded by the best of people for the past year. God sure is good.
Have a wonderful week! Remember to thank someone for just being in your life!
From Russia with Любовью