Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry Christmas!

(Two letters from Sister Reed back-to-back, newest first)

Hello!!  Thanks so much to all those who wrote me!  I LOVE IT!!
Mom and Dad, I am still here in Irkutsk... is everything understandable with how to call me?  I sure hope so!  And I will be waiting for a phone call on my Christmas Morning, right?  at 8 am?  Ooorah!!  I am so excited!  
Well I don't want to talk about too much right now because we will be talking soon!  But all is good here.. I read all your questions, don't worry!  Glad to hear that everyone is dong well!  I love you all so much- and am so grateful to have you as my family!! 
I've learned so much about the atonement lately.  I just know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know each of us individually.  They know all our concerns, our cares, and worries.  How we feel all the time- when we're sad, upset, dissapointed.  Like it says in Alma 7:11-12, Christ suffered for our infirmities.  Not only our sins, which is HUGE, but also all those other negative feelings.  I'm so grateful for the atonement.  I know that there is no other way that we can return to live with our Heavenly Father than through Jesus Christ.  Through his sacrifice, we can be made clean when we repent.  It's a perfect plan- and a plan of immense LOVE.   
Well, I guess I will be talking to you soon!  Mom- I can't wait to have a chat session with you again.  You don't know how much I miss those! 
Oh, and the package- I'm pretty sure it's been sitting in the office for months, I really only get mail once a transfer unless someone goes to Novo for some reason and brings back mail.  So I should get it today or tomorrow!!! ahh!  mERRY cHRISTMAS! 
I love you all!!!! :) :)
с любовью
сестра рид  :)

Hello!  Thanks for the letters!  You don't know how nice it is to get them.
Glad to hear that everyone is happy and healthy.  I guess that swine flu finally made it to Siberia... but no worries we're all doing good so far.  :)

The concert went well!  It's funny because when you think of concert (myself included) you might think of the chapel with pretty decorations everywhere and stuff, and little handouts and whatnot.  But here they really don't have any of that to work with.  It was small and humble, but many people showed up so I think it got the point across.  They played a clip from President Monson at the end about Christmas but of course I didn't understand it. haha.  

The baptisms went well!  I can't believe I've been here for 5 weeks and there has already been 2 baptisms.  I really can't take any credit in either beacuse they both had baptisimal dates before I got here, but it was fun to be here for the process.  :)  

          Baptism of Zyla and Aruna.  Zyla is mongolian, Aruna is Russian

Yes, tracting is hard.  It's different because there are so many doors to guard us from seeing them... like, sometimes there's the 1st door you need to get past with the code.  Then you walk up to another door once you're in and behind that door is 2 or 3 apts, which you buzz someone.  And then the person comes out of their apt and up to the door with a peep hole and says "кто там?"  And we say our shpeal, and if they want to hear they open that door.  But if not they yell something at us (haha not always yell) and go back to their apt.  So it's pretty redonk.  EXCEPT, last Sunday Sis Gorlova and I tracted into this guy who is a "believer" and was totally interested in everything!  He said he wanted to come to church and talk to us and all that stuff!  So we'll see if he's for real when we call him on Sat.  

When I talk to people, most of the time they say, huh?  And then I repeat and sometimes they still say, huh?  And Then they either wait for my companion to say it again or respond.  Most of the time they're just shocked to hear my accent but they don't act interested by the fact that I'm American or really turned off.  Some people say, "oh she's American.."  but that's really it.  I'm not sure if Russians really like Americans or not.  I can't tell.  

Классно, well I am excited to talk to you all soon!!  I will be speaking to you after I find out about transfers and all that good stuff next week.  

Here are some sweet pictures- I hope you enjoy!  Thanks for everything you do!   
я люблю вас!!  Be good!  Oh and Папичка, thanks for the photos!!  
Сестра Рид

 Hastya and me.  She speaks english really well.  Oh yeah- I cut my hair!  I know, right??

Me and Oyuuna ( I have no idea how to spell it in english) .  She's my bud

                     Haha.  The awesome ice car

                    Me, Sis Gorlova, and Sister Southam on the slide!

                                    Icey stuff

 The smaller slide... cool, yeah?  It's all ice from Lake Baikal I believe.

Last but not least.... oh the beloved Bro Raimans (VERY strange man, haha!) and his collection.  That's also Elder MacKonnehey and Elder Player

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Winter Wonderland!


Wow- thanks for the e-mails!! I do love hearing from you all! :)

I hope you're staying warm! I bet the new house looks way pretty with the Christmas
lights up! I believe that I will really miss Christmas because here people
don't really understand the meaning of Christmas. Almost everyone is
Christian, but that doesn't mean much all the time. So I hope to bring them
some real Christmas cheer this year and maybe they'll catch on!! We have a
little concert going on this week for Christmas and we're trying to invite
as many investigators as we can. I think it'll be super cool!

Thanksgiving was super great. We ate tons. I think Sis Gorlova liked the holiday. But we talked
in English most of the time which she doesn't enjoy too much. I can understand.

We did some tracting last week, and some contacting. It's pretty cold, yes! But, tracting is different sorta because almost everyone lives in a дом which is like a big apartment complex. And the hardest part is getting
in the first door. You have to punch in some numbers... it's tricky. Or we can page someone random and ask them to let us in, haha. Yeah, good luck.  :) But once you get past that, we just go to each door. It's really hard to find people that way...Contacting and tracting here is hard. It's hard when people deny us before we even have the chance to tell them anything.  They don't know what they're missing!

You can send any kind of pictures that you want! :) I always enjoy it! :)

So cool about the first presidency message! I am sure I will read it in the Liahona, if I can.... the Liahona is always in Russian. haha. Go figure.  But maybe I can find a way to get my hands on a English one. English
classes are good- I'm having fun with it. :) Yeah it's of all ages, but mainly college student age, and we have some older peeps too. So it's fun!

Yesterday we talked about sports, and we all went around saying what kind of sports we like. This lady- maybe 60 something, said, "I like arm wrestling." And so she challenged someone to a duel and this girl went up and armwrestled her! The older lady was holding strong for a long time! But finally they called it a tie. It was so intense! haha! So you never know what can happen in English class. The best part about english club is that after we have gospel english where we have a spiritual thought. A lot of people stay, so it's pretty good. We usually have high hopes of findng someone new at english club.

So last week we went to the зоо парк (zoo)!! It was cool, but ghetto! hahahaha.  I have never seen a crazier group of animals ready to break out!! They were all insane, I'll tell you what. But it was fun. Today we are going on this giant SLIDE! It's all ice, and people build it with pretty ice castles and stuff, so I'm excited! I'll give you pics next week. :)

We have 2 baptisms this week- Zula and Aruna. It's pretty exciting. So we're getting all ready for that. I want to see someone get baptized in a river. Maybe someday. :)

But yeah, life is good! This week I've been reading in Mosiah about Abinadi. He is so cool. I wonder how many of us would be that bold in sharing what they know to be right. I am learning here what it means to be
bold. And often times it is very necessary. But would I die for the gospel? I think so.

Well I better get going, but I love you all and I hope all is well this week! I will be speaking with you soon, yes?? я вас люблю!! очень сильно!!

сестра рид :)

1) what the...? (the zoo)

2) Angarsk- city next to Irkutsk, we have an investigator there. Cool, yeah?

3) Also Angarsk. HAHA. Lenin.

4) Irkutsk village- this is how I imagined russia.

5) This is for Dayton (Domino's Pizza!)

6) Long Day! :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Quick note from Sister Reed

We have a new investigator, her name is Marina.. she'll be baptized soon we all know it! :)

I'll write more in the next e-mail, sorry!!

I'm excited for the package, not here yet maybe soon! :) Thanks for sending it!!!!

Have a good sleep! I love you!! :)

Sister Reed :)

(Side note from the parents!)
The temperature in Irkutsk has been around single digits during the day and up to minus double digits at night.  This next week the temperature could be even colder.  It's a good thing she bought her "Russian" coat, hat, gloves and boots!