Sunday, February 21, 2010


HELLO ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow, that was exciting. :)  Thanks so much for the e-mails!!!!!!!!!! I just love 'em!

Well I hope you all had a great Valentine's Day!! All you people who are in love with someone... and all that gushy-ness...

Here, yes they do celebrate it. And at our branch we had a little party thing. Barely anyone showed up, sadly. But I am proud to say that I got a secret Valentine card. From who, I don't know.... hence the secret... :)

I can't believe how long it took you to get those Christmas cards! That's super crazy! I just sent something home, but WHO KNOWS when you will get it! Yikes! I haven't received what you are talking about yet, but I'm looking forward to it!!!!
I hope Grandma's okay!! I'll be praying for her for sure! I hope she gets better soon!!! Man, that's weird because I was just thinking about her this week especially.

Mom, good luck with Kwin and Joslyn at the same time! I can only imagine how that is! CRAZY! And I'm super excited to get your dearelder. :) You're so great. :)

Dad, Finland felt like America for sure! Everything is SO nice there. (and everyone speaks English, haha!) Yet, it still felt like Europe because of the buildings and everything. But yeah it is so beautiful there. Yeah, the church meeting was a lot like at home. It was weird... :) I think I do go there every time, which is AWESOME! That picture of the faces is in Finland... :)

Things are good with me and Sister Gneiting so far!! Yeah, the "G" is silent. It's for sure different to be with an American.  It makes us all grow and learn to live with all sorts of people! But we have fun!

So yeah it's finally getting warm here, too! I hope it continues! I can't wait to see the day when I don't have to wear a big coat and boots and hat anymore! But really, I just feel like it's going to be winter all year long... I've just gotten so used to it! I'm not such a wussy when it comes to cold anymore! :) Ура!! haha

So this week we did a lot of looking for less-actives. We have gotten to know the city some more for sure. It's been tough though... Russian people are hard to get a hold of!! and phones here are Re-donk! half of the time they don't work, and of course there's no voicemail. haha. So it's a challenge.

Our church is being painted so there won't be English club for about a month. ( I know, that's a LONG time, right? To paint?) So we're going to really have to try extra hard to find investigators. We're pretty low right now.... so it'll be interesting! We did some contacting this week and it was so hard with our lack of Russian. But all we could do was bare our testimony and do our best! We know that Heavenly Father is testing our patience and faith!

OKay a story... so we were coming home from the train station, dropping off another sister and we took a taxi home. The driver starts talking to us and asking us why we're here and stuff and eventually we get on the topic of religion, and we talk about that for a while. When we arrived home, we gave him a Book of Mormon and an invitation to church. He said, "no, I don't need it, I don't need it." And I hate it when people say that! I asked him, "How do you know you don't need it already?? You haven't read it yet." So he took it and he said he would read it and call the number on the invitation. I don't know if it was a good idea to say that or not, but it drives me crazy when people on the street or anywhere, when we invite them to church or try to give them a Book of Mormon- the word of God- they tell us they don't "need it." They just don't know. I just try to remember that God has people prepared to hear and accept us and wait for the day when we meet them.  We just keep pressing forward, and hope they come in our path!

I love you all VERY MUCH and I hope you have a fantastic week!! Keep being awesome!

с любовю,

Сестра Рид :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Back from FINLAND!

HELLO!! Soooo lots to talk about!! This week was super crazy/great/amazing/weird/uplifting/inspiring/....... Finnish.

So I said Good-bye to Sister Gorlova, which was sad this week. And then I had a new companion, Yana, for a day. It was pretty fun... she's a really cool girl. And she speaks perfect English. :)

Then on Friday, we went on our adventure to Finland! OH. MY. GOODNESS. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Finland!!! It was soooooooooo cool! Okay, but first off, we stopped in Moscow on our way there and played a bit. ( I looked for my friends from the MTC serving there but didn't see them. :) ) It is so different there. I think it's like New York for us.. people are rushing around everywhere. But it was fun, we found our way to the Red Square! It was one of those, "I've always wanted to come here and see this, but never thought I ever would in my life" things. And there we were! It was our group from the MTC together, me, Sister Fronk, Sister Rivas, Elder Nielsen and Elder Peterson. So we had a great time and it was a really good experience!

Red Square - The Kremlin

More Red Square

Look who I found in Moscow!

Me, Sister Fronk and Sister Rivas

Then we flew out to Finland. I also never thought in my life that I would be in Finland. It's really a blessing to be in this Mission.... a lot of cool opportunities to go places and witness things. But it's also a lot of time and money... I can see why they closed missions to Russia for a while.

But we got there around 6 pm, their time, and it was like 9 or 10 or something to us so we were super tired. We found our way to where we were going to sleep, and it was RIGHT by the temple. In fact, the temple has a lodging place. Because so many people from around that area travel far distances to get there... like people in Russia. So they usually stay for a little while since they're there. It's really neat. So we pretty much went right to bed once we got settled. But let me tell you, it was SUCH a difference going outside in Finland, especially the first time we got off the plane. The air is... fresh. And clean. Everything is so nice. And seriously, everyone speaks English. Except maybe really old people. So the next day we slept in a bit and went to TWO temple sessions. Oh, the temple is purely wonderful. It is so beautiful, and everything inside is Scandinavian-ish. It was so great to take that time and just feel peace and calm. It was such a tender mercy, that I really needed. :)

Helsinki Finland Temple!!

Helsinki Finland Temple

Close up

So after the temple, we ate something and decided it was time to play in Finland!! We went and looked at some really cool, old cathedrals. One of them we went inside. It was really beautiful in there with all the artwork. After that we just walked around some more and then went to this pizza buffet to eat something. It wasn't very cold there; no-hat weather. So nice. And the snow was clean and beautiful. There was lots of snow, actually. It's funny because the Finnsh language.... it sounds to me like a mixture between Spanish and Chinese or something. Props to those who can learn it!

Way cool cathedral!

The next day we went to church and they have a CHAPEL there! It was like America! So nice! And they had English/Russian translation going the whole sacrament. We really enjoyed talking to the people at church. It was fast and testimony meeting, and the main topic was the temple. Most everyone bore their testimonies about how it's such a blessing to have a temple. I can so relate! I missed the temple so much, and the peace and love I feel there. We are so so blessed in America to have so many so close to us. We are so blessed to have the opportunity to help other people receive salvation by going to the temple. Those who have been waiting.

Helsinki at night

So anyway, after a LONG trip back home, I'm here in Irkutsk again! It's good to be back to a normal schedule. But let me tell you, it was hard to say good-bye to Finland. Haha. And I'm here with my new companion, Sister Gneiting! It's pretty different speaking English a lot... I hope my Russian doesn't go down the tubes. haha. But it's been fun so far. :)

Close to my apartment

Жаргалтогтох's baptism!

My new Russian Bible!!!

Mom- I'm way excited to get your letter and info about your experience! When you share your testimony, it always strengthens mine! Thanks! That's so great that Heavenly Father is giving you so much revelation! You're writing it all down, right? :) He sure loves you!!!
Dad- the dogs are pretty tame. But who knows if they have diseases?! haha

And good luck with your missionary efforts. I know that God sees your desire and He'll give you the opportunity to share your testimony if it's the right timing. You're great! I too also know that God answers prayers in His own timing! Thanks for your upliftment! I try to remind myself often that I am called of God and HE knows that there are people waiting here to hear about the Gospel, and I can help them. I just need to put myself out there and talk to everyone so I can find out who it is! :) I love you!!!

And thanks for the pictures! :)

Dayton- Sad to hear about Clay! I hope the little guy is alright!! Thanks for the picture!! He is so stinkin cute!!!

Kayla- Thanks for the e-mail!!! I'm glad to hear that everything's good with you!! Hallie is SO big and SO cute!!!!! Is she talking like crazy yet? It was way great to hear from you! :)

Krystine- AHHHHHHHHHHH! You're so great. I just got I think 3 dearelders from you. A lot is going on! But it sounds like you're doing awesome!! Thanks for all the updates with everyone!! Keep up the great work with everything, and keep me updated! I love hearing from you! Thanks so much for always encouraging me. :)

Well I love you all!!!! Thanks SO much for all the prayers and upliftment! You're all so wonderful, I'm so blessed to have you all. :) Keep doing your best and praying and relying on the Lord for everything.

с любовю,

Сеструха Рид :)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Called to serve Him, Heavenly King of Glory...chosen e'er to witness for His name...

Hello!! THANKS for the e-mails!! Those letters took forever.... I think I sent them maybe 2 or 3 weeks or so ago. Weird. But I'm glad you got them!
Well the baptism was super great!! Жаргалтогтох was sooo happy, as well as all her Mongolian friends. They're all together now in one church and one faith. They're so strong together, and they ALL want to serve missions!! They will be SOO good if they all decide to go! It was a great way to end our transfer. Sorry I forgot my cord for my camera, but I'll have the pics from the baptism next week. I'm at the Southams today, I spent the night here because Sister Gorlova got transferred to Krasnoarsk!!! Boo. So I'm here alone until my companion comes. And then she'll be alone when she comes ( :( ) for the weekend while I'm gone on a visa trip to FINLAND! Wahoo! So I'll be leaving Friday and coming back Monday. I'm super excited. We will get to go see the temple there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I'll be sure to take lots of pictures. But I'm super excited because my new comp's name is Sister Gneiting, and I already know her! She studied at BYU-I with me, and we were together in the MTC. She's one transfer older than I am, so it should be ... interesting with our Russian. But it'll be good, and I know we are meant to be together at this time. I just hope I can figure out this city! Haha!

5 out of our 8 missionaries left to either go home or be transferred to another city this transfer. So the zone will be really different this next time. I think that God has something interesting planned for us, and it makes me excited to see things moving here. I feel something exciting will happen. But it was for sure sad to see them go. Change is always hard at first, as you know.

I'm glad you enjoyed the video of the crazy slide. That was such a fun day.

Oh Mom, I keep forgetting to tell you--- you would go crazy here! There are dogs EVERYWHERE. I think they're like squirrels in Spokane; they wander everywhere, and they run across the streets, they beg for food, they follow you. Who knows who's dog they are? they hardly ever have collars. It's crazy! But they actually are pretty smart with the streets and cars. (the drivers here are OUTRAGEOUS.)

Sounds like your missionary program was cool!!! Good job Dad with your enthusiasm! Let me know how anything goes with your efforts. That's cool how they said that you don't need to share a lesson when you talk to your friends. Just share a small testimony of how the gospel blesses your family, or your health (Word of Wisdom), or anything. When those things come up, a small simple testimony can be really powerful, and can sure leave an impression. Good job!!

Mom, thanks for all the info about home. ;) It really is fun to know about that stuff.  Good luck on your children's Book of Mormon search for Joslyn. I found one in Russian at the MTC, but I assume that won't help you too much. ;)  She will be all grown up by the time I come home!!

Dayton, yes I do know Elder Wheeler, he's serving in Улан-Удэ сеучас. He's a nice kid.  (Dad, Ulan-Uday is a city kind of across the Baikal Lake, maybe 8 hours from here.)
Krystine!!!! It is so so good to hear from you! Keep updating me on life (all parts :) )! Alaska!!! Let me know what happens!!! You're amazing! I love you! :)

Well I love you all!!! Have a great week and my next e-mail should be veeeeeeery interesting! Keep being awesome!!! The Church is TRUE!!!!!

с любовю,

Сестра Рид :)