Sunday, March 28, 2010

Praise to the Lord, The Almighty, The King of Creation!

We got this super cool Mormon Tab Choir CD and now I have that song stuck in my head.

WOW!!!!!!!!!!  THANKS THANKS THANKS for the letters this week!!  It was SO good to hear from all of you!  I got an awesome e-mail from Kymi Dotson with pictures of an ADORABLE baby!!  Can you tell her thanks for me and get her address for me so I can write her back, please??  Thanks!!  :)

AND could you tell Krystine- I LOVED your letter!  I laughed so hard at the poem... sounds like you really made an impression on someone.. haha!  And I sent you a letter l couple weeks ago, but I'm thinking now that you won't be in Vegas anymore by the time it gets there.... But you're awesome, and good luck with your last couple of days of student teaching!  Love you!!

Also, I got a letter from Aunt Barbara and Heather, but it was ripped in two, and sent to me in a US postal envelope.  Haha- I have no idea what happened- but THANKS or the letter!  You two are amazing- I can always count on you.  Thank you so much for your constant love and support!

So this week was pretty interesting.  Last Wed we hung out with Aiuna, our super awesome friend that I love so dear.  (I'm pretty sure I've mentioned her before, and if I have, I'm pretty sure I spell her name differently each time.)  She showed us around Irkutsk a bit and it was super fun!  Then that night we went to the dress rehearsal of her play, and of course we didn't understand anything because it was all in Russian.  But it was cool!!  The play is called The Cherry Garden, I believe.  So that was fun!  Afterwards, the director asked us all how we liked the play because it was just a practice and she wanted feed-back.  We told her we didn't understand much of anything, but we enjoyed it!  :)   
Sister Gneiting went to Finland this past weekend so I had 3 companions.  Anya, Mondyhai, and Nastya.  They each spent a night with me which was fun.  :)  They each want to go on missions so it was a cool experience for them to be a missionary for a day each.  

We got a new investigator from English Club- her name is Hadya.  She's pretty cool.  She wants to know English really bad.  So bad even that as we were teaching her, she asked us to translate into english as we taught. ..... It was weird.  She said, I want to know about Jesus, but I also want to know English, and I think this will help.  But she seems very interested!  She already has read the Book of Mormon and she enjoys it!  So we are going to have another meeting with her tomorrow.  We have high hopes that she'll come to church on Sunday.  When we invited her to come this week, she was a little nervous.  So we'll see!  Helen and Natasha are both very busy so we haven't been able to meet with them.  Man it's hard when people are so busy and they can't meet with us.  It slows things down a lot.

Mom, you asked for a prayer story..  I don't know why but that's such a hard question!  As a missionary, I feel like I just pray and pray non-stop because we do- we pray all the time throughout the day.  Mainly because there is this scripture in the BoM that says that we shouldn't do anything before we pray and make sure the Lord is consecrating our day.  So I just feel like it's so important to pray at the beginning of the day and before we have a meeting with someone or anything of the sort where we might affect someone's life, like contacting or even leaving our home in the morning.  I feel like in our lives we need to constantly acknowledge that Heavenly Father has all control, and we should ask for His help in all things that we do.  We will be the most successful and the most happy that way, because we know we have the Almighty, King of Creation looking out for us and on our side.  I can tell you of experiences where I've had the opportunity to talk to someone but been so scared.  Then I pray for courage and strength to do it and He helps me.  It's like, when we realize all He can do, if we have faith and know that He answers our prayers, we can do marvelous things too.  But I don't know, I'd have to think about it for a while to come up with one specific situation about prayer... and you don't have time for that.  Sorry..... Man I wish I had more time, I could probably come up with something good.....  But good luck on your talk, and if you feel the desire to send it to me that would be cool!!

Thanks for the HUG!!  Here's one for you--  <---------------------------0------------------------>  
I hope Joslyn feels better soon.  That is no fun being sick, and especially when you're so little!  And good luck with your MRI- Man, that doesn't sound fun at all!!!!  Let me know how it goes!  I LOVE YOU!!!

Dad- I'm thinking it would be okay to send that adoption paper.  You could probably e-mail the Southams if you like and ask- Pres Southam is the 1st counselor in the mission presidency I believe.  Our mission president's name is Jon Trejo.  His e-mail is  I'm sure it would be just fine, but there's some info for ya.  :)  that's cool about your friend, Matt!!  I bet he was surprised when he found out about how you and mom got married and all that!!  Or did he already know?  Cool stuff!!  I love you!!!  Have a wonderful week at work and everything!  :)

Thanks Dayton for the e-mail!  Send some pics of this hyper Clay, ok?  :)  And of Ashley and you and your little family.  :)   And good luck with your Russian!  If you want to, you can e-mail me in Russian to practice!  :)  I love you!!!

I love you all!  Take care and have a fabulous week!  Until next time...........
С любовю,
Сестра Рид :)

1) Galina.  And Nikita her cat.  This woman is pretty funny.  She's inactive but came to church last week with us.  

               2) Me with Aiuna, my dearest dear friend.  :)

               3) On a bridge by the Angara River.

                4) Us on our little day out.

                 5) Pretty museum

6) Well that's something you don't see everyday!  You do what you gotta do when you're ice-fishing in Siberia!

                   7) Mondyhai- one of my dear companions

                   8) We don't get mail much...

         9) You asked to see what Irkutsk looks like in the Spring.... haha

Sunday, March 21, 2010

It's just another day in paradise...

AHHH!!! Thanks SO much for the e-mails!! I was so excited to hear from all of you! And it was SUPER great to hear from Kimberlee!! THANKS! And I will write you back a letter for sure- I hope it doesn't take forever to get there! And Mom, could you tell Sean McNulty that I got both his letters and THANKS for sending them!

So this week was good! Zone Conference was super super super great! We had President Schweitzer there and he talked a lot during it which was cool. He just really pumped us up! He talked a lot about obedience and things. I will have to bring my notes next week and share what I learned. We all had interviews with him which was way cool. He's just a really nice, chill guy, so it was a really good time with him.

TONS of people came to English Club!! It was way good!! And lots of new people. So we have high hopes with that! It's really one of the coolest ways to find new investigators... so we'll see what we can do.

I went yesterday and today without a hat!! Wahoo!! That means that spring is coming, and then summer! Well, eventually. But that's good news! And oh yeah, I will be here another transfer in Irkutsk with Sister Gneiting. I just can't imagine serving anywhere else but Irkutsk! I just hope this means that something really exciting is in store this week for us since we'll both still be here!
So no meetings with Helen or Natasha this week. :( They are busy girls. But we plan on meeting this coming up week so we hope it works out! We had a meeting with this woman, Tamara this week. We contacted into her, and it was a good first lesson! Then on Monday I called her and asked her when we could meet again, and she said, "I will NOT read your Book of Mormon and I will NOT pray." I was like, "Uhhhh.......why??" She just said that she doesn't need the Gospel in her life. Yeah, who needs the true, fullness of the gospel? Or maybe exaltation? I was pretty shocked.

Marina's just not ready at all to accept the Gospel. So we're not going to ask her to have any more lessons with us until she tells us she is ready. It's just too different for her, and she can't adjust or open up more. Like what you were saying Dad: it's a big deal for a person to open up to those feelings. I hope someday things will work out for her!

Good news, I am feeling a lot better, thanks! How is Joslyn doing?  I couldn't believe how much teeth she has!! She's so big! (cool guitar, Dad!)

Mom- Cool new calling!! That'll be super great!  And I got your letter!!! And the card! It made my day. Completely. :) Thank you so so much for sharing your experience with me. It really got me thinking. And I think I may have received some revelation from your experience as well. :) And yes, you are wonderful! So those good feelings you felt were totally deserved! (p.s.- you should force dad to take you to "Remember Me". hehehe! And did you go see New Moon yet?)

Dad- Yes, I would like to sign Joslyn's adoption papers as a sibling. Is everyone going to do it? That sounds like a really great idea. :) Very sweet.

Let me know how your talks are going- good luck with prayer- that is a very wide topic! But you'll do great! You're super awesome!!

Well I do love you all so, and I hope you each have a fantastic week!! Keep up the great work of being just super-tastic people!!

Until next week!

С любовью,

сестра рид :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Cow hides for rent!!!

Hello Fam fam!! Thanks SO much for the GREAT letters!

This week went by super fast!! I can't believe how the time is flying!! It's crazy to think that I only have 1 year left already! I need to stop thinking about it... it creeps me out. I had this nightmare the other night that I went home early! And like, no one was happy to see me! But in Russia I guess when you have a dream like that, it means the opposite so that's good. :)  I know this because I had a dream that one of you died (oh so sad) and this Russian girl said that in Russia it means that they will live a long life. So good news.

But anyway, finally English Club is starting up this week!! Finally! Yesterday, we had this sign-up and about 40 people came. I guess all together we had about 400 names and numbers that we collected as a zone when contacting, so we hope lots more come today to the 2nd sign-up. (Just sayin... Sis G and I had 202 out of those names :) ). Helen and Natasha came to church on Sunday! It was way cool. We wanted to meet with them after church, but they had to go watch the new Alice in Wonderland movie or something. Who does that?? Even if it DOES have Johnny Depp in it. And I may or not know that because there is a movie theatre across the street from our branch and they have huge movie posters on the side of the wall. I may or may not notice every time there is a new movie coming out. And I may have seen a new movie poster for a movie called "Remember Me" with Edward in it. Just saying!!

But yeah, we plan on meeting with Helen and Natasha this week. So we pray that something will happen with them!! We aren't sure yet if they've prayed. We'll find out soon. And, we had a super great meeting with Marina this week! Yes, we met with her! Man, I just love her.. she's so great. So on Friday we watched The Testaments with her. We all know how good of a movie that is! She loved the other movie about Jesus Christ, so the Testaments was perfect to tie in the Book of Mormon. She really enjoyed the movie. And we gave her 3 Nephi 11 to read and pray about. Last night I asked her if she had read and prayed yet, and she said she had! And she said that she felt really peaceful afterward. It was so cool! But she is still unsure. I think it will take a little bit of time with her just because this is all so new to her still. But she's making the steps and that's the most important part!

We had a really super awesome District Meeting this last week. We talked a lot about our callings as missionaries. And like what you were saying Dad, about how as missionaries we are called and set apart to a special calling and it includes a stewardship. We were reminded that only apostles and missionaries are called to be the personal representative of Jesus Christ. That's... wow. That makes me really want to make sure my behavior and attitude is in line with what the Savior would do. And we were reminded that in our call letter it says how we are called to "bring others to Christ." Not, "bring non-members to Christ." That means that we have the call to strengthen all in our area. Members and investigators alike. It has been prophesied that this area in Russia will grow and flourish. But it cannot happen without a solid foundation of strong members. That's where our part as missionaries comes in. Help out our little pioneers here. :) So it was a cool eye-opener for me. :)

This Friday will be zone conference!! President Schweitzer of the Quorum of the Seventy is coming to Irkutsk. So I'm pretty excited about that! And that means that this weekend I'll find out about transfers. Crazy time!

Dad- Thanks for your inspiration. You're right, those promises are in the scriptures everywhere. In the end, it's not us making these promises to them anyway.. it's Heavenly Father. And He already has many times in the scriptures. Cool! And yeah, people have rejected prophets throughout time, haven't they? Funny to think how people will think years and years down the road. Maybe finally they'll believe that Joseph Smith was a true prophet? Since he's still being rejected in this day? I do hope that something will spark Elvira and she will have the desire to know the truth. Some people just take a lot more time than others. And the cow hides were just there to rent at that place where the slide was. They did seem pretty fast- I didn't ride them because my butt-bone was still repairing. :) Glad your Birthday was good! You should show me a pic of that R2D2 remote. :)
Mom- That's stinky that Joslyn is sick! I can relate- I am sicky this week too! I hope she feels better soon! That's so funny about all the Russians in Other Mothers. You know what's funny is that here they'll have "garage sales" or "Junk sales" on the streets. They'll just lay a tarp on the ground on the snow and sell their old stuff. They're all about good deals on anything. ;) It's kinda funny.

Well since this week is Zone Conference, that means that I should be getting my mail!! I can't wait!! :)

I'm excited to hear from you! :)

Well I love you all very very much and I'm so grateful for all of you! Keep being happy and healthy and safe! And I'll talk to you next week!! :)

С Любовю,

Сестра Рид :)

aka- Beel, Little, Teedlep

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Letter from the "Snow Maiden!"

Hello hello!!

Oh goodness, thanks so much for the e-mails!!  I sure love gettin' em!  Sounds like it's warming up there, huh?  Nice!  I wish I could say the same for here, HAHA!  Hopefully soon, though!  :)

So this week was pretty great.  We met with Natasha and talked about the restoration with her.  She speaks English fluently and said she wanted to hear the lesson in English.  It was weird to teach in English...  But she seemed very interested in our message.  She said she would pray about it, so we have high hopes about her.  It's weird sometimes to just promise people, "I promise that if you sincerely ask God if these things are true, He will answer you."  It's weird to think that we have enough "power" to say that.  But we're called to do it.  I think I take advantage of that (take it for granted).  

We also met with Helen last night.  We taught her in English as well.  She had a lot of questions, but was very interested when we told her that we have a living prophet.  But the lesson went well and you can tell she was thinking a lot about what we had to say.  I hope she wasn't only hearing with her ears and thinking with her brain, but feeling with her heart.  Sometimes I know she felt something.  

We had a meeting with Elvira this week also!  We decided to just ask her what she believes.  She has been taught everything she needs to know before baptism (it was a while ago), and we just wanted to ask why she didn't get baptized and so on.  She told us that she likes the BoM, and she loves being around members of the church.. but she doesn't believe in a latter-day prophet.  And she has speculations about other things.  She said that she has good feelings when she's with us, but she also receives good feelings when she goes to her church.  (provoslavic) (like everyone).  Basically her main problem is she never received an answer if the church was true.  We talked a lot about that with her.  She wants a vision or a big sign or something to know it's true.  I can understand her.. I feel that way sometimes too when I want answers.  But it takes faith.  And she doesn't have that right now.  And she said she doesn't have much of a desire to seek out an answer and really try.  So it's really hard to see that kind of thing happening... but we are trying to see what we can do to help her.  We haven't completely given up yet.  :)

But anyway.... life is good!  Sometimes I think about what life would be like after my mission, and it freaks me out!  Haha!!  I can't imagine doing anything else right now!!  

Dad-  Thanks for doin the money!!  And I hope all is well with work and stuff!  Are you keeping really busy?  What have you been up to there?  And........... 
 HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!  
I hope your day is super great!  :) :) :)  Because YOU are!!  :)  I LOVE YOU!!!

Mom- How is everything with Joslyn going?  The adoption and stuff.  I hope it doesn't take too long!!  How's it going with the Russians in our neighborhood?  Have you tried talking to them yet?  I LOVE YOU  SO MUCH!!!  :) :)

Hey Mom, could you tell Lindsay Laird that I love her dearly and yes I did get her e-mail and I got one hand-written letter with the pretty petal paper so far.  Thanks!!!!  And could you tell her that she's awesome and WOWZA!!  :)
                1) Sister Tamara.  She is so darling, we just love her.

                                    2) One of my new scarfs!

                                    3) The other one!

      4) All of us on this old cool building in a town right next to Baikal

       5) The closest I've ever been to being Harry Potter!  :)

                         6) Crazy cool swing thing

7) We went sliding down slides on cow hides!  Russians know how to do it!

                                             8) Baikal!

                                 9) coolness

                                10) so so neat!

                                  11) pretty!

               12) The closest I've ever been to walking on water!!  :)

                13) where am I?? Antarctica?  Nope... pretty close tho

                          14) me and sis Gneiting

                                   15) Me

                            16) Снегурочка ("Snow Maiden")

Well I love you all very much and I hope you have a super great week!!  Keep being awesome!  Thanks so much for your support and love!!!  
С любовю,
Сестра Рид  :)

HAPPY MEN'S DAY!!! And other great stuff...!!!

HELLO EVERYONE!!!  Man, it was great to hear from so many wonderful people this week!!!!  I felt SO loved!!  Mom, Dad, Krystine, Lindsay, Abe, Jen (aka thweet lipth :) ), Blayre!!  Thanks so much for your e-mails and letters!!!  I wish I had time to write real letters.  But know that I love you all and am so glad to hear from you!  And I will do my absolute best to write you back!! 

So today was SO SO cool!  It's p-day like usual, right?  But it was an UN-usual day!  We went to Lake Baikal!!  One of the biggest lakes in the world.  It is all fresh water, and is actually 1/5 of the world's fresh water.  It's the deepest lake in the world, and it's longer than the height of Utah.  Just a little factual information for you.  
But anyway, it was all iced over!  Like, people actually take a day and walk across the lake for fun.  So we got to check it out today. It was BEAUTIFUL!!  I forgot my cord again for my camera (sorry....) but I will for sure show you next week.  I got some way rad pictures.  

As far as missionary work, this week was still pretty difficult.  BUT, we were going through the area book this last week a lot and calling up old contacts and investigators.  One girl, Elvira, was an investigator for quite a while but stopped meeting with the missionaries.  We called her up and she met with us!  It was really good; she's a very sweet girl!  We are going to meet with her again on Saturday so we're pretty excited!  AND, we had this super great lesson last night at the Southams with these 3 girls who came to english club before it ended.  Their names are Helen, Natasha, and Marina (the Marina from a while ago.)  We watched Finding Faith in Christ.  And it was so good.  Natasha really opened up and wants to learn more!  So we are meeting with her also on Saturday.  

This past week, we have been doing a TON of english club contacting.  We have these cards we pass out and invite them to come when it starts back up.  We have gotten over 80 names!  So we'll have a ton of calling to do, but we have a ton of opportunity for new people!  :) I don't know if we'll even have english club before the transfer ends at this rate with the painting still not started!  Gah!  

Dad- GOOD JOB!!!  You are such a great missionary!  I want to hear when you have a cool experience!  Your desire and attitude is the most important, and it's right in line!  That's so great!  And that's so awesome all that the ward is trying to do with missionary work there. Your ward mission leader sounds really dedicated.  Thanks so much for your testimony in all of your e-mails.  It really boosts mine!  It's so great! 
And thanks for the pics!!!  

p.p.s.- HAPPY MEN'S DAY!!!  Feb 23rd.. official Men's Day.  Hope you did something fun.  :)

Mom- WOW!  You have just been so blessed with wonderful experiences!  I can't wait to hear about them!  OH- and I got your card and post cards!  :)  Thanks!!!  It was wonderful!!  :)  And about the Russian people... you know, most Russians.... they just aren't very friendly by nature.  Only when they get to know you will they open up.  Maybe you can mention something about your daughter being in Russia and how much she loves it.  Ask them where they are from maybe.  See how much they know English.  (don't worry about sounding silly :) And saying hello or a smile will never offend anyone.  You have a great smile to share that would soften anyone's heart :) ).  I don't know, let me know if that helps.  I'll try to think of more things, too.  You're awesome!!!  (good luck with american idol... I hear US is kicking booty with the olympics! ) 

Speaking of booties... I fell 2x last week... Bah.  Now I have a sensitive rear-end.  

p.p.s.-  Anna from here in Russis told me that you commented on one of her photos on facebook.  She asked me what "goofy" meant.  :) 

Thanks so much for all of your prayers and thoughts!  I just know and have seen how much prayer works and am so grateful that you take the time to do that!!  I hope you know that I pray for you too!  I am so blessed to have you!  Also, I am so grateful for fasting because I know that when we sacrifice and really show Heavenly Father how much we want to learn from Him and be close to Him, He is more than happy to bless us.  He knows our hearts and our desires.  And He knows what we can accomplish.  All we have to do is put forth the faith and act.  

I love you all so much!!  Keep being awesome!!
с любовю,
Сестра Рид  :)