Sunday, April 25, 2010

There Is Sunshine in My Soul Today...

It is so warm out today!  We went around without coats!  It's a miracle!!!  :)

So Thanks for the e-mails and the Birthday greetings!  :)  I'm glad to hear that things are going well with you all at home and abroad.  Yay for cousins on missions!

So this week has been quite unusual.  But super great!  On monday our meeting fell through with a member (как всегда) and we decided to go contacting a bit.  We met these girls and talked to them about English club.  Turns out they speak English really well, so we started talking in English with them.  It was cool- we invited them to come to English and explained why we were here and moved into the gospel topic.  After we were done talking with them, (nothing really happened, we just invited them to English and hoped to see them.... they weren't too interested in the gospel.) this man comes up beside us and says "hello" in English.  He said he just heard our conversation in English and wanted to see what it was all about!  We talked to him for a bit and invited him to learn more about the church.  He said that he had been investigating quite a few churches to find the truth, so he was interested in what we had to say.  We set up an appt. with him and gave him a Book of Mormon to read in the meantime.  His name is Kostya.  We've actually had 3 meetings with him since then and it has been SO good!  Pres Southam comes with us on the meetings and Kostya loves it because he just feeds him knowledge from the scriptures (some of it I didn't even know about) (he's a scripture WHIZ hardcore).  So It has been such a blessing to meet with him and actually see someone progress and change through the gospel and meeting with us.  So that was one cool thing.  (p.s.- Kostya is an artist and likes to pencil-draw.  He sells his artwork on the street like a lot of people do.  He gave us each a picture for free!  :) )

Another- On Friday we set up a meeting with this woman; her daughter is a member and she lives in America.  She brought her friend along to the meeting.  I'm not sure why.  But her friend, Gelya, was very interested in what we had to say.  Tatiana (the other woman) wasn't so much.  But we had a very short time with them, so we shared the message of the Restoration with them in maybe 20 minutes.  At the end, Gelya told us that she was baptized in another church and wondered if she would have to be baptized again into our church.  We told her yes and explained why.  She asked us what she could do to be baptized.  We asked her if she believed in what we just told her, and she said yes.  She said that she had been searching and searching for the truth and she thought she found it.  Wow.  So we talked about it and set a date, planning on helping her prepare in the meantime!  Yesterday we reviewed what we talked about last time and watched the Restoration film with her.  She said again that she's been looking and looking for the truth and thinks she found it!  She said that she thinks God sent her here to us.  It is just so cool!  So since she missed church last week, we'll have to push her baptismal date back b/c she needs to be at church at least twice before she can be baptized.  So that means it'll be next transfer.... eek!  But we are just super excited about that!

Anna hasn't been able to meet as much because she's preparing for exams.  But we are praying for her and we will meet with her when her exams are over.  We hope she isn't slipping.

But anyway, life is pretty good!!  Last week on p-day we played Monopoly and I whipped everyone!  That's for sure never happened in my life.  haha.

Things are just looking up and it's for sure a tender mercy.  I hope we will always be worthy of the Spirit so we can help these people progress the way Heavenly Father would have them.  Who knows if I'll see the end result of these ones.  It's kinda scary.... But I'll find out in a few days my future for the next 6 weeks.

Mom- Thanks for the VT message!  I really like the part that said " Prayer is your personal key to heaven.  The lock is on your side of the veil."  That really makes me think about how I need to work to receive personal revelation, and I need to "open" my heart to the whisperings of the Spirit from the other side of the veil.  Cool stuff- thanks!  :) I'm glad you enjoy your calling, too and things are going well.  I hope things aren't too crazy for the wedding weekend.  Good luck with that!!  :)  I LOVE YOU!!!  :) :)  And yeah, see what you can do about Mother's Day..... ;)

Dad- Thanks for being understanding about the clothes.  Man, it is nice to have just 2 new shirts.  And Jolee and I are on the same wave length.  :)  Thanks for your input on what I said.  Isn't it interesting how you can hear something 10 times and one time it just HITS you?  It's interesting.  But I agree about your attitude when doing service.  What's the point of doing it if it's not for the right reason, right?  It's something for me to work on for sure sometimes.  Yes, the natural man is a sly one.  (Just like the sneaky pants.  ...... Is that what they were called? :) )   About my picture... I will do my best to get that done, ok?  Hopefully by next week.  And I'll let you know which scrip is my fav.  That's a hard choice!  :)

Krystine- I love you and expect a letter in Vegas.... haha!  I hope it doesn't end up under the microwave!  You're awesome!!!  :)

Well I love you all and I hope you have the best week ever!!  You're the BEST!!  Talk to you soon!

Sister Reed :)

1) We sniffed out a delightful bread factory.  And we were hungry.... :)  But cheap, warm, fresh bread you can't resist!
                          2) Me and Nadya- a girl from the ward :)

3) A huge junk pile we found.  This was behind a window on a random street.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

And I think to myself... what a beautiful world!

Hello!  :)  Thanks for the e-mails!

SO glad to hear that my package came, Dad!  That is so cool!  I'm glad it got there safe and sound.  Still waiting on mine.. but in 2 weeks we will get mail again and I hope it comes!  In a couple weeks will be transfers and I will be headed off to Finland again.  Crazy that 3 months came and left already.  Where does the time go?  I hate thinking about how little time I have left here, but sometimes it occupies my thoughts and I have to tell myself to stop and just get to work while I have the time!  But time really is rushing by.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CLAY in a few days!!!  Ahh!  I can't believe he'll be ONE!  That's nuts!  :)

So this week was great.  We had Zone Conference on Friday, General Conference on Sat and Sun, P-Day today....  life is pretty good.  Zone Conference was super good this transfer- President really said some good things that got me thinking a lot.  You remember the story about Gordon B Hinckley and how his dad sent him that letter on his mission saying, "Forget yourself and go to work."  I've heard it a ton too.  But for some reason when President Trejo told that story again and testified about how that's a true statement, the spirit spoke to me and told me, YES: It's true.  I have caught myself being very selfish, or distracted, or just whatever.. and not focusing on the work.  I was not forgetting myself.  But I know that forgetting myself and getting to work is really the best way to be happy while I'm here and to have success.  So that was cool.
And Conference- it seemed like everyone talked about families!  That was for sure the theme this year!  But it's a good one!  I hope lots of people listened!  Satan is working so hard right now to break up the family- the most important unit we have.
And everyone gave great advice on how to strenghten their families and be closer to their loved ones.  It was just so good to hear.  I agree with everything that was said.  So it was really good!

Things with Anna are pretty good- she has a desire to be baptized, so we are helping her out with that!  Of course when she said she would like to be baptized, she all of a sudden got very busy with school and everything, so we haven't met with her since.  That always scares me.  But I am praying that all will work out and that she has a sincere desire.  She's just so shy; we're scared that she's not just agreeing to this because she's too scared to say "no."

We haven't met with Hadya.  She keeps being flaky.  So we're pretty much down to one investigator now (Anna).  It's just been hard these past couple of transfers.  I have the feeling that I might leave Irkutsk this next transfer, and I want to leave this city better than when I found it.  But I don't know if I'm quite there yet.

The elders did have a baptism last Saturday of an older couple- Vladimir and Tamara.  So that was cool!  It was probably the most crazy/dramatic baptism I've ever witnessed, but at least it was done!  You just never know what to expect.  :)

OH- I have a confession.....
We went shopping last P-Day with Sis Southam to find a new coat, and she took us in some stores to look around.  .....
I found some shirts that were just soooooooo cute, and I had to buy them.  I have been SO sick of my clothes, and I really needed something new.  So I used my missionary money to buy them and will have to pay that back with my personal.  I hope that's okay- I haven't taken out my emergency $ yet because banks here don't give American $.  So I will have to do it when I'm in the airport maybe in Helsinki.  So when I pay back my missionary money I will need more for my emergency again.  Sorry!!  I hope that's okay!!  Please count it as Christmas present or something, ok?  The shirts were about $55-$60 total.
But I promise you that they were worth it!.......... :)

Mom- Thanks so much for sharing that story in primary!!  That's so cool!  I'm going to print it out if that's okay!  What a neat experience for you, and yes you will have to treasure it!  How are you enjoying sunbeams by the way?  I love you!!  Thanks so much for your love!  I'm excited to talk in a little bit!!!  :) :)

Dad- Thank you for sharing that chapter with me!  I know, I do that all the time- just read and go, "okay, cool.  What next to read?"  And not spend too much time pondering.  And I actually read that chapter not too long ago. (we're reading the D&C as a mission.)  So I will have to go back and read it again.  Thank you!  And I'm glad you liked the tie.  :)  Too bad it got there so late- sorry!  Yes, those are our easter eggs we decorated.  Russians really know how to do Easter here.  The phrase you translated is correct: Jesus was ressurected.  And then the person responds: во истинну воскрес (Truly resurrected).  I love you!!  Thanks for everything!!!

Oh and I just read some cool scriptures from the first lesson about God as our Heavenly Father that I would like to share: Acts 17:27-29.  And 1 John 4: 7-9.  It talks about what His characteristics are as our Heavenly Father.  Enjoy!

Well I love you all!  Have a great week and stay happy!!  You're all the best!!

С любовю,
Сестра Рид  :)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Lead Kindly Light

Hello hello!  Thanks for the e-mails!  I do love them!  :)

We get to watch Conference this weekend and I am SO excited!  :)  I'll keep an eye out for the talks you told me about.  Did you see Elder Schweitzer on Sunday?  He was the one who came to our mission and I got to have an interview with.

Easter sounds like it was fun!  I did miss it at home, but thankfully we had a good easter time here.  Easter is a very big holiday in Russia.  When you greet someone on Easter you say, "Иисус воскрес." (Jesus is resurrected) and the person says back every time, " vo istiny voskres."(Truly resurrected)  So on the p-day before easter we decorated easter eggs and it was really fun!  And on Easter day we ate a delicious dinner at the Southams.

Yeah, I don't know what the deal is about the packages.  It makes me sad.  :(  But I will be getting mail in a few days so I will cross my fingers!  I'm not sure how to track them either.   :(  I actually sent off a package last month to you, have you gotten it yet?

So this week we have a new investigator!  Her name is Anna.  She is 15 years old and her sister is actually a member of the church.  She's inactive, but we've been meeting with her more because she lives next door to the Southams.  She's been living in Germany the past year studying there and is in town for a bit.  We've taught Anna about the restoration and she really enjoyed it.  She's kinda shy but in time she will open up. She's really cute- we enjoy meeting with her.  We hope to have her sister on the lessons too- she's so busy right now.  But that would be great.

The lesson with the woman we met on the street was really weird.  There was an odd vibe to it and we had the hardest time feeling the Spirit.  We had a meeting set up with her yesterday but she didn't show up- surprise!  So we'll see if we ever meet with her again...

But anyway, that's the life of a missionary sometimes!  I've been trying to embrace all kinds of days- hard/bad and good.  Yesterday I was sitting at English and thinking how happy I am to be here.  Every english club during gospel english, we sing a hymn in english and Russian (only one verse).  Lately though it's just been the elders because they all sing beautifully and they like doing quartets.  So I was sitting there listening to them singing and feeling the joy of the spirit and love for this gospel.  I hope other people felt it as I did.  It's been a while since I've really noticed that I've felt the spirit, and the spark of missionary work, so I was very grateful for that tender mercy and that moment from the Lord.

Mom- Thank you so much for your words of love!!  I LOVE YOU!!  Being here, and living with someone and being with them ALL THE TIME can get hard and I just want to be alone sometimes!.  But then I still really rely on those words of love and comfort and I thank you so much for them!!  I don't know where I would get them if not from you and my loved ones there!  Thank you!!  I love you very much, and I too am excited to strenghten our relationship.  :)  We'll be able to talk soon so that'll be COOL!!!  :)  I really appreciate you a lot.  I hope you know that!!

Dad- Good luck with your conference listening!!  That is the coolest thing- to listen to conference on your way to and from work!  You're awesome!  That was nice of you to help out during conference, too.  :)  I miss going to the stake center and watching conference with you.  I am excited to talk to you soon, tho!  Thank you so much for your encouragement!!  I love you!!!

Dayton- Thanks for the e-mail homes!!!!!!  Yes, I can relate- I'm starting to get cynical about setting up appts.  It's becoming a game now- trying to trick people into meeting with us- why aren't they just eager to do it???  Bah. haha.
Man, good luck with the hair-pulling problem.  Would you mind sending me some pics please of your little family???  THANKS!!!
GOOD LUCK with Russian!!  You'll do great!!  I can totally understand how it is going back after a year.  That's what I did too!  Not too fun.  But you're sharp- you'll get it good!  You are welcome to write me letters in Russian for practice if you would like.  :)  Ashley's funny- she'll be knowing Russian better than me soon!!  :)  I love you!!!!!!
p.s.- Did you ever get anything from me?.... just wondering with all this Russian mail mystery going on.....

Grandma!!- Thank you so much for your e-mail!  I am working on writing a letter to you right now, actually!  I hope it gets to you fairly soon!  I'm glad that things are getting better for you.  I'm sorry you're still in pain- that is NOT fun at all!!  Know that I'm thinking about you and praying for you!  I love you!  Keep writing me- I love it!!

Well, I better go, but this is the e-mail I need to be using now, so if you could send me e-mails on this one that would be great!  I know, I know, I keep switching e-mails, I'm sorry.  We were all just supposed to set up a new account on here.

I love you all!!  Stay happy and healthy!  I hope it's getting warmer there still- It snowed today after wearing no coat yesterday.  Bah!  Talk to you later!  :)

Sister Reed :)

Sweet is the Work

Hello hello!  How are you all??  Thanks for the letters and e-mails!  I got a letter from Lindsay this week!!  Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!  You're the best!

Well this week was good, like usual.  Hard, but good.  It gets tiring when people don't show up to appointments or bail out.  But we're still trying! We haven't been able to meet with Hadya this week........... hopefully on Friday.  We met with Helen, and watched the restoration with her.  She has a hard time believing in the restoration as an actual event, and doesn't have much of a desire to really know for sure if it's true.  So we're working on that.

So nothing too exciting to say this week-  I'm just grateful for the tender mercy to have those Mongolian girls.  They are all so strong, and truly growing.  They have a desire to grow and learn.  I just know that they will
be a very strong asset to the church one day and help this area as well as Mongolia grow.  It's always great to meet with them.  We did meet a woman on the street this past week, and we have a meeting with her today so we'll see how that goes.  We're trying to stay faithful in the hard times.

Thanks so much for your love and support.  No, I haven't gotten any packages yet.  But I'm waiting!  hopefully soon!

Sounds like your talk went well, dad!  Good job!  I bet it was great!  :) yes, I've heard of Jon Schmidt- I actually went to his concert in Rexburg! Isn't he awesome?!?  That's way cool that you got to go together!!  :)  How fun!

So with conference coming, I've heard it's really cool if you do a fast kinda thing.  In the MTC I can testify that it's true.  Of course, in the MTC the spirit is poured on you in immense amounts and you feel it anyway.
But to fast, it's like to go without media for a couple days or a week before conference starts.  Meaning, TV, non-churchy music, movies, and anything else distracting.  I can testify that the spirit will be more
abundantly with you, and you will be so in tune to learn from the spirit through the speakers at conference.  Anyway, a little challenge for you if you are interested.  :)

Well I hope you all have a wonderful week!!  Thanks so much for your prayers!  I appreciate them so much!  Sorry this letter is kinda lame.  But I love you all and talk to you next week!

С Любовю,
Сестра Рид  :)

1) Жаргалтогтох's Birthday.  We walked around Irkutsk and the Angara River.
(last p-day)

                             2) All of us

                            3) It's true

                          4) Another lovely spring day

                         5) A view of Irkutsk

                         6) Another one

                          7) Me and Жаргалтогтох :)