Sunday, May 30, 2010

"Come Follow Me..."

Hello all!

It sounds like you all had a great week!  Let me tell you- it is SO HOT today!  Like, unpleasantly hot.  I know I shouldn't complain.  I complain when it's cold, and I complain when it's hot.  It would be nice if it was just a nice.... warm.  Haha.  This is some news: I have my first minor sunburn.  Yesterday we were outside most of the day and I got a lot of sun.  I only got burnt on my arms, thankfully.  I guess it's time to get some sunscreen....

We have just been busy, busy, busy.  I'm trying to still be myself and have fun, while working hard at the same time.  It seems like something that happens often to missionaries... they can get into a mode.  My companion is almost done with her mission, so she's pretty hard core.  Her name is sister Timofeeva.  We had fun yesterday having a picnic with these two girls, Ira (Eeera) and Ira.  One of the Iras is leaving for several months, so we had to have a last lesson with her before she left.  She just got baptized maybe 2 months ago, and is SO good!  I will so miss her for sure.

We also met with Svetlana a couple times this week. It was so lame because this last time we were over, they were all DRUNK.  We scolded her with love at the end of our "lesson."  She had a hard time paying attention.  And there was this other guy there who was asking tons of questions, interrupting our lesson.  Bah.  So we are trying to figure out what to do about her.  I understand how the Word of Wisdom can be so hard when you've lived a certain lifestyle your whole life, then you have to change it so abruptly.  It takes a lot of faith.  Especially in Russia.  EVERYONE drinks tea... and most drink alcohol.  It's a definite hardship.

I taught English Club yesterday... 3rd group.  They're the group that speak the best English.  So it's way fun- we get to have more conversations.  Sister Holmes (senior couple sister) used to teach that class and used to prepare really good lessons.  We'll see what I can do... haha.  The Holmes actually left for home this morning!  So they will see their families... today.  In America.  It's weird with the time change.  But it was bitter-sweet for them to go home.  On Saturday the ward set up this going-away party for the Holmeses.  It was like a concert, with different people performing different things.  It was pretty cool.  It's nice to see how the members really appreciate the missionaries- especially senior couples- and acknowledge all they do.

Dad- Thanks for sending the pictures!  It looks like they had a lot of fun in Oregon!
Yes, I hope to bring home some Rubles!  I hope you have a super great week!  Thanks for commenting on my pics... :)  Glad to know that you enjoy them.  If I'm not specific enough with my letters, let me know!  How is work, by the way?  What have you been up to there?  Anything new and exciting going on?  I love you!!

Mom- Awesome to hear that you had the chance to experience a crazy bachelorette party!!  Haha!  Probably a good thing that older ladies weren't invited, huh?  :)  How is your arm, by the way?  Let me know how you are!  I love you!!!

                   1) All of us with the Holmeses

           2) The MTC is every where in Russia.  (It's a phone company :) )

                                    3) Cool ladder

                       4) Herb TEA.  Princess Java... pretty tasty

               5) A member named Lena performing a dance.

                         6) Me with Ira and Ira

                              7) Sisterrr Reed

Have a great week and I am so so happy that you are my family!!  I love you all!!!

Sister Reed

Sunday, May 23, 2010

As I am...

Happy Wednesday!  (Tuesday for y'all :) )

Thanks for all the letters I received!!!  Jolee, Krystine (yeah you won! Good job!! :) ), fam... THANKS!!!  Keep me updated- I love it!  :)

I'm glad to hear that the wedding was super great of Kimberlee and Shon.  I wish I could have been there.  But I for sure thought of you all weekend, knowing what was happening!  I can't wait to see pictures!  :)  And sounds like all was fun with having everyone over.  Good times!

This 1/2 week was cool.  On Saturday we actually went on an "excursion" of Barnaul.  We looked at some of the sites and learned about its history.  Well, the people who understood Russian learned about its history, haha.  But it was really cool.  And the weather was DIVINE!  I'm thinking... 75/80 degrees farenheit.  Too bad today it's snowing... :( :(.

I wish I had exciting things to talk about as far as investigators.  Right now all we have is old investigators who aren't really progressing.  We are trying to work with one in particular, Svetlana, who has an old baptisimal date.  And we had to move it again because she's not ready to be baptized.  So we are doing our best to prepare lessons for her and teach her with power and the spirit!

We are striving for new people to teach!  So that's one of our main focuses right now.  But besides that, we have lots of awesome newly-converted people that we are working with.  I remember when we were talking on the phone, that you said how teaching new converts is just as important.  Before that, I thought that only teaching people to be baptized was really important.  But it is those new converts that will help build the kingdom here in Russia where the church is so new and fresh.  So I'm glad I got reminded of that.

Mom- Thanks so much for your love!!  It means so very much to me!  I hope all is well with you- are you feeling better after your shot thingy????  I hope so!!  Did you even have the shot... by the way?  :)  I hope that you can also come here in Feb.  That would be so cool too because the Kiev, Ukraine temple will be open and we can all go there too!  :)  I love you so much!!  :)

Dad- Thanks for the Benji picture..... hah.  I'm so glad it's the picture I got this week.  :)  No, I haven't been to the ammo place yet... hope some day!  :)  The people in Barnaul seem a bit more laid back than in Irkutsk. Not as pushy or in a rush.  It's nice.  We get to see a lot more kids out and about, too!  Little Russian kids are sooooo cute!!!  Thanks for everything, Dad!  For your prayers and support!  I love you!!!

Grandma- I was so happy to hear from you!  Thanks for the e-mail!!  I hope you are feeling better and you are up and about more these days!  I love you so much!  Everything's good with me, don't you worry!  :)

Well I love you all and I hope you have a fantastic week!!!!  Stay happy!!  :) :)

Sister Reed :)

                        1) The memorial for Yuri Gagarin

                              2) Some city-ness

                                  3) Cool building

                                     4) The district

                        5) it's hard to tell, but it's at the top of a hill

                        6) Barnaul has its own Hollywood-esk sign

                          7) More garden borders.  Old plastic bottles

                                      8) Rubles

                                 9) More rubles

10) remember that.... Sister Reed loves you!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

This is a story about a girl named Lucky...

If you guess where that comes from you get $1,000

Hello!  Sorry this e-mail is so much later than usual- we had Zone Conference on Wednesday, so our p-day is Saturday this week.  But I guess that's good- it means I have more to talk about with y'all!

It was super great to talk to all of you!  Now until Christmas...

So like I said, we had Zone Conference on Saturday in Novosibirsk, so that was cool.  We went on a bus there on Turesday and stayed with some sisters over night.  It actually snowed Tuesday night/Wednesday, so that was a shocker!  But I guess it figures... in Siberia.  Haha.  The Missionaries from Barnaul, Novo, and Tomsk were there.  So it was fun to see elders I had served with, and of course my sisters from the MTC.

Now I'm back in Barnaul, and the weather is pretty splendid!  I'm not sure what to talk about... nothing much is new here.

Dad- Sounds like you had fun being a "nursery mommy" for a day, haha. :)  That's pretty cool.  You are always good at that kind of stuff. :)  Yeah, I went to the temple in Finland again and it was sooo splendid.  It was much needed.  I'm so grateful for the opportunity to go to the temple every 3 months.  It's not usual on a mission, from what I hear.  And you are right- that is a memorial for WWII.  It's called "everlasting fire" or something along those lines.  I guess there are one of those memorials in most cities in Russia.  That's what I hear, anyway.  That's cool about the ammunition stuff.  I didn't know that about Barnaul.  I'll have to find out more info on that.  But you're awesome and I love you!!

Mom- Yes I would love to go on a retreat with you when I get back!!  :)  Let's do it!  I'm sorry about your shot appt.  I hope you had it done and that you're feeling better!  Let me know how it went.  Right now you have tons of people at your house.  Crazy!  Tomorrow is a special special day!  :)  How cool that Kimberlee went through the temple the other day.  Definitely a special time.  I'm excited to see pictures of this weekend!!  :) :)  I think the flower idea would be really sweet!  You are so thoughful!  Thanks for doing that, Mom!  You can tell her this:

Sister Grannis-
Thank you SO much for your letters!  Thank you so much for your support and love.  I really appreciate the effort you put into writing me letters. (You are, by the way, one of my most dependable writers!  :) )  I hope your week is super wonderful and you are feeling cheerful with the beautiful weather I hear is there!  You are so great!  :)
Sister Reed

Thanks for doing that.  :)  

Well I love you all so very much and I hope all continues to be well with you!  Thanks so much for your love!  Have a great weekend together this weekend!!  :)

Much love,
Sister Reed :)  

                   1) me, sis fronk, sis rivas- MTC sisters! at ZC

                                 2) our branch building

            3) in America, you'd see little picket white fences around the garden.  Here you have.... little white... tires?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Proverbs 3:5-6

That's one of my favorite verses....

Well Hello all!!  Thanks so much for the e-mails!  It was fun to read about everyone.
As you can guess, things have changed quite a bit for me.  I'm in a new city with a new comp.  It's almost just as hard being with this Russian comp as it was with my first.  I'm really out of practice with my Russian from having an American comp last time.  And.... just the culture difference... it's a learning experience.  :)  It for sure could be worse.

So the train ride was cool- I rode on the train with Sis Fronk again... she got transferred as well.  So it seems like we are just taking this mission journey together really.  It's funny.  It was good- I got to sleep and wrote a few letters and stuff.  And we made a new friend.  This little girl came in our koupe (i don't know how to spell it) and decided she wanted to play with us.  It was pretty funny.  After a while we wanted to sleep, so we would tease her a bit (hiding her toys so she would get a bit irritated and leave).  haha.  But nothing mean of course.  :)  And we actually took a stop in Krasnoarsk and I saw Sis Gorlova!  She came to the train station along with Elder Player who I served with before too.  It was cool!

So we eventually arrived in Novosibirsk where I stayed overnight and then got on a bus the next morning for Barnaul.  Me and Elder Larkin arrived there and no one was there to pick us up.  We waited for maybe 30 minutes with all our luggage and stuff in this new city, and finally the missionaries showed up.  My new apt is pretty nice!  Nicer than the one in Irkutsk.  Barnaul is pretty cool- there are a lot more nicer buildings here and big apt complexes compared to Irkutsk.  But no awesome, pretty wood houses.  I have a good feeling about this city, though.  The people seem less pushy and more laid back a bit.  It's cool.
I for sure miss all my dear loved-ones in Irkutsk, though.  :(

Mom- I'm sorry about your arm!!  I hope things really get better next Tuesday when you go in again!  I'm super excited to talk to you for sure soon!!!  And I'll answer all questions on the phone, ok?  :) :)  Yes, I am not dead....  HAHA.  And thanks so much for sharing that scripture with me.  Yes, I remember how you shared Ether 12 with me and how it really did help me in that time of need.  You are quite close to the spirit, it's true.  :)

Dad- I'm glad you liked the pic.  I hope it works for ya.  I know, the dog in the background is funny, haha.  My comp took that pic for me.  That would be really cool if you served in Russia on your mission!  :)  I think that you would really like it!  But of course I would say that.  :)  And good job on finishing the Book of Mormon!  Go you!  :)  I'm almost done finally- I started in the MTC.  I bet you've passed me up a couple times already.  :)  But I can see how it would be really cool to read the Book of Mormon each time with a different view point.  I will for sure do that next time!

Ash- Thanks for the letter!!  I'm so excited to hear that Clay is taking steps!  Man, I wish I was there to see y'all when you go to Spokane in a few weeks!  Keep me updated on everything.  :) I love you!!  :)

So I have an idea.  How about you all have questions and things ready to ask so we don't waste any time, ok?  It would be sad to feel like we didn't use our time the most we could have.  Okay thanks.  :)

Well I love you all dearly and I hope you have a super great week!!  Talk to you so soon!!!

I love you!!!

Sister Reed :)


                         us waiting to leave

                         my feet on the train

                      ask me about these things

                                and these

                              my apt building

                          i don't remember what this is....

               or this.... I downloaded too quick w/o remembering

love you!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Time may change me... but I can't change time.

HEY!  Thanks for the e-mails!

So I have some depressing news..........
I am leaving Irkutsk..... *whine*

I will be leaving tonight at approximately 5:50 pm across the Siberian Railway about 3 days away to a city called Barnaul.  I should arrive Friday morning-ish/afternoon-ish there.  I am super sad, yet I am ready for a change.  Of course I gave a talk on Sunday, and I felt like I was giving a going-away talk again.  Irkutsk has really become my home, and I love it here.  More importantly, I love the people here.  I don't know how I can just leave them.... and maybe never see them again.  It's way hard.  I just hope that Barnaul is as cool.  I think that no matter where I serve, Irkutsk will always be my favorite city.  The people there will always have a special place in my heart. :)

So next week I should have a very interesting e-mail for you.  I'll let you know how Barnaul is.  My new comp will be a Russian sister, so that will help my Russian.  She and I will be "whitewashing" or "shot gunning" the city (however you want to call it).  Neither of us have been there before, so it should be interesting!

Other news: My Birthday was great.  one of the funnest I've had!  After church, Elder Nelson and Elder Whitchurch made me a cake and they surprised me with it.  There were all the missionaries and some friends waiting in a room for me.  It was fun.  Then we went to Nastya and Yana's house with our investigator, Anna, and we flied kites!  It was so fun because none of them had ever done it before!  Sadly, the kites were too small to really control with the crazy wind that was going in every direction, so it didn't work out as well as planned.  But it was still way fun to just spend time with them.  Then Nastya made a delicious dinner for me!  She is so kind.  It was really a great day.  :)

So we found a cool investigator, her name is Diana.  It's actually a pretty funny story about how we found her, but I'll have to tell it later.  She's really cool and she's obsessed with Michael Jackon.  We haven't been able to meet lately because she's been busy, but I have high hopes for her for the future.  Kostya is making progress.  He was still hung up over resurrection, and having some doubts about the church.  But we had Pres Southam on our last meeting with him, and he helped his concern.  It was really cool because Kostya had never really prayed before in his life, but he has been lately.  And this last time right before he met with us, he said he received a prompting to come to church the next day and meet with us like we planned.  (he was planning on not showing up or something.)  He said that he's been praying about what we've been teaching him, and he said he's not sure if that was an answer or not.  But that was really cool to hear him tell us.
Gelya decided to go out of town all of a sudden last week.  So next week I'm sure they'll have a meeting with her.

Today for P-Day we went to Alevtina's house.  She is an amazing cook, and she showed us how to make pelmeni.  It was so cool!  We had a lot of fun, and the best part was EATING IT!  Mwahahahaha!......  (Pelmeni is like a ravioli, but without the tomatoey-ness.  It's like hamburger with onion inside bread.  It's way super popular and very tasty.  :) )

I am sad that everyone is sicky!  I hope you all feel better soon!!!!  I love you all and thank you so much for your letters and love and support!!  Talk to you all soon- yay!!!!!!!!!  (I'll let you know what number to call when the time comes. )

You're all the best!!!

С любовю,
Сестра Рид  :)

              1) bread I made!  HAHA- looks like it's bleeding.  It's m &m's

                2) We had a crazy snow storm the other day out of no where

                       3) Outside of the branch building

                            4) happy birthday!

                      5) sis g, diana, me, anya, nastya

                           6) me and Yana!

                                  7) kite!

                   8) all of us! anna, sis g, yana, me, nastya

                             9) one choice for the picture

              10) a closer-up view.  you can crop it however you like.  my shoes are pretty dirty in these pics

                          11) all of us at Alevtina's!

                     12) the elders hard at work

              13)  Alevtina showing me what to do.  She put that on my head to cover my hair.  :)

                             14) Hehehe.  Пелмены !

                             15) before it'a cooked

                    16) the finished product!  It was really good!!