Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hello peoples!

Hello all of my loved ones!!

So life is pretty good.  Nothing much new to say.... but the work is going and we're working hard and all that good stuff!
I wanted to share an experience:

There is this babyshka (grandma) here named Tatiana.  (yes there's lots of Tatianas :) )  She is 70-something years old and is 99% deaf.  In order to talk to her, you have to literally shout in her right ear.  She is so cool.  Sadly, she is so lonely!  We make sure to visit her once a week.  We were over there the other week, and she was telling some story like usual... but this time she was more serious.  I was sitting closely to her and looking into her eyes as she talked and I could just see the wisdom there.  This woman has lived a long life and experienced, worked, and seen much.  Tears came to my eyes as I thought of, you know who?  Grandma Annie.  All of a sudden I really missed her.  I don't know why... but she popped into my head.  Leaving that meeting, I really had the impression that we need to do our family history and temple work.  Lately, it has been strong feelings to me that there are tons of people waiting and we need to do their work while we have the chance on the earth.  And I got a peaceful feeling as we were leaving that meeting, thinking about it.  Like a confirmation that it is true.
I just wanted to share that with you.... it's pretty special to me.

Mom- I thought for sure that my mission call paper was in that envelope with all the other papers.  I have no idea where else it would be.. eek!!!!  Thanks for taking care of all of that!  I guess if you don't find it in there, feel free to search my stuff... I hope it doesn't become too big of a problem!  Thanks for all of your sweet words!!!  I love you and adore you so much-- you are really the best Mom ever and the best example to me.  If you want to give me credit for anything, look at who raised me!  :)  I love you!!!!!

Dad- Keep being awesome!!  Keep doing good w/ family history and your missionary efforts! You are so great!  English is going well, there aren't very many people there lately which kinda stinks, but the people that are there are cool!  It's still way fun to teach, I love it. :)  Well I love you and you are awesome!!!!!!  Thanks for everything!!  :)

Keep staying happy and smiling!!  You are all so wonderful!!

Sister Reed :)

                                       1) Cool :)

                                 2) baba Tatiana

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Our Savior's Love shines like the sun with perfect light...

Hey fam!  Thanks Mom and Dad for the letters and pictures!  Glad to hear that the adoption and blessing went well and cool to see that so many people were there!  What a great time.  :)  That's so fun that you could all be together.  Thanks for all the details and stuff. :)

This week has for sure been interesting.  I was with a member, Oksana, for a week.  We had a good time... there's a pic of a day when we dressed alike and decided to take a pic.  We are twins with my name tag on.  :)

We got to visit with Tatiana again and as usual that was awesome.  We reviewed the first half of the Plan of Salvation with her and then told her about the second half.  It was way cool- she takes everything in so well and is always happy that she learned something new.  She is so busy- I wish we could meet with her more than once a week!!!  It's tough.

Also there is this really great woman who used to be completely non-active, but since we've met with her she's become just less-active.  Her name is Elina.  She is an english teacher and we've actually gone to her class to talk to her students.  They are adults of ranging ages.  She also has another class that is with beginners of the engish lang.  It was way fun.  But we finally squeezed in a little bit of time with her (because she is so so busy.  She works from the morning until maybe 11 at night.  She does all of this for her kids and to help support her family.  Her husband also works.)  and we decided to talk to her also about God's Plan of Happiness.  Things are hard for her because she is the only member of the church in her family.  We told her about what she needs to do to receive eternal life with God and with her family.  She said that she wants us to come back and teach her kids and hopefully her husband as well about this plan.  My heart just goes out for those people who are alone in their family as members of the church.  They need so much support from those members who are their church family, because they get it from no where else except the missionaries.  And eventually the missionaries leave.  But it's hard for her because she also works her heart out and she's trying to raise this family of two kids.  We testified to her about how if she places God first in her life always, He will bless her in all spheres of her life- family life, work, money.  We just have to show Him our love for Him and our faith that He will make everything work out for us.  But she's a really great woman- I love her a lot.

Besides that, you would not believe it, but I've been using my haircutting skills... haha!  okay just once.  There's this girl Djenna, who is 15 and starting up 9th class today.  yesterday, I gave her a haircut.  :)  Her and her mom struggle with money, and she's wanted a haircut, but they haven't been able to pay for one.  So that was fun.  :)

And of course, so very important, we had the dedication of the Kiev temple on Sunday!!  Oh it was wonderful.  There were probably 30 members who came to the dedication.  Our bishop made sure that it was a very special occasion- they deep-cleaned the church building a week before the dedication., and no one had been allowed to go in until Sunday.  He wanted it to have a clean, pure feeling like is present at the temple.  When we walked in, there was a slideshow playing of photographs of inside the temple.  It was so cool.  There really was a very special spirit there.  And the temple looks soooo beautiful!  Of course Pres Monson talked at the dedication, and it was super funny.  Everything was of course also translated into Russian.  There was this guy translation for Pres. Monson, and he was pretty good because Pres. Monson just winged the whole thing and most of the time, he was cracking jokes. :)  But I was touched at how excited and inspired the members were here for a new temple even closer to them.  It was a great day.      

So I am still here in Barnaul and I have a new russian comp.  Her name is Sister Fesenko.  So I hope and pray that it will be a good transfer.

Well I love you all and I hope you have a super great week!  Mom, tell me how your B-Day was!  Dad, I hope you have fun riding your motorcycle!  Hope it won't be too cold too soon!  (p.s.- It is SO hot today!)

I love you!
Sister Reed :)

We can beeee togeeeether... forever soooooomedaaaaaayyy! :)

Hello loved ones!!  Thanks for the e-mails!  (And thanks Ashley for sneaking in an e-mail to me :) You're the best! )

Well as you know this week I was in Tomsk, a different city about 9 1/2 hours an a bus.  It's a pretty cool city!  It reminds me of Irkutsk because it's smaller and has cool buildings like they do there.  The best part is the beautiful, big church building they have there!  It's the nicest I've seen yet in Russia.  I was with a Ukraninan sister named Sister Tanadaichuk.  We actually knew eachother in the MTC and have seen each other since we've been on our missions.  We had a good time together.  The sisters in Tomsk have amazing investigators, and that's who we met with most of time there.  I barely knew them, but I loved them for their faith and willingness to test our teachings and act on faith.  We actually set a baptisimal date with one of their investigators, so that was awesome.

On Sunday we decided to fast for the investigators in Tomsk, and I also fasted for mine here.  I have such a testimony of fasting- it works every time I fast.  I always also receive some kind of spiritual revelation that I needed at that time when I sacrifice for the Lord and fast.  After we fasted we were able to set a baptisimal date, and I've only been back one day, so we'll see what happens here in Barnaul. :)  Sister Tanadaichuk is a great teacher, and I learned a lot from her.

So that was my week!  Now I'm with Oksana, a member here in Barnaul.  She's been on a mini-mission, so she knows how to work, and the importance of keeping busy!  :)  Tomorrow we find out about transfers, and this time it's really a mystery.

I'm excited to hear about how everything went with the adoption and such!  Also, I hope that the adoption party was fun!  Mom, I thought about it, and do you remember that book about the Hungry Catepillar?  I don't remember exactly what it's called, but I remember that it had holes in the page and the catepillar eats all sorts of fruits and veggies.  That was one of my favorites. :)  I promise I will write something for her scrapbook, too.  I need to take time to think about it, so I will write it and then write you, ok?

That's so fun that Dayton and Clay were able to come there... I wish I could be there too but I will see you all soon!  I've been looking forward to you all coming in a few months as well!  I'll try to find out my release date and then let you know.  It's crazy how time is flying.

I hope you have fun riding your motorcycle, Dad!  Sounds like a great time!  I hope that someday I can get one and ride with ya... :)  By the way, I don't remember what the driver says.... I have a hard time remembering any song these days... :(  I hope you're happy about the house you're in right now and not bummed about not buying the other one.  Well I love you and good luck with everything!  Keep up the family history work!  How's it going, by the way?  I love you and thanks for everything!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TOOTS!!!  Haha... I mean MOM!!  :) :)

I hope that it's super awesome for you!!  You're the best!

Well I love you all and I hope you have a great week!!!!  You're all super great!!

Sister Reed :)

1) Are these flowers familiar?  They totally remind me of my childhood

                          2) I love this picture

                        3) Hanging out in his yard

                                4) More flowers

                                           5) Me

                        6) Someone's little dacha house

7) Everyone by the new to-be building.  yes, right now it is called "Mirage"

                           8) me and Sis Tanadaichuk

On the road again...

Hey!  So I realize that I am writing earlier than usual, so I am excited to get extra cool letters next week!

So the reason that I am writing now is because I am leaving for a new city, Tomsk.  My comp left today to go to a youth conference, so I will be without a comp for the last 2 weeks of the transfer.  So for a week they are sending me to Tomsk to be with a sister there and then I will return and have a memeber be with me here in Barnaul for a week.  Fun times.  It is kind of a pain, but that's the deal.  So I will be leaving today and will be on a 9 1/2 hour bus ride (gross).

But the good news is that we finally saw Tatiana this past week!!  :)  Oh my goodness I just love her.  We decided to just stop by because we figured that it would be easiest and she ended up being home and having a few minutes to visit!  We were so happy!!  And she was happy to see us!  So when I get back we will for sure be meeting with her more often because she is almost done with the remont (construction) she's been doing on her house.  Going and seeing Tatiana was really healthy for me because it reminded me of how much I really do love Barnaul.  It was hard for me to come back here after my visa trip, but when I got the call that I would go to Tomsk, my heart sank because I did not want to leave!  Then I found out that it would only be a week.  But the people here are amazing.  They are so strong and such great examples to me.  The church is true!  If it were not true, I think that that these people who are pioneers in this country would quit and not stay as dedicated as they are in the gospel.  Heavenly Father does watch out for all of His children!  He knows and loves each and every single one of us.  He gives us tender mercies and performs miracles in our lives every day.  I know that He lives.

Also, something cool was that we went and helped Marina again on her dacha.  (Garden get-away place.  i.e.- Satan's tool for consuming time and energy on Sundays instead of coming to church)  It was way cool.  I love the dachas.  It makes me want to have a garden someday.  :)  Marina was a bit late, so we decided to walk around the little dacha community area and take pictures.  I got some really cool ones, but I can't plug my camera in here.  So next week I'll send them.  But yeah it was way cool.  So we pulled weeds again for a couple hours.  It was actually pretty fun- the neighbors had their radio going and it was like some retro station.  They played some old school Russian songs and American songs.  They played some Cher song, too.  Hah.  But anyway- it was cool spending time with Marina and helping her out a bit.

So the members here have been waiting for a new building for some time, and on Sunday we got to have an excursion of it!  They finally got the keys and everything, and now they need to do some remonting ( I don't know if this is an english word... but it means like construction).  They were SO excited to be able to walk through it and see some physical evidence that this building really is theirs.
Next Sat or Sun will be a broadcast of the dedication of the temple in Kiev!!  So that will be way sweet.  We get to watch it here and everyone's pretty excited for it.  I think it's kinda inspired the members here to work harder so there can be a temple someday in Russia.

I was way happy to get a letter from Dayton and Ash!!  Thanks so much!   I love you!!!  Oh p.s.- Dayton, I found out what profession you need to look into.  I had this dream that last week that I went to the dentist to get a tooth pulled, and you were there assisting!  And it was in Russia, haha.  So the doctor allowed you to do it!!  Hah- I can't tell you how it turned out, but I think it was a sign that you need to go into dentistry!  :)  And hey... ты собираешься что бы ехать сюда?  

Hey, can anyone tell me when Kimberlee's B-Day is?  Thanks! :)

Well I love you all very much and I hope all is well with you!!  Stay happy and healthy and always remember to pray!!!

Sister Reed :)

Ha, ha, ha, ha.... stayin alive.. stayin alive...

Hey! How's it goin???

So you would not believe it but I made lasagna again this week... twice.  I don't know if I can look at lasagna again for a while...
But it is such a hit here and everyone wants to try it!  And I;m not gonna lie... I've gotten pretty good at preparing it.  :)

So life is pretty good.  Finally a few of my favorite members came back to Barnaul after being gone for a while.  One is this new convert, Vera.  She is soooo cool.  Another is Natalia, and she's just awesome too.  So I'm pretty excited about that.  :)

I've started reading the New Testament because I finished the Book of Mormon and the D&C.  So I'm pretty excited about that!  I'm really looking forward to studying more about the life of the Savior and His Teachings.  I know that we can come so close to Christ when we learn about His life and how He lived.  :)

In a week my mini leaves to go to youth conference, so I will find out what will happen with me.  I feel kinda tossed around.. haha.  It's kinda taking away from the stable-ness of missionary work-- if missionary work deserves that kind of description. :)  But I know that God knows what's best.  I have learned a ton from being in the situation I have been with my comp; I hope that I have become a bit more responsible, because there is no other choice in my situation, haha.  

Mom- Thanks for writing and I'm glad to hear that things are going okay.  I'm glad to hear that you have help during this time, and that you're not trying to do everything on your own!  Thanks for your love and advice and kind words.  I really really appreciate it.  I'm so grateful that you're my MOM!!!  :) :)

Oh and hey, is there any way I can get the Jolstead's home address?  I want to write Krystine, but for some reason I can't find their address.  Thanks!

                          1) Finland temple in the summer :)

                         2) What does this remind you of?

3) You would never believe me if I told you that I saw Anikan Skywalker on the bus, huh?

4) So it doesn't really look like it, but this guy looks just like Michael from the Office.  And that is his wife, Lena.  They are AWESOME!