Hey there everybody!
What a crazy week! (Seems like I say that all the time right?) Thanks for the emails. And thanks to Sis. Spencer for writing me a letter that I got this last week and to the Hansens for the package they sent! I loved eating Skittles! I haven't had them in a while! Thank you so much for your letter and pictures. It was super nice of all of you! Mom, I'm always surprised that people like my letters home because I'm never really sure if what I'm writing makes any sense at all. Although, the more I think about it, the more I realize that my letters home are sometimes better than my journal entries. So, I'm thinking I might compile a huge binder with all my letters home that I can keep along with my journal entries so I can remember more of my mission.
Well, where to begin? We had a lot of plans fall through this past week, which made our evenings interesting. It's a lot harder to contact people on the street at night. And tracting is not always very liked by many of the people because they don't want to be "bothered" in the evenings. But that's when they're home so...
The highlight of the week was probably getting to participate in a cultural activity this past Saturday. The Jones family (one of the American couples that live here on Sakhalin and work at Exxon) bought tickets for all the missionaries here on Sakhalin as well as the assistants and President and Sister Pratt because they were here visiting this past weekend. It was a concert put on by a group of musicians that play traditional Russian music. It was really, really cool! They were all dressed up in traditional outfits and they had two singers that sang folk songs and it was just awesome. Several of the musicians played an instrument called the balalaika. It's like a triangular guitar, and it comes in different sizes. The base balalaika was ginormous! And the guy that played it was a good match. (You'll see what I mean from the picture I took.) The music they played was outstanding, and we all loved every minute of it. I got some descent photos and a few videos I'll show you in a year.
Saturday actually started out with my losing my passport somewhere in our apartment, which I fortunately found, and as a result we were late to our lesson. On the way, I took a nice tumble on the ice which wasn't exceptionally fun. In fact, my back side thanked me later for it. Then later that day, I got an awesome rejection from a woman on the bus while we were doing some bus contacting. She got tired of me asking her questions trying to have a conversation with her and told me to leave her alone so she could rest. Then that evening, I almost got hit by a car crossing the street. (Don't worry, I'm completely fine) but what a day! Oh and I cut myself shaving to cap it all off.
This last week has once again been filled with some wonderful food! We actually made cupcakes last night while studying, we had snickerdoodles from Sister Noble, we made some delicious marinated chicken yesterday, and an investigator fed us soup and this noodle meatloaf stuff that was pretty good... All in all, it's been a great week full of yummy food, hot chocolate, and some pretty warm weather. Things started melting this past week! It was crazy! Hopefully, it doesn't get too warm too quickly.
It's kind of hard to believe that I have already served for almost a year. Time flies far too fast. I don't want it to run out. Even though it's hard, it's so worth it, and I want to learn as much as I can while I'm here. Don't let one moment pass you by as good old Elder Rogers said in the Best Two Years. Every moment is a chance to serve the Lord and to help those around you come closer to Him. Every moment is one you can learn from to better yourself and overcome your weaknesses.
I love each of you so much. You all are amazing, and I'm super grateful for your support and your examples. Hope each of you has a great week! Stay safe and have fun! And read your scriptures!
P.S. The family is the greatest thing on the face of the planet. Never forget that. We met with an awesome family this last week in the center area while Elder Zamora was with us and the mom was asking us a lot about our families, how we were raised and what experiences we had growing up. I'm so grateful to have such a loving family. :) And awesome parents!