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Sunday, November 11, 2012


Hello all!

So yesterday, I'm sitting in choir, which shockingly I do every week because 1. I love the music 2. The director is hilarious and 3. It saves my seat for devotionals, anyway so I'm sitting there and Sis. Christensen and I talking about how we have like a month left and another Russian missionary turned around and said its actually 25 days. (or 26 i cant remember). Gulp!! We think our departure date is the 12th and that we get travel plans not next week but the week after. Its crazy!!! While I feel like I still dont know Russian, I know I can smile and bear my testimony! Game plan for Russian, talk to everyone I see and then turn it over to my hopefully fluent or native companion. As great of an idea that this sounds like to me right now, here's the kicker. In 3 different talks/firesides/devotionals we've heard this week, they all asked who would be in the field in November-I raise my hand. They talk about a 12 week training course we go through once we get there that basically qualifies you to be a trainer. Put 2 and 2 together: they straight up told us that with the expected influx of new (and younger) missionaries, we need to be prepared to be trainers in 3 months. Again, gulp! But I know at this point, the best way to progress is to immerse myself so here we go! As nervous as I sound, I am super excited to finally go to Russia and teach real investigators! Im sure 25 days still sounds like a long time to everyone but you can feel everyone cracking down here. Lets just say most of us sisters in my district bring earplugs to class and if you walked in during language study, you would think we were cramming for finals or something. Its crazy. 

Anyway, I can breathe now. So the new Russian missionaries came this week! And our new roommate, Sister Gates is going to Vlad! Along with 3 new elders. Sister Gates took 3 semesters, I think, of Russian, which is why she is paired with Sis Fairbanks, so it was humbling to realize that our new roommate would already speak way better than us. But I keep reminding myself I've only been doing this since Aug 29. Its so fun to have all of the new missionaries here and I feel like it has also helped us step up our game. This may be old news for everyone in the real world, but in Jan all of the MTC time is getting cut in third, so English goes to 2 weeks, Spanish goes to 6 and Russian goes from 74 days to 60! I think they are already trying to speed up the process with these missionaries, or at least I feel like they are getting more than I did my first week. Maybe I just blocked it out of my memory. 

To get more practice teaching, we teach each other too as investigators and while its good practice teaching, I think its awesome to think like someone hearing missionaries for the first time. While I was hearing Sister Braithwaite in my district teach me about Joseph Smith and quote the first vision the Spirit was so strong! As an investigator, i can't say everything would have made sense or I would have understood the magnitude of what she was telling me, but you can't deny the Spirit! Everyone keeps saying the missionary work is more about who you are than what you know, which comforts me in my coming adventures.

We also ran into a a lady who's husband was a branch president here and they served in Vlad a few years ago (coincidentally with my branch pres. son. small world) and she was telling us about Russian history a bit, how a lot of these people were exiled there for religious reasons in the first place so they may accept religion more than western Russia since they come from religious families. On Sunday, we heard from Sister Burton the Relief Society President and one of my favorite parts was when she told us she worried and cried over her conference talk. Which sounds weird that that was my favorite, but you realize that she's just like us, only leading the largest women's organization in the world, so with the Lord's help we can do anything!! Then on Tuesday, Elder Bowan and his wife came who just spoke in conference and he talked about how we need the Spirit with us while we are planning, finding, teaching and all the time! He talked about how the Holy Ghost takes the natural man out of us and I can be the first to tell you that I think coming here, I didn't realize how much I needed to change! Like the more devoted and committed I am to this mission, the more the Lord will be able to mold me into a better person! I'm trying my best and hopefully making you all proud! The Church is true and I love you all!

Sister Allison

(I may have time to send pics later, we'll see)

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