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Thursday, January 10, 2013

email received from Amber on Nov. 7, 2012

Hello family!


An update on the visa situation. Apparently we had visas, because we all signed them but the Church is trying to get us "preacher" visas instead of educational visas which means we only have to renew every 6 months officially. Which is cool that the church would be recognized for reals in Russia! The first few days were rough mainly because our teachers were acting all excited  and talking about how awesome it would be that our districts would be split so we could teach the new Russian missionaries but tender mercy number 1, on Sunday our branch president came and said he talked to our teachers about their ideas for us and he vetoed their ideas because he wants us to be able to continue progressing in these next few weeks. So we think they will be able to find us a class room and just go to the other classes when we can help. Which I love that idea. Also, he said he's going to try one of the days to come to a half day seminar about language study in the Russian BOM which would be awesome! We wont have teachers after next monday or tuesday so lots of personal study time which i'm excited for! 

Last wednesday, we did How To Begin Teaching with all the new missionaries. It was so fun!! The first was a stereotypical uninterested woman who was super unresponsive, didn't give us much information about anything and the second was a sweet old man who was so nice and open about everything. The first was super good practice for what I'm sure I'll encounter in Russia but the neatest part of the night was realizing I loved  them both the same and that Heavenly Father loved them both the same and that the gospel could bless both of their lives so much! I'm so excited to be able to talk to real people about how this can change their life for the better. We also had 2 opportunities to do a Plan, Study, Teach, cycle with some of the younger missionaries. Basically, we walked them through a 3 hour block of doing a short personal study, comp study, language study, and then teach with them. We prayed for opportunities to work on improving as missionaries and not worry too much about the language and Heavenly Father has blessed us with chances to do that. It was neat to see that our language has improved (a little) since then but more than that how much we've learned about planning for our investigators etc. And this next comment is for mom and dad: after our second time teaching with these sisters their teacher commented that I spoke really fast Russian for still being in the MTC. While I'm sure my grammar was nothing to speak of, at least my fast talking will pay off for 15 months and that the Russians will appreciate it:) 

Saturday night, we wrote our testimonies like we were saying them the first Sunday in Russia and then said them to the class. It was so neat to think someday we will actually be there! And then Monday night we practiced talking after knocking on doors which is super nerve racking to think about! But it was so fun!! Finally real life application is happening!

 I'm so grateful to be able to serve the Lord right now! I know I need to work each and every day to become like Christ and that I still have a long way to go. But how grateful I am for the Atonement so I can repent every single day! I love this gospel and love you all! Have a great week!

Sister Allison

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