Transfer calls came this week, and... drumroll... I'm not staying in Nakhodka! Sister Isaac will be in Nakhodka with Sister Bell, who's currently serving in Irkutsk, but I will be leaving Nakhodka on Tuesday for Ulan-Ude. Basically, I'm going to be doing a lot of flying because Ulan-Ude is by Lake Baikal in Siberia. I'm pretty much going from one end of the mission to the other, and I think traveling across the distance of the United States. Crazy! I've heard good things about Ulan-Ude, like that they have a big, strong branch (about twice as big as Nakhodka). My new companion will be Sister Cavaness, and we actually went to high school together. We'll have a great time together. I'm sad to say good-bye to Sister Isaac because we only had one transfer together, but at least it was a good transfer, and I know she'll take good care of Nakhodka.
For my last week in Nakhodka, we've been meeting with lots of members to say good-bye. I got to bear my testimony in church yesterday, and several people complimented my Russian. I'm sure it's a lot better than what it was four and a half months ago when I first got into the country. I said good-bye to the Goldens, our recent converts. They have so much faith and are so strong, and I know they'll keep progressing in the Gospel.
Sometimes it's weird to think about saying good-bye to people. You never know if you're going to see them again in this life or not. I'm glad that we have modern technology to help us stay in touch, but I will be really excited for the day when we can all meet again. I've said good-bye to a lot of babooshkee, received lots of presents, and overall had a good time taking pictures and recording memories. Time flies on a mission, and I can't quite believe I'm closing my time in Nakhodka.
We did some service on Wednesday. One of the members in the branch signed us up to help at a cultural center, called DKM. The missionaries and several members gathered together and helped pick up lots of garbage in the park behind DKM. It was fun, and I got to wear pants! It was the first time I've gotten to wear my jeans outside in Russia. It was actually kind of weird to not be in a skirt. Nice, but weird. It was also nice to shake up the schedule a bit and do something different.
Another weird thing that happened was two cars pullled up next to us to talk to us while we were on the street. The first car wanted one of our brochures. (We had just handed two out to two women, so maybe they saw what we were doing and were interested. We really have no idea, they drove away right after we handed them a brochure.) The second car wanted to know if we were Jehovah's Witnesses, and when we told them no, they said that they are Jehovah's Witnesses. Then they asked who we were, and we told them, and they also asked us about America. They've been to New York and Atlanta, and they told us to go see New York. I've never been to New York, so I'll take them up on their advice one day.
We also learned that one of the recent converts, the one from Lithuania, was supposed to be in Vlad this last week, but President Brinton asked her if she could serve a mini-mission instead, so she's been in Ussurisk with Sister Watts. I don't know if I'll get to see her before I leave, but I'm excited for her.
Now I've got to get packing! I'm only allowed to take one suitcase with me to Siberia, so I have to figure out what I'm going to leave in Nakhodka and what is going to be stored in Vlad. Also, I'm going on a quick visa trip this week before I head out to Ulan-Ude, so lots of fun traveling! Gotta get to work, but hope everyone has a great week.