3 weeks in the MTC down, 6 to go. If I was a 6-week missionary, I'd be halfway through, and if I was a 12-day missionary speaking English, I would be in the field. Time here is crazy.
So many different things happened this week, and I don't even know where to start! We watched the Joseph Smith movie on Sunday, and it was so spiritual. We've been working on memorizing the first vision in Russian, and it's such a spiritual experience when we can share it with an investigator. We have three investigators right now: Vasya, Nastia, and Edward (that's in English). Nastia is such a sweet girl, and we she seems ready to accept everything we have to tell her and get baptized right away, so we'll see next lesson. Vasya is having a hard time praying because he doesn't know God, so we're trying to help him feel the Spirit and know God better by praying. We're trying to get across the message that sometimes you need to act on faith before your answer is given to you. I'm really loving Edward because I have feel the Spirit in every lesson with him. Satan is working on him, trying to keep him from finding the truth, but we'll help Edward all we can.
We had our first TRC lesson last week. TRC is when volunteers (usually members) from outside the MTC come in and hear a lesson from the missionaries. They're often returned missionaries who speak the language, so we taught two members in Russian - Clarissa and Matt. I was nervous for the lesson because I didn't know what to expect, but they were very nice and patient. We talked about how we know God loves us and what we can do to show God that we love him too. I'm excited for our next lesson tonight on receiving answers to prayer. I don't know if we'll teach the same people or not, so we'll see.
Devotional last night was by Sister Wixom, the primary general president. It was so good! I love devotionals. One thing I loved was what her husband said before she spoke. He shared a quote by Goete (spelling?) that was along the lines of "I love people who yearn for the impossible." In our devotional review, we talked about that quote. Strangely enough (haha, Spirit knows, not even a coincidence), the day before I had been really frustrated with myself because I felt like I hadn't been able to do 100% because my schedule is packed so full. When we talked about the quote and making goals, we thought about it like this: if you have a goal of, say, a level 5 (on a scale of 1-10 and 10 is the best), you'll most likely achieve a level 2 or 3, whereas if you set a level 8, you'll probably achieve a level 5. So, even though I'm not achieving everything I want to be 100%, I am still doing amazing and learning so much and I need to be proud of what I am doing.
On Thursday I auditioned to be a special musical number in a devotional, and it was so scary! Sister Nally (the MTC president's wife) knows music really well, and we saw her work with the Elders who auditioned before me. She is so knowledgeable, and I wanted to do really well. Apparently it was good, because I'm a yes! At some point before I leave they'll let me know when I'm going to play (it was "Oh, How Lovely Was the Morning"), so I might have that opportunity. Pretty cool! They have so many talented people here.
You never appreciate the outside until you are inside all day. Sister Lund is the cutest. She let us walk around outside one night, and it was so great. All the walkways are covered (so they don't get snow or leaves... or sun), so we love to sit in the sun. Appreciate it now, while you can. Sister Lund also has good games, like Catch Phrase (in Russian) and Ya Sasha (which we used to learn the colors and doesn't make much sense in this email, but it was a thing).
Pizza night. Last Friday. Russian record - 13 pieces. New record - 14. Who? Sister Balls-Barker! She can put away the food. She did several competitive eating contests when she was skiing, and her metabolism is so fast. It was a fun day. None of the Elders got past 9 pieces because they knew she would win, so they didn't even try. Meal times are the greatest.
We still haven't had any new Russian missionaries come in, so my district's still the babies! We should be getting ten new Elders next week, but no sisters. There are 6 sisters in our branch right now, so when three of them leave in a week and a half, there will be only my companions and me left until we get some new sisters. Every week in sacrament, the branch presidency chooses at least one elder and one sister to give a talk on the topic that week, in Russian, and we don't know until he announces it. So everyone has to prepare a talk every week and hope they don't get picked. This week is fast Sunday, so we're off the hook, but if there's only three sisters, we'll have to pray for the gift of tongues every week!
Also, we moved classrooms! We've been upgraded (*cough* kicked out) by the Spanish, so we're in a new building that has white boards instead of chalk boards and real desks instead of baby fake desks attached to a chair. The only downside is we're not allowed to have charts up because it feels like a 1st grade classroom. Really? Pictures shall be forthcoming, and you can judge for yourselves.