After our miracle Sunday, we had another miraculous and crazy week of service.
We did not get to meet with our stairwell investigator. We can only meet with him if a member comes with us, but he lives sort of far away, so it makes things harder to coordinate. He promised us that he was going to come to our Valentine's Day party, but didn't, and we don't know why yet.
Our baptismal date with her sister and brother-in-law were all at church again! We've had wonderful lessons with her and her sister. She's progressing so well, even though we're going slowly and simply.
We had another miracle attendance of 24 at church. Lots of people were there to say good-bye to the Andersons. The Andersons have made such an impact in the lives of the people here, and there was so much love yesterday (appropriate for Valentine's Day, no?). It was also Sister Hawley's birthday!
We found some old addresses from our potential sheets and learned that two people died.
I think most of the referrals we get are people pointing to their neighbor's doors.
A less-active who has been in a hospital somewhere far from Artyom called last night and said she's coming back to Artyom this week and wants to meet. That was a nice surprise. She said she gets our nightly texts. It's nice to hear that those are making some sort of a difference in people's lives, even if we don't know about it.
Our Valentine's day party was lots of fun. An investigator (the one who teaches English and likes the Gospel but won't be baptized herself) brought two relatives to the party, and our Relief Society President brought her nephews. Her sister (non-member) wanted to come, but she unfortunately was sick. We had several investigators, potentials, and other members promise to come, but they didn't show up. We don't yet know why for most of them. We played games like Pin the Arrow on Cupid, Ninja, made Valentine's hearts, ate pizza and dessert, and had lots of fun.
We tracted one night, and a man shut the door on us. We kept going down the hall, and that man came out, dropped into the Russian squat, and had a smoke. While we were waiting for people to answer, he yelled at us and asked what we were doing. We talked to him for about 15 or 20 minutes after that. He said that he just got interested as we were talking. He ended up taking a Book of Mormon. He was so funny. He would ask questions like, "so, if I get an answer, then what?" or, while holding a Book of Mormon in his hands, "what differentiates you from the Jehovah's Witnesses?" It was a very interesting conversation, and maybe we'll drop by him again.
The last fun story actually happened after P-day last week. Sister Hawley and I bought some chocolate from the local chocolate store to try, and it was really good chocolate. We were watching a movie, winding up P-day, and the last chocolate we had was full of pine nuts. They made my throat a little scratchy, and I asked Sister Hawley how she felt, and she said fine. I was drinking some water, and then my tongue started tingling. We bought thought that we found out that I have an allergy to nuts. Who knew? We left to go to family night at the church, but on the way my stomach didn't feel great. We got off the bus, started walking, and I said, "I think I'm going to throw up." And then I did right there. Thankfully, we used the fresh-fallen snow to cover it up. I felt a lot better after that, and thought that my allergy was stronger than I thought at first. We got started with family night (the Andersons were teaching), and then I got up to go to the bathroom because I wasn't feeling good again. I started coughing and having a hard time breathing, and my head was swimming, and my lips puffed up, so I called for Sister Hawley. Thanks to her, the Andersons, the elders, and the wonderful members, I got some medicine, some Sprite, some crackers, and a great case of hives. By the time the hives showed up, I wasn't coughing as much. I was red from my neck down. It was pretty hilarious. Now I'm just not allowed to eat nuts until I go home and visit an allergist. Hee hee.
Artyom is doing so well. The members are definitely stronger than they were when I arrived. I'm excited to see what will happen next here! This is where I'm staying until the end of my mission. :)