This is an awesome week because it's Easter! It's such a great time to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus and remember his Atonement and love for us (even though we really get to remember him all the time). It's interesting to see how different Easter is here. First, the Russian Orthodox church celebrates it a week after everyone else, on April 12th. We haven't seen as much "commercialized" Easter as I would think is in America right now. (Maybe that's just because we're missionaries and aren't in stores as much.) It's great to be spreading good tidings of Christ with people and just celebrating the fact that he lives. Not lived. Lives.
This week, the sister training leaders and zone leaders came to Nakhodka to do splits and zone training. We had a great zone training, and we learned a lot about how to make planning more effective and use our time effectively. It's also a great opportunity to learn from more experienced sisters and get new ideas on how to teach. Sister Holm (her name is really Sister Hill, but Holm [Холм] is Russian for Hill) has the greatest smile and she talks to everyone. Her personality is so endearing, and she seemed to be able to have a good conversation with anyone. I feel like often I get a lot of "not interested" or "I don't need that." Sometimes I've had people flat out ignore me and pretend that I'm not there and that I didn't say anything. It can be hard getting rejected on the street, especially when you're just trying to be nice and friendly, but it's important to keep being friendly even when others aren't. Be the example, like Nephi was to Laman and Lemuel. Even though Laman and Lemuel murmured, Nephi held strong to the iron rod, and his faith never wavered.
Then I got to serve with Sister Watts again! It felt so good to be with her. We just fell back into our familiar routine. I know I was so blessed to have her as my trainer, and I'm glad that we had that opportunity to serve one together one more time.
Unfortunately, Owl didn't come to church, so we have to move her baptismal date yet again. She just doesn't quite understand why church is important, and we're not quite sure what else we can do to help her. It's hard to know what to do with these babooshkee who have illnesses and memory problems, but we just do our best. Baptism is for everyone.
The recent convert from Lithuania invited her sister to English practice this week, and she was super nice. We had a good lesson with her, and I think it's good that now she understands more about what her sister believes and why she chose to be baptized. She left for Vlad yesterday, so we only got to see her the one time, but that's the best way to share the gospel, with family and friends.
We visited a former investigator yesterday, and we read the Bible with her in English and in Russian. She's way sweet, and she offered us tea. We told her we only drink herbal tea, and she reassured us that it was herbal tea. She brought out the box, and it was definitely black tea. Good thing we always carry our own tea around with us for situations like that. She also fed us oatmeal, and she was telling us all about how quick it is and how wonderful oatmeal is and that we should go buy some because it's just so quick. We're definitely going to find this new-fangled oatmeal and give it a try.
After we left that woman's apartment, we ran into Harriett on the street and had a two-minute conversation. While we were talking with Harriett, a man showed up that we had met several days before on the street. He told us that second time that he had a friend a while ago who gave him a Book of Mormon, and he told us a little bit about Joseph Smith. We gave him a Restoration pamphlet and got his number and will hopefully meet with him again soon.
A woman walked into church during sacrament meeting, and it was the woman who had a baptismal date for the last day of December and then disappeared! She came back to church all on her own, and we met with her and now have her new phone number. She says she wants to be baptized, but she only wants to be baptized in America. We're not quite sure why only in America, but at least she has a desire, and we pray she doesn't disappear again.
We also met with our investigator from Armenia again. We found her in February, and she left for Armenia two weeks ago to figure out her pension, but she's back! She is just a good, genuine person who lives a Christ-like life, and I love meeting with her.
We also had the opportunity to watch the Women's Session of General Conference in Russian with the members here. We'll be able to watch the rest of General Conference this weekend, but I hope you all had a chance to watch it. It's definitely a blessing to hear the words of living prophets.
Also, dare I even say it, on Wednesday I'll hit my 1/3 mark. 6 months on the mission, 1 year left. What?!?! Where'd the time go?
Happy April Fool's (hope you got in some good pranks), happy anniversary of the formation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and happy Easter! (With Easter!) Have a great week!