Happy Pi day! In Russian, Pi is said "P" (like the name of the letter). That's why today is the best "P" day ever. We're in Vladivostok today with permission from the mission president to get some medicine for one of the sisters, and that also meant a blessed opportunity for sight-seeing, picture-taking, and souvenier-shopping. This day may have made up for a whole mission's worth of pictures and shopping.
March 8th was Women's Day. Thanks to all the women in my life! Tulips are a huge gift on this day, so there were lots of little stands selling tulips. Yesterday was also the first day of "Maslenitsa," a holiday to celebrate spring. There was a big gathering by the cultural center in Artyom.
One of the less-actives came to an activity late. He usually doesn't participate, and he didn't that night, but he was even quieter than usual. After the activity I asked him how he was doing, and we somehow talked for about fifteen minutes. He himself says it's too late to change his life and that he can't get what he wants, which is to go back in time and change something from his past or something like that. Even though I wasn't able to give him a perfect answer, I think he needed somebody to talk to. He has so much bottled up inside. That gave me a different perspective on the phrase "talk with everyone."
We visited another less-active and sang hymns with her. Even though it felt small and a little awkward, she was grateful for it and called it "miraculous" in her prayer. Also, her TV broke the night before, so she stayed up late reading the Liahona magazines. Oddly enough, today she was healthier and happier than usual. Coincidence? I think NOT!
We've also been trying to find a place where we can donate clothes that have collected in the branch, and we stopped by an old folks' home. They then pointed us to a hospice run by a church called "Path to Salvation." The lady that we talked with was very nice, and she shared her story of how she came to believe in Christ. As they walked us along the hall, Sis. Hawley recognized one of the grandpa's as one of the less-actives from our church. We have had no contact with him for about a year, and we randomly found him at this out-of-the-way hospice. I can't fully describe how neat this place was. The last crazy thing was that they have a giant blown up picture of Christ at the Second Coming that looks a whole lot like the one in our church. (It's the one where Christ is surrounded by angels, wearing white, hands outstretched.) I want to find the real picture and show it to them. We're going to go back soon to actually donate the clothes.
Those are some of the cool happenings in Russia. What a blessing it is to serve here!