I wish I could just sit at the computer and read what everyone's up to and not have to write about what I'm doing because I just want to know everything!
We took the train to and from Irkutsk this weekend for zone conference, and it was a blast (as in a party and also like I was blasted with a spiritual firehose, but in a good way). Sister Wilson was so happy to see her MTC companion Sister Cox. All in all, there were six sisters in Irkutsk: Irkutsk (Sisters Isaac and Stevenson), Angarsk (Sisters Hawley and Cox), and us. We did a whole lot of street contacting, which Sister Cox loves. Her voice is so loud, and even though her Russian is still in training, she goes at it. I also got to serve with Sister Stevenson for the first time, and she is a ball of fun and laughs. It was also interesting when Sister Hawley, Sister Isaac, and I all ended up together because we're all more experienced, so we just all fell into our missionary routine very quickly. After being with all them, I have a new liking (not quite a love yet, but at least a liking) for street contacting.
Zone conference itself was so wonderful. Four elders who are leaving bore their testimonies, one of them being from Great Britain and two being from Russia. President Perkinson seemed to know just what I needed to hear. I also got to sit in on my first Mission Leadership Conference. There was also a member from Angarsk at the conference who was baptized nine months ago and served a mini-mission in Vlad. recently. He's planning on serving a full-time mission soon. Overall, a great weekend.
Now for the bad news. We were going to meet with Flip on Thursday night right before our train, but she texted and cancelled. We thought that was no big deal, we'll see her on Sunday at church, but a few hours later we got another text that said "I can't meet with you ever again." We have NO idea where that came from or what happened, but we've called her and texted her, and nothing. We don't know why she's disappeared. It looks like our number mighrt have been blocked. The elders are going to see if they can reach her, and we'll also talk to the members and see if they know anything, but we hope she's not gone! We love her so much.
We helped this girl (nickname - India) practice her English, and she shared with us her dreams of going to India and helping the people there. She has great English even though she's only 15, and her favorite book is Romeo and Juliet, which she gave to us in Russian. She's super cute, and although she's only interested in English for now, we're really excited to keep working with her.
Also, last P-day we went to the Buddhist datsan and took lots of pictures that I can't send because I still don't have a card reader. It was so beautiful, lots of intricate designs and colors. There were little kopeek coins all over in front of different statues. They also had tables with offerings, usually of food. We also walked the "Path of Long Life" which had little pagoda-things for each of the twelve animals that are associated with different years where people could sit and meditate.
Have a super duper week!
P.S. Do you see that big number up there? 50? When did that happen? I don't even know what I'm counting to, but that's a big number.
Ashlin answers questions about her mission president and if she is keeping warm...
Our mission president and his wife are so fun. I could talk with them for hours. He's big on our use of agency, and is really in tune with the Spirit. He seems to say just what I need to hear. His wife is super hardworking. She wants to learn how to play our mission song so she can accompany us, and she always gives her talks in Russian event though it's still so new. President Perkinson has lots of long-term visions for this missions. There are times when his sports background comes out, like when he pats and elder on the chest and then gives him a 3 second neck massage. He has a lot of trust in us.
Yep, we're great. I'm hoping to get my warmer clothes from Vlad. ASAP. We have enough coats to last us, and I have some tights and scarves. I think we're the coldest at home because our heating isn't on yet. We sometimes end up just wearing our coats indoors.