This was such a crazy week! I said good-bye to Nakhodka, went on a visa trip, and then flew to Irkutsk, where we are now staying while we wait for Sister Cavaness to go on her visa trip. I haven't even been to Ulan-Ude yet, but it's been a great week nonetheless. (Is that one word? None the less? None-the-less? I never knew I would need an English dictionary in Russia!) Also, it started snowing while we were walking to the place where we email. Welcome to Siberia!
Saying good-bye to Nakhodka was a little weird. I love all the people there, and I can't believe how far away I am from them all. However, I know they're in good hands with Sister Isaac and Sister Bell. We left Nakhodka on Tuesday morning and went to Vlad and Artyom to meet up with other sisters, and then I went with Sister Woodland on her visa trip (because she didn't have a companion), and she and I flew back to Artyom, then to Khabarovsk, and then to Irkutsk. Right now we're in Irtkutsk with Sisters Oler and Woodland (the Irkutsk sisters right now). Today the Angarsk sisters are coming in so that one sister can go on a visa trip with Sister Cavaness, and the other Angarsk sister will be with Sister Woodland and me while we wait for the visa trip sisters to come back. So, basically, I'll still be in Irkutsk until Thursday. I'll finally be in Ulan-Ude on Thursday, and it's an 8 hour train ride away from Irkutsk. (If you add that to how many hours I was on an airplane, that equals... a long way away from Nakhodka.)
At church yesterday, I got to meet the wonderful branch in Irkutsk. There's a recent convert who has great faith, and when she bore her testimony, she just glowed. There's another member who was recently in Utah, and she said she met with our new mission president while in Provo. Crazy! We also got to watch 17 Miracles during Sunday School/Relief Society/Priesthood, and even though it was in Russian and I didn't understand all of it, I still felt the Spirit and am so grateful for our pioneer ancestors who crossed the plains because they knew this message is true.
Also, Sister Cavaness and I are having a blast together. She is just a bubble of sunshine and laughs and smiles, and we're having a great time talking and catching up on life after high school. We didn't really get to know each other very well in high school, but this is definitely going to be a wonderful transfer. She was supposed to go home in six weeks, but she extended another transfer, so we're hoping to have a long time together.
Also, there's going to be this big holiday on May 9th called "Day of Victory." It's when they celebrate the heroes of WWII. It's a really big holiday, and there's a bunch of billboards, flags, and signs all over Russia to celebrate. So, "with day of victory" and Happy Mother's Day this week!
P.S. Random things for dad: I've seen two references to the SImpsons on a store sign and on a bus and thought of you, and one day at a member's house, they were watching "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" in Russian. Yep.