This week, we're down to just Sister Hawley and me. One would think that would mean that things have calmed down, but there's no way that could happen on a mission.
Sister Wilson left us on Thursday for Korea and then from Korea to Angarsk. Sister Woodland stayed with us until Friday while her companion, Sister Merrill, went to Korea too, so it wasn't until Friday night that we were officially alone. I think I've been in unofficial tri-panionships for about a month straight. Our apartment is now a lot quieter. Sister Hawley and I are a lot alike, and we're both very quiet, but we still get along fabulously.
Of course, the day that we're back down to our twosome, my boot zippers break (as has my coat zipper), I get sick, my body's majorly sore, AND then I slip and fall and bang my knee while getting onto a bus. This is why my title is patience in ALL things. Thankfully, fasting seemed to clean out my body, and I'm feeling a lot better.
By the way, fasting works. I fasted that we could have a baptism this month. We had no baptismal dates, no investigators, no new investigators for the past month, no investigators coming to church, just lots and lots of finding activities. We found a man while tracting who, when we said we have a message of great joy, came out into the stairwell and told us to tell him about it. We met with him again yesterday (which in and of itself is a miracle - a second meeting), and he's started reading the Book of Mormon. We visited a former investigator, and she agreed to start meeting with us again. Then a potential investigator that we called said she'll come to institute next week. We've been working so hard, but our potentials for baptism still seemed... low.
Then there was church. Our active members were all there early. Throughout the meeting, the door kept opening, and I was surprised at how many people were there. We ended up having 23 at church, and usually we have 16. A less-active who hasn't been to church ever since I've been here came, and I've only met her in person about three times. She came with a neighbor non-member friend who said that she's also been to our church in Vlad. before. That was a huge surprise considering this member's phone has been not working for the past few weeks. We then invited her to family night and our Valentine's day party, and she said she'll come.
Then a less-active couple came without invite with the woman's sister. The sister, whom we met once when we dropped by to give the less-actives a gift, said that she wants to be baptized. We set up a date for February 27th and are going to visit them on Wednesday. The sister has never been baptized, and we don't know what prompted her wanting to come to church and be baptized. It will be interesting to work with her and the family more. When I heard that, I knew that God can answer prayers and fasting.
Another less-active named whom I've never met called us. She travels/lives between Vlad. and Artyom. She randomly called us to say that she gave a man on a bus our number. He called us while we were talking with her. He's an invalid, and he didn't work out, but the member said we can call her back sometime. That was a pleasant surprise. As we were on our way to talk with the referral (who's an invalid), we met a man who's also an invalid and knows the referral. He said that the referral only needs financial help and that he would pass along money. Haha, no. (publisher's note: I don't know what this means? I think it must be her Russian to English translation?)
The last thing happened was that while tracting last night, the first door that we tracted had an Armenian family who let us in. They were trying to prove to us that Mormonism was wrong, but we had a very calm conversation. I don't have time to write everything we talked about, but I'm so grateful that the Holy Ghost teaches us truth and that we don't have just one book of scripture to rely on.
We've finally had some people turn into investigators, we've had some lessons with members, and this week was jam-packed with tender mercies. We're so busy and happy. Artyom needs this new excitement and energy.