As far as we missionaries know, we are writing at the only working internet cafe in Artyom. It's all Egyptian themed, and there is no way to send home pictures because they've boxed off the towers. Of course, this happens just after receiving a new card reader in the mail. Not only is the internet cafe Egyptian themed, our apartment is too. We're starting to have a beetle infestation. We've killed at least 25 beetles today. It's better than cockroaches, though.
Artyom is so different from Ulan-Ude. Sister Woodland and I have been having a good time together, walking a lot, and working hard. Artyom itself is small, but there's more than one street. We've been doing more walking and more bus riding. There aren't any marshrootkas or tramvais like there are in Ulan-Ude. A lot here is bringing back memories of Nakhodka. I wish I could just visit Nakhodka for a few days. The best surprise I had this week was when Nakhodka came to me. Two members (Lithuania, who was baptized while I was there, and our other good friend (does she have a nickname?) who's been a member for a long time showed up at the branch building and surprised me! Lithuania is working in Vlad, and Good Friend came up from Nakhodka to say goodbye to some elders who were going home, and they both took the time to come to Artyom and say hi to me. Lithuania almost starting crying. It was really touching to me to find out that they still remember me. I still think about them all the time, and it was just so fun to catch up and hear the news. They told us that our Goldens have started working on Sunday, so that's sad, but their sick, 97-year-old babooshka was baptized in their bathtub a few weeks ago. Never saw that one coming, at least in this life.
There were 24 people at church, and that's actually a decent number for Artyom. The church has been in Artyom for about ten years. There's a senior couple serving both in Artyom and in Vlad., and there are two elders. Most of the members here are young adults between 15 and 30 years old. They're all so nice. We had a fun youth night on Wednesday with them where we shared a spiritual thought and then played games. They have such strong testimonies for such young, newly baptized members of the church.
We have one baptismal date with a woman who's been in Vladivostok this past week, but we should be meeting with her later this week. We also met a woman (nickname - Nemo) who is one of the sharpest babooshki I've met. We had a wonderful lesson with her at her house where she said she would read the Book of Mormon, and then she came to church the next day on her own and stayed the whole time. She said she enjoyed the meetings. We think we can get a baptismal date with her this week. We did ask her to be baptized during our first lesson, but she completely ignored the question and moved on to a different topic. In fact, that happened a few other times with different people. I don't know if the people just aren't hearing us or understanding our accents or if they don't understand what baptism is, but we'll keep inviting them.
That really doesn't sum up the week or Artyom or Sister Woodland or anything, but that's all, folks!