I really want to talk about everything that happened this week, so I'll pack in as much as I can!
On Monday morning we left for Irkutsk, and I had my last day with Sister Cavaness. We sent her and Sister Holm off with lots and lots of love, and then I was with Sister Hawley and Sister Oler for the next four days. We did lots of good work, especially with the members there. I love both of them, and they're the sister training leaders, so we'll see them again soon for splits. On Thursday we got to Skype into the new missionary training that was in Vlad, and I got to see the new
missionaries and my new companion for the first time. They are all so wonderful! Sister Brayton is training Sister Hall in Vlad, Sister Hawley is training Sister Cox in Angarsk, Elder Pendray is going to Nakhodka (!!!), and Sister Wilson's here with me! She is absolutely adorable. I love her already. She is definitely different from Sister Cavaness. She's a lot quieter and more timid than Sister Cavaness, and I'm sure part of that is partly because of the Russian and being in a foreign country and not really sure what's going on. That's how I felt when I entered the field. In fact, I see a lot of myself in her. She does lots of things the way I do. (For example, she poured her cereal, prayed, and then poured her milk so that her cereal wouldn't get soggy while she was praying. Yes, I do that too, and doesn't it make so much sense?) She is already so dedicated to using her time 100%. Missions are so short. Just one and a half years to give to the Lord to help his children, and for me, already half of that has gone by. Sister Wilson said that it's scary to talk to people, and I totally agree with her, and she's already made a goal to talk to one person on every tramvai so that she can get better. I really admire her, and now I'm starting to understand what my trainer meant when she said that she wasn't training, she was being trained by me. She writes in her journal every night, so she's inspiring me to do better at my journal writing. She asks questions all the time, and it's really making me think of the answers because I don't want to teach her wrong Russian or wrong principles. It's nice to go back to the basics and solidify what I think I've already learned. We're going to have a wonderful time together.
I've had a request for more info. on the mission president. President Perkinson is really chill (in a good way). He wants to get the mission set up for long term success, and he has lots of love for each missionary. He and his wife are both green, but they are working hard and doing good things. I don't talk with them often (we're as far away from them as you can get), but I'm really grateful that they're here. That wasn't a lot of information, but I'm not quite sure what to write about him.
Here are some updates on investigators.
Flip is in the countryside outside of Irkutsk with her grandpa, and she isn't sure when she's coming back. She said sometime in August. However, we got a text from her, and she wants to find a time to Skype with us. We'll see if we can get that set up. She said that she read her Book of Mormon, and I hope she remembered to take it with her. She's making slow progress, but it's progress. We really want to help her build a solid foundation for her faith, and that's going to start with praying and reading (and coming to church when she's back in the city).
The Name Tag Family came to church on Sunday, all five of them. It's really good to see the dad back at church. They left after sacrament meeting again. The elders have said that they're going to start meeting with the family a little bit less because there's not much more we can do. They have all the tools they need and they know what they are, so now it's up to them to implement them. We're going to try to help them start using those tools, but it really is up to them right now.
The Ukrainian family - BAPTIZED AND CONFIRMED!!! Such a wonderful weekend here. Sister Wilson and I flew back to Ulan-Ude early Saturday morning, and we slept a little, studied, then went to the church to have a baptism. Yep, Sister Wilson, this is how missionary work is done in the Russia Vladivostok mission. The elders did a good job of setting it up, and Sister Cavaness even got to participate via Skype. As we watched the family step into the font, I felt so happy for them. The Spirit was there, and I'm really excited for the day when they can go to the temple together. We were kind of worried on Sunday because they called and said that they would be late to church, so they didn't get confirmed during sacrament meeting. However, they did show up during 2nd hour, and with President Perkinson's permission, they were confirmed during 3rd hour. After, I heard the mom saying to her husband, "I am so happy." This was such a blessing and miracle.
Have a great week!