Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Three times three

I've gotten to the point that when random people ask me how long I've been here, I say three months. It's all rounding, of course, but it's weird. Three isn't that many, and it also is. I'm staying here for a third transfer cycle. So is my companion. So, what changed, you ask? You guessed it, we're serving in a trio. Sister Thomas (she was with me in the mtc so there are pictures of her somewhere that I've sent) is coming up here! We're not together yet, first we have to take a bus down to Samara and Sister Thomas and I have to take a plane out of here and back in to renew our visas, and then we have to come back up here, so that will take the majority of this week.

So we haven't seen her yet and I have no idea how she feels about it- it's probably weird coming into a companionship that's already been together three months. Really weird. Well, I can't say that Sister Wilson and I know how to teach with a ton of unity anyway, so we'll all have something to work on.

The trio should only be for this transfer, as Sister Wilson goes home in December. Super weird. 

Hi people that wished me happy birthday! I'm going to try to get back to you, but I'm short on time. So, I love you all! Sister Wilson tried to use the "Sunday is Sister Nielsen's birthday" line to get our investigators in church, but it didn't work too well. Russians, from what I have seen, take birthdays at least twice as seriously as Americans do. For example, we have an eternal investigator named Lilia who we haven't been meeting with lately because she usually doesn't keep commitments, including the commitment of showing up to meetings we set up. Anyway, Lilia has the strange habit of showing up to church for about 15 minutes of gospel doctrine and then leaving again. I glimpsed her through a doorway and we went chasing after her to try to talk to her. Well, apparently the knowledge that it was my birthday wasn't enough to persuade her to stay, but it did persuade her to go and buy me a cake (it seems our lessons about the sabbath aren't sticking).
Anyway, people here are really awesome and kind, and I'm really grateful to them.

So yeah, I became older, but only by the same amount that I become older by every week.

But it's the same old same old here, trying to make activities start on time and not run two hours late, and trying to remind people that we're missionaries and not just two (soon to be three) blonde American girls who'll hang out with them.

On an extremely related note, this week I found myself in an art gallery with a less-active (there was a string quartet and it was sweet. But not where I wanted to be) and a overly long walk of the city with this cool young couple who're mostly interested in English. Sorry, friends.

As much as I wish I could actually speak Russian, I'm really glad I am American, because otherwise I'm pretty sure no one would ever talk to me. Not being Russian gives you something to talk about for long enough to talk about the gospel before they lose attention. I have concluded that I have too boring a personality to ever be able to do missionary work in America. All the respect to missionaries who serve in their home country.

I love you all and you are cool! We've been doing a paper airplane object lesson for the Plan of Salvation a lot lately. I like the Plan of Salvation and also partly I just like paper airplanes. Remember that following God's plan is the best way to live our lives. Have a great week!

Sister Nielsen

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