Fluffy Fingers

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okay, what an incredible week. i don’t remember what happened friday or saturday. huh. probably the same thing that happens every day. on Sunday, the Nashville Tribute Band came for the devotional, and it was AMAZING. I’ve been missing country music so bad. my whole district loves country and we always sing a song, i can’t remember the title right now, but it says “she was killin’ me in that mini skirt” and we sing, “she was killin’ me with that testimony” and then another part says, “i worked so hard for that first kiss, and a heart don’t forget somethin’ like that.” and we sing, “i worked so hard for that baptism, and a heart don’t forget conversion like that.” it’s way fun. haha. anyway, Nashville Tribute Band was AMAZING. a tender mercy for my little country lovin’ heart. it was so spiritual, too. there was hardly a dry eye in that room by the end. it was incredible. then on monday, Sister Harris left…it was bittersweet. my comp, roommates, and I got up at 4 AM to see her off. It was good, I’m never waking up that early ever again ever, haha but it was worth it. She was SO excited, it was so fun to see her so calm and free of anxiety, just so excited to get to the field. her sister emailed me and said she got there safely, i think she’s in Latvia right now, they had to stay there for a little bit and then they’ll be in Estonia tomorrow or saturday..I think. anyway, that was fun. also, like half of our zone left that day. We were down to 5 sisters, and then yesterday we got 2 more! it was the most exciting thing. Now I understand why everyone was jumping up and down all up in my face when I got here…haha. they looked so scared, poor girls, i probably looked like that my first day too…haha. way fun.  i’m really excited to get to know this new district! there was supposed to be another german elder coming, but he never showed up, so the german elder in my district was so disappointed. it was really sad so we told him just to speak german to us since he didn’t come and it’s way fun.
The devotional on Tuesday was so good! I don’t remember the speaker’s name, he’s from peru, in the 70 , and his first name is Juan. Anyway, he spoke about teaching investigators, but from the investigator’s perspective. it was SO COOL. I learned  A LOT about how to teach this week. I learned that it’s okay if your whole lesson crumbles, if you can just be confident that ONE sentence or ONE word was what they needed to hear, you’re good. I learned the truth of that from a couple awful lessons, it was a neat learning experience. annddd, our two main teachers are back! YAY! I missed them so much. they were both out of town, so we had sub teachers who doubled as “sub” investigators, and lessons and the schedule were way confusing. BUT, now they’re back! and we have our two favorite teachers, and two steady investigators! We taught Vacilee (brother miller) for the first time yesterday and it was SO GOOD. I wish I could speak Russian better, it’s frustrating at times, but the spirit was there and it was a really good lesson. He gets so into character and makes it feel so real, it’s the best. this week was so spiritual, and so so good. Every day is so good, I’m a little repetitive, whoops! haha. personal study has just been amazing, and the devotionals, and the insights my district has, and everything. it’s all just so good. I love the MTC. Also, a general authority who served in Russia and is from Russia (i think?) is coming to speak just to our branch on sunday! he’s going to talk to us about the laws in Russia and about the house of israel because all 12 tribes are found in ukraine and russia. It’s going to be SO COOL. I’m so excited. also, have i mentioned we have to write a talk every week? in russian? it’s something! Everyone has to write a talk, and we don’t know who’s speaking until we are in sacrament meeting. It almost gives me as much anxiety as the cleaning supplies and the bed bugs, but those are still pretty far ahead. haha. also I have to say the prayer in russian in sacrament meeting in sunday, so that’s fun. it will be good. I actually really like  praying in russian. another cool story, is that, remember Elder Schram? The elder that almost went home last week? he had another breakdown yesterday. While two elders talked to him, the rest of us went into a room and knelt in prayer together on his behalf. They continued to talk to him long after our prayer ended, but after that discussion he was doing better and had resolved to stay. He mentioned he was going to go home, but then decided not to again. The power of prayer  is so real! Praying for others works miracles, truly. Another cool thing that happened was sis clark and i were planning  a lesson in russian, and this hespanic man came and started talking to us. after we chatted for a minute, he said “can i ask you a question? why do you teach about the book of mormon and prophets?” i think i looked like a deer in headlights. sis clark and i both did, haha. my first thought was, “YES! I KNOW THIS!” and then i realized I think i only knew it in Russian. Or where to find it in my Russian books, at least. so that was cool, that my first thought was russian, but then we proceeded to teach him in English. It was so weird. But it was so so cool. We were able to testify of our prophet and of the book of mormon, and then he headed off to his lesson with the spanish speaking missionaries! hopefully they were able to make more sense of it, because we were totally caught off guard and didn’t answer entirely sufficiently, but it was really cool. i think he was a nonmember with TRC. it was a neat experience!
The language is coming slowly but surely. We started cases yesterday! I understood it all. which was really a miracle. the gift of tongues is so real. When i was taking russian classes in Ukraine, our teacher tried to teach us only 2 of the cases (there are 6), we spent about 2 or 3 classes on it, and I can’t even explain how clueless I was the entire time. It NEVER made sense to me. Nor did conjugations. But one class of cases, and ALL SIX made complete sense. For now, at least. haha it’s going to get  a lot more complicated, but i couldn’t even understand 2 cases with a few classes of simple explanation, and one class of all 6 made perfect sense to me after some practice. gift of tongues!
anyway. this week really was so spiritual, but the funny stories are way more interesting, so here we go. oh my heavens, we have so much fun.  the elders in our district seem to be having issues with the food here. our classroom smells AWFUL. all the time. oh, it’s so bad. we even snuck some air freshener in there from our bathroom one day. it’s so bad. finally, they ALL smelled it one day and someone said, “okay, who farted?” and then it just broke out into this huge thing. the elders going back and forth saying, ” we promised we wouldn’t do that in an enclosed area!!!!! come on!!!!” they kind of all admitted to farting at one time or another, and so i just said, “okay, i’m going to bring gas relief tomorrow, and leave it here, and whoever needs it can take one.” then, the funniest part of all of this was Elder Nelson, who is just so quiet and sweet and calm, said, “I think we ALL need some gas relief” we all just died. He is totally not the person we expected to say it, and it was so funny. Thank you mom, for sending gas relief. hahah. okay, next funny/embarrassing story…so yesterday the new missionaries were coming, and in the most humble way possible, this made me feel like my Russian was spectacular since there would be people here who knew less than me…hahah, humble. i promise. :/ anyway, my confidence was SKY HIGH. and the whole time I’ve been here I’ve been trying to build up the courage to sign with the ASL missionaries, so I was way confident and I looked at sister clark and I said, “Let’s go find the ASL missionaries! I’m really gonna do it this time!” (they’re right upstairs from us) so, we marched on upstairs, and found them, and it was the perfect opportunity. some were in the hall, others were in the classroom, but they didn’t have class at the moment. and thennn,  I saw people signing, and my confidence took the fastest, most drastic plummet possible. haha. I suddenly forget every sign I’ve ever known, and they asked us what we wanted, and I just signed hello and then left. I hate myself. hahah. I can see Joe shaking his head at me right now….and Kels laughing…..I know. I’m embarrassed. I’ll try again another day. Pray for me. 😉 next funny story, is about Elder Ulrich, of course. haha. one day we’re sitting there studying, and he just goes, “have any of you ever played fluffy fingers?” none of us had any idea what he was talking about, so he then proceeded to explain that it’s a game where you sit in front of someone, and you rub each others earlobes while looking at each other, and whoever laughs or smiles first loses. it was hilarious to watch. but the weirdest, most random, most funny thing.
I wish I had time to include everything, there’s so much more. But I hope you get a sense each week of how much I’m learning, growing, and feeling the spirit, and how much I’m laughing, smiling, and having too much fun. This is the best place. I am SO HAPPY. There’s a big rock outside our classroom building that we sometimes go sit on, and yesterday we went to the rock and I just stood on it and SANG about how happy I am! I looked so ridiculous and I didn’t care in the slightest! My soul was BURSTING and I just sang. I believe the lyrics went something like, “I love my life, I love the mountains, I love the sky, I love the clouds, I love the grass, I love the MTC, I love my district, I love my family, I love the sun, I love the rain, I love EVERYYTHINNNNGGGGGGGG.” I’m weird, it’s weird, it’s fine. I love my life. I love everything. I love you, my family. Go find a rock and sing a song about how much you love everything, please. It’s at least the best thing I’ve done all month. Now enjoy these pictures, and get your throw up bowls ready. Not kidding. Especially you, mom. Go get one right now.

and this is what we have to wear to clean. tell me there’s not a problem with this. Boots, gloves, and goggles. S. O. S.

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