Bumper Vacuums and Fainting Goat Nights

Hello my sweet family! (i always try to type things in russian, but it confuses me with an english keyboard. what is happening in my brain.)

first off, THANK YOU FOR THE BED BUG SPRAY AND LICE SPRAY. I was laughing so hard that you sent an article on bed bugs and a whole lice kit, but oh so grateful. haha. (bed bugs confirmed at MTC, but she doesn’t have them yet… and no lice confirmed but bed bugs were freaking her out so that was a comfort blanket lice kit haha. but seriously, if you’re sending a missionary to the provo mtc, i would advise sending some spray) I sprayed EVERYTHING today. I think I might go to bed without having a panic attack tonight. WOOHOO. thank you for all your packages and dearelders. it makes my day. my whole drawer is FULL of letters from you all and it makes my heart so happy. I have the best family ever.
oh, where to begin. Language…so, I felt like I was doing okay at russian, all was well. Then we started learning cases…I did NOT understand at all. Cases are so confusing, we have them in english, but they’re different in russian. and we don’t think of them in english. it’s weird. basically, there’s 6 different ways to say every noun and pronoun depending on how it’s used, and then within one case, there’s like 2-3 different endings it could change to depending on which of the FOUR, yes four, genders the word is. what. I was so lost. Then Elder Pendleton in my district, said, “it’s just like having a guitar, and depending on what kind of music you’re playing you have to put it in a different case. so if you’re going to your country concert, you put it in your country case. or rock music goes in your rock case.” IT MADE TOTAL SENSE. I don’t know why because it’s actually more confusing once you use that analogy for the whole thing. For example, here’s the whole deal. You have a guitar. It’s technically a case, but not really because it’s just the original case. There’s four guitars, pink, blue, yellow, and green (for the genders). and if you play country music you put it in your rock case, and so forth. but there’s also a pink, blue, yellow, and green case for EACH case, because the genders have to match. yeah, i’m just as confused, it’s fine. I’m so lost in the language, but the gift of tongues is SO REAL. which leads to the next thing. nana, mom told me you’re going to make me your popcorn. thank you so much, you have no idea how excited i am!  mom, i love that you’re studying faith and hope in the scritpures. I’ve studied those both recently, and it’s so so cool. dad, thank you for your dearelder to my whole district. I think they all appreciated it. Elder Nelson asked me personally to thank you for him.  Hey, get this! a new russian sister got here this week, and she’s from ogden and knows the Petersens! we think we’ve met before because we both looked so familiar to each other. it’s so fun to find little connections like that.
we have two investigators, Vera and Vacili (who are also our teachers). We taught Vera yesterday, and long story short, she wants to join the church, she met with missionaries before us, but she lives with her boyfriend and they want to get married but it’s too expensive, so she knows she has to move out if she gets baptized, and she doesn’t know what to do. Before yesterday, she never wanted to join the church badly enough to try and do anything about the situation with her boyfriend. We felt prompted to read scriptures with her. so that’s basically all we went in with. a plan to read the scriptures, and talk to her about her boyfriend, and about god’s plan for her. and we did just that. we read 1 Nephi 3:7 and asked her why she wasn’t baptized before. she said it’s because of her situation with her boyfriend. she said it’s so hard because she knows to be baptized she can’t live with him, but she loves him so much and doesn’t want to leave. I was about to testify that this would be the right thing, but I felt prompted to instead just empathize with her. I remembered an experience I had in the past that was somewhat similar (minus the wanting to be married and living together and such), and I just felt God’s love for her completely overwhelm me. I was brought to tears by how much love I felt for her. I just told her I know that it’s hard, I said that I know it’s really hard to leave someone you love, especially if you can’t see that it’s going to be the right thing. And I told her God knows that it’s hard. Then I told her that just like in that scripture, I knew God would prepare a way for her. and I testified that this gospel is the right path, and that whatever happens from following this, would be right. I did not learn those phrases before the lesson. But it taught me that I already knew enough of the words to get my message across, no matter how broken it was. I can’t explain the love of God I felt for her. it was so cool. On Sunday’s devotional, the speaker said “pray to be obsessed with your investigators.” I’ve been doing just that, and it’s crazy. I am OBSESSED with them. It might be a little creepy, but they’re seriously all I think about. This work is addicting. Next, Vacili. Vacili is so shy. Very kept to himself, he always looks down, and he’s so hard to read. We had a 5 minute lesson with him yesterday that we didn’t know about until 10 minutes before we taught, so all we had time for was to find a scripture to read with him. We read from Luke about Christ. But this was different….something dumb happened that sis clark and I were laughing about and he laughed with us. He looked up more, he read the scritpures differently, he prayed for us (that alone is insane) and was so sincere. He asked questions about what he had read in the BOM. (he asked why the angel told Nephi to kill Laban if one of the commandments is to not kill. He’s so golden, i love him. but wow that’s a hard question. we just told him we’d study and tell him in russian next time. if anyone has an answer, preferably in russian, pls dearelder me 😉 ), and he was so willing to commit to what we asked him to do. He committed to read the scriptures and pray about baptism, and to come to church with us on Sunday. Sorry that most of this email will probably end up being about them, but I just love teaching. It’s the best. And these two people are incredible. I love them.
I’m learning so much. It is hard. But it is amazing. and everything is GOOD! I haven’t had one bad day here. Lower moments, yes. but I just say, “Either this is a great thing, or a great lesson! Both are great.” and how could anything be bad when you choose to learn from it? not to say that I’m perfect at this. I’m CERTAINLY not. far from it, really.  but I’m trying. That’s all we can do, really. and that’s all God expects of us, is to try. Sometimes it’s really rough! Like Sunday started out so hard. I was overwhelmed with the language and all, and just exhausted which leads to so many other things, but the Lord is truly looking out for us. He sent a member in my branch presidency to me in the exactly moment I needed it most, and we talked for a few minutes, and I was good. Then everything in all the meetings was exactly what I needed to hear. In the moment, that kinda sucked at first. But looking back now, I wouldn’t trade it for anything, because it taught me that God is looking out for us and he knows what we need exactly when we need it. We just have to pray and fake it and continue to turn to the right sources even when it seems hopeless. We may not know what will happen, but we can ALWAYS trust that everything will be okay.
Next, a member of the quorum of the 70, Elder Lawrence is the grandfather of an Elder in my zone, so he came to talk to us. He is a former mission president in russia, and talked to us about the house of israel. There’s no way I think I could even BEGIN to tell you all we learned from him, but it’s incredible and relates to a mission, especially those in the “eastern lands”, and it’s incredible. STUDY THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL. It’s so so cool. I got a tiny BOM and started highlighting things about the HofI as I read, I love this way of studying. You could do it with any topic, but it’s so fun, and the HofI is such an incredible thing to study especially regarding missionary work. Also, go find the talk “Recognizing the Spirit” by Elder Bednar. It’s life changing.
Elder Schlegel (from Germany) got mail!!! Elder Santiago’s parents sent him some packages and letters, and I have never seen someone so excited. It was the best thing. I LOVE our elders. They’re incredible. On Sundays, all the Elder’s stand when the sisters walk in the chapel. It’s so respectful, and invites the spirit so much. it’s incredible. An elder that left two weeks ago started it on his last sunday here, and i have a feeling this is going to go on forever in this zone. it’s so cool.
I’m short on time (I wish I could talk to you longer, but I know that by being exactly obedient, my family and I will be blessed, and I have to make some sacrifices, so this is just one of them.), (they have learned that they only have one hour allowed for emailing each week, and decided to stop breaking the rule…oh fine)  so i better get some funny stories and pictures in here! The MTC has done something to our humor. It’s horrendous, but oh so fun. We started speaking Russian in a country accent the other day, and for some reason it was just the funniest thing ever. we all LOST IT. we were laughing so hard for like 10 minutes. It sounds so awful, and I think we’d die if we ever spoke like that in the field, but here it’s so so funny. Try it. Let me know if it’s as funny at home or if my sense of humor really has declined. I know my ability to be amused by dumb things certainly has increased. It’s the best though. aaand, bumper vacuums. I think I’ve talked about this before, who knows. But for Service this week, we were on vacuuming! (TENDER MERCIES ALL AROUND TOWN. No gross showers or toilets for us! ..this time.) vacuuming can get kind of boring, so we started singing disney songs at the top of our lungs, and then we came up with “bumper vacuums”. Just like bumper cars but with vacuums. Again, probably way more amusing here than it would be at home, but we have so much fun. haha. This one is mostly freaky, pretty darn funny, and will be way shorter than I wish it would be. Long story short, the other night I turned the light off and sis clark started FREAKING OUT. Like screeching, and turning over and flipping all around in her bed. She was asleep, PS. I was terrified. I yelled her name trying to wake her up but she didnt, so i turned the light back on and she stopped. Then she woke up and just started laughing. She had NO RECOLLECTION of what had just happened at all. She just woke up to me on the ground (yeah, the fainting goat thing didn’t go away….bummer.) crying and laughing and having a heart attack I think. From my point of view, scary, from hers, hilarious. It was so funny. Every time someone comes into our room really quick and yells “sisters!” (which happens a lot because missionary estrogen is even more excited than normal estrogen) I just get so startled and fall over! it’s good….haha. so so funny. (for anyone not familiar with fainting goats, look them up on you tube. for reals. it never gets old. and yes, jessi is a human fainting goat. every time)
I’m still having the time of my life! I can’t believe I’m halfway through the MTC. That’s nuts. By the way, thanks mama for our hump day package! I’ll bring it to my district tonight, we’re so excited. I love the MTC. It will be hard to say goodbye to my district, but it’s really so exciting that we’re that much closer to the field! To my second home! AAH. woohoo.
I’m really sorry there’s not enough time for me to respond to all you cuties individually. I wish I could. But right after the temple we’re writing letters so just look forward to that! I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH. (keep the dearelders coming, they truly make my day. i loooveee youuuu)
1. we think I have at least 3 more gray hairs since being here. russian is just a little stressful! 😉
2. here’s some russian fun! I wish I could type in russian easily on here, because some words come to my mind easier in russian than in english now. the gift of tongues is so cool. but there’s a peek of what i do all day! literally, ALL DAY. it’s so much fun.
3. “won’t my mommy be so proud of me?!” I stacked it up like we would for PG clean. How did I do?! (reference to my old cleaning business… i was really picky about how we organized things like counters after we cleaned them. my girl…)
4. now that we are being obedient….we print out emails, read them, write out a response, and then come type it all up. It’s a very serious matter.
5. we love P-day and comfy pants!
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read your scriptures, say your prayers, and if you can, go to the temple and to church! it’s the best things in the world. ever.
Cectpa Kane.
Sister Jessica Kane
Provo MTC
2005 N 900 E Unit 208
Provo, UT  84602
AFTER OCT 5, 2016
Ukraine Dnepropetrovsk Mission
Karla Marksa 27A 5th Floor
Dnepropetrovsk 49044
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