Friday, March 25, 2011

Work Work Work

Hello family! i want to start off by answering a few emails, i am sorry i  cant respond back to everyone! i can only send the email to mom! Mom... ok yes.. the smells are horrible... hahah honestly, its hysterical but i have gotten used to it... However, you know how i get bus sick?... yes still happens here... cause we are on the bus all the time.. and bus sick plus smells = bad news.. but its ok.. things could be worse! welcome to
  russia! haha  We actually get transfer calls on friday, this friday yes... so next week i  will write you about my new companion cause i will be with her!! My companion this time has been great. she has worked really hard because i cant do much but we have had a lot of fun! she speaks english so we can
  communicate just fine! AHHH! my clients!!! to all of you i am sorry i am not there!!!!!!! it is
  pretty flattering everybody wants to wait for me! that makes me really happy... hah its only like 13 months now! soooo weird i know... And yes, i have been doing hair here.. not much though cause we have no
  time!!! but i love you all sooo much! tell everyone else i love them toO! like ALLLLL THE> FAMILY AND ALLL MY FRIENDS!! I LOVE YOU!

  Ok... my week... On friday we had a new senior couple come, the huffakers and they are so
  great! I love them! its great to have senior couples here cause they make the mission... on saturday... we had a relief society birthday party and yes, i was in the choir! hahahahahahaha its so funny cause here, i like HAVE to be cause theres not very many members and we are missionaries! we are like the examples... haha its so funny..  i am truly doing things i never thought i  would... hah we all know i cant carry a tune
  Sunday we taught one of our investigators the plan of salvation... it was pretty cooll... her name is irina we hope she can progress... Then we met with a family and they fed us dinner... and guess what it was... dad will love htis one... LIVER!!! hahahahah yes... i ate the liver... it  was fine except for the fact that it was LIVER and  I couldnt get that out of my mind... Then we met with a new family for the first time and it was amazing... one  of the first times i actually felt the spirit testify through me... it was a really cool experiece for me cause i know its not me... i know its the lord...
  THen on monday... hahah we have been meeting with this family for a little while and just serving them because they are of another faith.. but we felt  like as missionaries our job is to teach... so we told them we couldnt meet  with them unless we discussed religion.. so this family well, the dad, Sergey, decided that we would discuss one topic a time.. and so we decided on the sabbath day because they think its saturday and we think its we planned for a while and had our lesson. and we get to their house and they had a visitor... their Paster... haha and his wips out his computer and we get a 45 minute lecture.. (i say this because he was like yelling at us haha) about how the sabbath is holy and its on saturday... ahah of course its russian.. so i dont understand a thing.. but my companion is getting frustrtated cause he keeps asking her to translate and its really hard words... so just said i understood... anyway.. to make a long story short it
  was pointless and he was there to teach us... and he taught completely wrong and the spirit wasnt there.. well.. when time was almost up... i stopped him and just said... "ok.. thanks for your time.... but we didnt come here to only here your side, we thought we came to discuss and thats not what happened...I appreciate to learn more about your beliefs... however, we still know that its on sunday... very interesting though... we must leave we have another appponitment... " haha my companions was shocked at me... because she didnt even think i could say these things and neither did i (because it was russian) but somehow ( by the spirit) i did... and then we left....This taught us a lesson though... it taught us that this gospel.. is true...THat the spirit is real... that we have the truth... Because we truly could feel the difference... i wish i could tell you more... but before we left sister B. Prayed and the mom actually cried.. and i know that they feel the spirit through us.. i know they do.. and i think they know they kinda offended us... so we made a decision we cant meet with them anymore, and we feel that they will soon recognize that they need the true spirit in their
  lives...This mission has been such a great experience already... i still cant understand or talk and its hard... studying is hard.. everything is hard. i am tired all the time.. but i know that this is where i need to be. I think
about you guys often and ( not to be rude) but i hope it stops soon, because i feel like once it does, i will be completely immersed in the work like i need to be... I think about the sons of mosiah and how they served for 14 years to "a wild and forercious" people... and sometimes.. i feel like thats russia haha... they people arent nice sometimes and its hard to talk to them when i dont know what they say to me... however, i know that this is where the lord needs me... and i want to be the missionary he knows i can be I had a cool experience.. As we contact... its really hard here because people dont want to meet with you.. so i got discouraged... and i kept praying to father in heaven... "just have someone ask me!!! have someone ask me what i am doing here becaues i cant do this anymore"... (even though i knw that was unfair to him... this is work and i need to talk to people) however, the lord hears our prayers.. i was sitting on a bus... very frustrated cause i knew i needed to tlak to someone but i just  couldnt bring myself to do it and it happened... the lady sittnig next to me asked
  me about my church... and i wish i could have seen my face.. i was shocked... and it was such a cool experiene to know that he does he our prayers, and he wanted me to know he was there for me... and now i know... i dont know if she will come to church but it was god answering my prayers... I know that as you guys continue to study and prayer and try to become the people god wants you to be that you can recieve answers... i dont remember if i wrote about nephi and the ship last week but read about him in first nephi.. and how we need to build our ships according the The lord and not man.... I promise as we do this we will be happier... Family and friends... Know how much i love my mission... again, i wish you could see me because you would laugh so hard if yuo saw what i have to go through adn the situations i get put into.. but i know that its the lords work and i was called here... hahaha sometimes i just laugh.. like when we were getting taught about sabbath on saturday... i wnated to hard to laugh and i couoldnt... sometimes, when i am walking in snow, and i only hear russian around me... and when people dnt want to talk to me.. i just laugh to myself and think.. god has a sense of humor for sure..hahaha
  Well... i love you alll sososososososos much!!! send me dear elder or email
  me ok!?!?!?! i love you and i miss you!!!!
  remind me to tell you about my companion and the pigeons next week...
  hahahaha soooo funnny!!!
  FRIENDS! who is engaged anyone??? is eric engaged yet? and ashton!!!! YOU

Thursday, March 17, 2011

2nd week! I survived!

ok! so yes.. i survived another week in novosibirsk... haha yes its still cold... and yes... there is still ice on the ground but i think i only fell once this week so that was a success!! I will start off with my week and how it went! Ok so thursday -We met with an inactive lady and she has a son on a mission in moscow and she is great... she just breeds cats and sells them on sunday so she doesnt come to church that often but she came on sunday with her family so that was great!!! but she read my palm at our meeting, and she told me that i was going to have a very strong marriage.. and i said  "of course" haha and then she told me that my palm says i should be thrify but im not... hahah i laughed because we all know thats true! talk about a
  humbling experience.. someone i dont even know tells me i am not thrifty! and believe me, she didnt see it because of what i looked like that day because i looked like a total wreck.. like everyday here because ask me if i have blow dried or curled or straightened my hair since i have been here..NOPE! haha i havent bought those yet so i just let it air dry and if I REALLY feel like lookin pretty i braid it and then take it out so it has a
  wave... hahah its kinda sad i know. Then we went to this other family who are very strong in their faith but we just do service for them and they like coming to english club and having us over... we i have an idea the other day that we could kinda do missionary work... so they know i need help with my language so i asked the grandma to help me read.. .so guess what we read... the lessons! haha so at least we kinda taught the lessons to her and she enjoyed it...

  Friday.. we had meetings but one was at this house with this inactive, and she has the most terrifying dog ever.. its like a lion seriously... and it likes to attack and it was so scary! ok.. and about the dogs here.. there
  are like 63675893984 dogs here.. and i hate dogs and they are all nasty and  everywhere... they told me that the day before i got here.. she saved a frozen dog... i have yet to see a frozen animal yet but hopefully one day haha... and everybody has cats too.. and its really gross because they live in apartments and they apartments always smell like cat pee.. its really gross... i have smelt smells i never even knew existed... haha its really strange.. and people dont wear deorderant either... its nast... like really.. i cant even talk about it. Then on saturday we have this investigator Irina.. shes great but we have only met with her 2 times.. but she wants us to continue to come so we have a meeting with her tomorrow.. she is progressing but we just never know what will happen. Then we all went ice skating.. well i didnt, because of the knee... so i just stood outside in the -15 degree weather and watched everyone iceskate and took pictures.. haha very very cold but it was fun. It was for our  investigators and english club people and lots of people came so it was
  fun...Then sunday we went to an active members house for a meeting and they live out in the country.. (we live in the city of novo... and they live like 40 mintues away) and it was beaituful! just snow everywhere and the houses all have gardens and stuff... Way different then the city.. the city is like dirty... but the countryside was way better Then today we went to the Renok... its like a swap meet... or even better.. its like carboard mall in mexico... but russian style... Its like way cool. I needed a bag so we went... and its all the little stands and its seriously JUST like mexico but Frozen... haha snow everywhere! and FUR everywhere!!! hah its so sweet... its funny cause here.. EVERYBODY wears fur... we looked at Shuba's today.. (like the fur coats) and some of them.. the real ones.. are like thousands of dollars.. THOUSANDS... haha i will bring home a fake on...Then the hats here and the gloves and everything! it was so fun to be at therenok today except it was snowing and freezing.. I had my first (i dont know how to write in in english but i will try
bleenee today...forom a stand.. dad should remember from andrew zimmern when> he went to russia.. its like a crepe with meet and stuff.. SOOOOOOO good!
 seriously... THe food here is actually really good.. I thought i might lose weight.. i was wrong!!! NOOOOOOO!!! theres just so much bread and yogurt and really yummy stuff... so me and my companion have been trying to eat healthier... Ok.. mom you asked about my companion.. she is amazing seriously. She is russian but from the samara mission... she has been here 7 months and has ONLY served here.. in the city of novosibirsk... You will be interested to know there is only 11 sisters here in our WHOLE
  mission.. and we only serve in 3 cities because there isnt enough of us to go around... So i will probably serve with most of the sisters here..anyway... not much more to say about my companion... dad has the pictures right i think she is in  a few of them! she is great and helps me out a
  ton...THe language is still killer.. its like really hard and people think understand even when i say i dont understand but its ok... i will catch on i> know i will, the lord didnt send me here for no reason. Well... my little spiritual thought i learned during studying this week.. i was reading in first nephi, when nephi was commanded to build a ship and the lord gave him all the tools and Nephi prayed often and the lord showed him the way to build the ship how he should... I Thought about how the lord has commanded us all to build a ship.. i guess we could say the ship of our lives... and he has givin us all the tools.. and as long as we ask.. he will show  us the way HE wants us to build it.. i think its in 1 nephi 4.. the
  2nd verse maybe when nephi said "it was after the manner of the lord and not after the manner of men"... sometimes.. we build our lives around the world.. and the manner the world and "men" think we should live our lives..and thats not necessarily horrible.. cause you can still build a ship.. and it can float... but if we build it according the the lord... it was be of "exceedingly fine workmanship" and will take us to the promised land... We can be the people the lord wants so we can return to him how he expects... I know that seems crazy... but it kinda hit me because we can live our lives just fine in the world.. but we can live so much better if every decisions is turned towards the lord... ou ship can be WAY better then it would have
  been...Ok, i know i am totally a sister missionary but i dont even care anymore.This has already been the time of my life... I know i have changed in ways i never thought i would...has there been hard times already... YES of course!  is this easy.. NO! But, i know if i cared about what people thought, or cared about what i just thought.. or gave up... thats not what the Lord wants... We are here to be tested... and to grow from our experiences... i know that i will grow so much more! i just with you all could see what was going through here in russia.. its hysterical! i do things i NEVER thought i would do i see things i NEVER thought i would see... the lord definetly has> a sense of humor i know that! haha

  I LOVE YOU ALL TOO SOOOOO MUCH! be safe and know that the mission is

Thursday, March 10, 2011


ok... so i dont know which email you got... and i am sorry that the pictures didnt work.. when i am done with transfers i will send cds home so you can see at the pictures... ok so to start off my week, it was p day so the sisters decided to go down to the river, it was freezing and i didnt have boots or a jacket yet... and
  when i saw river, i mean... ice and snow.. thats all.. the snow was actually up to our thighs so that was pretty funny.. then we went to eat and it was pretty good... potatoes and chicken Then the next day we had my first real day of missionary work.. i had gotten a jacket and new boots so it was a lot warmer! its probably just a little above 0 on warm days and at night it gets below 0.. its ok though because i have enough on so that i am warm...
   Ok i will describe siberia a little bit here... hahah you would die if you knew what i was going through here... seriously i cant even tell you how funny it is.. sometimes i just start laughing because its hysterical what i am doing right now. Siberia... its kinda like frozen mexico... like nothing  is really that nice... but we are constantly walking on about 2 feet to 4 feet of ice... and you can imagine a girl from arizona... and you can only  imagine that i have slipped like 189543076 times.. and one time, on the way to a members house, i fell and my knee was bleeding uncontrolably and she was from armania and had no bandaids.. so she put honey on a piece of paper, and then stuck that on my knee.. it was so strange...its funny though cause women here wear like stilettos, on the ice.. i dont get it... i am in like army boots and can barely walk and these women are walking around in 6 inch heels.. one day i will try it.. maybe in 15 months...There are just little stores and stands everywhere... ice cream stands a lot too.. that one i still cant understand, why ice cream? maybe hot chocolate or something by ice cream? Oh, and the yogurt here is like really good.. i havent tried the milk or
  anything cause everything here is like whole milk or like really thick sour cream or the cheese is just whole.. i dont know if that makes sense... the breads are pretty good.. A lady fed us soup and it was really good... we had like pickeled cabbage with onions and carrots or something and that was really good too.. so overall i love the food.. its just different.. its a lot healthier...The sweets here are good too...Oh! i made a cake and cookies.. its different cooking here... its fun though. its good making food.. after being in the mtc for so long.
  Hm... what else.. OH! english club! thats so fun!! people come and we get to kinda teach them english! we do that 2 times a week... thats really fun and it helps with my russian too... Well... if you ever think that its bad living in america.. think twice... i have a lot of respect for people who can live here and its great to see a
  different country.The people here are different too.. kinda crazy sometimes, we visited this less active woman, she lives in like... not a very nice palace, and she lives with her family so she has all her stuff in one room.. and this room is like.. chuck full of who knows what, and she had like 10 cats living in
  there.. and this is kinda how it is in a lot of apartments.. anyways.. she prayed at the end.. and i couldnt really understand a lot of what she said but i know she said amen like 6439604 times in the prayer and my companion said it was a crazy prayer.. it was funny.. i cant explain this life..But, i do love living here and being on a mission. i just know i have to do all i can to be a servant of the lord.. its hard but i can do it hmm.. what else... theres like no really grocery stores here.. there is a huge mall and ikea.. haha its pretty funny its in russian letters... But here, there are cars but the traffic is like crazy.. and nobody really owns cars so they walk and take busses everywhere and let me tell you the buses are another story... everybody crams on these buses and we are like all touching... and sometimes, we have to chase after buses and they will keep the door open for you as you are running and then sometimes they just close the door on you.. which... i had it closed on my bag and arm it was pretty the buses are just an experience in itself...then the language... hahahah its hysterical cause i try to talk to people, and even when i speak russian, they still dont understand me... so i might as well be speaking english right! haha no... i am trying.. its just a really hard language.. luckily my companion is russian! oh by the way her name is (in english) sister vaselevskia... and she is great, i feel bad that she has to like tug me around and i dont know anything and i dont understand anything.. its quite the adventure here in siberia...The members are great though, the ones that are strong are strong... its just werid to think that i have been a member of the church longer than almost all of the branch... its crazy cause i used to think i didnt know much about the gospel until i came to realize that i know a lot because i have been surrounded by it my whole life.. anyway.. we have a few investigators we are working with... they are kinda
  progressing... the work is hard here.. nobody knows about the gospel and nobody really cares to know.. thats why as missionaries we have to speak to everyone.. it sjust hard cause i dont really know the language but its ok.. the lord is blessing me i know... Ive come to realize that no matter where you live or who are you or what language you speak, we are all gods children, and they all need this gospel as much as we do... and i am no better than anyone.. god loves us all equally.. Its funny though cause being an american you get some stares... when i speak> english people just look at me... one guy even when he was leaving the bus said "your a good girl "in english and then another guy gave me flowers... its just funny cause americans dont really visit siberia... Well... i cant really write that long... just know that i love you and i miss you and i hope everything is ok...
   OH!! and let people know that my email address is i think i wrote it wrong last time!!!! so please send that out!!!! tell everyone i love them... tell jess i hope the kids are great... tell
  grandpa i am so happy for him! tell dad the food is awesome!!! and tell ach and grandma and all the rest of the family i love them and that siberia isnt> as bad as people make it out to be... i think i will grow to love it a lot!!

  It has made me really grateful for what i have.. there arent really homes here.. just apartments and the nice apartments are the nicest... so its quite a change... i am enjoying it here and i know this will be an adventure
  of a lifetime...if you have any questions just ask me! i love you so much!!!!  Ok i got to go.. love you love you love you! send this on and email me next week on monday or tuesday ok!!!!!! cause i get them that day!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

I made It!!

O yes, i am here in Novisibirsk and i made it all the way! i guess i will start off with my trip because its been a LONG 2 days! ok so first of all...i left the MTC 5 monday morning and i didnt arrive in novosibirsk untill 5
  this morning.... i got on a flight to new york and then straight to moscow after that... that flight went really well.. it as so funny.. the second I was checking into my flight for moscow... I had these overwhelming feelings
  like "ok... you can go now if you want.. you dont have to go to moscow if you are going to leave do it now... you are crazy what are you doing.. you cant even understand anyone... " haha but then again i had the same feelings like "this is the best thing you could be doing right now, you get on that plane and have the best mission of your life... you will do great... this is what the lord wants..." so it was 2 very mixing emotions... well i got on that flight and i sat down and was laughing and crying.. crying at the fact that i wuould be in russia living.. for the next 15 month, and then laughing  because i didnt understand a word anyone was saying to be.. this guy was talking to me on the flight and i just kept saying da and sorry... hahah he
  was like dying laughing.. finally i said in russian... "i dont understand"haha it was comical... well the 10 hour flight went well and i landed and a missionary elder lady sister Budd and a lady sister stapley who her husnband workds for the church came and picked me up and we got in the car to go to moscow to get a second passport... ok.. let me just tell you that russian drivers are crazy... it doesnt help that i get car sick too and the two  ladies i was sitting in between wouldnt stop talking which is fine but at this point, we were in a car for 2 1/2 hours and i was getting car sick and then BAM.. our driver hits someone... haha luckily they just walked away from it but it was then another 2 hours to the embassy cause of traffic and  i was about the ralph... but after hours of almost hitting multiple cars and wall.. we made it to the embassy, i got a second passport and then we went to lunch. The women took me to an american restaurant so it was really
  good... then back in the crazy car again and this time back to sister stapleys house where i got t call you mom and then i slept woke up and back in the crazy car again... thinking i could possibly die at this point (not
  really but it was kinda scary haha) and then off to my flight to novosibirsk... ok so i get to the airport and i got there like 5 hours early so i checked in payed for my baggage and was just sitting in the terminal...
  scared and tired and about ready to cry when i heard a man speaking english with hs little girl.. he then turned around and saw my scriptures and was  like "that looks like a quad" i then showed him my nametage and he was like " a sister missionary!" i about started crying because i felt like there was a little piece of home there... him and his wife actually work in novosibirsk and are memebers of the church and they were flying with me.. so from then on they helped me and we actually got picked up together... so we landed and 2 missionaries and president trejo were there to pick me up this morning... and he said "sister west... we usually have you come to our home and sleep and get ready but i have a conference so we cant so you are going
  to jump right into your companionship.. so here i am, i am in novisibirk on the west bank i believe is  waht they say... and i cant say my companions name so i would butcher it but i am pretty sure i will be able to tell you next week... haha and they let me shower and sleep and i guess we are going to a beach today for p day... i am still with another sister, sister clark who was at the MTC with me she just left 6 weeks before me... so she has been here to help me out but with leave to her area today... so ya.... thats about all thats going on! i cant believe i am actually here.. i am in russia... living for a long time.. i still feel like i am dreaming but it
  will be great! oh! hahahaha i totally biffed it sooooo hard today and completely banged up my other knee... i know that i will be falling a ton more because i almost fell walking in here too.. its going to be very
  interesting...i get to go shopping today for boots and a jacket and i am excited.. its about -10 here ... so kinda cold not that bad though!haha it will start warming up... other than that next weeks email should be better!!! you can all send me emails! that would be great!!!
Anyway... keep me updated on everything thats going on!! love you sooo much.