Tuesday, June 28, 2011

no....I didnt see another naked man

> so another week has gone by! i am sorry i can respond to everybodies emails
> but just know I love you all soooo much!!
> first of all... brookie jackson and amy! thanks for the letters, i love you
> both.. and the pictures of ashtons wedding were amazing! ASHTON YOU ARE
> i love you guys!!!
ok... first off.. a little about my companion.. her name is sister clark andshe is from washington.. she studied at BYU and i have to say.. i amcompanions with amy/aly giles... its sooo great! there are sometimes whenshe says something and i just look at her because its exactly what amy would say.. so amy... know you are with me right now and i love it! we have a lotof fun.. and its great because we contact a ton.. and of course nobodyreally likes to talk to us, and they are slightly rude.. but we always make some dumb missionary joke after and say things like "fine, I dont think wanted to give you salvation anyway..." haha so lame i know, and definetlnot what christ would do, but you gotta make it fun sometimes. .and truly..it does break my heart when people just completely disreguard us or theycall us a colt.. or something like that, because i know they are so far off,and i know that they are all daughters and sons of our heavenly father...but we gotta make it happy too.. hahaanyway, she is so great and we have a ton of fun...ok to tell a little ab out my week...after i wrote you we went shopping, and mom, i am pretty sure it was at that mall you looked up before... its like legit.. reminds me of america... hah and they actually had a ton of sales. i was able to buy some t shirts and not just t shirts, cute shirts for like 7 bucks... so it worked out great...

  oh! and it was sisters birthday so we ate at ikea and KFC... hahah yum! Then after we met with the lady nina, and she has the biggest dog and scary dog i have ever seen, just a side note.. anyway, we met with her and she lives in a house and she has a garden so for sisters birthday we picked strawberries! it was so cool! then on thursday... get this.. WE SET A BAPTISMAL DATE!!!!! with tanya.. shes a young girls with the mom olga... she really wants to be baptized we just have to teach her... so that was a way good day for us... then i honestly cant remember what happened friday.... hahah then saturday we met with babavalia in the toilet again.. this time it was incredibly stinky... i wanted to puke the whole time.. probably because it was saturday and she works by this park thing where there are always tons of  people.. because there are fountaints.. and get this... people like swim in the fountains... siberia is strange i know.. anyway... people always have wedding picctures there and stuff.. oH! and when we were there, the bride totally went to the bathroom in her toilet.. ahaahaha it was like 27dresses... it was classic... then after we met with tanya again and taught her about sabbath day, we have a feeling that going to church will be her biggest problem... and then sunday... lo and behold... she didnt come to church.. so thats going to be hard with her but we are hoping that she can make it to church and make her baptismal date...which is the end of july... then monday... so my knee has  been hurting and so sister trejo called me and told me the doctor would be calling..so he called and he said its either 2 things... the swelling which would mean that we can just take the fluid out again.. oooorr i tore it which would mean surgery.. and he said that i just need to get an MRI to find out...so yes.. we found an MRI and it was actually a way nice place.. and i got one monday.. and it was hysterical.. at one point i moved during it and in russian english the lady goes over the intercom and says "dont move" hahaha i was dying.... anyway... that went ok... mom i will have to tell you the results in a different email :) hahaha... ya i have an interesting life i know...anwyay... then sister left to finland on tuesday so i have just been with the senior couple the huffakers and have been off my knee... we dont rreally have a busy day i am just kinda relaxing for this p day...
  anyway...i hope this week is great! i love you guys and i love eerything you do for me! know that the mission is going! hahah i know we dont see a lot of success but i like to think that maybe i wont see it for a while...as long as i am doing what the lord asks thats all i can do...and he knows all and if i am doing what he asks i can work as his hands... i love this church and my mission! and i love russia! i love the people and these experiences... i love you guys!

Yes, we have a fat naked man

ok! family and friends hello! i know the title of my email sounds crazy..  well thats probably because it is.. hahaha i want to start off with my crazy week here in siberia! First of all.. i am here in novosibirsk again and yes i am in the same place  i was before, same apartment and all! left bank so i love it... and secondly.. president peterson who was supposed to come after president trejo will no longer be our president... something happened and he isnt allowed to come to russia so we will have a president for a month while they
  are training a new president i dont know his name but all i know is he was called to go to new mexico and no he is coming to siberia... quite the change i know! haha so thats different for us.. it should be good though
  well to start off my week... wednesday we were just contacting all day and funny story.. sister told someone in russian we had an "animal prophet"  instead of a "living prophet" so that was hysterical.. the lady just kinda
  looked at us crazy... hahaha its fun learning a new language right? haha Then on tursday we met with this lady valentina and she has the fasted pet turtle i have ever seen... and its just roams around her apartment its
  pretty hysterical.. we weer teaching her and we like heard the turtle speeding down the hall.. so random... then our next meeting was with this lady galina.. and she is just like brutally honest with us... she tells us we cant speak the langauge at all and then she told me that my hair doesnt tell people that i am a hairdresser... haha shes a hoot.. but she ended up loving us when we left so we will see. she just aways tells us we are
  horrible but loves having us over its hysterical...Then! on friday, we met with this lady babavalia... and we met with her at her work.. and guess where she works... and public toilet (because you usually have to pay to use the bathrooms) so she takes money.. so ya.. we met in a toilet... hahaha it was hysterical.... then the good part of our week... we have these investigators a mom and a daughter named olga and tanya and they are so great! they told us they would for sure be baptized when they knew it was true... which is a huge step and
  they always do what we want! its amazing! they are such amazing investigators the mom just works a ton so its hard to meet but we are trying!!!! then the rest of the week was just crazy... let me tell you... russia people
  are nuts.. i love them dearly... but i cant describe the things i see here... you just have to be here... hahaha
  other than that we just meet with inactives and members and contact... we  have done a ton of contacting this week and have had very little success... most of the time people ignore us or just say "net"... sometimes we orrr.. they say "not allowed" and we just always say "yes.. its allowed  ahah its funny cause sister clark and i just laugh at it... its ok though, yes its hard.. but we just keep our heads up and know that as long as we do what the lord wants then we will be blessed...

  well.. let me tell you about russia in the summer real quick... first of all, all i can say is they have NO SHAME! women walk around basically naked... and wait, men too.. haha men always walk around in itty bitty shorts and thats all... and i have seen so many men just change clothes... its so strange... haha new culture i guess.. .oH! and funniest thing ever... this little fat girl like ran by one of the trees and just started peeing in front of everyone and the mom just stood and watched her.. ha it was so funny....
  THEN! this morning... sister and i were studying and we were in the kitchen and we live on a main street and across the street are other apartments too.. and the window looks out to them, and then out of nowhere, a fat naked man just walks outside and starts enjoying the summer breeze.. haha i just stopped and said "sister... they is a fat naked man outside our window luckily i couldnt make out anything specific on his body) but he was definetly naked... we both just lost it.... it was just like "yep... we live here" hahaha i totally thought about friends....it was so great...

  anyway... that was basically my week... the miracle we saw this week was that one day our planning day, was really hard, so we decided to go buy  lunch even though we didnt have any money.. but we decided to anyway causewe needed to get out.. and we just kept walking when nothing souded good...and then we came to this place which kinda sells wraps.. i dont know how to write it in english, and there was one of the elders investigators, anton...and he worked there i guess, and he speaks english and said "these will be
  free for you today!"and we said "no no... we can pay.." and he said "no no!"and then we just talked with him about the church and stuff and for us...obviously it was a blessing and we realized that the lord is always aware of us... always... he knew we needed to get out of the house and he gave us the opportunity to talk to an investigator and have free lunch... and for us it was an amazing experience that the lord blesses us when we need it.. We have been working really hard this week... and we know when we do the
  blessings come...i am sorry that this email is random, i just dont have much time today, its
my companions birthday so we have a lot planned and i have to go cut someones hair!! but know i love my mission.. russia is crazy! but i love it... and i am learning more about myself every day....
  i love you guys!! miss you!!!!!

ps.. telicia your baby is adorable i am sending you a letter
  ash! i got your letter i will write you soon!
 ali! i need your address in san fran!!!!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


hello family! everything sounds like it is going well!!! i am excited that you got the package! i know i didnt send pictures but its ok... not much is really happened here! i will try to send one more but its kinda hard from here... Well i didnt end up getting a letter from jess but thats ok... i am just glad that she got to be there with you guys and that you all have had fun! its always great when the family can get together and that i was there via russian dolls right? haha i am glad that it worked out...

well i cant really write that much this week but a lot has happened... we had a good week in tomsk and we had great zone conference with presidentthere and it was his last conference with us there and it went really well..we did the cutting of the tie.. i guess that in our mission whenever a missionary goes home the mission president cuts the tie... and now that hes leaving he got to cut a tie off of each of us so he has a tie from each missionary he served with which  was awesome....anyway., other than that the work was going great in tomsk! i love the branch and i love the people... but then on monday i got emergency transfered to novosibirsk to the same area i was in when i first came  on my mission... so ya.. sunday we decided and then monday i was on a bus by myself traveling 5 hours to novo... it was so funny cause i was thinking the whole time.. "ok.. i am in the middle of sibearia... by myself... on a bus.. i have no phone, i dont really know russian.. i am CRAZY!" haha but it all turned out ok.. i am on left bank right now and my companion is sister clark,,., she is a transfer older than me and we were in the mtc together... its only been two days but its been really fun so far... this should be a great next 7 weeks I think... and i am closer to a senior couple and doctor if i need one... so its going to be great i think.. i feel really good about the early transfer...other than that.. i dont really have any crazy stories except that a drunk man on a bus told me that in 1920 that the workers in siberia rose up against the smart people and killed a ton of them... and then told me that i was one of those smart people and that i should go back to where i camefrom.. hahahahaha honestly.. its kinda scary if you REALLY think about it but not really because he was drunk and nothing would ever really happen.. but i just laughed cause i was like "yes! he thinks i am smart!" haha Then the conductor lady on the bus i was sitting next to her and she kinda yelled at the guy and then started talking to me to try and comfort me... she said she really appreciated that i liked russia and that i would be here.. so it turned out really good...

  SO ya.. we are just getting started here with the work in novo.. i am excited to be back and people remember me so its been really fun.. its been a good couple of days even though i miss sister vasilevskaya and tomsk so much.. but i guess this is the lords plan and we have to follow it right?well family.. i am sorry i dont have much time!! i love you all and is seriously am so grateful for your support and ;ove.. i miss you so much and i feel like you guys are progressing like i am here on my mission... we are on the earth the become even as christ and i know that its a day to day basis... maybe read in ether this week about the brother of jared and the jaredites and them building barges.. ive gotten a lot out of that story lately and especially chapter 6 on how the lord blew the winds so strongly that they at times were ecompassed by water... but he never ceased to blow toward the promised land.. and even though sometimes we feel as if we are encompassed by waters... we know that its the lord refining us.. and blowing us back to him.. its only through our trials that we can return to our father in heaven...i know that he gives us trials to make us grow... i know that with all my heart...i know that this gospel is true and has given me so much strength here on my mission... i know that i am called of god through a prophet of god to be here in russia right now.. i love my misson and i wouldnt trade it for anything

i love you guys! keep up all the good things you are doing. you are all great examples for me and i love how i can see through your letters that you are growing and that life is good no matter what happens...
  rach tell evan i am sorry and i will pray for him... that must be hard but at least we have the plan of salvation right? jess.. thanks for much for bringing the package! i really appreciate it!! Mom dad grandma.. thanks for your supporting letters.. i love you all!
TELICIA!!!!!YOUR BABY IS ADORABLE!!!!! I CANT EVEN BELIEVE IT!  whats his name? how big is he? when exactly did you have him?!?!? ahhhh i am so happy for you! i love you and i know you will be such a graet mom... you are amazing! congrats to you and matt both!!! I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!

Summer is here in Russia

hello family!
  thanks for your letters! it sounds like grandmas birthday party went really well! good job to all!! i am glad it turned out! Grandma, thanks for your letter! i dont know exactly when your birthday is, i want to say the 5th of june but i am not sure so HAPPY BIRTHDAY!  i am glad that it went well! also i am glad that there was conference this week and you guys enjoyed it... its always good to hear from someone the lord has called to look after us! thanks for always writing me grandma, i love you! tell grandpa i love him too! also tell tami and jeff to have fun! they have always wanted to do that! i am excited they get to do the alaskan cruise! that should be fun!Mom, thanks for the money, i hopefully can go get some shoes... also tell gracie i sent the package with the alands, they ended up going home this week so they are in colorado and i had them send it to jess because there was stuff for my friends too, i figured that was easiest and then jess can send you guys the package... just and fyi, theres something in there for everyone.. the letter to jess explains it but if she has any questions shecan ask me!

Dad! it seems like you guys will be swimming a ton this summer.. man i wish i could swim here, its soo hot! its like 90 now.. but its humid.. and from arizona i dont know humid.. haha so its been crazy! i love you dad! Rachel. i am excited that you have your own house! the pictures seem great! i am excited to see it when i get home! keep up the good work! keep being a good mom and working hard, nothing good comes without work right? haha love you sis Jess! thanks for the letter too! it seems like you have 4 crazy boys! neil has teeth!! what!?!? oh my gosh i cant believe that... i havent even seen him! haha.. well it seems like you are pretty busy too! thanks for your letter... it helps to get encouraging letters from your sister... you and rachel both. you guys are great examples! thanks for all you do i love you! tell the boys i love them too! and like i said to mom, i sent (sister aland will send) you a package with little dolls, theres some for my friends in utah and then some to go to az.. the letter should explain it all.. if youhave questions ask me! thanks jess i know i am a pain i just didnt know how else to do it! haha love you!  OK! on with my week... well it was funny cause wednesday night i got a phone call from elder aland and he said "sister west did your mom write you?" andi said "no.." and he said "well she sent us an email so you can check it tomorrow here!" haah so funny.. so i ended up checking my email thursday so thanks mom! its always good to hear from you... hah then the next day sister aland called me (and long story short they have a granddaughter in the hospital right now she was norn only a pound and is really struggling) anyway.. they called me and they told me they were going to go home for a little bit! i was really sad but i am glad that they get to go home and take care of their family.. they had been really worried about their grandaughter and daughter and they needed to be there to help.. its great cause now they arent constantly stressing... then on friday we had planned a girls pajama party for the branch and our investigators and we made crepes and watched tangled and we made bracelets! and guess what! we had 6 non members there! it was so amazing.. a miracle for sure... honestly... it turned out really great.. we have 15 people there all together which was a really good turn out.. so it was awesome... and everyone had fun! then on saturday we helped the alands move and we went home after cause of my knee, i needed to stay off of it for a while...then sunday... we said good bye to the alands! it was really sad to say goodbye, even though i am really glad they get to go help! then monday.. was a crazy day,. i think i told you about the kids camp we went and cleaned out out in the villages.. well we recieved a fund to help them buy sports equipment so sister and i went and bought about 400 dollars worth of sports stuff (balls and stuff) so we could deliver it to the camp,then we went to prepare dinner because we were having a big FHE with the Lee family because they are leaving for the summer,... so i prepared rolls and taco soup! and then the whole lee family came, with all the missionaries we had about 16 people there i think! so we ate dinner then we did a competition with them where they had to listen and draw the first vision.. and then we talked about answers to your prayers.. overall, it was an amazing night, the family (mom and dad) told us how muuch they appreciated us and how much of an example we were for their children! it was so great but now we just have to work on them building a testimony! they know its true i know they do.. we think the biggest challenge for them is their daughters are gymnasts.. (acrobats so weird i know they should be gymnasts) and they compete on sundays.. so hopefully we can get them over that! we will see.. they leave in a few days so hopefully when they come back...then that night we met two girls about our age on the street, and lo and behold! they were jehovas witnesses.. it was so funny.. it was like 4 young girls, all preaching their gospel.. and i never like talking with them becaue they know exactly who we are and they always try to prove us wrong with the bible.. and they asked about the book of mormom (and they were nice but in a sneaky way haha) and they read that same scripture from revelations where it says something about not adding to the bible which.. thats just how they interpret it.. anyway.. i was tired and i simply said "you girls are believing right? you believe you can recieve answers to your prayers right?" and they said "yes" and i said.. "but only if we do something and then ask god right" and they said yes... and i pulled out a random book and said "if you didnt read this book, how would you know what was in it? and if you read it and did pray about it, how could god answer you and tell you if it was true?" and they said "i dont know?" and i said "exactly.. so how can you say that the book of mormon isnt true unless you have read it and asked god? you cant! i know you can.... because right now,  just looking at a book of mormon, its simply a book, but i know and i know because i have done it..that if you read and pray about the book of mormom that god will tell you its true... and you cant say that its not because you havent read it... "i said it nicer than it seems... but anyway.. they just said "its great to meet people who believe too" hahah and then we said good bye... it was funnyand sister was like "sister west where did that come from!?" and it mightnot have been the best thing...  but i needed them to know that this is whatwe beileve and we wont stray from it..and they only way they can find out is to read it.. its simple..

anyway.. that was a crazy day! then yesterday, we went to that camp and delivered the sports equipment and then cleaned a ton! the kids come this saturday.. then on the way home, we were on a bus, and we stood up and we heard this man talking to some kids, and they didnt understand them, and sister was like "he isnt from russia.."then he looked at us and was like "do you speak english?" haha and i was like.. yes i do! and he was like "do you speak it well?" and i said.. yes...i am america... haha and he looked at me.. and he was from france so he didnt speak it that well but we could communicate.. anyway long story short we ended up helping him find his hotel and he was just on a tour of russia by himself.. he has been taking a train from moscow and seeing a ton of cities and will end up in the other side of the country... haha so random..but we got to share about why were are here as missionaries and everything... and hopefully, we made an impression and he will then try to find the church in france! we told him to look haha...

  other than that.. just the normal.. meeting with people every day, stregthening the branch.. meeting with new people, teaching english.. trying to be the missionaries the lord wants... its hard but it is a great experience and i will never forget these moments i have had.. and i hope that i can do my best to work as the lords hands... so that i can be doing the things i need to be doing here... and even if i dont realize it.. i hope i am strengthing others...i love you guys! and i expect letters next week! i am sorry i dont have much time to write!!
love you and i look forward from hearing from you! love youuuu!
love sister west!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Another week...

 FAMILY!!! hello!!!!!
it seems like everything is going well with you guys! i was glad to hear from.. well dad and grandma! haha its sad when you get so excited about emails and your mom doesnt even write you! haha its ok... next week right?
well.. dad first- it seems like a good week having gracie and gainer there.. tell katie i am sorry about the accident but she is in a great car right now! hah and the new bishopric? wow... that sounds like a good one though.. all three men are pretty great i would say! and about don... i wish that i could talk to zach and knock some sense into him.. he needs to realize that the mission isnt meant to be a walk in the park.. and if he thinks that every missionary who has served hasnt thought about going home is wrong... i can guarantee that EVERY missionary has wanted to go home and EVERY missionary has seriously thought about it... and we have to remember that its the lord who called us on a mission...i know that those times when i have had a hard time... i always think that the lord didnt send me on a mission to come home.. i have to realize that there are people here, for the next (now year)... who need me.. and heavenly father knows and knew that.. and he send me here, this specific place, this specific time.. for a reason.. and whenever i think about coming home, i realize how selfish it is because i would be missin out on those people who need me... anything.. thats my two cents about it.. i am truly sorry that he is coming home, but i can honestlty say i know EXACTLY what hes going through... i really do.. the misison is tough... especially in a different country and when you have given up so much, but in the end, we have to realize that when we give up this stuff for the lord, the lord will blessyou so much more... i dont know... tell him i am sorry and i wish him the best... and tell don i wil be praying for him... also dad, hows grandma west? tell her i love her and i think about her!! i hope she is doing well!!! dad i love you and i also know too that the lord is taking care of me.. he truly protects his missionaries and blesses their families! love you dad Grandma! thanks for the birthday invitation! i do wish i could be there but maybe for 80th birhtday? haha i will be there for that! and next year i will be there for your birthday too! it sounds like a good week for you! you siad you had the fifth sunday... we (sister and i) actually taught that lesson for the branch... haha it was great! and you asked about the branch and the people who live far away.. as for now, there is only one branch in tomsk so the people who live out of the city travel to church.. its pretty amazing to see their faith.. i know in some country people drive 4 hours to get to church... they really are great members! and it was great to hear about your service and the lady from sierra vista! the lord truly answers prayers i know... i am grateful you are doing that grandma you are a great example,.. also i am grateful grandpa is holding strong! i am so excited to see the change in him when i get home! thats truly a blessing and a tender mercy of the lord.. its helped me a lot out here in russia... anyway, you said something about a unique world? hahahahah grandma thats an understatement.. its crazy here.. i cant even explain it.. i will remember to take a ton of pictures so that i can show you guys.. oh! and you said about that boys call.. haha grandma i dont know how lucky i am... haha i think that south carolina will be a pretty crazy mission too.. and he will definetly have his trials.. i do feel lucky about my call but man.. its hard! hah sometimes i wish i was just in a temple! haha but then i think about my experiences and i wouldnt trade them for anything, i can really tell my children and grandchildren about this... its a great experience.i love you grandma!! tell grandma i love him too!

 oK!!! on with my week... ok first off.. its june 1st!!! haha can you believe that!!! its been officially 6 months since i have been out.. thats so crazy to me! honestly! well thursday we went to the lee family, i have told you about them before... but this time the little girl shena was graduating from her little class.. so i did her hair in a cute little updo! haha she has amazing hair it was so fun! i have pictures i will have to send you.. anyway this family leaves in about 2 weeks for the whole summer! i am sad cause i probably wont be in tomsk when they get back.. i guess i can only pray for them. they are such an ideal family! then on friday we have an investigator galina, and she too is leaving for the summer! she however, goes on a boat, and its like a floating store, and they travel to little villages up north, where people dont have stores and stuff and they sell to all the villages.. its pretty interesting,.. anyway we went and saw her on her boat! and she is actually the cook... and there are 18 people who work on the boat.. it was actually a cool experience, its like a floating store.. haha so we got to see the boat and stuff before she left.. she too is ready for baptism but theres something thats holding her back! ahh its so had!! then also on friday i talked to a doctor about my knee... he said i have probably just aggrivated it and the cortozone shot masked the pain... so now that thats worn off i can feel it.. so we are working on a few things to make it better.. i do need new shoes though.. haha doctors orders i swear! haha then on saturday we went to this village and theres a camp there thats for kids who have bad families or no familes at all.. and we just cleaned this time.. (its kinda like a girls camp) and the area is so pretty.. but we cleaned for them and we go back this saturday and help with the kids.. i am excited to go and see the kids.. it should be a really good opportunity to serve! then that night we have sports night, we play frisbee (well i dont cause i cant :(   and it started pouring rain! haha we have sweet pictures... other than that that weather got pretty hot yesterday.. it was actually 88 degrees! can you believe that! haha i am like sweating now! haha then on monday we taught the mongolians again.. haha its so great to teach them cause theres like 3 languages going on... anyway we have this girl gana.. and she is great we are just trying to really work with her! then yesterday.. this just kinda describes russian people.. we met with this lady from the branch.. and for the first 40 minutes... she sang.. just sang to us... hah we dont know why.. we just had to sit and listen.. it was pprrreeettttyyyy interesting.. man.. sometimes i really  just cant put my mind around the country i am in right now.. sometimes i feel like its normal.. and then random things like people singing for 40 mintues, or i pee in a barn.. or like i went shopping this morning, and i cant find turkey! like just to eat! haha its just crazy to me... i am grateful for this experience though.. i have grown and learned a ton.. and i know it can only get better from here... its been 3 full months in the country and i have like 1 week less than a year left.. thats just crazy to me... time really does fly! well... we are hoping this week is great too! we have a busy week of course.. just trying to be the missionaries the lord wants... as for me and everything else... the language is coming... slowly but yes... its coming... i just want it to be here now! hah but the lord likes to test people... and i really do love my mission...... even though it seems like i am half way across the world.. oh wait i am.. haha and even though its a COMPLETELY different world here, i am learning and growing a lot... life has take on a whole new meaning and this church, has taken on a whole new meaning... truly it has... i love this church and i love you guys!!!

 as for my friends.. i just sent some letter...
 tell kristin if she can send me one of her cds to send one! and tell ashton to send me her wedding pictures!! helloooo! haha i have to see them!!!!!!!!