Tuesday, June 21, 2011

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!

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