Friday, April 29, 2011

another week..wow and Happy Easter

Hello family!!!! i am going to start off with my week before i answer
> emails!
> First off, it was a great week i would say.. we had a lot of activities and
> we kept busy!
> After i wrote you last week we went to subway and it was good.. except it
> literally took an hour to get all of our sandwiches! haha not like the
> subways in america.. it tasted pretty much the same though.. then thursday
> we went to our investigators house... Ina, she is doing really well and we
> were hoping she would come to church but she didnt make it.. that makes it
> hard when they dont keep our commitments.. we are working with her and
> smoking and just trying to get her to gain a testimony about the book of
> mormom.. she said he husband was kinda interested too but we have yet to
> meet him. She ha a family so hopefully she can have enough faith to trust us
> and trust her father in heaven...
> then that night we went to the branch building and this bum came in.. he
> usually comes in and asks for food but this time he had some really really
> bad sores on his legs.. sister vasilevskay helped him and we have to get him
> a doctor.. they were things i have never seen before.. its hard because
> there are bums everywhere here and they do it to themselves because they
> drink, but then i just keep thinking that its their addiction and its so
> hard for them to stop.. i wish there were something we could do to help them
> but we cant until they help themselves.. its just so eye opening when you
> see things like that... i feel like im not mature enough to see that... i
> just get really sad.. but its ok, thats why we have this gospel...
> Then on friday, the alands (the older couple here) made us sloppy joes!!! i
> was so happy cause i loves sloppy joes!! it made my day... until the zone
> leaders told me that i had to speak in church on sunday... hahahahaha that
> ruined it! haha no it was ok.. just the fact that i had to plan a 20 minute
> talk, in russian.. in 1 day... so it was interesting..
> then that night, we have this group of mongolian youth here and they taught
> us how to make mongolian food! it was so good dad would have loved it! i
> know how to make it now so we ca do it when i get home... we will have to
> set up 2 weeks when i get home so we can make and eat all the food i learn
> how to make! it was incredible how fast and how easy they made these things
> look.. .they took this dough and filled it with meat and some with mashed
> potatoes and then they closed it with their fingers ( i wish i could
> explain) i will send pictures soon, but they just made it look easy and its
> not! then we deep fried it hahaha... very healthy i know.. but it was
> awesome.. then of course cabbage and carrots and onions.. it was yummy!
> then saturday we had the flower activity again! let me tell you mom, its a
> huge hit here, the women are loving it and they want you to send pictures of
> other flowers you are making... i only did the ones you burn and the ones
> jess taught us how to make and i forget how you do they rest.. but they want
> you to send more pictures of all of the kinds you make and different ideas!
> THen sunday! EASTER! and yes i gave my talk.. sister helped me write it but
> then i got up there and didnt really use it.. it was great though cause i
> could speak russian when i needed too! my russian is coming along and i am
> super happy about it.. but i still have to work hard... its a really really
> hard language...
> then after church the whole branch brought food and we had a huge easter
> meal! all sorts of russian food! it was so yummy... except you should see
> the way they eat in big groups.. they just hover around the table.. like
> nobody sits down and you have to like cram your way through people to get
> food.. and you know how much i HATE like tons a people... (ask my friends..
> they knew i wouldnt stay at parties more than 30 minutes) so its like the
> hardest thing to get food around russians.. then! you would except that a
> meal should take what... an hour to eat then to clean up.. so about 2 hours
> right.. for 70 people to eat? NO! it was over and cleaned up in 45 minutes!
> haha its like unreal here.. haha the culture is soooo differentt! oh! and
> instead of hunting for easter eggs.. the little kids have like a halloween
> type thing on easter.. .but they wake up really early and go to peoples
> houses and knock on the door and when you answer they say "he was
> ressurrected!" and you say something like "yes its true!" and then you give
> them eggs (real eggs) and maybe candy! the earlier they get up the more eggs
> they get... so they start at like 6.. .haha we didnt have anyone come but
> sister was telling me about it.. its kinda different here!
> then monday we have the univerisity come to the branch and they put on this
> little concert.. it was very interesting but cool... a lot of opera
> singers...
> then yesterday... we did service for this lady in the ward who believes in
> reincarnation... haha she thinks she was a french man in her previous life
> who sold wine.. hahaha thats a little taste of russian people.. haha oh man
> i love them.. but anyway we cleaned her windows and then english club! and
> then i learned how to play "we thank thee o god for a prophet" on teh piano
> by sister aland.. it was great!!
> and today we are doing service for this family who are interseted in the
> church.. their daughter sasha got baptized in january.. and they are great..
> i am doing their hair so hopefully it goes well! then its onto another week!
> hopefully we can do well!
> I was reading in mosiah yesterday... mosiah 2 when king benjamin speaks to
> his people and he speaks about service and about how we are eternally
> indebted to our god.. and thats a good chapter if you guys want to do some
> reading this week... it really puts things into perspective.. we constantly
> will owe something to our father in heaven... because we already owe him so
> much for the life he has given us... then everytime we do something good he
> blesses us right? so theres no way to repay him...
> thats how i feel on my mission... there are times when its really hard here,
> when i see things like the bum, or just the way people live, and what they
> have gone through,... and especially members of the church and how they have
> gone through so much to stay strong... and how i feel so weak here.. and how
> my life has been so easy.. and a lot of times i start feeling selfish and
> its hard to stay on a mission being selfish.. but then i read this.. and
> realized how much i truly owe to my heavenly father and how that this year
> and a half of my life is nothing compared to what i owe him.. and then to
> see the blessings that have come into our family already... its just amazing
> to me... its all because of our father in heaven and jesus christ... so i
> think i can bare siberia another year what do you think? haha
> well know that i love you guys so much! more than you know... i miss you so
> much! but guess what! i sent you that email about mothers day calls and i
> will send my number next week and how we can call! i love you so much! I am
> so excited to talk to you!!!!
>
> ASHTON ADAIR!!!!!! HAPPY WEDDING!! I AM THINKING ABOUT YOU ALL THE TIME AND
> I HOPE THAT ALL GOES WELL! YOU BETTER SEND MY PICTURES SOON!!
> my dearest friends.. kristin i got your dear elder! and i loved it.. you are
> so great and i am sending a letter when i go to finland! love you!
> and all my other friends! write me you fools! i thought you loved me hello!
> i will try to send a package with trinkets soon ok? love you all!
>

Half a transfer gone!

 FAMILY! HELLO!!!!!!!!
> Ok to start off thanks for everyone for writing me! it was good to hear from
> everyone and see how they are doing! i miss you guys so much... you have no
> idea! but i am glad to hear that all is going well!
> But other than that thanks for your email! its good to hear things are going
> well.. i am sorry about the black eye, i never got one of those haha except
> in diving. Well the weather is really good here, all the snow is gone! yay!
> and its actually really really hot most days except today, its kinda cloudy.
> Most days i dont even wear a coat except today its a bit cold so i have a
> coat on... You asked about tracting mom... we kinda tract i guess you could
> say that? but mostly its just contacting on buses and on the streets... we
> just talk to everyone wherever we go... except its a lot harder than i
> thought it would be to just talk to people randomly.. so thats one thing we
> are working on as a companionship... most of the time when i start talking
> to people they just laugh because they either dont understand me, i have
> said something not right.. or just cause i am american... there arent many
> americans around here... haha i think the missionaries and thats all! haha
> you asked about the missionaries around here... we live about 20 minute walk> from the senior couple the alands and i love them! we basically see them
 everyday and then we just have 4 elders here.. so all in all... 8
> missionaries in tomck right now. we actually cover the whole city so its
 pretty cool being sisters here.. it is hard though because its really just
 me and my companion.. no other sisters... and sometimes i just feel alone
 because shes russian.. and shes great dont get me wrong i love her.. but we
 dont agree on some things and the cultural differences are hard sometimes...
 so i like talking with sister aland because i just feel like she understands
 me... I never thought that would be a problem but being raised in different
>countries really makes a difference... anyway.. mom keep up the good work!
>im glad you are having people help make hairbows! that should be great! and
>good job on the missionary work too... our work as missionaries should never
>stop, we should always be looking for ways to serve and share the gospel..
>what did they say in conference? something along the lines of "you should
>always be teaching and sharing the gospel, and if needs be, use words" so
>basically we need to be doing missionary work through our deeds.. and you> are a great example of that by the way you always are willing to give what
 you have.. you always got mad at me for not charging that much for hair but
 you do the same for everyone and its because its a way we can serve...  and
 ya its kinda crazy to think that there is only one branch here in tomsk
 right now... just ont and only like 50 memmbers come... its gunna be crazy
 in 20 years,... if we baptize people or help in their conversion to see the
> church grow here in novosibirsk! i know that not that long ago places like
 brazil and mexico were just like russia... no that many members... i am
> hoping in no time at all.. russia will grow like that too!!!  i can only do
 all i can as a missionary and let the lord soften their hearts! i love you
> mom! thanks for everything!
 Oh! by the way... i think i have like 8 dollars in my account... haha i need
> like 30 i think so i dont get charged... so hopefully you can put more in
 there.. and if possible.. just put extra when you can so if i need anything
 during the week i dont have to worry about how much is in there and wait
 till p day to ask you? i am sorry... life is crazy being a missionary!
 dad! it sounds like fishing was fun! we actually went again to the forrest
 and made a bonfire for family home evening too! The senior couple here, the
 alands are great. Elder aland is a fisherman and hunter too and he tells me
 about his stories so i tell him about yours and he says he wants to trade
 you a trip up in the utah mountains to this place where you can catch 80
 trout an hour for one of your mexico trips! haha i told him you guys could
 be friends when they got home... and that sam would have to go too.. haha so
 maybe you guys can go when they get back!
 THe weather is great dad, you will be happy to know i am not freexzing but
 really hot!! And the food here... i havent really tried anything i dont
 like... they have this salads that they eat, and its like BRIGHT pink.. and
 its either cabbage and beats or something.. i dont know.. but i stay away
 from the pink salad.. other than that i think you would love the food here
 dad.. its seriously sooooo good! i cant explain what we have but most of the
 time its like meat or mashes potatoes wrapped in some sort of dough... then
 we have salad  but not salad.. its like a bunch of stuff tossed in
 mayonaise.. Russians LOVE mayonaise.. its gross actually how much they love> it.. haha and theres a whole bunch of rice stuff thats not rice and they put
 meat and veggies in it... its all really good.. we get fed by members
 sometimes so its pretty cool... the only thing that i dont really like are
 the sweets here... their cakes and stuff arent the best.. just not sweet
 enough. its almost just like bread.. which isnt bad because the bread here
 is of course amazing! And then they have thje bleenees you get on the
 streets.. they are like flat pancakes and they put all sorts of stuff in
 them! haha and then the dairy is all like whole milk.. like some yogurt you
 can buy.. usually the yogurt i would say is like 2% in america right? here..
 you can get 17% hahaha its like 300 calories in a little tiny thing.. its
 like pure fat! hahah we did have hot dogs at our fire and we cooked sausage
 there too and thats good.. but we just eat them with bread because theres no
 buns here! haha Anyways.. thats the food.. i wish i could send some to you..
 OH! the juice is amazing too... thats another thing thats way better!!
 Anyway.. gainer seems like hes still so funny! haha he is just a little
 manipulator! its because hes so spoiled! haha grandma and grandpa give him
 what he wants! haha he will be so old when i get home! so weird! well dad, it seems like you are doing good too! i hope work is well and that you can
 get enough fishing in... i love you and i appreciate your letters and
 everything. Everyone told me you did an awesome job at the baptism and
 stuff... i am proud of you i wish i could have been there! i love you dad
 and look forward to your email next week!
 Jess! thanks for the email!!!! its good to hear from you and how your trip
 was. i am glad you got to be there for grandpa and gracie! its weird to
 think if you werent there it would have only been mom dad and rach.. usually
 i am there ... we know gary was there in spirit too.. i think he wouldnt
 have missed that moment! i am glad you got to take neil! hows he doing? hows
 your family too? are the boys so big?? i cant believe they are so old.. dean
 will be 5 soon right? so weird! i hope sam is doing well and all is good
 with the family and the job!! i love you jess and i am thankful for you and
 your example to me... its crazy because we only have like 2 families in our
 ward.. that or the rest arent active.. so its good to tell people i have a
 sister with 4 boys and she goes to church every week! haha its possible!! we
 know it! so thanks again! i love you and thanks for the email! keep on being
 a great mom! you will soon be getting emails from your boys when they serve
 missions!
 Grandma!! thanks soooo much for the pictures!!!! i started crying! its so
 great to see that... i am so happy that that day happened.. i just cant
 believe it..its such a great feeling to see all these changes! grandma you
 are so great! I am so excited to come home and see our family and be able to
 go through the temple and see the results.. by the way did you find out how
 that works? you guys will be sealed but will mom be sealed to you too? I
love you grandpa and i love getting your letters and pictures! thanks for
everything!!
 OK! i hope i answered everyones questions! thanks for writing me.. its good> to hear from you guys and see the changes in you too... i hope you guys are> reading and going to the temple and doing all you can! i will keep asking
 you so i hope you are! mom dad family..... if you want i can read the book
 of mormon with you? like every week we can read 5 chapters and discuss them?
 that could be cool and we could grow from that too? tell me what you think?

 Ok this week was pretty busy!!!
 We met with zanieeda and we taught her about baptism but then.. at the end..
 she said she was leaving and we couldnt meet with her till june? russian
 people are so weird.. seriously... haha but hopefully she thinks about what
 we said cause she says she wants the holy ghost so hopefully her heart can
 be softened soon...
 Then we have a new investigator... ina..and she is like the golden
 investigator.. we found her on the street and she just wanted to know more
 right away and we went to her house the very next day and have taught her 2
 times already adn she says she will come to church! hah sister and i want to
 know what the catch is? cause this never happens! hahaha but we can just
 pray and maybe she is just ready! she has a family... a husband and 2 sons..
so we will see!! Then on saturday we made flowers mom! you would be so proud to see! we had
 about 15 people there which was a really good turn out and they loved them
 so much  we are doing them this saturday too! hopefully we will have more
 people there!! we actually got an investigator out of it kinda too.. so it
 was a huge success! alll because of you mom.. so you are actually doing
 missionary work in russia too!!!!
 then monday we went to fhe and had a bonfire out in the forrest too.. we
 crossed that way old cemetary too! i have pics i need to send its just so
 hard on the computer i will figure it out sometime though i am sending a
 disc soon! anyway we went and then we ended up leaving way later then we
 thought we would and sister and i left our clothes at the branch so we had
 to borrow elder alands keys and he actually gave us the wrong key so they
 had to come get it cause it was the key to their apartment then we had to
 call a taxi cause it was already 1030 which is an hour later than we have to
 be home.. and when we got in the taxi it was BLASTING beyonce! haha i just
 felt like the worst most disobedient missionary ever.... but we repented..
 haha it will never hapen again! but man it was funny... me sister aland and
 elder aland we all thee squished in the back of this itsy bitsy taxi and we
 were all dying laughig at how the situation turned out... man its crazy
 being a missionary..> Then i did more hair... i did it for this ladies sister in  our ward.. she
 actually hates missionaries so it was amazing she actually let me do it..
 and we prayed with her too.. so it was a good service to do because now she
 knows that missioanries arent that bad.. that we are slightly normal hahaha
Anyway.. today we are actually getting subway and going to a park with all
 the missionaries! i am excited! but i have to write my mission president!
 THanks for the emails!!!! i love you guys!
 know i love my mission, and even though its soooo hard! i wouldnt trade it
 for anything! the church is true! it really is! i was reading in jacob 5
 today about the olive tree and at the end in like 70 when it says there were
 few servants but in the end when they were dilligent and kept the
> commandments, the fruit they produced would bring them joy! read it cause i
 know thats how missionaries can be! if we are dilligent the fruit we produce
 will bring us joy! i love my mission!!
 Oh! ps! HAPPY EASTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TAKE
PICTURES FOR ME!  and i know you guys get to call on mothers day so like 2 1/2 weeksss! yay!!
 and then i have my visa trip to finland may 12th! yay!!!
> ok i love you guys!
  ps! happy birthday brooke and court! sorry its late!!!! i love you guys i
 hope that you love being 22!!!! ahhh!
 ASHTON! HAPPY WEDDING SOOOOON!!!!!! i wish i could be there,... i better be
 there in spirit! i love you sooo much!!!!
  love... sister west!!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hello!

Hello family!!! ok so i had to read the emails really fast because there were a ton! so i hope i didnt miss anything!   I am glad you got to go to telicias baby shower!!!!! i am so sad i couldnt be there!!!!!! but i am glad the family misses me.. i miss them a lot too! they are all like my sisters, but at least i can come back and still do their hair! I am glad to hear that the gym is doing well... lots of cheer girls is great! and hair bows too! haa you will love to hear that we actually have an activity this saturday that i am setting up for all the women and girls in the ward and we are making hair bows! it should be fun...  i feel like i need you though to know exactly what fabrics are best and stuff... but i think it will be ok. we are using some of the ones you gave  me for examples and i will make some new ones... dont worry about me and the food.. believe me i get enough so we have been working out too... i have literally gained 10 pounds.. i will hopefully send pictures today if the guy comes and helps me and you will see that i gained a ton.... haha its sad.. But keep it up! working out makes you happy too.. but keep it up with the gym and all... Im glad everything worked out! tell ruth and Debbie good job on the food it seems like it all went together well for so many people! i love you and talk
  to you soon!!! thanks for all you do mom... know that i am surviving here....
  Dad! thanks for your email! i am glad that you survived the baptisms and the confirmations! dad, thats a lot of church stuff right away! i am proud of you for doing all of that. Especially for making it through the baptisms and crying! i am sure it was an amazing moment... That day i actually was watching conference and i thought about you guys the whole day.. it was a good day for me thinking that you were baptizing grandpa and gracie... its quite an amazing day i would say... i wish i could have been there but hopefully rach will send me pictures this next week so i can see... I am proud of you dad... Thanks for your example... Its crazy cause in russia there arent many men who are worthy priesthood members so its great to see that you are.. so thanks... i love you and oh! my knee is doing better... it hurts sometimes but its ok! i can make it!! Love you!!
  Grandma! the baptism seems to have gone wel!!! did you ever think that day would come grandma!! i am so happy that its actually here.. and for him and  gracie to be baptized together... honestly thats amazing. Tell grandpa i am  so proiud of him and that i thought of him often and i still do. I pray for you guys all the time.. I am really excited to come home and go through the temple with you guys! ps.. you guys will be sealed right? and can mom get sealed to you guys? that would be amazing i am just not sure how that all works... i am really excited for that day... Well grandma i love you and I appreciate your support and example. I wish i could write more but maybe i  can try to send some real lettters... we just have like no time! we are always so busy!! love you so much! tell grandpa i love him too!!! Rachel! thanks for the email! i am excited you are starting school and that you are the coach!!! what!!!! that should help you and gainer out alot huh?
  thats a great blessing i think!!! i am happy for you! just remember rachel to always try to be the happiest you can... the gospel doesnt promise that we will always have the best things happen to us, but it does promise help and hope... i forget what the talk in conference said but something along the line of helping investigators through their afllictions and afflicting the members? hahah isnt that the truth! it seems like the stongest are the
  ones who have the hardest times right? but this is what this life is for.. to prove to our heavenly father we have faith in him right? well i love you and keep up the good work with you and gainer! i hope all is going well.. just remember to have family prayer and scripture stufy and go to the temple. I never realized how much i miss the temple if it wasnt for me not going... so go!!!!! i love you and dont worry about me!! haha i am fine!
  russia isnt that bad! hah Tell jessicas family i love them!! i want to see pictures of the baptism> tooooo!!!

  Ok! well i will send a quick note about my week! then i will hopefully send
  pictures! first off! we watched conference on saturday and sunday! it was great we saw it in english! just four of us and the russians watched it at the branch! its cool cause here in tomsk we have a building thats the churches! so we do everything there... i loved conference.. it was crazy to me how much i wanted to keep listening... usually i fall asleep or i say i will watch it later but on your mission it truly is an amazing thing.. they really are caled of god... this is what we preach every single day we are here! i wanted it to never end!!! it was amazing. Elder Uchtdorf did and amazing job i thought and elder holland too... i just loved it all!!! ah! it was amazing... We have an investigator Zanieeda... we taught her the plan of salvation and she was like shocked... so we meet her again on friday and hopefully she is more open... she said she wants the holy ghost so hopefully we can make a baptismal date with her...We had an investigator Lubov... and she has a grandson on a mission but her husband died and she is going through a lot and we taught her last week and  thought it went well but then went to meet with her yesterday and she said she didnt want it at all anymore.. it made us really sad... it was hard...But we hope she will change her mind soon... We have 2 girls about our age, leeda and masha... leeda came to church and seems like she wants to progress.. we just have to find a way to help them WANT this church.. they are learned the lessons and progressing but not quite baptism yet... I teach leeda english seperately so hopefully that will help... Well this week... It was HOT!!!! like i was sweating can you believe that i havent worn a jacket for 2 days!! so thats a blessing! we went to family home evening and had a bonfire and i have pictures... we like hiked through this really old cemetary it was sooo cool! but it was like icy and watery and my boots were wet... i fell and hurt my knee but its better now... Other than that we just meet with members and try to strengthen the ward...its hard because its still really small and its easy to get distracted...our goal by the end of the year is to have 100 people at church.. so hopefully we can...
  I dont have much more time or else i cant send pictures! i love you!!! thanks for your support!!!
  The language is still hard but its coming!!! My companion is great! we are running every morning so hopefully this extra 10 pounds will come off! dont judge me when you see pictures ok!! haha
  I love you all!! thanks for everything!!!!!! write me next week and i will  share more! i love this gospel and this church! its all true! it is!!! every bit of it! it just makes sense doesnt it!!! I hope easter goes wil i am not
exactly sure when it is!! send picturse ok!!! love you!!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Zone pictures


TOMCK!

Hey guys!!!! i was glad to get your emails! mom... i didnt get one from you but i think its because we are doing email early this morning because i am going to do one of the senior couples hair today! I am way excited! it was great we actually found a store that is kinda like cosmo prof! i was so stoked! i havent used the color though so we will just have to see how it goes hah... i have faith though. it should work out. mom,
   Dad! thanks for the email! i am really sad i cant be there to watch you baptize gracie and grandpa! its kinda crazy huh cause the last person you probably baptized was me right? that was like 14 years ago! thats so crazy!haha and dont worry about granpa! we have some pretty old people getting baptized here and they do just fine! (hahahah dont read that to granpda ok!?!) haha... Make sure that rach or someome takes pictures and emails them to me!  And about conference.. we havent actually watched it yet, they wait until they translate it into russian and so we are actually watching it this saturday and sunday! i can watch it in english though... i would like to watch it in russian cause it would help buttttt i know that i need it in
  english so i can get as much out of it as possible.. im glad you guys watched it and i hope everything is going well! hahaha dad its so funny...you say you guys went swimming and guess what? its been snowing ALL week here.. hahah i just laugh so hard because i did this to myself! hahaha i love you and thanks for writing me... it really helps to have emails..especially from family too... i miss you guys.. but i know i am doing the
  right thing. The senior couple here, the Alands.. elder aland loves to hunt and fish and i told him about your trips to mexico and such.. he said that you guys will have to be friends when they get home hahah. He says he wants to go on one of those mexico trips! love you dad! Oh! make sure you tell gracie congratulations on getting baptized too.. and that i love her and i know that this will be a day to remember... tell her too that i am sure that  her daddy is right there with her the whole time, and that if he could he would be doing that baptism for her.. but she has you though dad... her papa....i think its only right that you baptize her... i know that thats
  what gary would want....Jess! i hope sammys birthday went well! i wish i could see pictures! send me some if you can! I cant believe that sammy and dean are going skiing haha.. thats so crazy! And keep sending pictures of neil! i printed off the ones that grandma sent so i have those with me! i love them but i am sure he
looks so different even know! hahahaha and jess... everyone always things rock is a girl in my pictures too! hhaha i have to tell them he just has long hair and they always ask why!? hahah its ok, i like his long hair,
  dont cut it, he wouldnt be a "rockstar" without his long hair! hah but tell the boys and sam i love them! and i miss you guys! time is just flying by isnt it!
  RACHEL! WRITE ME YOU FOOL!
  Grandma! i always love getting your emails! it makes me so happy because there are so many bawbooshkas here in and they make me miss you! I always tell them about you and your conversion... and moms too...they love to hear those stories cause its kinda different that i am from america and have a part member family. They usually see missionaries from america where all their familes are members. I have been telling them about grandpa and they get really excited. It gives them a little hope that maybe someday their family members will change... Well i cant believe the baptism is so close! please let grandpa know how much i love him and that i am so proud of the decision he is making... Tell him i wish i could be there so bad! baptisms are such an amazing thing.. especially out here on your mission... because people are making that first step to follow in christs ways. He is finallyon the path to his salvation.. truly... there is a lot of work ahead of him,
  but he will have the holy ghost to guide him to let him know the best path to take... i know this to be true.. and sometimes.. its not the path you expected (like hiking through siberia in -10 degree weather trying to talk
 to people in a language you have no idea how to speak haha) but... the lord always knows the best way for our lives to go and i know that if we listen to the holy ghost he will tell us the right way to go! Let him know how much this gospel has blessed my life and how much i know it has blessed the lives of our whole family.. we wouldnt be where we are without it...And grandma again.. i am so grateful for your example to all of us,... you are so great!
  Tell ruth i admire her for her way to just pull parties together! haha she is such a great party planner and organizer.. she can definetly plan my wedding! i am glad that their family is going... it will be sucha good thing
  for everyone to see! please send a pic of all the family there!!! PLEASE!everybody would love to see it! Tell ruth great job!!! and tell tami that i we know its hard for her to see the reason why grandpa is doing this.. but also let her know that i wouldnt be here in russia... i wouldnt be away from all you guys, i wouldnt be dedicating a year and half of the hardest days of my life.. literally.. for a reason that wasnt worth it... i know that she doesnt want to be baptized or have anything to do with the church.. but maybe see if she can try to understand why we do this... why we spend our lives dedicated to our savior.... i know that without him... i would be nothing. He has given me everything i have ever had and will give me everything i will have. Its only fair to give him a fraction of my life.. here in siberia to serve him and then, i can do an even greater work in my own family. Tell tami i love her and i am grateful that they have been such an asset to our family too. I wouldnt trade our family for anything, but just as we understand why tami doesnt like our beliefs, she needs to be understanding of why we believe what we believe. I have to see our family not united... I love everyone and i hope that this can be a growing experience rather than something that can tear the family apart.
  Because it truly is an amazing thing..> Anyway i love you guys! AMY GILES! haha first of all i love you and i am so happy you wrote me! I am sorry i cant send a personal letter but tell the other girls to write me because i dont get letters from our friends! shows how much they love me right? i am so happy you guys are graduatiing!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!! let me know how it goes!!!! i love you amy and i told my mom to send you pictures! its hard for me to send pictures cause i dont have much time but i am going to
  send cds home! love you!!!!!
  Well... this week was kinda a crazy week! we are just kinda getting to know the members here.. its different not knowing one but its ok, they are all so great! we have a few investigators that we have taught, and they seem like they will be great! we have these two young girls lida and masha, and they came to church on sunday so that was awesome! and this older lady zanaida... and she just has a ton of quiestions... we visit a lot of the innactive because there are a ton here...One of my favorite parts is english club because people get to excited to come and i feel like i can actually do a lot there... we played a fun game with directions this week it was great! we also had a fireside on sunday and we taught the lesson! i actually taught alsmot the whole thing in russian!
  haha my russian is still not very good, but i can tell that just being here has helped increase my understanding and actually.. there are 6 (young) missionaries here and only 2 are american... and we see eachother like every day so i dont really get to talk english which is great! but it does get hard not understanding! We went to this families house too.. the Lee family, and they oldest daughter just got baptized but then the whole rest of the family isnt, they have like 5 other kids? and the dad is super intersted in the church but says he doesnt understand the book of mormon, the elders work with them alot but i know we will teach them a few times too.. Oh! mom! they also have this little gym thing in their house because they do like acrobatics? haha and so
  we watched them and they arent bad! they have their press handstands from like a straddle and backhandsprings... i told them next time i come i will bring pants and do handstands... it should be intersting,...haha They also own a salon and he wants me to teach some classes sometimes? haha i dont know about that.. the color lines are all russian or eauropean... so i dont know them at all.. and i dont know russian well enough to teach! haha

  So i usually write a paper about my week, and i did but i forgot it! so i dont know what else to write!
  THis week was really hard, but i know its the struggles thhat make us grow!i do love my mission.. even though yes, it feels like sometimes time is going way too slow and i think.. ive only been here 5 weeks?? haha it feellike forever! but i know that when i get home i will be grateful that i thought it was slow. I dont pray for it to go by fast even though sometimes i think it because i know that it will fly by once it comes time for me to
  go home.  I  just know i have to do all i can to be the best i can.. this will change my life forever, and sometimes that scares me... because i will come back a completely different person than when i left.. and i liked my old life... i did... but i know that i will love the new me even more...haha its so funny though... you guys would die if you saw me.. i NEVER do my hair because we dont have time.. so it just like hangs off my head its pretty sad.. plus its getting  kinda long.. and its just at a weird length where i cant do anything, plus i have like 2 hairs anway.. hahah so i look  like sad... and my clothes are a riot.. all the girls here in tomck (because its a college town) have like the cutest clothes and i am like a frumpy missionary! haha its ok... i am way more comfortable than them.. they alll weird like these just spandex pants with their shoobas and this stillettos! haha its crazy! and its still icy! I dont know how they do it!
  OH! we started to run the stairs in our apartment every morning. Its great beacause i am getting better excercise and then i dont fall asleep when i am studying after! I am trying to loose a ltitle bit of weight so that it
  doesnt get out of control! haha Well i love you guys so much! thanks for your support! Sorry my life is
  boring here, (well i just forget things) i will try to have better emails for you guys!!!
I love you so much!!!!

  sister west!