Dear Family_ by taoyni


									Yay For Spring!
Dear Family,

Here is a funny thing. First of all, most of our ward members are pretty helpful. But a
few of them are not. One of the ones who are not is Lucinay. She is about 18 and is in
fact a ward missionary, but we feel her zeal in coming to the Sunday morning meeting is
fueled by interest in the elders rather than interest in the work.

Secondly, there was a baptism on Saturday in New City, the farthest borough of Togliatti
from us. We are allowed to go to baptisms if we bring an investigator. We have wanted
to take Sasha to a baptism for a long time. Since he won't come if he knows it's for him,
we told him, 'Please come with us! We really want to go but we're not allowed to go
without you! Sis. Sorensen's never been to New City before!" And it worked, and he
agreed. We called up the line for permission like we're supposed to, and all seemed well.

Saturday, an hour before we were going to meet to travel there, K… called. I was in the
bathroom at the time; I came out to find my companion yelling at the hung-up phone,
"ELDER K… I WILL KILL YOU!" It turned out K… had called and said that since
Sasha is a man, we have to find a ward member to go with us. Notwithstanding that we
would be on public transportation with tons of both men and women. (One of the things
we hate most about Elder K…. is how he likes to call at the last minute with near
impossible requirements. We think this is an extention of the fact that he loves to say no,
but doesn't want to actually say it.

This was a big problem for two reasons: 1) the short notice, and 2) there was a ward
activity in Komsomolski that evening so all our regulars were already engaged. It had
taken us a long time to even convince Sasha to go to a baptism and we really really
wanted it to work. Suddenly, my companion said, "I've got it! I know who can go with
us! Lucinay!" I said, "You're kidding. Lucinay almost never comes with us. She's
always tired, or she has a bruise, or it's been a rough day, yadda yadda." Sis. L said, "Oh,
just wait. You'll see."

The phone call went like this:
Sis. L: Lucinay! Hey, would you like to come to a baptism with us?
Lu: Oh, I don't know. It's far away, and I might want to go to the activity here. I don't
think so.
Sis. L: That's a shame. It's in new city. A ton of people will be there. And all the New
City elders have investigators, so they'll all be there too...
Lu: A baptism! I love baptisms! Who's getting baptised? Of course I'll come! I had a
feeling you would need my help!

It was priceless. And Sasha went to the baptism. We could tell he was really impressed.
It was an Armenian couple. And I got to play the piano for it! Really fun.

The problem is, Sasha seemed to fear he might be showing progress, so he didn't come to
church the next day. He wants us to call and make a fuss. Sometimes he is an infant. I
fear he is about at the point where he knows as much as he's going to know, and he's
going to have to overcome his pride and take a step himself.

We also visited Zulfia this week. It was a really good meeting. She is better! Not a lot,
but a little. She said she was on the verge of leaving her husband and running away back
to Uzbekistan, but hasn't because we told her families are important and she believes us.
She's started thinking about religion. She didn't believe anything before, and now she has
some weird idea about how God is like a power station which transmits energy to us or
something...It means she is thinking about it. However, we need to visit her more often.
As she forms her idea about God and religion, we want it to turn out to be our idea about
God and religion. She also told off the female Nehor for the first time in her life. We
had a member with us and they really hit it off, which is nice because Zulfia is afraid of
people and we want her to make some friends. We gave her a Liahona to read and plan
to visit her this week.

On our next meeting with Olya we want to ask her to be baptised. She is ready. She is
reading the BoM, comes to church every Sunday, and even has her own friends there.
She is our most normal investigator. :)

Thank you for your advice on talking more to people and on learning Russian. Both said
that I should try to speak Russian as much as possible. Which I need to try to do. It just
feels like if I speak wrong all the time, how will it help me to speak wrong all the time
more often? It's not like if I say the wrong thing over and over one day I'll suddenly
realize that it's wrong. And I'm trying to memorize words, but Russian words are just SO
FRIKEN LONG. They bounce off my brain like rubber. I have a hard time memorizing
words or scriptures. The one thing, oddly enough, that I can memorize, is nursery
rhymes. I know, super useful! So now I have a little collection of those in my head. I
just hate feeling stupid all the time since I can't speak good. I wish I could skip the being
stupid part.

Today for birthday celebrations, we are finally going ice skating in the park. Yay! I also
bought new tights a few days ago, because my old ones were holey and ratty and so
stretched from being pulled over so many layers that they no longer fit if I wear them
over one layer. One of my tights is blue. I didn't realize till I put it on that it is like
Superman blue. I feel like I could fly off and save the world when I wear them.

Sis. Loboda's Logic of the Week "I like birds. But I don't like pigeons. Therefore,
pigeons are not birds."

That is all for now. I'm so glad it's finally warm! I love you all so much.

I loved Camille's sonnet and am so glad she finally got her permit. :)
Thanks for the cake by Stephanie, i can't wait to see pictures of it!
Kate should know that Physics AP with Smith is even more fun than Physics preap,
because all the goofs are out of the class and he has more room to do what he wants with
people who are really interested. Also, is there no chance at all of convincing Scott and
Betty to go to TAMS?

Have a great week!

Love, Claire

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