Always have a plan B, C, D, & E

So this was the week of Elder Ballard’s long awaited visit! Aren’t you so excited to hear all about it?! Well…he didn’t make it! 🙂 The people in London needed Him! The Russian consulate in San Francisco stamped his visa wrong and so he was not able to make it into the country. Need not fear; we had the most wonderful few hours instead with our wonderful Area President, President Lawrence! It was amazing. He and Sister Lawrence taught us so many wonderful things as well as President and Sister Clark. I love them all so much and I know that was supposed to happen. This is what we/I needed to hear yesterday and the things that I needed to be taught. Funny side-note.. Elder Ballard was the back-up plan to President Monson! He was actually the one that was supposed to be here, but because of the death of Sister Monson, he was not able to come. Crazy to think that. Just a reminder to us as missionaries that we need to always have a plan B, C, D, &E! Every day, because our plan A will NOT always work! So, we learned a lot of things. First, never let doubt enter your mind. It is not okay. Seriously. Doubt is of Satan. If you have faith in your mind, you will not be able to let doubt into your thoughts. Also, we learned so much about Satan, and fun fact, he is not able to read your thoughts. (I did not know that!) If we voice them, he does know them, and he can plant thoughts in your mind, but he can not read your thoughts. So if you do not act on them and voice them, he does not know! Ha! Also, we talked about Missionary 301. We got the upper division course! President Lawrence said we were ready! Yay!! The we talked about sacrifice and working with members. Sacrifice. I know I need to do so much more, but I am not sure right now as to what exactly or how. I know that I need to make sacrifices so that I can receive more blessings, I just am not sure what would be worth it to the Lord. I need to do a lot more praying and trying to understand what he wants from me and hopefully in the next day or two I will have an answer! We need 8 baptisms in June (our mission) and it is definitely achieveable, we just have to work so hard and be worthy of the blessings. (BTW I don’t know if I ever told you but we have about-not positive- 48 missionaries in our mission and 22 of us just came in the last two transfers!) So, right now my big things are making sure I am using every single minute of the Lords time in a way that he would be proud of, and then trying to figure out what I can sacrifice, as well as trying to learn Russian, and trying to understand the gospel! Lots of things I need to do. Never fear though, the Lord is with me so I can do anything! Image 4

This week we got a new investigator! Her name is Paulina. She is a cute little lady, probably in her 40’s, and just loves us! She, however, unlike many of our investigatiors, speaks zero English. We have some struggles with the language barrier, but she said, I feel like we are able to understand each other enough that the things that are most important we are able to understand from each other. Touche. Dear Paulina. She is so sweet. She even gave us these cute little postcards yesterday. So, we have never gotten a firm, NO on a baptismal commitment from anyone, but we don’t get Yes either, and people won’t commit to dates. That’s exactly how it was with her. We invited her to church on sunday and she came! I was so happy. SHe didn’t come to the right place though so she only got there in time for relief society, which ended up being good. We then found out from one of the members that we were talking with that she said she wanted to leave in the beginning because she had just thought we were “hanging out” and felt uncomfortable, but she ended up loving it and three of the sisters in our ward ( I LOVE THEM) came up to her and were chatting with her and invited her to come to the Elder Ballard visit the next day! She said yes! So she came last night. It ended up being by president Lawrence as well, and it was about family home evening, and since she is divorced and we aren’t really sure what she understands about what we want, we were a little nervous about having her there. Never doubt though! It was wonderful! He conducted a “Family Home Evening” with the stake and explained what it was and it was so wonderful and simple I was so happy. I feel like she was able to understand so much more on a very basic level the things that we believe and want. He kept reiterating how we are happy because we are grateful and we recognize our blessings and we thank our Heavenly Father for the things we have just like we thank our mom and dad for the things they do for us. There was a promise that he reimnded us  of, that one of the prophets said If you conduct family home evening every Monday night, your children will NOT stray from the church, and if they happen to wander for some time they WILL come back. I want that promise to be fulfilled in my future family. I need that. I need those blessings for my future children! He had some children go up to the pulpit and say thank you to Heavenly Father or to their parents for their favorite things or for their family, etc.  She had said at the beginning that she didn’t have very much time and she stayed for almost an hour and a half! Chuda! So happy. She kept ignoring a phone call from someone that she had to talk to so that she could stay and listen. I know that she could be such a wonderful member of the church. I love her and want her to be able to have all the blessings! I know that the gospel can and will bless her life so much if she lets it!

Natasha, she is an investigator that we have had for a few weeks. She is so cute! Talking about childlike teaching, she is so innocent and childlike. It is such a reminder to me of how I need to teach and how we are always taught in the scriptures to become like a little child. Do you remember when you learned how to pray? Or have you ever taught someone to pray? Mom and Dad, you taught me how to pray, and you taught me by example, and by whispering things into my ear, and then I would proceed to say the exact same things. That is exactly what we do with her. She has never prayed before, and so Sister Eyring will say something and then she will repeat it in her prayers at the end of our lessons with her. She is the happiest person that we know here, so smiley, and cute, and just wants everyone around her to be happy. I know that she can understand the importance of the gospel, we just have to be so plain and so simple with her. We started teaching her the Plan of Salvation and she loved hearing it. She seems to understand so far, and she has a desire to know, she has a sincere interest and desire to learn more and to do what’s right. She said, well I know when things aren’t good because I can just feel it. I just want to be happy and choose things that make me happy! She is wonderful, and I love teaching her. I love being able to see when she understands things and when she’s like, oh! That makes sense! I have such hopes and desires for her I know that she will understand how the gospel can help her to become so much more happy in her life! We had a member present with her the other day, one of our senior missionaries, and she was so funny. We had the Plan of Salvation pamphlet out, and one of the pictures I think the girl is just pondering, but she is not smiling, and Natasha looks at us and says, well if this is the plan of happiness, why is she not happy!? Sister Jacobsen (who doesn’t really speak Russian) said, well she’s just thinking about how she didn’t pray this morning! Sister Eyring decided to translate that and we just started laughing because the look on Natasha’s face was like….uhhh.. what!? hahah. too funny. Maybe you had to be there. Not sure! 🙂 I wish  we could video tape everything and you could really understand what happens because every single day is so funny and so many random things happen that I just don’t understand but love!

Image 5So the other day we went out to Syevolisk. (Всеволиск) It takes about an hour to get to, and it is a smaller place where they just aren’t quite as friendly to us. (You would think in a lot slower paced town people would be more open but guess not!) It is not a “metro” area, because we are downtown St Petersburg and we are in the heart of the city, almost all of our area is accessible by metro. Anyways, we had to take a marshutka, which is just like a van that seats like 15 people. It has the slidey doors like vans do. So, we finally get there, and are starting to get off it, and Sister Eyring is in front of me and halfway off the marshutka, and the driver starts to drive away! They pull out very quickly too. As you can imagine, with those kinds of doors, it just shut! On her! That was NOT GOOD! Noone that was still on even said anything. I panicked because I was thinking of all the bad things that could happen to my companion and how she was going to die, etc. Not good. But, however she was alive! She had a headache for a while, but the driver did geet out and apologize profusely. That was kind of him. Scary though. She had previously been shut in the metro door, and then the next day the bus doors shut on me! Such bad luck with doors this week. We will try harder to be safer this week.
Well, I can’t think of what else I wanted to say, but I love you all so much! I hope that you week is going so well and I hope that you know that I love YOU! So much! I know that this gospel is true. I know that I have said this before, but, I love so much reading in 1 Nephi 17/18 where he is talking about building a boat and how his brothers have so little faith in him, that he will not eb able to build a boat. He reminds them that when the Lord commands us to do something, he really does prepare a way for us to accomplish it. Also, I love how he said that it was of a curious workmanship and it was after the manner of the Lord, and not of men. In the end though, it was exceedingly fine. It reminds me how Heavenly Father sent me to this mission, to teach the people in the Russian Language. He knows that I did not know Russian before this, just as He knew Nephi did not have any previous experiences making boats, but he prepared a way for him to do it, as he is preparing a way for me to do it! Such a wonderful promise. With the Lord on my side, there is nothing to be afraid of. I am constantly reminded of that in my scripture study!!
I am praying for you nightly!
XOXOXOXO
Love,
Sister Rebekah Schaff
PS Reba in russian means Fish. So basically all my friends call me “Fish”. Hahahahah too silly.
PPS I can’t believe transfers are in two weeks. I don’t know what to expect. President does so many crazy things that I know I could be anywhere and I could still be here with Sister Eyring! Can’t wait to find out! Week and a half! Eek!
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Self Mastery

ImageIt’s been a good week. Kind of boring to be honest. I mean very exciting, but nothing huge story wise. Here are a couple.

So every week for two of our language study hours we do it with members so that they can help our language, and so that we can build relationships with the members. We go over to the bishop’s house and do it with his wife every Wednesday morning. We love her, and it is right across the street from our dom. This is also a building where a few other members and less actives live. We have been to this building many many times. The other day we had a little bit of time before we had to be in for the night, so we went over to that building. We were at the steps, the domaphone was ringing, and this man comes up to us. He was kind looking at us funny, but that’s not unusual. Then he asked us if we were Russian Orthodox. We told him no. He then told us to leave. We just kinda stayed, because the phone was still ringing. He started to yell at us, and we said, sorry, we have a meeting here. Then I hung up the phone. He continued to yell at us and then say to get away quickly, quickly! We kind of just looked at him and then he got louder and louder and said that he was going to call the police and as we left he said that if we ever came back he would call the police on us. Don’t worry…as we were down the block he still felt it necessary to keep yelling at us. Oh that was so funny. There was a little family near us as we turned the corner and as we said hello to them the said hello, and good luck! Hahahah! What an adventure! II have never been yelled/screamed at before like that for no reason. Poor guy. Oh well, lets just hope we don’t see him again when we are back there on wednesday! Guess we will see.

Oh, sad story of the day. Our dear investigator with a baptismal date is no longer. We taught her the law of chastity last week, (I talked about that a handful in my last weeks email), and then we met with her a couple days later and she said I talked with my boyfriend and we feel that that would harm our relationship so I am not going to get baptized. She is going back to China in about a month and I guess there are some church members there she was able to find out about on LDS.org and so she wants to meet with them and learn more in Chinese because she feels like she would be able to understand more, and then she said in about a year when we get married I want to be baptized because I know that is what is good and what Heavenly Father wants. I know that she will. I love her so much and just want her to have an eternal family. Maybe her boyfriend needs that time so that his heart can be softened towards the gospel. She said that she will keep reading the book of mormon and praying and learning still. Oh how I just yearn for her to be baptized and go to the temple.

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I just have this desire for everyone to have SO much joy in their lives. Even a lot of the other missionaries, because when we had our dear little “therapy” session, it seemed as though everyone was so sad and that it was so hard for everyone and they weren’t enjoying their lives. I hope they are! I want them to be happy!This week I have been thinking a lot about my faith and how it can help me and how I need to keep having more. I feel like faith is something that I haven’t really struggled with, but I know that I need to pray for more every day. I know that when I begin my days with faith, I am more successful, whether it be that I have faith that I will be able to understand our investigators in our lessons today or that I will be able to memorize a scripture because I need to be able to use it in our lesson or that we will find someone who truely is ready and willing to meet with us. It helps so much to have that faith. I do know, and remember, and have been working on acting on that faith. I know that I need to go our of my comfort zone more. I have been working at talking to people even when Sister Eyring might not be able to hear and be able to just take over like on the metro, where if we are sitting down, she cannot hear our conversation because you can barely hear yourself. I know that it really is helping my language when I am doing that and when I am having that faith I am able to do more, whether it’s just my mind thinking that I can do more, or I really can do more, I feel better when I am exercising my faith. I know that that is an act of faith to act, and do things that I have been asked to do and these things really will help my language, and my knowledge of the gospel, and will help bring me closer to the Savior.

So, basically one thing I dislike more than almost anything is the product mayonnaise. in the top ten of other things includes sour cream. Guess what they eat on and with every single thing that they eat here? Mayonnaise and Sour Cream. It’s…horrible. I guess the elders don’t really ever get much food but I feel like we get way more food than I want. Sometimes it is really good and sometimes it’s really bad, but either way, they feed us enough to feed like three people each. I leave their houses ready to just roll down a hill. We don’t get fed meals all the time, but if we are visiting with people they will want to give us some sort of drink (surprisingly i have never had tea yet!) and then something to eat, but a LOT of it. The other day we had these weird squash pancake things that were pretty oily, but good, except that they had raisins in them, and then they had like a huge spoonful of sour cream on top of them. It wasn’t bad but I would have enjoyed them a lot more without the sour cream. Oh so funny. So we went over to a members house to have a meeting with them because we needed to get some names, and this was right after our dinner hour. well….guess what. they had dinner waiting for us! every single time that I thought it was done, I was given a whole new plate of something new. I seriously don’t know how I have eaten since then. That was probably enough food to feed me for like a whole week. Maybe not. I don’t know. All I know is that there was SO much food. AH! But, that food was SO GOOD and super healthy. One of my absolutely favorite things to eat here is called gretcha, it’s buckwheat! I you just boil it like you would rice or quinoa, and then I have a little oil with salt and pepper and then tomato and squash pieces in it! SO yummy, I love it. and their chocolate here is SO good. I am off candy, so I am not sure what that means chocolate wise. I don’t know. I am just trying to be good about not eating much and not really buying it. Self mastery. I am working on it, especially with my eating habits. Being home all morinng makes it easy to want to just snack a lot, but I can’t do that. We are buying more fruits and veggies, so that I can snack at least on an apple or a carrot if i really have to!I love it here! The people are so helpful, and so loving. I hope you are all having a wonderful week and I hope that youdon’t forget me! Tell people to write me! hahaha… but really. Don’t forget to take Caspian on a run for me. I wish I had him in the morning to run with! It is SO hard to want to like get up and literally work out from that moment on. Definitely am still not used to that. We have, however, been running lately in the mornings and I love that.

Well, love you lots!

Love, your long lost daughter, сестра шафф

я люблю вас монога!!! (I love all of you lots!)

I love these people

Image 3This week was such a good week. We had zone conference and a sisters meeting so there were times that this week was EXHAUSTING because it was so long. But, it was so fun to see all of the sisters and see everyone so that was a grand time. Loved that!This week we focused a lot on Gina, and then trying to make sure that we understand where she is and how we can give her the commandment lessons, mainly the Law of Chastity.  After our Law of Chastity lesson yesterday, I know that she is a little bit (maybe more than a little) confused, and I know that she truly was so excited for baptism. She said she understands this law just doesnt know if she can keep it (because she currently lives with her boyfriend.) I hope that desire will help her to be able to live the Law of Chastity so that she can take this step towards baptism. I love her so much and just wand her to take this step towards baptism and be able to feel the Holy Ghost any time in a greater abundance. She loves reading the book of mormon and she really is trying to understand all that she reads. She is in the Isaiah chapters of the Book of Mormon and I seriously think she knows them SO much better than I do. I don’t think that…I know that. She notices all these little details and it’s so cool to see how much she loves reading the book or mormon and when we talked to her friday to confirm our appointment for saturday, she said I’ve been praying and I want to come to church again on sunday. Oh how I love her and she is the sweetest cutest thing there ever was. Image 5

We have a handful of new people that we want to meet with and give baptismal dates because they are all so ready. We have an investigator, Албина, who you can tell is so ready and just wanted a KM, and was so excited when we gave her one and she asked so many questions. I feel like we have been so blessed with people who we are able to communicate with and who are so ready to hear about the gospel. I can’t wait to meet with her tonight! We were walking with her on our way to our next appointment (uh…we had FOUR appointments that night) and I just had this moment where I was like she would be the BEST missionary. I loved that feeling. I was able to see her as she can become! that was the coolest experience.

So, sisters meeting. That was great! We learned how to braid hair, how to do our makeup, just your typical meeting. Hahaha. It was good. That part was quite…fun. We talked a lot about working on our physical selves…eating healthy and exercising, and our spiritual selves, making sure to really study our scriptures and apply them. I feel like I am so good some days at that and them some days I am so bad at it. Haha. But, it’s okay! I will get better! President talked about Doctrine &Covenants 93 and said “There’s more strength waiting for you than you ever imagined.” I LOVE that. It is so needed for us to remmeber that every single day because I feel that strength when I remember it and I feel like I am able to be stronger and have more faith when I remember things like that.

So english conversation group was fun last week. Haha. It was….my companion and me, and then the other four elders in our district, and then we had two people! And, one of them was Саша! I love her so much. She is so wonderful. She came to an activity that we had on saturday about Jesus Christ. It was cool to have her there. She is going to take a little bit more time and she needs a little bit more reason why our church is so important for her and the differences it has than the Russian Orthoxox church. Image 6

So Saturday night we got a phone call. Sister Eyring answered the phone. It was a man and he said, kind of angrily, why haven’t you invited me to your church yet!! Where is your church. (keep in mind we literally have no idea who this is and he is speaking English with a weird accent.) She tried to get his name, and he kept getting mad that she didn’t know who it was and said well I don’t want to come to church if you don’t know who I am. Finally after a while she gave me the phone and I tried to talk to him. He finally asked if I was someone (sister-not one of us). I basically explained transfers to him because he was mad and said that she gave him the wrong number and that he doesn’t want to come to our church. I finally helped him understand that she wants him to come to church, but that our elders would love to meet him at the metro in the morning to walk him to church. His name was Jackie (or something like that). He finally agreed to that and kept asking how he would know who we were. I kept telling him that the elders would be in a suit and have a name tag on. Then, Sunday morning he calls again. He said, Do you know who this is??? Do you? What’s my name? and Good thing sister Eyring remembered because he was satisfied with that. He said” I am 15 miuntes away. How will I know who you are?” and we then explained the same thing that the elders would be there. It was so confusing! So he was this African man  that had talked to some sisters in a park I guess and they had given him their number and had gotten his and finally he just called. Too funny. There was also a man that kept calling and was talking to Sister Eyring and would ask questions and we tried to set up appointments with but we weren’t quite sure what he was saying and finally he started talking about lunch so we just passed him onto the elders 🙂 we do that a lot. And we aren’t sure if they are interested in us or the gospel but then the elders are able to figure that out! It’s great.

We have so much fun here in Center! I love these people and I love the gospel! Every day is just so fun and we learn so much and we just laugh even more. Language is slow, good some days and so hard to understand things other days. We are going to go to the Russian Museum today so that will be fun! Can’t wait.

First Week in Russia

St. Petersburg at nightWell I can’t believe that I have been here for almost a whole week! It’s crazy! I know that the Lord truely does prepare people and that I have to be prepared so that he will give them to me so that I can guide them to the truth! I love this place! It is beautiful! it is wonderful! I am definiotely serving in the best area! We have so much variation! There is a little island in our area that is beautiful and we have the city city and they the outskirts of the city. it’s wonderful! I love it so much. It is absolutely beautiful and the archutecture is so different but BEAUTIFUL! I am in love with Russia. I am 100% grateful to be here and know that I need to be here.

CompanionsSo, to start, I love my companion! She is WONDERFUL! I actually knew her a little bit in the MTC, would talk to her here and there so that is fun that I already had a little preview to who she is. It is Sister Eyring, and (SURPRISE) this is only her second transfer! So she is still going through the first 12 week program thing that we do each morning as she teaches me! We just started on week 7 and I will do weeks 1-6 next because otherwise she would never do those weeks. President was going to have more companionships of three but said he felt like this is what he should do. There are still 4 or 5 threesomes and three of us that have second transfer trainers and then the rest all have older trainers. I love it! We have so much fun every day. I guess you could say it’s hard work but I really just feel like it is fun. We enjoy what we are doing and we enjoy being together. IThis area that we are in was kind of in a rut and kind of just not doing anything and I know that we can change that. There are so many people here that are ready and just waiting to hear the gospel! It’s so great! The babushkas are always like “i’m too old to change!” but the people a little bit younger are so receptive and ready to hear.

People don’t want to hear all the ime and we are trying to make sure that we really pray for direction of who we should talk to because we don’t want to waste our time taling to 20 people that dont like us and only one is interested in the gospel. We have been more successful when we do that with getting numbers and having people open to making appointments with us. There was this one lady that I was talking to on the bus that was like nah, no thanks, I am Russian Orthodox so that conversation was over and then this creepy man was staring at me and saying who knows what to me and she looks at him nd was like no! she is a nice girl and they believe in God and was just standing up for us. It’s so awesome to have things like that happen because it reminds me that one day, that lady will be ready. She is one of the seeds we are sowing, and that will just happen while we are harvesting. There are other people who are just ready!

Story time;
My first day here we were just out contacting and we met a girl named Sasha. She was so cute and smiley and just loved talking to us. Said that she wasn’t interested in the gospel but was interested in English club and just enjoyed talking with us. So, we chatted with her and got her number so that we could call her and remind her about english club. So, we did that and then she came to engligh club sign-ups on thursday. She was there and signed up when the elders were in charge and then they had given her a restoration pamphlet. Immediately we were like, can we meet with you on this day at this time??! She said yes! So we have a meeting set up for with her!  She then was talking about how she loved paintings and wanted to see more in the church. We gave her a whole tour of the church and she kept wanting to know the stories behind the pictures so we told her about temples, we told her about Jesus healing lazarus, we told her about the man that Jesus told to give up all his money and riches and that would help him get to the kingdom of God ( i forget what that story is called and exactly what happens) and we sang a song from the hymnal for her and told her about the three hours of church. It was so cool because at one point she said, I didnt hear what you just said I was just listening to my heart. She kept saying how good she felt and how happy she was to be with us and how much she loved us. We told her how much we loved her and how much we love this gospel and it makes us happy. we were supposed to meet with her tonight but then when we called her last night we found out yesterday she ended up in the hospital (we think she said she fell down the stairs and broke her foot or something…not quite sure…she will be okay!) and she will be there for the next few days. (At first we couldn’t figure out what was going on and we were scared that she was maybe bailing on us! That was terrifying. I wanted to cry.) But, she said I can’t tomorrow but I really really really want to still meet with you!! So, we will call her back in a few days and make an appointment with her. She is so ready. We are going to commit her to baptism! She WILL say yes! I know it. I feel it. She knows this is right. She is ready. We LOVE her SO much. I have so so so much love in my heart for her and we pray for her all the time. I can’t wait to meet with her!

Image 3We have this cute little member Elena that feeds the missionaries every friday night and since she is 92 and can’t leave her apartment (she lives on the like 8th floor or something) it is a service hour! It’s fun. She made us a cabbage and onion thing with vinegar and garlic is basically what it was….It is so gross but I can’t help but love it because she just makes it with so much love and is so excited to make it for us. Then we have a glass of hot water with one scoop of cocoa powder and a tiny bit of milk. That’s fun to drink 🙂 None of it is that bad but it is definitely not good….hahah. I just love her so much. She is THE cutest little lady and just so sweet. She loves seeing us and talking to us. She just has so much love to share!

There is an inactive lady here that has a nonmember roommate that is an investigator and we just want her to get baptized! She has said that she would be baptized if she could come to church but (they are both nurses) they can’t come to church because they always have to work on sundays. We went over the first lesson again and want to go through all the lessons again so that Tatiana (the member) will remember her testimony and hopefully have a stronger desire to come back to church and be active again and so that Zoya (the nonmember) will be able to gain a testimony of everything more strongly and have more faith that if she does follow the commandments, and keep the sabbath day holy, that she will truely be blessed and that it really will help her life. I know that this is possible and we are just praying for her to accept this and to be ready to take that leap of faith.

There is a less active family that we met with last night and they are so cute. It is a mom that has two sons, 16 & 11. They are too funny. The boys were just trying to irritate each other the whole time. I just felt so at home! The older boy came to church last week on his own and that is huge for a 16 year old! Great family and we just want them to be reminded how important it is to attend church. The mom talks about the boys going on missions and it is amazing! Here, a lot of peple will miss a lot of weeks of church and tell us that they are active and we are like…well… you need to come to church more often to be “active”… . Her mom goes in for surgery today and she said if she is well enough to be left at home alone she will come to church with her boys.
We were on our way to visit someone the other day and we met a member on the street! I guess that is very unusual because there are so few members that that doesn’t really happen. She went on and on for about 20/30 minutes and it was so funny because We weren’t quite sure if she was crazy or if she was just excited or ybe a little bit of both! Not sure. She was saying in the beginning how she had been praying and then she left her house and then she saw us so I definitely think it was an answer to prayers of some sort, not sure what she needed but I feel like it was good that we ran into her. She seemed very happy to see us.
So we went by Larisa’s house last night, this inactive lady. It was a little creepy. She lives in the “basement” level of a dome here. Sister Eyring warned me that it was kind of creepy and as we went in it just was smelling worse and worse. We were just walking down this creepy barely lit hallway that had stuff all over and then we get to her door and she said her lightbulb just burnt out so she went to the neighbors to see if she could borrow one. they were talking (sounded like yelling) in russian and that was fun. It smelled like she had 20 cats and then maybe there were about 2 or 3 in there that were dead. It didn’t help that it was raining out and so it was a cloudy afdternoon and it wasn’t super bright and light. All of a sudden when we were in the darkest part of the hall there was just a huge bo of thunder and i just grab Sister Eyrings arm and were both standing there like…uhhhh!?!??! can we just leave?! Then she wanted to have us come back next week because she wanted to clean before we come so that we can have a lesson with her. She was just quite the lady. And she was trying to pay her tithing to us and we were like….no no no we can’t and she was like well just keep it and give it to the bishop next week…. we were like no sorry! and finally she was like okay you can take it next week, so uh that will be fun to go back and visit her! As much as we didn’t necessarily want to go because it was kind of creepy and she’s kinda crazy we could tell that it was good because she was happy to see us and we felt like we should go so we did! Hopefully she will come back to church eventually. There are about 500 names on our ward list but only about 100 come. it’s sad.
Image 8Church is so great here. It is a bit overwhelming though. I don’t have the greatest Russian, so it’s always hard to communicate with people, but at church it is nice because they are a lot more understanding that we are missionaries and that we are trying to learn Russian! It’s overwhelming because I have no idea what is being said. Sacrament is a whole hour that they are just going on and on and on and you can’t stop them to ask what’s going on like you can in sunday school or Relief Society. Our ward mission leader is an African American French man that is doing his residency here in Russia. Don’t ask. I don’t understand who he is because our meeting yesterday after church was quite confusing. Hahah. He spend about 10 minutes at the beginning with the elders talking about shoes and telling them the should buy shoes like his.
It seems that the biggest thing is getting people to understand that taking a leap of faith is okay and that it will really bless their lives and that they truly WILL be happier. I know that when I did that by coming on a mission that it helped me and I feel like my testimony is so much stronger. It’s amazing to see that when you act on faith we REALLY are blessed. Heacenly Father does not give empty promises. He WILL follow through with them if we keep our part.
I want to hear from people! Hahah. But seriously.
There is so much to tell!
I love you all so much.
Also, people can email me but I love mail and mail DOES get here.
with so much love,
Sister Schaff
Please write her!
go to dearelder.com and write her using the information below
Sister Rebekah Schaff to the Russia, St. Petersburg Mission
we are so glad it is one of the pouch missions so it is free, but if you want to write a physical letter she would also LOVE that.
Russia St Petersburg Mission
pr Malookhtinsky 16/1
POM 11-H, 12-H
St. Petersburg
Russia
195112