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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Temple Miracles! September 27, 2011

VISA TRIPS ARE THE BOMB!!!!

Well... let me just say that we had an AMAZINGLY awesome week and visa trip, but first let me tell a couple stories about the beginning of our week!  We met this guy earlier this week that was WAY funny!  He was older and was wearing a baseball hat.  In english, on the hat, it said "smart guy."  It was kind of ironic as he was not interested to talk to us at all until we introduced the Book of Mormon.  He said that he would be interested to get one.  As we were walking away he said to us, but I really don't think smart people need God!! haha... as he is sitting there wearing his "smart guy" hat.  So, we come back that day with a Book of Mormon and the Elders are with us.  We had another appointment, and we thought that if there was time then, that the Elders could explain more about the Book of Mormon.  Well, we get up to him and Sister Zamorina hands him the B.O.M.  He does not want to talk to the Elders, but then tries to give us 100 rubles for the B.O.M.... or just give us the money.  Sister Zamorina said, no, we can't take it.  He kept trying to give it to her but she was like no, no we can't take it.  he then turns to me and his hand starts coming to me. I was wearing this low-scooped neck shirt with a white tank top underneath it.  As his hand got closer and closer the only thought that I had in my mind was... I don't have pockets in this shirt.  He then attempted to stick it in the scoop neck of my shirt... haha... it was way funny/awkward.  The elders were just standing there stunned! :)  gotta love these experiences here!  Well, after we all went out and got ice cream!  Thanks to Smart Guy for the 100 rubles.

That same day was our day for Book of Mormons. We felt like almost everyone we met wanted a Book of Mormon!  So, we met people and then planned to meet them that afternoon to give them a book as we didn't have any with us at the time.  After contacting for a bit we went to the church to grab 10 Book of Mormons. As we were leaving the church Sister Zamorina said that she felt that we shouldn't walk home the way that we usually do.  She didn't know why, but just didnt' want to go that way.  I then said that well, maybe we need to contact.  We contacted the first people that we met and we started talking about the Book of Mormon.  It just so happened that we had about 10 Book of Mormons with us because we had just grabbed them all from the church and they each wanted to have one!  They said that they didn't want us to call them for a little bit because they wanted to be able to finish reading the book before we called.  We explained that we could read it with them and talk about it so that it was easier to understand!  They told us that they were going to just drink their coffee inside, but one of them had said that they should go outside, and so they did.  Sister Zamorina then felt that we should go that way home!  It was a miracle that we met them and they acknowledged that it was a miracle that they had all come outside to drink their coffee together!  I hope that now that we are back we will be able to meet with them again this week! 

We also met a husband and wife that day who wanted to have a Book of Mormon.  We met up with the wife later that day and talked about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.  We taught her how to pray and she said that she had kind of always felt a distance to God and had wanted to feel closer to Him.  She told us that this was exactly what she had been looking for!  She did not promise to meet with us again, but she wanted to go home and try praying.  I hope that the spirit of the Book of Mormon and a heartfelt prayer will soften her heart and we will be able to meet with her again.  That same day as we were giving out yet another Book of Mormon (we gave out 6 that day) this man came up to tell the lady that we were talking to all of these bad things about us and our Church!  It was SO cool to see how she stood up for us and defended us, these two young ladies that she had never met! 

So, now on with the extra awesome stuff!!  So, Sister Zamorina, Elder Homer, and I left for Rostov at 6:30 in the morning.  While in Rostov we contacted a bit and visited a couple people from the wards there! I got to see Yulya and Olga's family again and also meet our new Russian missionary! She is SO awesome!  Our train left at about 9 that night.  It was my first time on a night train, and way fun!  It wasn't the most comfortable thing, but sleeping on a bed helped the 18 hours pass by fairly quick.  Sister Tunney, LeBaron, and I also had a LOT of catching up to do.  We had heard that the temple was going to be closed, but after checking into our hotel we decided to immediately check for sure, just in case.

As we walked up to the temple, Elder Jacobson and I led the pack and kept getting faster and faster!  When we got closer we saw that the gates were open and we were almost running when we came through the gates!  It is a SPECTACULARLY beautiful temple!  We got up there at about 4:25 and the last session of the day was at 5!  We had perfect timing!  We all got in and were there on time!  The spirit was SO strong!  The session was in Ukrainian, but we got to have translators!  It was SO amazing to just be there!  We all sat in the Celestial room for a long time!  I think that it is the prettiest that I've ever seen!  it's not very big, but the chandler is the most beautiful that I have ever seen!  IT was huge and squarish and mom, it had yours and dad's ball at the bottom!  It was the most AMAZING thing ever!!  It definitely made up for having to just eat sausage and bread and cheese for dinner!   IN THE TEMPLE THEY SAID A PRAYER and  THE PART OF THE PRAYER ABOUT MISSIONARIES WAS SO COOL TO HEAR IT IN RUSSIAN AND KNOW THEY WERE PRAYING ABOUT US AND THEIR PEOPLE!!

The next day we had church at the stake center next to the temple!  We walked in and were all in AWE!  It felt like we had walked into a ward in Utah!  It was SO big and wow!! amazing!  And the best bit was, right when we walked in the door I saw sister Tunney and LeBaron giving someone a big hug and kind of screaming... when I finally got to see her, our very own Sister Stiles from the MTC (the one that got WAY sick and scared us all to death) was there in the ward! It was SO good to see her!  The ward meetings were in Russian and Ukrainian. The singing and announcements were in Ukrainian (and I couldn't stop thinking that Kyrsten had maybe been in that ward!! I couldn't stop thinking about her) and what a relief when we heard the talks in Russian and could understand again!! The first talk was really cool as a girl translated for her mom who spoke in sign language.  In Sunday School there was also a man that kind of always said weird things.  The mission president wife said that one time he got up in sacrament meeting and said that he knew that Angel Moroni had been a Ukrainian!! haha   :)

We got invited over to the Mission President's house for dinner that night!  It was SUCH  a blessing as we had no where to go.  He is a German and she is Latvian.  As they asked for us to bless the food they asked if anyone spoke another language.  Everyone said that I spoke German... I said that I used to but had forgotten everything.  So... I got to make an embarrassing attempt to try to remember how to pray in German.  I made it through about half way and then had to switch to Russian.. and right after, he was all, that wasn't German, that was Austrian!! haha... I guess I did learn in Austria!  After dinner we headed out and walked back to the temple.  On the way we met a Senior couple taking their Sunday walk.  It so happens that they served with KC Morgan in Budapest for about 6 months.  Their names are Elder and Sister Low and they said they love him.  They said, he was SUCH a good missionary and always happy, upbeat, and positive, and that he liked chicken livers! ;)  They told me a funny story where they all had to eat chicken livers at a members house and say they liked them so she said that she would make them again!!  They love you "Elder Morgan!"

Well, we took more pics of the temple and our train left again for Rostov at 11 p.m.  It was a FANTASTIC trip and SO surreal and WONDERFUL!!  I'm SO happy that we all got to go and be there and actually GO to the temple!  What a miracle!! We all made it home with our visas...even though they asked us many questions and now I'm safe and back in Krasnodar!  I love you all SO much and hope that all is well!!

 Our view of the temple from the freeway!

 Night shot

 Us in our awesome hotel!! best shower almost EVER in Russia/Ukraine!

 Us and Sister Stiles!

they have these crab apple trees at the temple and this man told us we could eat them... so I thought that I better try them as they may be celestial temple apples or something!!

 Ya!! we love the temple!

 Our whole group

 and again, me with the temple

 the temple is just situated SO awesomely! next to the freeway and then a view from the other side

 my conference addition picture

sleeper car on the train

 me on the train

 me and my girls

 Chalk drawing with the elders today!  They're SO awesome!  Elder Coudre from France makes me laugh everytime he says "hamburger!"
video
The Temple is OPENED!!!

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