Russia Samara Mission

Mission Updates for Sister Brittany Wilson







Monday, December 27, 2010

Happy New Year Everyone!!!

Hey Everyone,
It was so good to talk with you! Sorry it had to be so short, but I'm grateful for whatever time I get! Nothing new has really happens since we talked, except Sunday, we sang with our Zone leaders, Silent Night in Russian and when we were done, they asked us to do an encore of "Sisters in Zion/Armies of Helaman" like we did at the baptism. Well considering I don't understand every word of Russian, I thought they were asking us to sing Silent Night in English, cause Russians really like the song in English for some reason, so when we went to start, me and my companion were singing two different songs, at least just the first words...Silent and As! Yep, I know how to say, "Sorry my bad!" in Russian, so we just started again! Once again, I provided entertainment for the branch, and the Zone leaders! Good times! I never told you that on Christmas, for the Christmas activity they had the four of us do a skit together so we decided to play each other. Me and Sis. Tedrow did what we "thought" elders would do during Contacting and a lesson, and they did the same for us! It was so funny! Everyone was laughing! Elder Morris took pictures on my camera so I'll get them to you as soon as I can! I am sending a letter to the Relief Society this week, so Brandi if you could give it to Holly or Jessi that would be great! :) Candy will follow but it takes a long time to get a package ready here! Oh, and I cut my own bangs the other day! I was so nervous but it was fine! No one in russia is touching my hair...yeah, it's not happening! :) So some things I haven't told you about Russia...there's no bacon! Yeah can you believe that? I love bacn! The only place there is bacon is on potato chips...yep Bacon flavored chips...that's it! Crazy! And the milk...you all know how much I love the tast of milk...thats why I buy fat free cause it basically tastes like water! Well here, they don't have fat free, or 1%, 2%....they do have 2.5%, 3%, and 4%! It's pretty gross! But I drink it! Rarely...I take calcium pills! :) So it's raining today and all the snow is melting! It's crazy how weird the weather is being! It's not cold at all! We slipping all over(still haven't fallen though). I just hope it doesn't freeze tonight! That'll make it fun tomorrow! Well to answer some of the questions, I'm not used to the money quite yet, but it's only cause I don't know what they'r asking for. I understand the amounts of everything, I just don't know how much things are! If that made any sense! :) There is definitely traffic here! A lot of buses and taxis! And there are no speed limits, at least not enforced ones, so that makes every bus ride like a roller coaster...Dad you wouldn't do well on a bus in RussiA ;) Well I don't know what else to say for today so I'll let you go! I'll read you emails and get back to any other questions next week! I love you all so much! It was great to hear from you! Take care and thank you for everything!
Love,
Sister Wilson

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sis. Wilsons whole entire Samara Russia Mission!!!
Can you find her:-)
It is freezing outside but they were told no coats for the picture:)
Sis. Wilson at the Mission Home with some of her zone with her

Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

Hey Everyone,
I can't believe that Christmas is this week! It doesn't seem like it's been that long since I left, and it's already almost 2011! Crazy how fast time goes by! So first off, I'm not exactly getting better at being on ice, but I have still not fallen yet! Slipped...yes...I'm glad Brandi isn't here to laugh at me, cause I almost did the splits the other day. But no, I have not actually fallen yet! It's only a matter of time! :) Mission Conference was last week and it was really good! I was able to meet a lot of the missionaries and also was able to have an interview with President Sartori. He's a really good man, definitely inspired! No the packages didn't come in time, but it's ok. I'm serious....it's ok. There were about 25 missionaries whose packages didn't come, and we were given packages of candy and food, mostly from America! And the best part, this is what an Elder told me...is when the packages do come, you get a second Christmas! It really doesn't feel like Christmas yet though...not a bad thing either, it's just they don't celebrate it yet. We have, as a companionship, time set aside on New Years EVE/Day to celebrate instead, cause most likely we aren't allowed out on those days...drunk people....they ruin all the fun! Anyways, Dad to answer your question, we are allowed to track up until about 7-8pm, but we can't track certain places, and if we feel uncomforatble in any ways about a building, we're to leave immediately. It's not been bad at all....mostly entertaining! I did volunteer for teaching RS on the 30th of January and was wondering if you could copy and send me on a email the lesson from Gospel Principles? It's lesson 26 on Sacrificing. I can't read it all in Russian, and it would help to prepare if I knew what it was saying! :) We have a disctrict Christmas lunch this Firday after our meeting, and this Saturday we have a baptism in the afternoon and a Christmas program at night! Members celebrate it early for the missionaries is what I'm told. But yeah, our baptism got pushed back to this Saturday cause of work conflicts. It works though cause now we have a baptism on Christmas! Baptism, Christmas program, and then home to talk with you! It works for me! :) We were able to watch the 1st Presidency Devotional at Mission Conference, that was our party they told you about! It was relaly good! It helped to get into the Christmas spirit! Hey could you also if you have time, copy the lyrics to the White Christmas songs, from teh movie? Don't worry I'm allowed to sing them! :) Me and my companion want to have them for our Christmas party on New Years Eve, but I can't remember all the words! Speaking of songs...don't laugh, and if you do, I'll know! But I have to sing at the baptism this Sautrday! I know, it's not funny! It'll be me, my comp, and the two zone leaders singing in English, the Armies of Helaman/Sisters in Zion Melody. It should be entertaining considering I can't sing, one of the zone leaders is a Native Russian, and the other one doesn't know the song! Yeah, but they wanted us to sing something in English so they we go! We may also have to sing Silent Night in Sacrament later! Who knows....I hope not! We have a few othr investigators, but they are at a stopping point. They both want to be baptized but something is holding them back...I sent a letter explaining detials, last week! let me know when you get it. I don't know how long mail takes! I also sent Holly one to your house cause I didn't have her address! And Brandi, I sent your class one also, and you! :) Bryce, today I will get one out to you and Lacy! And the little ones! :) It's snowing hard right now...it wasn't fun to walk in, but it's not too cold, still about -8 F so I won't complain! Yeah, I'm maturing, I said I won't complain about -8! :) You should be proud! I also think I have permanat blisters on my ankles...yeah I know, very ladylike, but I had to tell you! :) Well I better get going for now! I am so excited to talk with you this week! I don't see that there will be a problem with the card but if I don't call for some reson, just know I will! :) I've never called out of another country before! I love you all so much! Take care and have a great Christmas!
Love, Sister Wilson

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sis. Wilson and her Companion Sis. Tedrow

Sis. Wilson in all her Winter gear!!!
ready..set...start tracking:)

Chritmas inside their Apt.
Look at the view outside the window!!
Sis. Wilson name tags!!

View of the city from Sis. Wilson Apt.





Hi!!

Hey Everyone,
I don't think I'll have any extra time this week to write, so I hope you don't mind me sending the same email to you all! :) Thank you so much for your emails! I only have a little time to look them over real quick, but I do get time to read them later! Best part of p-day! So....what's new this week...I don't remember what I write every week so sorry if I repeat anything! ICE...not my friend, it's always the enemy! I haven't actually fallen yet(people around me do all the time, and I always think, I'm so glad I don't have Brandi's sense of humor...she would be dying if you watched these people fall) but I know it'll happen eventually...there have been too many close calls! It's really not cold...it's still about -8F everyday but I'm used to it...it's not getting colder which everyone said is really weird for the middle of December, but I'm ok with it! The sun has been out the last few days, so it's been pretty good! I did have my first America confrontation...it's not really a confronation, cause I didn't say anything, but wow did I want to. We were teaching a lesson to a little girl and her mom and the husband comes in and realizes I don't speak a lot of Russian, so he starts trying to speak English to me. He was understandble, probably about the same I am to them :) He was nice at first then, out of nowhere, he goes, "You from America? I no like your country. It big and not good country." I was like Oh I'm sorry you feel that way. He went on to tell me why my country is bad. I just sat there listening getting really upset. We finally left and he got all nice again. Oh I was fuming when I got out of there! I'm glad it was the last lesson for the night cause I wasn't being very spiritual! Sis. Tedrow said I'll get used to it around here. I hope I do and I hope I don't. But besides that and the meat jello, that's the only thing I don't like about my mission, so we're good! :) We have Mission Conference this week. We leave tomorrow really really early in the morning for Samara, and come back late Wednesday. The Christmas package won't make it in time, but really don't worry about it. It doesn't feel like Christmas, and they don't celebrate it here til January! Plus the only thing I want is to talk with you and I get to do that! I will be calling on the 25th at around 8:30-9pm my time. I don't know what time that is for you! Sorry! :) Let me know if that doesn't work out! The investigator I told you about last week, she is still getting baptized this Saturday! I'm so excited! It's been really fun to watch her understand and accept the gospel! It really does change people! I've been working a lot on my cursive...it's a lot different than english, and I kinda pride myself on good handwriting...at least in english, so I've been working on it a lot cause Russians write almost completely in cursive! It's getting better! I still love reading the scriptures...I won't lie, there are some days that are less fun than others, but when that happens I just go to my scriptures, and there is a comfort there for me, that I haven't found anywhere else! I love it!! So I told you that I love chrch here, but my favorite part is Relief Society! The feeling is the same as at home! Different people, same feeling! So I decided as a goal for myself, to push myself to learn the language better, I'm volunteering to teach in Relief Society the end of January! There wasn't a place at home that I was more comfortable with, then teaching. So I thought, I feel that same comfort here, and I love all the women, and they love when I try to speak Russian, that it would be perfect! And they are always looking for teachers! So at home...I could prepare a lesson that day, here...give me a month and I'll come up with something! Sad...but I'm hoping it pushes me to be better! Sorry I don't have anything fun to tell you about! :) I'm doing good! My comp is doing better! The work is moving along! :) I hope you all are doing great! I love and miss you all so much! Take care of yourselves and I'll write next Monday!

Love, Sister Wilson
PS. to answer your questions mom, there is one native Russian in my district, and we do meet at the building for our meetings! :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Hello Everyone!!

Family! :)
Thank you so much for your emails! It seems like forever since I've talked with any of you! So I'll answer the questions first, I don't have a lot of time left...my email to the president has to come first :( So my companion is good. She was sick this week so we stayed in a lot! Made for a long week, but good in terms of studying! She is from Arizona/Utah, and leaves to go home in February so I might be her last comp if nothing changes at the transfer. My district is good. We see each other a couple times a week which I love cause Elder Morris is in my district! It really helps to make me feel at home with him here! There are 6 missionaries and a senior couple in the district. The district meetings are in our area so we don't have to walk too far! Teaching was slow this week, just cause we were inside a lot, but normally it's good. We've lost a few investigators I think. They just aren't progressing, but we haven't dropped them yet, so I don't know what's going on there! Ok so for the weather question...ha! I have made the decision I hate snow! Yep, hate it! What's the purpose really? Yeah it's pretty to look at the first time it snows, and from inside! But then you go outside and it's all gross and muddy and cold! Then it freezes over! So really what's the purpose? :) No it's not that bad yet...it will get worse. There were a few days that I was really really cold but you just deal with it I guess. Not sure how I am but I am so far! We don't eat at members homes, or we're not suppose to. When we are there, they usually always give us food, but it's not like dinner appointments. Russians pride themselves on being good hosts, so we're always offered food! It's been really good, all of it, except the meat stuff I told you about last time! That was absolutely gross! So there is one story I want to tell you about! It happened yesterday! We had been fasting all day and were already past our 24 hours! We had one appointment that was coming to the church to meet with us then we could leave. Well she didn't show up, we go to leave and the district president asked us to stay for a meeting that the elders didn't show up for. :( Starving, we stayed! Over a hour later, they dismissed us from the meeting and we ran downstairs to leave when we saw a lady standing at the front door! We let her in and she asked if she could attend one of our services! (Yeah I'm serious) We told her they were done for the day but gave her a tour of the building! We went through and talked about every picture of Christ and explained how the Church works, and the basic principles. We got to the First Vision (I got to do that part! :) ) and the Spirit was so strong...I was like, what is going on? Then we ended with talking about the Book of Mormon and she started to cry again (sorry, she also cried when we talked about Christ). We asked her if she wanted a copy and she said she has already read the WHOLE thing. We asked what she thought about it and if she prayed to know it was true. She just kept smiling and crying, then said she knows it's true. So we took her back to the baptism of Christ picture and asked her to be baptized. Still crying she said YES! She is set for baptism on the 18th of this month! I couldn't believe it! It was the most amazing experience ever! We have a lot of things to do before then, but we gave her basically all the principles of the gospel, we just have to make sure she understands them completely! Talk about someone being prepared! That had absoultely nothing to do with us! The Lord did that one! :) It was great! I hope and pray that everyhting works out! I've been studying the scriptures a lot lately! I've come to find I really enjoy that! I don't fall alseep anymore while reading so I'm gettin gmore out of them! ;) So, I went tracting for the first time. A member, about 21, went with us, and well...I entertained her! I now know hwat it feels like to get the Russian eye roll...its kinda rude! I also know how embarrassing it is to have old Russian men answer the door innothing but underwear. The worst part...he wanted us to come in! Yep, he was drunk! We didn't go in, just so you know! :) It was a fun experience! My russian is still not that great, so there are the people who think it's fun to listen to me, and then the people who think I'm butchering their language(the eye rollers). Overall, I'm doing really good! How is everything there! I'll read the emails today and write about them next week! Sorry it's like that! Thank you so much for all of your support! i love you all so much you have no idea! Take care of yourselves!
Love, Sister Wilson

Я люблю тебя! I love you!
The only thing I had time to tupe...the keyboard is confusing!

Seond letter!!!
So I ended up having more time than I thought.... I scanned through the emails cause I wanted to have time to email you, so sorry if I didn't answer everything! I am going to print off pictures today so hopefully they will go out soon! I have no idea how long mail takes but I'll let you know when I hear from you! So what else happened this week, or things I can tell you....I lost 4 1/2 pounds...random fact but I'm sticking to my exercise and eating healthy! Especially cause every Sunday we go to a members house....I love her, she tells everyoone she's the missionaries mom while they're in Russia...and she feeds us everything! Then feeds us some more! So I'm sticking to my exercise and it's working! I feel great and have so much more energy! I promise I won't always give you an update on my weight..it's not lady like! ;) Ok so as I'm sitting here I can see out the window, and for the last 3 minutes there are two guys out there bouncing and waving like crazy people, so I'm ignoring them, cause that's what we're told to do. Don't return the attention. I couldn't ignore them any longer so I looked out and it's Elder Morris and his trainer! I felt so bad! I love having him here! He was so much like a brother to me in the MTC, that it's great to see him! So yeah anyways...it gets dark at about 3:30 and we don't go in til 9:30pm...who ever told me that they don't proselyte after dark was mistaken! :) And there are a lot of drunk people here! Wow...most are funny, some we just plain stay away from. The members of the branch are very nice and accepting! They enjoy when new missionaries come and try to speak. They're very helpful too! So for now I'm their entertainment, but they all keep telling me that I'm in their prayers daily and they know the Lord will bless my with the gift of tongues. Russian is progressing just not coming as fast as I'd like it to. But that's where theLord is teaching me patience. It's not on my time table, it's on His! So for Christmas, I can either call you in really early in the morning or the evening here. I'll let you know when it gets closer. It's so weird here, they are setting up all these decorations, so it does feel like Chrsitmas time, but it's not for Christmas, it's for New Years. Christmas in December is completely overlooked...it's a normal day for Russians, then comes New Years, where it's a 2 week celebration, then comes Christmas which is one day and done. So by mid January the festivities will be done. We decorated the apartment..I'll send pictures! I got the two pictures from Brandi...came through just fine! Send more if you want! They were really fun to get! I have not slipped on ice yet! i've been told it's inevitable but not yet! I wish I could tell you more about the area, like th people and stuff, but they are really strict on what we can and can't say. The story from earlier is borderline! But that's what a journal is for...when I get home, you can read it all! :) I have to go...sorry! I'll write again next week! I love you all!
Sister Wilson

Monday, November 29, 2010

Hi from Russia!!!:)

Ok, so where to start...first off I'm rather annoyed that every word I type they tell me is spelt wrong(it's a Russian keyboard). Anyways...yeah seriously where tp begin. First off, email me all you want! They can be long!!! :) I can print off the emails and read them at home so it won't take up my email time, so anyone can email me and I just print them off! It's fun! So don't worry about making the emails short. It is the best way to get ahold of me, and the addresses on the sheet at home work to, just takes longer. The one that goes to SLC is pouch mail only. So...Russia...I love it! I'm not trying to make things better than they are so don't worry! :) Yes, it's dirty, actually dirty is the understatement of the century, yes it stinks, another one of those understatements, but I love it! The people I've met, I love working with! No on ever smiles on the street, but I do! Ha ha! I'm suppose to, I'm a missionary! They all definitely know I'm American by looking at me! Some people find it entertaining while other people, well I'm pretty sure I've heard swear words (my comp won't tell me). But mostly I'm entertaining people! I bought some boots, and today I need to buy the rest of the stuff! Big coat with fur and the accessories! :) It's cold but not any colder than Idaho had been. It's getting colder but not unbearble yet. I've been promised it will come! One big thing here is snow! like the actual snowflakes are huge! I was studying and looked out the window and there were these huge white things the size of golf balls! I thought someone shredded a pillow! I asked Sis. Tedrow what that was....she politely replied, "That's snow Sis. Wilson. Welcome to Russia." Yeah, she's told every member we talk to that story! Oh well, it's funny, if it didn't happen to me, I'd tell it too! My companion, Sis. Tedrow is a lot of fun! She's a little sick right now, so that's not good, but we have so much fun together and she's very patient with my lack of Russian! Speaking of which...my Russian stinks! When you told me on the phone I sounded like a Russian person, I'll be honest, I thought maybe I speak better than I think I do! Well...you lied! I stink at Russian! I hve no idea what people are saying to me! And I love when I don't understand, they say it slower and louder...cause that's going to help! :) They're just trying to help and the members all think it's funny, but they said they very much appreciate when and American comes over and is trying to learn the language! So they don't hate me! They just think I'm fun to listen to! And I got sniffed by one of them! They said I smell too clean so I must be an American! :) The food is amazing! I'm seriously going to get fat cause I realized this week I have no self control! Well I do, but not when it comes to breads and cheeses! And candy and chocolate! So yep, no self control! I have a strict exercise schedule every morning that no one thinks I'll keep after the first few weeks, but little do they know, how vain I actually am! :) j/k! They only thing I have hated is something Bro. Wood warned us about in the MTC. Meat jello! except its not like the good raspberry jello. No Russian jello is fat that they freeze for a long time till it turns gelatin and then they put left over meats in it. So picture floating meat chunks in clearish fat! Yeah, I had it last night! I'm not sure how I did that, but I did. The lady last time gave us so much food, I didn't think I would be able to walk home! But we walk everywhere which is good! Cause we eat all the time! So, what else is there? My apartment is good! A lot better than I was expecting! The elevator very much scares me. The other day we were going down and it stopped working for a few seconds, it was pitch dark in there too! Sis. Tedrow was like, "Oh my gosh. This is isn't good!" So yeah you can guess I handled that well! ;) j/k! It started in like a minute! But yeah they aren't nice elevators with music. They are about 4 feet wide so it's pretty stuffed with two of us in there, with local artists pictures all over(grafitti) with your selections of gum! And other things I don;t want to know what they are! But oh well! So in emails we aren't allowed to mention names of people, or specifics about our lessons, for obvious reasons, so when I get a chance to write a letter I'll talk more about the work. I don't want you to think I'm being lazy! I just can't write about it...it's pretty specific what we can't do! So I don't think I've had any really bad moments...well except when I first heard a little like 4 year old kid talk in the Moscow airport. Yeah, he talked better than me. I think the elders around me thought I was going to cry! It was funny, but I was so tired, I just stared at the kid. Like seriously, you're 4! I don't even have the vocab of a 4 year old! Like I said, I entertain people! It was so hard to say goodbye to everyone at the different airports! But it had to be done, to get to this point! It's weird, in the MTC you imagine the field, but I never imagined this! It's not bad, it's just so different! But it's amazing how the Lord helps me! I can honesly say, He hasn't left my side the whole time! I don't know how I've been able to do all that we've done, with little to no sleep the first few days, major jet lag, and still be standing and happy! It's only cause of Him that it's possible! So I think the hardest part of the week was yesterday and Saturday. We were always around members so I met a lot of people,and I would bet half of them would try and speak english to me. I kept telling them I wanted to speak Russian but they ignored me! Sis. Tedrow said that I should just keep speaking russian as much as I can, cause what they want is for me to teach them English! Are you kidding me? I can barely say, I need to go to the bathroom, and they want me to teach them an entire language?! Yeah, I had a headache yesterday for sure! Cause I really wanted to speak English, but couldn't so I spoke Russian, which i also can't really do! Oh well, it'll get better! I think I've talked about everything that I can remember! I'll try to write more next time but my fingers can only go so fast when they are cold! And I also have to write my mission president...that's why I now have a hour for email! Again, write as much and as often as you want! it's the only mail, I know i'll get on a regular basis! And if you have a quesion you want me to answer, put it at the top of the email so I know to answer it that week! :) I hope that made sense! Well I better get going. Only a few minutes left! I love you all so much! Don't worry about me! I know we were all thinking...Russia...that's scary and I don't know if I want her going there! But it's not scary! I'm fine! Take care and I'll write next Monday!
Love, Sister Wilson

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving was shared with all the Missionaries in Brittanys
Zone by two very special Senior Companions!!!
Thank you for making them feel like home:-)

Thanksgiving in Russia!!!:)

Dear Brother and Sister Wilson,

Thank you for your kind words. Russia (as well as the rest of the world) does not celebrate Thanksgiving. This is my very most favorite holiday. Gratitude and thanks could be celebrated each day and I try to do this without lessening the importance. I love Thanksgiving Day!

We asked our couples to provide a special lunch or dinner with all the missionaries in their area. Unfortunately we don't have couples serving where everyone of our missionary companionships are. Sis. Wilson was blessed to be in Tolyatti (Toliatti) and the Russian Senior Couple along with the Zone Leaders planned a wonderful Thanksgiving Dinner to be together and celebrate their blessings.

Please enjoy this picture.

Our Love,
President and Sister Sartori
Russia Samara Mission

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sister Wilson with Pres & Sis. Sartori
She is now in Russia!!!

Sis. Wilson in the Russia Samara Mission

Dear Bro. & Sis. Wilson,

We are contacting you to let you know that your daughter, Sis. Wilson, arrived in our Samara Mission late last night/early this a.m. She is excited to be here. She shared that the language culture was still a little shock in the Moscow Airport, even though she has studied the language. We totally understand this feeling. It is now 4:00 p.m. our time and she should be with her new companion in our Komsomolski Area in our Toliatti Zone. Our Mission Driver helps us transport our new and transferring missionaries because our mission is so widespread. Toliatti is 1 1/2 hours from Samara. The Mission Office and Mission Home are in Samara.

Our Mission has outlying branches some 3 hours drive by car up to 8 hour drive.

THANK YOU FOR SENDING YOUR WONDERFUL DAUGHTER TO SERVE IN OUR MISSION. It took one hour to travel home from the airport and we were able to meet and visit with her. She is a delight. We felt the wonderful spirit that she carries. We are so happy to serve with her here.

We love Sis. Wilson.

President & Sister Sartori
Russia Samara Mission

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Me and Sis. Whitney!!

Sis. Margolies, Kekauoha, Me, Sis. Whitney and Elder Wallace!

Me and Sis. Kekauoha

Me, Elder Windham, E. Peterson and Sis. Margolies!!

Ukraine District and our District!!
The sisters with Elder Windham!!
Me and my favorite comp.

More Snow Day!!!

Play day outside!! SNOW DAY!!!:)
Giving a chart as to why girls should write these two:)
Elder Noren was the leader and Elder Bangerter was Embarrassed!!! lol

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Less than a week!

Mom and Dad,
Ok, so before I go on about my week, I don't know if you got my travel plans that I sent out...I would think you'd get it today if you haven't already, but I leave Monday at 5:00am...so that will be the time I'll be allowed to call probably is around 6-7am Utah time...Sorry it's so early, Brandi might want to spend the night that night! :) Just in case the plans don't come, I'm travelling with Elders Bahr, Morris, Windham, and Ortner, and Sis. Margolies. It'll be so much fun being with all of them! At least til Moscow then it's just me and my two travel buddies! :) Ok and before I go on...yep we had another apostle last Tues. Elder Bednar came! Four in a row...never happened at the MTC before! It was so exciting! He talked about the doctrine and how we can always find answers there! It was really good! Ok, so yep, I'm done to a week! Well less than a week...so this pday is crazy busy trying to get everything done! I've been really good with not crying, when I think about leaving everyone but I have a feeling the floodgates are going to open soon! ;) Everyday gets harder and harder to say goodbye! I know I keep saying this, but the people I've met here, especially my district, are a part of my family! I really don't want to leave all of them, but I also really want to go to Russia, and since that's what the Lord wants, that's what I'll do! Dad, thank you so much for writing that letter! It was really encouraging to all of us! :) And thank you for the package! The food was amazing as always! They downed it again, and we sent out a card on Saturday! Thank you thank you for the jewelry! Both necklaces are perfect! Ok so for this week, just so you know, they've told us to let family and friends know about letters. Dear elders only come mon-fri, so if you want to write one, it has to be in by Fri at noon (Utah time) or I won't ever get it. Letters/packages still come on Sat but with those also, if it comes on Monday, they won't forward to me. It's really too much of a hassle for them, so I'm just passing it on! :) Thank you for all your letters! I love hearing from you and I'm not looking forward to not getting mail on a regular basis! Oh well! :) And starting next week, you can e-mail me! I can only write back to family as far as I'm aware but that's the best way for us to keep in contact! So, we are hosting new missionaries again tomorrow! Last week was a lot of fun! It's amazing to see how far we've come since that first day! Crazy that it's been 11 weeks! (tomorrow) Went by way too fast! I teach my last lesson tomorrow night! Well last one in the MTC...of course! :) It was also my last time at the temple for awhile, this morning. It was a good experience though. My district and the Ukranian district(the other older ones leaving with us) decided to go to the same session and eat together afterwards. But after the session, Elder Ortner came up to us and asked if we would quickly help him seal his mom to her parents, so we got to do that before eating. It was really amazing to do a session, than sealings! I'll miss the temple! I might get to go on VISA trips but there are no guarantees! I am so excited for Alex! I got a letter from him and Jordan and they both seem just so ready to go! They're going to both make great missionaries! I wish I had like funny stories for this week but it's really been more of an emotional week...with of course fun in there! After the travel plans came it was like, reality sunk in! Its great but also scary and sad at the same time! When I saw Moscow and Samara on my travel plans I just felt this weight! Not in a bad way, just like, "wow, I'm actually going to be there." But at the same time, our district all talked together and we all feel as ready as we're going to get. E. Bangerter said it perfectly..."We've become missionaries." I know it sounds wierd, but I got set apart as a missionary, but that doesn't make someone a missionary...not in the way I see it now. Over the last three months, the Lord has been molding us into what we need to be, to be His representative. That's what makes someone a missionary! And I'm scared to death thinking that I may not be ready, but I have to rely on the Lord that He'll take care of what I lack! You know better than anyone, that a mission was never an option for me. I never wanted to do it, so when the prompting came it was weird and hard to understand. But looking back now, this was the best decision I've made in my life. I am so proud of Alex and Jordan for making the same one! And honestly, tell anyone that is even thinking about it...do it! Yeah there are hard days, and frustrating days, sad days and some even a little depressing! But those end up being the best days! That's when you come to rely on the Lord! That's when you realize what you're Savior had done for you! Those are the days that make you a missionary! So when the days come that are awesome and fun and great, life just couldn't get better! There's no such thing as a bad day in the mission, just a bad outlook! There are too many blessings all around us to not be able to find something to make us cheer up! :) Thank you again for everything you've done for me! You are both such great examples to me and to my district! They love you so much! :) I can't wait to talk with you on Monday! It'll be so fun! I love you both! Take care and I'll talk to you soon!

Love, CECTPA Wilson

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

3rd week in a row!

Mom and Dad,
Yep, I'm serious, last Tuesday marked the third week in a row that an apostle came to the MTC! Elder M. Russell Ballard this time!! We were all so shocked! They can't remember three in a row ever happening...which to begin with we all thought, 'yeah we're pretty cool' then someone made the comment that maybe we "need" the apostles to come...so our high horse only lasted a few seconds! :) But it was so amazing again to be in the presence of an apostle! And then Sunday night's fireside, Sheri Dew came! I love her! I read most of her books before and she is just as amazing in person! She talked a lot about knowing why we're here. That there's a reason for everything and that Heavenly Father will tell you why if you ask Him! It was a really good talk! And she's so funny! So yeah, we're making guesses on tonight's devotional...we know Elder Bednar is scheduled to come in November but we don't know when so who knows! Exciting! So, anyways...thank you so much for the package! My teeth are very happy with my toothbrush! :) It's sad I know, but it's one of those simple pleasures in life that I enjoy very much! And the Elders loved the food as always...they sent out another thank you card and this one was hilarious...there are some fun comments for you Dad! You should get it tomorrow! And I'm printing more pictures today but it'll take about a week to get them back cause they are backed up! So I won't send them out til probably next week! But they are so fun! we did get our temple walks back on a probationary state...so last week we took most of our zone 'goodbye' pictures just in case we lose the temple trips before we leave. We'll take more as just a district before we leave though so it was good to get the zone ones out of the way! So we are going to be hosting for the new missionaries this week and probably next week! I get to help new sisters get settled into the MTC which I never thought would happen when I first got here but I have this place down now! After 9 weeks I better know my way around! :) It'll be fun! Ok so fun story, actually rather embarrassing but you'll find it funny I'm sure. Everyone else did. We were teaching our investigator last night(the one set for baptism) and we were teaching about temples, the word of wisdom, and of course everyone's favorite law...chastity. So I had to teach the chastity part and after all of the prep I did, I could not pronounce the russian word for chastity...it was ridiculous! What's more ridiculous is that the word for chastity in Russian is like 5 miles long...but anyways, I totally butchered the word during the lesson, everything else went fine, but after when we were doing reviews, I could say it just fine! Not one problem with pronunciation! All the elders thought it was hilarious! And for the record, I can still say it this morning too! :) speaking of the language, yesterday started our two week countdown which means 100% Russian all the time! It's hard! But we get better at it each day! Maybe by the time we leave we'll be speaking 100% ;) That's so exciting about Alex's call! I would be going crazy having to wait to open it but he's more patient than I am! I'm so excited for him! So I hate to tell you this, but I'm not as mature as I was when I came in (no laughing). Some of our elders really like being the first one's in the cafeteria every meal time and they use my "sister power" to help them. so the last few weeks I've been trying to beat them to the front of the line but becasue they're more pushy than me, I've never one...well until this week! Ok so what the Elders call "sister power" is that most elders let the sisters go in front of them, take their trays, etc. MOST! So we were in line, and my elders were talking about how they were going to beat to the front again, and I was tired of losing, so I politely asked the elder in the front of the line if I could go in front of him. I explained that I had Elders in my district trying to beat me to the table and I'd never won or ever used my "sister power" before. He was laughing but he let me cut! :) I won! then the next meal, it was me, Elder noren, and Elder Bangerter in front when they opened the doors, and Elder Noren took off, so I had to kinda run...slightly...to beat him...I did. When they caught up to me, Elder Bangerter said, "Sister Wilson, you ran to beat us in line! That's great! You're getting less mature by the day!" He was so happy about that! but to put you at ease...I'm not so immature....I just try to beat the elders in line at meals...other than that I'm very mature! ;) No seriously, the Elders in my district is what has been keeping me going! And Sis. Margolies of course! I'm not going to lie...this is so much harder than I imagined it would be! There are days that I sit in class and just think, how is this possible? but my district is always there to help each other! We've been such a strength when someone is struggling! Our teacher, Bro. Wood told us last week that he's been teaching Russian districts for 3 years, and this is the first one that he feels 100% confident in sending out to the field, and it was partly to do with how we are with each other! They really have become a part of my family and I can't imagine leaving them all in two weeks, not knowing if I'll ever see them again! But, it comes with the calling, I guess! On Sunday we had testimony meeting and our district always sits on the front row...the other three disticts know not to sit there! :) And everyone of us got up and bore our testimony! It was so great! And powerful! We've come so close together in just three months! I've never become so close with people so fast before but I know why! Because of what we're doing together! 24/7 we're in the service of our Heavenly Father, preparing with all our hearts to serve His children! This is hard! Every day is hard in one way or another, and when you go through and stuggle with each other in the way we do here, it would be almost impossible not to become a family....And I'm so so so grateful for my district! I know not all districts are like mine, so everyday it's one of the first things I thank my Father for! First comes all of you! :) Then comes them! And they love Sister Debbie! And the brag about Sister debbie to everyone in the hallway! So they're your family too! ;) My time is running out I have to get going! i love you all so much! take care and I'll write today! Love you!
Love, CECTPA Wilson
PS. I am much better! My ribs are back to normal...jusst a little cough left! :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Roommates!!

Cause of the Zone Leaders we are now known throughout
the MTC as the "Fightin Boars"! E. Noren's brother sent the banner
to them one day so they have it hanging up in their classroom:-)

Sis. Wilson & Sis. Whitney
Running partners!!

NEW DISTRICT PICTURE!!!
We were suppose to be serious but
Brittany& E. Bangerter didn't get the message!

Sis. Wilsons room- it's so nice!!
Her old one was small!:)

3 Weeks left....CRAZY!!!!!!

Mom and Dad, Hey! Can you believe I only have 3 weeks left at the MTC? That's so crazy! It has gone by so fast and I really don't want to leave everyone I've met here but I'm ready to get started...apart from the not being that great at Russian, but at least I can do the basics! :) Ok so it's been a long and crazy week some of which I'll tell you about later in a letter cause it's seriously just been crazy! But one thing I will tell you is...first off, I'm totally fine! But I had to go to the Dr. yesterday. I've had a cold for the last few days and my ribs started to hurt everytime I'd cough so they had been get it checked(since I'm leaving the country in 3 weeks...had to mention it again!). I'm fine but I have some bruised ribs...I wasn't aware that was possible but it is. Not a big deal. I have to take 600mg of Motrin 3 times a day and have an ice pack on for 30 minutes, 4 times a day, but other than that I'm good! The pain is almost completely gone so as long as the elders stop making me laugh hard, I should be back to normal in a few days! :) They've been really good about it though. They said it was impressive I could cough so hard to bruise my ribs...not sure what's impressive about it, it's definitely not lady like, but whatever! :) So that was one fun thing about last week! But of course you know about the coolest part! ELDER SCOTT came! And my district was asked to be ushers! So we were on the ground level helping people, when someone came over the pulpit and reminded us again (2nd week in a row) that if we were to see one of the brethen to stand up! Well I was on the other side so when everyone stood up I couldn't see who it was! All the elders here are pretty tall, at least taller than me! So I was kinda trying to jump(graciously of course) to see who it was and one of the security guards came up to me and said, 'I'll save you the trouble Sister, it's Elder Richard G. Scott.' I was so excited! He's been my favorite for as long as I can remember! Well not favorite, I don't have a favorite, but I really like him! ;) When we were done ushering, they led us to our saved seats which...drum roll....were literally right in front of him! We sat down and he smiled at all of us! I felt like such a dork! I was like, what do I do? An apostle is looking at me?! I smiled back though...I didn't embarrass the family! ;) But yeah, the apostolic blessings he put on us were amazing! When he invoked the gift of tongues that whole room just changed. He said that the work needs to go forth and the Lord wants us to speak what language we need to, to accomplish it! So he gave us the gift of tongues(according to our faith in it). Since then I would love to say Russian just flows out of my mouth but it doesn't. What did happen is we're able to speak more, learn faster, and understand the first time around! We've all noticed an increase in our ability to learn Russian! It's amazing! Anyways...I'll write you about the rest of the week later today! So...Jordan got his mission call! I'm so excited for him! That is going to be amazing! I bet he can't stop smiling! March is a long ways off but there's a lot of stuff to get done between now and then so it'll go by so fast for him! Before he knows it, he'll be in the MTC and then in the field! It's true when people tell you that the mission goes by fast. I don't know how it feels back home, but I feel like I just got here yesterday and I'm leaving in 3 weeks! I haven't even been to Russia, but I don't want to leave it! I love you all and you know that, but this is the best thing I've done in my life, and being able to serve the Lord 24/7 is something I'm not even close to being ready to stop doing. :) Thank you so much for the Halloween package! It was again much appeciated! And the pretsels were adorable! And real quick, we did get some of the jerky so don't worry. Sis. Margolies got some too...not as much as the Elder's but that's our fault not theirs. They gave us every opportunity, I just won't eat any if I don't have floss! :) So I had a few at the end of each day! It was so good! Thank you! The other zone is so jealous! They always pop their head in and ask if Sis. Debbie has sent anything. The elders are good at saying either no, or yes, but she sent it to District 9b, sorry! My elders love you! :) And they brag about you all the time! So about the new missionaries...3 sisters were going to Samara...one of them never showed up to the MTC, and the other two have gone home(story will come in the letter). So I'm back to being the only sister going, and now I'm the only sister going to Samara in the next 12 weeks! Crazy! I haven't really got to know the new missionaries too much, just kinda randomly. My district stays together most of the time, or is with the Ukranian district(they leave with us, we're the two older districts). We get a long really well! I wish I could remember all the funny things that happen each week but I never can when I get to this part! But the elders definitely keep me going! They are so funny! I'll be honest, some of the new ones in the zone are definitely 19...or younger ;) but they hold the priesthood which is all I need to know! Our zone has had a rough week. People went home, some people are still struggling with the idea. My district and the other older district(Ukranian's) are struggling with leaving in 3 weeks and not feeling ready. It's seriously felt like blow after blow. But last night I was laying in bed and the Standard of Truth was on the wall. No unhallowed hand can stop the work from going forth...no matter what has happened this week, or how we feel, we've all realized through helping each other, that the work will go forth. We'll have our bad days and that's when we need to remember that! The work will go forth! Until Christ comes and tells us it's done, we will keep going! I know that no matter what may lay ahead for me in Russia, no matter what people tell us is coming, the Lord has prepared each of us to teach the gospel to His children! And the work will go forth! That's what's important. It's not me as individual, the sooner you get over yourself the sooner you get to what the Lord needs you to do! It's the Lord's work thats important!. That's what is at stake here! I love both of you so much! And I'm doing really good! I'll write more later today! I hope everyone is doing good there! Thank you for everything you've done fore me! Take care! Love,
CECTPA Wilson

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Russian Squat!!:-)
Sister. Muhlstein and Sis.Wilson
She is being tranferred!

His way of a hug!! Sis. Matgolies,
E. Wallis & Sis. Wilson


Amazing Picture!!!!

Out going sister:( Sis. Matos and Sis. Wilson

Hi there!! (Happy Bday Mom)

Mom and Dad,
First off....Happy Birthday Mom! I hope you're having a really good day and Dad isn't making you work too hard ;) j/k! I love you and wish I was there but I asked Brandi to give you a hug for me! :) Ok, so first off...last Tuesday, at the devotional the security guy stood up and told all of the Elders to put their suit coats on and reminded us that if we were to see one of the brethen (first pres or the twelve) during our stay at the MTC that we should stand. Ok way to get people excited! About two minutes later we were all singing, 2500 missionaries, and in walks Elder Russell M Nelson! Everyone stood and kept singing but it was amazing! The minute he walked in the room you knew something changed! Thanks to singing in the choir, I was about the length of your new living room from him! It was amazing! He didn't talk very long, about 20 minutes, and then sat down but what he talked about was the basics. It was so good to hear a general authority talk directly to us! And at the end of his talk he gave us an apostletic(spelling?) blessing. He told us we would all be safe through the duration of our missions and come home in better health than we left. He assured us all again that we would be safe (as long as we were obedient...so no trying to out run trains I guess). It was so great! So not that you were worried, but now you really don't have to be worried! :) Ok so...thank you so much for the packages! My shoes work perfectly and the district loved the chex mix and jerky...they were gone in two days! Not kidding...those Elders are pigs, and I say that with the most loving voice I can of course! ;) But seriously they downed the stuff. I told them I was trying to figure out if I was more impressed or disgusted. They said impressed works better for them, so I was impressed! But they sent out a thank you card so you should get it soon! Thank you for the stamps and labels! They save so much time! About 15 minutes worth of writing my address on envelopes! Ok so to answer some of your questions
cause I don't have all of the dearelders with me now...I'll answer the other ones in the letter I send out...and I'll also be sending pictures either Thursday or Friday! There are good ones again! Me, Sis. Margolies, Sis. Whitney, and Sis.Kakaoha did a scavenger hunt for the elders of our zone the week before the new missionaires came in and we have pictures of that! So that was a lot of fun! It was to congratulate them on making it through the first half of the MTC! Anyways...questions...Travel plans for the zone...we don't know the specifics yet, we should get them in about two weeks, but we don't all leave at the same time. It depends on the connecting flights. The last district that left, all of them went out at different times, some went a day before others. But for our district, we'll all probably go to the airport together about 4-5 in the morning, and leave separately from there. Sis. Margolies will probably be leaving a day before us cause she is going to the other side of Russia. I'll be a solo sister for a day! Maybe not sure yet! Ok so I did forget to tell you that half of the distict is going to Ukraine: Elders Noren, Bangerter, Smith and Young. Russian speaking though so thats why they're in our district! I don't have cups for hot water but I can check today at the store to see if I can buy some! Dad, the picture of the bikes in mid air was actually a one shot thing! It just happened to turn out really good but it wasn't my picture. Elder Windham took it and made copies for everyone who wanted one cause it was so cool! We had FHE again last night. Elders Noren and Bangerter were in charge and they did a direction activity around the MTC. It was fun but so cold! It started to snow yesterday for like 10 minutes. Nothing stuck but the mountains have some now! It's definitely feeling like winter! Me and Sis. Margolies are in charge of the game for FHE next week and the spiritual thought! Ok, so E. Bangerter is the funniest person ever! And he says some of the most random things. This one I had to tell you. He walked into the room the other day and just stood there looking perplexed. We asked what was wrong and he said, "I was just thinking about western movies. I think they should make one where they say, 'actually the town is big enough for the both of us. Let's be friends.'" It was hilarious! So random but even had the teacher laughing! It's hard to get down when you have people like that around! Ok, so I'm so excited to be an aunt again! I was so happy to get Brandi's letter/package! It made my day and week for sure! I can't believe he's really here! Can you send a picture if you have one?! You said you were going to the bank to takl about me going to Russia but I just wanted to make sure, my debit card will still work here right? So I'm trying to remember some of the fun things that happened this week! The new missionaries came in which is a lot of fun! We now realize how far we've come in the language. :) So on Sunday, we had a fireside and I forgot the name of who spoke but he's the administrated director of the MTC. And he said something that really caught my attention. He said that as missionaries we're literally fighting the war against evil everyday and because of that the Lord has put us on the front lines. He said that since we're on the front lines, we're taking the blows that Satan is throwing and that Satan is so mad that we won't fall. I thought a lot about that and it's so true. I love being a missionary. It's the best thing that's ever happened to me! But there are blows, ones I've not seen coming and that knock me down for a little while. This isn't easy, it's hard. It wasn't meant to be easy. No one fighting a war on the front lines comes back and says it was a piece of cake. This is hard! But the thing he said after...we're taking the blows, and we won't fall. We won't fall because of Jesus Christ. Even if we come close to falling down, He's right next to me waiting to pick me back up. He said as missionaries we feel that power everyday of our lives. That through Jesus Christ, we're winning. this is hard, but it's the best thing ever! I love ever minute of it, even the times that I hate! It doesn't make sense I know, but being Christ's representative, to wear His name on my badge, it's the best thing I could be doing! I didn't want to leave the RS girls, or my family or firends, but I've been able to get to know my Savior more in the last 7 weeks than I have my whole life! As much as I miss everything else I wouldn't trade this experience for anything! Don't ever worry about me! Even if I get knocked off balance, Christ will never let me fall! I love both of you so much! Thank you for everything! I miss you and love hearing from you! Take care and I'll write soon!
Love,
CECTPA Wilson

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

New District Picture!!
Ukraine Mission Russia Mission

ZONE!! District 9.......BEST EVER!!!

Another week down!!

Mom and Dad,

Hi again! I can't believe it's already been another week! Ok, so before I get to questions this time, I want to tell you about last night! I told you about our progressing investigators...I can't spell their names cause it's an english keyboard! :) Well last night, we committed one to baptism! It was the most nerve wracking amazing experience ever! Bro. Wood plays different investigators for each companionship and we've been teaching Ke-reel(english pronunciation) for the last four weeks every Monday night. And last night I don't know what happened..well yeah I do but it was so amazing! I asked him to read a scripture and since it was in Russian, I said the wrong one! Oops! But it ended up being a scripture about baptism so Sis. Margolies ran with it and told him what baptism was, then she looks at me and just stares! My heart was beating so fast I thought I was going to faint...in a good way, so I testified of Jesus Christ as our Savior and extended the baptismal commitment...he said in Russian...yes, thank you thank you, that's what I want! I of course was crying cause apparently I have no control of my tear ducts, and testified again and scheduled some things! We have another appt on Saturday and I am so excited! Even though it was a fake investigator, the spirit and revelation was real! I have never felt the spirit that strong in my life. I literally felt like my whole body was shaking but it wasn't. It was amazing! After we closed the lesson, the district started yelling and screaming! We were all so happy! Bro. Wood said we did great in following the promptings of the Spirit and the elders said that the whole room was on the edge of their seats waiting for me to commit him to baptism. I kinda knew that considering I could hear Elder Noren behind me making noises like he wanted to jump in and do it himself. :) It was great! Ok, so anyways....I'll write more about it later today! I just wanted to tell you about it so bad! Bro. Wood said that the feeling we had at that point is only about a 1/4 of what we'll feel when it's real! I want to go to Russia so bad right now! Even if I get doors slammed in my face, yelling grandma's, or rude comments, the ones that come to Christ, like last night, those will make it all worth it! If it wasn't for the fact that I...well can't speak enough Russian to save my life....I would leave now! Ok so onto questions...yes we got moved into our room and it's amazing! Sis. Alexeenko left for Hawaii yesterday so it's just the four of us now! We have nightly talking/eating sessions! it's really good to be able to talk at the end of the day with sisters who are going through the same things! I'll send a picture of us soon. We are planning on taking Matrix and light saver pictures today during our "personal time"....yes it's as cool and dorky as it sounds but apparently it's like a right of passage if you're here 3 months! They'll be cool! :) And no I can't believe that we've been here more than 1/2 the time! We're getting our talks on being examples cause the new districts come in tomorrow and they want us to be mature! :) We only have four more temple days! :( Speaking of which...our temple walks got cancelled cause too many Elders were meeting family or significant others at the temple on Sunday. We don't know when we'll be allowed back there but probably not before we leave! I'm sorry but how awkward is that? You ask your girlfirend to meet you at the temple so you AND your companion can shake her hand, and talk about the gospel...seriously? Let go...she'll be dating someone new in a few months anyways! :) Ok that wasn't from me...Elder Bangereter said that! But it's true! No you can tell me when people get their mission calls! I'm really anxious to hear! So if anyone gets one, let me know please! It's so exciting! And if I can guess...Jordan is going to either Texas or Mexico, and Alex is going either Florida or Ukraine! Those are my guesses! They haven't told us anything about what we'll need money wise or credit card/debit card stuff. I'll ask next time I see whose in charge, but I think they start talking to us when we have three weeks left. I'll let you know when I find anything out! And thank you thank you for the packages! The district loved the over the hill one! They weren't as excited about my clothes! ;) Mom, they said they are going to call you Sister Debbie cause Sister Wilson was confusing to them(considering, to them, that's my name) and District 9B Mom was too impersonal. They love you so much! And they talk about your beef jerky literally everyday! And thank you for the sweaters! They are so nice and warm! It's getting colder here by the day which I love....weird I know, but I'd like to somewhat be used to some kind of cold before stepping off that plane in Moscow! And the pants fit great! Thank you! Elder Bahr is the new district leader since Elders Noren and Bangerter and Zone leaders now. He's doing good! We've decided we're going to do FHE as a district...but since it's during Study time, we play grammar and sentence games! Sounds boring but we had so much fun last night and learned from each other! It was great! I saw Jenna Sunday night before she left! She left this morning! She's doing so good! And looks very happy! It's hard not to though! So I learned...I won't be allowed outside AT ALL on New Years Eve/Day...something about Russia being the Vodka capital of the world! Fun stuff! And the Russian is coming faster by the day! the grammar is the worst part but it's amazing that when the Lord wants you to get something...you get it! Slowly but surely, I'll be speaking Russian one day! :) Ok, I have to get going! Laundry time! I'll try to write more today....and if my hand gets tired, well you know who'll end up writing! Elders are such gentleman...at least the Russian ones are! :) Cause they're the only ones I know! I love you both so much! Thank you for everything you do for me! I can't wait to talk to you in 5 weeks and maybe even say something in Russian! ;) Take care! Love Sister Wilson!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hello Again!!

Mom and Dad,
Ok, so I don't have all of your letters with me but I'll try and remember to answer all of your questions. But first for all the fun excitement we've been having the last week! I am no longer in a tripanionship. Last Thursday night they talked with Sis. Alexeenko, Elder Windham, and Elder Ortner and informed them they will all be moved into a new district. They all had previous Russian language experience and they took about 4 other missionaries and combined them so that they can learn at a different pace. We were all pretty upset cause our district got along so well and it was hard to watch three of them leave, but we're on missions and it's called a transfer...and the good thing about this kind of transfer is that they are all just right across the hall. But I do miss Sis. Alexeenko! I really loved being companions with her! She was so much fun! And we lost a teacher too...we only have Bro Wood and Toone now, but they are my favorites so that didn't affect me too much! and with only two teachers we have more personal study time! Which well...it's needed! :) But it's ok. Change happens and we've actually had so much fun as a smaller district! We have more leg room and class :) And we are getting to know everyone better since there's less of us. So of course that means a new, and hopefully last district picture will be sent out of Thursday along with a bunch of other really fun ones! The older district left today so on Sunday we all went to the temple as a Zone and took tons of pictures! It was so fun! Ok so for the other thing! So excited! After I'm done emailing Sister Margolies and I get to move rooms!!! We'll be in a bigger, nicer room with Sis. Whitney and Sis. Kakouha(the only remaining sisters in the Zone)! We've been waiting for this for like well 5 weeks and we're so excited! We have ideas for scavengers hunts for our elders and holiday plans! Making decorations will be a fun night job! So with the old district leaving, it means next Wednesday the new ones come and we found out yesterday that there are going to be 21 new Russian speaking sisters between the two Russian Zones! 21! Right now we only have 12! They are almost doubling our amount of sisters which is great!
So Elder Bangerter and Elder Noren are the new Zone leaders! They are so good! I love all of the elders in our district! :) You'll see why in the pictures! And thank you thank you thank you for the package and the pictures! The elders love you so much! And they downed that beef jerky! They all said it was the best they ever had and Elder Bangerter said that's saying something cause he's a huntin' man! :) So if you ever make it again, and have leftovers, I'd love some! I didn't even get a piece before it was gone! But seriously you're both amazing! We appreciate the packages so much! You have no idea! 12 weeks is a long time and we definitely have our down days and things like that always pick us up! So thank you! Ok so I'm so happy for Daniel!!! That's awesome! I'm so excited for him! That made my day yesterday! Ok, so to answer some questions...yeah we have some culture classes...not a lot though. But we've definitely learned some things that we can't do, like put anything on the floor. If you put the scriptures on the floor, even if it's carpet, they get very offended. And we can't sit on the ground, you have to squat or stand. Apparently the old wives tale is if you sit on the ground you go sterile, and the Babuska's(grandma's) yell at you! yep....no sitting on the ground for me! I have a feeling we'll experience enough yelling in Russia! :) Oh and if you stand against a wall and your foot is against it instead of on the ground, that means you're a call girl...so...definitely good things to know! I'm not a call girl, and I don't want to be sterile, so the culture classes were a success! At the temple this morning I met a lady who said I looked familiar to her. We found out that her son served on Whidbey Island when I was in high school. Elder Carr. The name sounds so familar but I can't put a face with it! So maybe you'll know! :) Tell Brandi that I did get her cookies in the mail! And I loved them, and of course so did the elders! They pretty much think my family is amazing! So do I! :) What about the Russian tomatoes? Anything ever happen with them? Apparently they have pink tomatoes in Russia! Exciting! Oh I saw Chris Chord yesterday! It was wierd! We saw each other and took a second to realize we knew each other! I almost hugged him but stopped right beforehand...something to get used to! He said he's know seen Devin, Aleta, and me. He works there now, so that's cool! Well I better get going! I'll write you a letter later today with more stories, but I just never have time in 30 minutes! Thank you so much for everything you do! You're both amazing! I couldn't have asked for better parents! I love you both so much! Take care!
Love,
Sister Wilson

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

One month in the MTC!

Mom and Dad,

Ok, so you had a lot of questions this week which is great! So again, I'll try to answer all of those first! Sorry if it gets confusing! But first off, thank you so much for the package! The district loved it and another card is on the way to you from them! Thank you it was so amazing of you! Ok so for the questions...the gym was closed while they re-finished the floors which made all 2100 elders so excited that they couldn't play basketball, but its open again. Above the gym is a track and weight room with bikes and elipticals. It's pretty nice! Always something to do! No, the workout isn't for the district, just the girls...its actually a rule cause apparently there has been a problem in the past with "jogging" dates! It's ridiculous that had to be made a rule but it is! We workout everyday except Sunday and P-day for one hour. You don't get anymore time than other districts though, we're just in the MTC longer, that's all! We see our district on pday at the temple and of course when we all as a big happy family do laundry together...talk about awkward but its ok! They keep us entertained! We do stay in the same classroom through our stay here, same desks, but when the older district leaves next Monday we get their cushions! So excited! i can't believe we'll be the older district next week! Scary but so exciting! The spikes you sent should be fine! thank you very much! As for investigators, we have the same four, and they are all progressing! last night was another amazing lesson with Kereel(that's not how it looks in russian, but that's how it sounds). It's fake, but the spirit that comes is so not! it's amazing! The language is coming! :) When I look at the progress I make in a day, it gets discouraging, but when I look back on each week, it really is amazing how much the Lord can teach you! Still far, oh my goodness so far, from speaking it fluently or even close, but its coming! The weather finally turned a little colder. The sun still comes out, but we're using jackets now, so hopefully it'll snow soon! I know it sounds crazy but I'd like to kinda be somewhat familiar with the cold before going to Russia...maybe it'll help me adjust! :) I did get to see Jenna, actually about three times now! She's as adorable as ever and seems to be doing really good! Eston and Aleta left yesterday. I got to say goodbye to Eston like twice, and I saw Aleta in the morning but we didn't meet up again. They'll both be great! About my teachers...they're all amazing! Bro. Wood is my favorite only because it's more of a fun environment and not a strict one. Bro. Toone and Sis. Chenina are my other teachers and I love them too...they're just more serious than Bro. Wood. We just see them throughout the week according to their school schedules. they all go to BYU, so they're between the ages of 24-26, I think! :) Time is definitely going by fast! I can't believe a month of my mission is already over! Conference was amazing but I do have to admit that I fell asleep for about 5 minutes (same talk you had trouble with Mom :)) and woke up only cause Elder Windham was sitting next to me and he wanted to see my watch so he tapped me on the shoulder not knowing I was asleep. I made a nice little girly noise and was embarrassed for awhile until I looked around and like half the MTC was asleep! It had been a long
day! :) The MTC Choir was amazing! We watched it the next day and yes, Elder Bahr and Morris were there, along with a bunch of other elders we know! if you want to look for them, you can see them in the Called to Serve one! It was so powerful, we loved watching it! Ok, so onto some of my own questions...FHE on Tuesday? how did that happen, I quess my more interesting question is why did that happen? It's cool though...it splits up the week more, but I'm worried about you guys...how do you watch NCIS? :) J/k! How's Max's job? Done yet, or should I not ask?! How is everything going?! I really do like hearing how everything at home is! Ok, so for what's going on here...well..on Friday night, a sister burnt popcorn and the firealarm went off, evacuating about 100 sisters at night onto the grass, right outside the elders residence. So you know, being the mature, 19-year old boys...sorry men...that they are, they viewed 100 sisters on the grass in their pj's as a Kodak moment! First time in my life I think I've seen as many flashes of cameras as a celebrity! It was all good though! So for conference, we all thought that Pres. Monson standing up to begin with and talking about people going on a mission was amazing! we were given a statistic here that it really sad. The mission department figured out that out of all the priesthood holders that can serve a mission, only 37% are actually doing it. That's pathetic...37% I'm sure is still an F on the grade scale! I wish there was a way to help people feel the spirit and the closeness to the Savior you only get while being his representative. We had a lesson in a large group meetin about our tags and the majority of everyone was crying. the teacher asked us how we felt about wearing the tag...and we were all really excited to do it! It feels so good to look down and see it! well he then gave a detailed description of how we're going to feel when out Stake Pres asked us to take it off, not to put it on again. I can't describe the emotion I felt, that after one month, I don't ever want to take this tag off! It's one thing to know that Christ is my Savior, it's a whole other thing to literally take upon His name in everything you do, and teach people, as an official representative of Christ himself! When the time comes, I'll be excited to come home, but after one month, I can tell you I will not be excited to be done. I wish that whoever is thinking they don't want to go on amission, who is able to go, could know that! Christ gave up His life for us, He's asked us to sacrifice only 2 years, or 18 months. It's not a lot, when you consider what He's done. Elder Holland said, "you'll never regret serving a mission, but if you don't go when you could've, you'll always regret it." I forgot my nametag this morning going to the temple, and when I realized it, I felt uncomfortable. people didn't know who I was, or who I representated and it bothered me. But once the tag went on, it was such an amazing feeling! I am so grateful for the opportunity He's given me to represent Him! And thank you both for all of the support you've given me to help me get here! I will always appreciate everything you do for me and I love both of you so much! i hope you're all doing good and I'll hopefully have time today to write! Take care!
Love, Sister Wilson

Saturday, October 2, 2010

LOOK who it is!! Our ward Missionaries:-)
Elder. Humphrey, Sis. Wilson, and Sister Bray
Looking great guys!!:)
Another familiar face in the MTC!! Sis. Wilson and Elder. Humphrey

Guess WHO!!! Sis. Wilson and Sis. Bray:)

Companion Pic!! Sis. Alexeenko is going to Hawaii to speak Russian in the visitor center!!
Thats amazing!!
Our NEW district!! All 11 of us:)
Our Tripanionship for 3 weeks!! Sis. Alexeenko, Sis. Wilson,
and Sis. Margolies
Outside the MTC standing around Elders on Bikes:)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hi again!

Mom and Dad,
I just got back from the temple...only day where the meal is good! :) It was really good...it's kinda early but I didn't fall asleep so that's a plus! Ok, so I wrote a list of the questions you asked, so I'll answer them first, so I don't forget! My new companion did come last week! Her name is Sister Alexeenko! She is so much fun! I love having her here! The only bad thing, is that she's only here three more weeks! basically, just to brush up on Russian, and then off to the Hawaii temple visitor's center! But it'll be good having her for as long as we can! we took a bunch of pictures on Sunday, so I'll send them out on thursday...I can only order pictures tuesday, and it takes two days to get back! we didn't have to change rooms, since it's only a temp companionship...we call it a tripanionship though...it sounds better! :) Our teaching appts are going good...we're kinda at square one again in preparing, since we don't know how to teach with three people, but it's getting better. We have a "progressing" investigator, that we taught for the first time last night! it went ok, but we need to work better as a group! we didn't get to see the broadcast Sunday, cause they want us to watch it on Saturday when the Elders are at Priesthood session...it makes sense i guess we just really wanted to see it! No classes though on Saturday cause of conference! Everyone is so excited about it! It'll be good! No we don't have FHE's. It's just a normal class day :( Makes me miss home! And no Mom, I wasn't put in the corner! I was the last one to get to the district the first day so it was the only chair left. And I don't like it so much! oh well...only what, 8 1/2 more weeks! so my schedule...sunday is a day of rest...we have normal meetings and with the time left, we do a temple walk, hang out and get to know each other, or study the scriptures. It's a really low key day which is great after a long week! Monday, wed, thur, fri, and Sat, are all class days where depending on the time of day, we have either language, gospel study, or MDT(Missionary Directed time-personal, companion study). It's a pretty full schedule that's for sure! But it equals out. And of course tuesday is P-day! it's a great day! :) And no I don't like Star Wars...the Elders in my district love make lightsavers with their pens! And they do make for fun pictures! we took more at our temple walk Sunday so I'll get those to you! And Dad, I told the district that you picked out the bag and they were very impressed! they liked that you didn't send a pink bag! :) Oh and yes, it is rude to talk about the pulled pork sandwiches when I'm at the MTC trying to swallow mouthfuls of gross! Ok maybe it's not that bad, but the food is so not improving! So I'm glad you're able to eat nicely! ;) The gym finally opened so I run the track now with Sis. whitney, 3 days a week and the other three days, Elder Windham made a workout plan for us....he even laminated it! It's hard but it definitely gives us energy! So choir practice is tonight for the first time now that the gym floor is open...not too excited, but oh well...it's only 8 1/2 weeks of singing...and I'll go with the attitude of liking it....maybe! :) It's in english, but in class we sing all songs in russian! It's getting bad, cause I go to bed and wake up with them in my head...well I guess that's not really a bad thing! i can't wait to see if i see Jenna on Wednesday! It is fun to go up to the front when all the new ones come in! You know to welcome them and let them know it's not prison! :) we just don't mention the food! So who are the people preparing for missions in the ward? i knew of Jordan, Alex,and Kyle...speaking of I saw Eston and aleta on Sunday! We took a picture so that'll be coming too! eston will be a great missionary...when we were taking the picture, my shirt touched his arm, and he was like "Sister wilson, you're touching me." My district enjoyed teasing me for the rest of the day! Yes, we do have a store, that we go to a lot! it has some things but not everything! I need to buy stamps today or else no one will be getting letters! :) the lesson last sunday went good! i love teaching so much, but it did make me really miss relief Society! And I don't eat in my room, only because I'm only there early in the morning and late at night, so I'm just not eating! :) any food you send, I keep in the classroom! And thank you so much for the package! the food is gone..was the first day! And they again told me to tell you that I have awesome parents! :) Ok I think I answered everything. So how is everything doing? how's the ward? Anything new? well in regards to russian...still hard! I know I sound like a broken record, but it's so true! It's crazy hard! it's still coming...very slowly, but it's coming. I have to keep reminding myself of that! Some days are great and I love every second and then there are times where it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel! There's a saying in the sister dorms...nothing lasts forever...not your bad days, not your good days, not your mission! make the best of everyday! It's hard sometimes, but I have good people around me and that saying isn't exactly correct! families last forever! you all are definifely my biggest support! i love you all very much and enjoy hearing from you every time!! It seriously makes my day and gives me extra confidence...in the language area! but other than that the MTC is great...ok other than the food! I'm getting a little bored, but it's still fun most of the time! i miss you all so much! thank you for everything! I'll write again if I have time while doing laundry! take care!
Love,
Sister Wilson
Ok, so I actually can't reach Samara! But it's close:)
Sis. Wilson and Sis. Margolies (companions)
At our temple walk! It was so hot!!
Brittanys district from upper left:
Elder Bangerter (DL) E. Noren, E. Smith, E. Windham, E. Orther, E. Morris, E. Bahr, Sister Wilson :) and Sis. Margolies

Brittany and Sis. Margolies before doing service...aka-cleaning bathrooms:-)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Another Week Gone!!

Mom and Dad,
Ok, so I'm first going to answer your questions so that I don't forget this time and then I'll tell you more about my week! Time permitting of course...they have this little 30 minute countdown that is very stressful to continually look at. Oh well. Yes I did get your letters! I got Dad's letter the day after I sent you mine, and I got the package! Thank you so much! The MTC is good, but they don't pick out good kleenex! So thank you! And my district loved the candy...it was gone in about 20 minutes or less! You actually are getting something in the mail from them! They are so sweet! P-days aren't too exciting after the letter part. Basically just laundry and getting ready for the evening devotional. The devotional I heard is usually pretty good but I have to be honest...last week I nodded off a bit. They work us hard, it's impossible not to once in awhile! At least that's what I tell myself! Dad, when we teach investigators, it's volunteers from the community and they usually know Russian. So far we teach the first 10 minutes in Russian then the next 35 in English so it's not too bad. In about two weeks it will be 45 minutes in Russian! Then it should be interesting! I don't get to go to conference but you should definitely go to the Priesthood session(this is for Dad The MTC is having a choir and I hear it's amazing! Speaking of...I have to go to choir! Stop laughing, it's not funny! Sis. Margolies wants to go and I said I'd go with her so we wouldn't have to do a companion exchange. We'll see how it goes! Our new companion is actually coming tomorrow. Another mess up for the MTC. They were off by two weeks, not one! Which means we might have to switch rooms since there isn't room for her in ours. Right now we have four other roommates and they are all speaking Russian, going to different missions. I'm the only sister in the MTC right now that is going to Samara in 9 weeks! Crazy! We go to the temple every Tuesday morning so we just got back a little bit ago! It was really good, of course! And no Mom, no volleyball yet! I actually have started running with a sister in the Ukraine district, Sister Whitney. She's so sweet and we have a lot of fun together! Running is better than volleyball anyday! And less embarrassing for me! Ok, I think I answered all of them...if not I'll have time later to write a letter too! We have a lot of time during our laundry waiting period! So about this week! It's been good! I'm still not going to lie, Russian is way hard! It's easy to get frustrated and discouraged but you just keep pushing forward! I do have a little bit of a cold, nothing to worry about, just a little one, but it doesn't make for fun nights! If you could, whenever you have a chance, send some Alka Seltzer nightime? It's not a rush but the cold and flu is going around this place like wild fire and it'll be good to have it just in case! Two other elders in the district are sick and three roommates, so it was bound to happen! At least one of the elders tried to wear a mask...the picture is on it's way! It's pretty funny! I do have some pictures but not a lot! There really isn't a lot of time to take them, or things to take them of. We're in class most of the day and if we're not, then it's MDT(missionary directed time) which is where we're in charge of what we learn and how well we do. So really not time for pictures, but there are a few of them! Some are funny too! Not of me! My elders are pretty entertaining! Oh I saw Eston, and Aleta...I actually see her all the time! We all ran into each other at the fireside on Sunday and set a time to meet this Sunday at the temple for a picture to send to the ward! It'll be fun to have time to talk with them. Eston looks happy! And Aleta looks ready to go! I have to teach District meeting on Sunday(Sunday School). Yeah...I'll give you a guess on the topic, but you'll only need one....yep, the Atonement! Not that I'm not happy about it, but I'd rather have a topic that I don't think I'll bawl all the way through! It's just me! So that should be fun! Ok so I forgot one of the questions and it's an important one!...the MTC food...good or bad? Well, if you're asking Brittany, I would have to say it's the worst food I've tasted...bring on the borshe and meat jello cause it couldn't be much worse!! But if you are asking Sis. Wilson, well it's alright and I'm grateful for what I have! No but seriously it's bad. I don't see how elders gain weight! I've already lost weight! It's gross! Vending machines are good though! The weather is ok, still kinda warm outside, but cold at night! First day of fall is today so I'm hoping it cools down a little bit soon! It's not fun running in the heat! Hm....I'm trying to think of stories! I need to write them down through the week cause I always forget come Tuesday! The elders are still keeping me very entertained! It's amazing how many different ways, 19-year old boys...men, can entertain themselves. Yesterday our district leader, he's really cool so don't let this affect his image , tried to hold his breath til he turned purple. It almost worked...he had a bad headache afterwards, so he won't be doing that again! But for whatever reason, when it's been a discouraging day, that kinda makes me laugh! We're all really comfortable with each other, and we're working on the high five thing! We just don't understand why we can't, cause you have more contact shaking hands then you doing high fiving. But the Branch President said it's inappropriate for sisters and elders to high five, so we're working on it! We'll have it down in about 9 weeks! So it looks like my departure date is being switched to the 22nd of November. It'll proabably switch five times but I'll let you know as they tell me! I think that's all for now...my time is getting really low so I better wrap it up! Thank you so much for your letters! It makes my day hearing from you! It's hard here, being away from everyone, but it's also an amazing place to be! When 2500 missionaries stand and sing Called to Serve in over 50 languages, there just isn't another place where you can feel that kind of spirit! And we heard a video clip from Elder Holland and he said, "Whenever you find yourself asking why is my mission not easier? why is this so hard? Remind yourself that someone grander asked those questions a long time ago, and keep on moving." It's amazing how much the Atonement blesses me life! I love you both so much! Take care and I can't wait to hear from you again! Love you!
Love,
Sister Wilson