family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! good heavens, how great are you?!?!?!?! thank you soooooooooooooo much for my packages! especially the one yesterday!!! you are just unreal and i love you all so much.
this has been another wonderful week! i really don't even know what to tell you......other than everything is wonderful!!!!! oh, while it is on my mind...mom thank you so much for telling me about the happenings in boston....i had heard NOTHING...and i kind of had a freak out...because the mission laurel got reassigned to is boston. so i was like ajdfkldjfkl;sdfjad;klfjsd;klfajdkl;fajsf;lksdjfa;ksdlfjsd;klfjsd;fkl...and then i realized that the bombings happened the day BEFORE she got there...so thank you for dating the letter. how sad to hear about....but i just know that laurel is there for a very important reason. god needs her there just for a few weeks after this tragedy. i know she will touch someone's heart who needs the Gospel.
so i have some funny stories on my mind. first of all........i have been teaching new investigators (teachers acting as investigators), and there are volunteers from the community that come for us to teach them. kind of like having Sasha come, or someone that is a returned missionary from ukraine, etc. well.........i gave a lesson that went REALLY well and i said in the most direct way, "artem....will you be baptized?!" and he just started laughing so hard. come to find out....i said, "artem.....will you shower?!" so bad. i was laughing so hard, so i was like.....seriously artem, you just smell really bad, and it's starting to become really distracting. hahahahaha i crack myself up. artem is actually one of my favorite teachers, Brother Adams....so it was no big deal, but still hilarious. i can foresee some really awkward REAL language mistakes once i get to ukraine. DY-ING laughing right now.
laurel left tuesday morning. i got to say goodbye ROUND TWO. but i am so excited for her. it has been so fun having her here, and we even got some pictures! brooklin came in on wednesday and she probably thinks i stalk her, because i am always like heavy breathing over her shoulder......we are ALWAYS in the same places. and i just love her.
church was in russian this week. they have us all prepare talks, and then they randomly call people out of the congregation to speak. i was like "please don't call on me, please don't call on me, please don't call on me...." and.............they didn't. i'm a lucky duck. the good news is that when they do call on me.....only six other people in the room would really understand what i'm saying...because there are only seven of us who speak ukrainian. annnnnnnnnnyways.
last night we had the apostle Richard G. Scott come and talk to us. can i tell you how perfect it was?! oh. my goodness. i was sobbing. well, not sobbing. but doing the cindy cry. like crying, but trying to act like i'm not. he was unreal. i felt like i was floating. he said over, and over, and over, and over again that he just felt so prompted to let everyone that was learning another language know that we would master it. he gave us an apostolic blessing that we would not only learn the language, but MASTER it. he even finished his talk, sat down, we sang a closing hymn, and he got back up and said it again. and then he went on to tell us how we were not sent here to fail. we were not called on missions to fail. we were called by inspiration to the very places that we're going, speaking the languages that we are because God needs us. and He has promised us that we will succeed. i wish you could have just been in the room. not a single, dry eye. it was the most powerful thing EVER. he spoke for a while to the sister missionaries, saying, "YOU WILL NEVER, EVER, EVER REGRET THIS DECISON TO SERVE A MISSION. your husband, your children, your families will be blessed FOREVER because of this decision. you will raise your families in righteousness. you will have strong marriages. you will never, regret this." i was just sobbing, because the Spirit was so strong...i can't even describe it. i can feel blessings. i can already feel them. i know that everything good that ever happens to me, will be a consequence of this mission. it's just the best thing in the world. i wish everyone could experience this. i wish everyone could know what this is like.
i've been thinking about this little analogy that our choir teacher was telling us yesterday. PS he is hilarious, and the song we sang in the devotional last night was "Nearer My God to Thee." he directed it in conference two years ago....and it was the most powerful rendition of the song. look it up on youtube, i'm sure it's there. maybe you can get an idea of what it was like last night. anyways, he was talking about "fiery trials," and comparing it to metal being like shaped and molded in a fire. how in order to produce silver, the metal must be left in the fire, and you know it's done when you can see your reflection in the silver. (i'm rambling, hope this makes sense to you). i have thought so much about that. that when we're going through something hard, we're sitting in a flame. But beautiful things happen when you allow metal to sit in the flames. you pull it out when you know it's done.....and you are left with something beautiful. God lets us sit in flames in order to shape us, mold us, and teach us how to have faith. we must have faith that HE KNOWS BEST. he only allows us to sit in the flame until it's been enough time to teach us what we needed to learn. and then he pulls us right out. he pulls us out when He can see His reflection in us. He pulls us out when we have become more like Him, and been shaped, molded, and are left much more beautiful than we were before. isn't that perfect?!
it's amazing how much these last three weeks have taught me. i have learned more than i could have ever learned any other way. i can't imagine how much more i'll learn over the next year and a half. we had this awesome lady come speak to us on sunday in relief society....and she was telling us the story of her mission. she pulled out her mission journal pages (from her binder) and held them up. she was like, "i'm holding all 756 pages of my journal from my mission. these 756 pages changed my life. there was a time that i wanted to come home from my mission......and if i did.....i would not have had the other 536 pages. what a tragedy that would have been." i think about if i hadn't come at all. i wouldn't have had all these journal pages that i already have. i can't even put into words how grateful i am that i am here. how grateful i am that i have the opportunity, and blessing, to be here. it is the best thing i have ever done.
so i find myself saying, "is that really necessary......" in my head a lot. so i thought i would share some of those thoughts with you, because i think it's funny.
#1........there are SO MANY ELDERS that for whhaaaateeeevvveeerr reason think it's cool to wear their CTR rings on their left hand, ring finger. Like, i'm sorry, but is that really necessary? like they think that they are going to get hit on or something. i'm sorry......but i think it is the most annoying thing. like......no. don't do that.
which brings me to #2.....kind of contradicting #1:
i'm sitting in the TALL lab like two days ago (TALL lab is where we put on headphones and listen to native speakers to learn the language better). and this elder is sitting next to me, going to Figi. He just randomly keeps breaking into conversation with me, and he's like, "so.......where are you going on your mission. sooooooo.....where are you from....soooooo......what school were you at before your mission....sooooo....what are your plans after your mission....soooooooooo....HOW HIGH ON YOUR PRIORITY LIST IS MARRIAGE.......(dying. dying. dying.) soooooooo.....you have facebook?"
like. there are no words to even explain this encounter. just IS THAT REALLY NECESSARY.
thanks again for your letters and packages. keep em' comin ;) i love you so much. i'll go write a letter after this addressing all the questions you have asked, and my favorite scripture and stuff. along with a list of things that would be nice to have ;) hahahahaahahahahahahahahahaah ohhhhhh i love you. i went to the temple today and since it's wednesday, there are new missionaries coming in......so there was this family taking pictures outside the temple when we came out, and i went and asked if they wanted me to take one of their whole family. of course they said YES, and the mom was like........i'm going to give you a big ole' hug from your mom, because i know she would want to hug you right now. i literally was just trying not to cry as she hugged me, because i just wish i could hug you, mommy. i wish i could hug all of you. but there is nowhere else i would rather be. i thought it was cute that she did that.
anyways. know that i pray like crazy for all of you. i talk about you all the time, and my district thinks you are wonderful. thanks for the cupcakes.
love you to the moon and back.
love you to the moon and back.
xoxoxoxoxoxo sister (jazzy) wallace
|thanks for the package yesterday!!!! everyone i passed was so jealous that i had such a huge box. my district was like, "what did your family send you your whole closet or something?" "ummm....nooooooooo.....not the whole closet...hahahaha"|
|we had a diet coke/cupcake party. MY KIND OF PARTY. (this was at the end of the night. lookin' rough. mind you...i had just sobbed for an hour while listening to Elder Scott)|
we decorated for sister shaughnessy's birthday.
|ran into shayla before she left for tennessee.|
|we were trying to take a dramatic "candid" pic. NAILED IT|
|Laurel and I|
|this is my view all day|
|our missions- Laurel 2 missions|
|companion and i|
|me with an ukrainian fried brain|
|here's my nametag you asked for. it's cectpa...but those are different letters than our alphabet. so it's pronounced "sestra" (with a tongue roll)|
how my name is in ukrainian. this is my nametag at my desk
the FIRST NIGHT I WAS HERE.