Guess what!!! Sis Whiting and I were able to commit 3 people to baptism this week!!!. Of course one had gotten back from her mission 2 months ago and the other 2 were just some of our classmates, but we'll take what we can get. I can't believe I have been here for a month. Ashley comes into the MTC tomorrow! I am so excited to see her. Some fun things I have been doing: singing in the MTC choir (we sang a John Rutter song called 'Look at the world' which is so pretty), singing Christmas hymns acapella 3 part harmony with some amazing sister missionaries on Sunday (one of the sisters I was singing with is named Sis Roberts. she is from my zone and was a opera singing major at Utah State she has a very nice voice), and finding out that 3 of the 4 sisters in our room worked at Cold Stone. This week about half of our zone is leaving to go into the mission field. I think we will have a week or two until we get the new missionaries to take their places. A random cultural fact about Russia: everyone drinks tea and alcohol. So much is it a part of their culture that when you go tracking or visiting you have to bring your own tea bags so as not to offend them when they offer you tea. You can just pull out the herbal tea that you have brought This becomes an issue when you teach them the word of wisdom because if they stop drinking alcohol they lose a bunch of their friends because its such a social norm. Last Tuesday another apostle came and spoke to us! Elder Bednar talked about separating the doctines of the gospel from the Principles and applications. Soooooooo good! Every thing we teach as missionaries need to be simplified and simplified more so that we are teaching the Doctrines of Christ. All a member really needs a testimony of the basic doctrines and to realize everything else is temporal. The more I study the more I realize how much I don't know about for example the creation or the afterlife, but I also realize that I don't have to know right now. Anyways life is great! Russian is still really hard, but I think its always going to be that way.
I would like to give a shout-out to my cousin Samuel for drawing the cutest picture of a turtle I ever saw for me. Its hanging by my desk and makes me happy everytime I look at it. Love you all!