2011 April 25,
This Sunday was Easter for us. We thought it was the one before so we dyed eggs then and they were really cool, let me tell you. We found this dye for about 6 rubles (less than 30cents) that turned the eggs all metallic. We also got these stickers to go on the eggs but they were all of Russian Orthodox churches and crosses so we didn't use them. Although there was one random sticker of a cat so we used that one. They have a fun tradition in Russia of on Easter you are suppose to say "Christ is resurrected!" and then the person who you said it to is suppose to say "Yes its true He is resurrected!" and people give each other colored hard boiled eggs. Sis Knol told me this is a really old tradition and that kids used to go sort of like trick or treating on Easter and they would say this phrase to people and the people were suppose to give them candy or an egg. Here is a fun very Russian thing that happened. Our neighbor one night knocked on our door and complained that we hadn't locked the outside door properly. So to say sorry we made our neighboors banana bread and left them a note saying happy Easter. Later one of our neighbors (not the same one as before) came over and brought us a plate with traditional Russian pastry and colored eggs for us. The really Russian thing that happened is that our neighbor wouldn't hand the plate to us over the door step Sis Knol had to go out into the landing first and then our neighbor could give her the plate. I guess its bad luck if you do anything over the door step or door frame. I didn't see any decorated eggs just colored ones.
Our Easter Sabbath went really well. After church, we had an appointment fall through and Sis Parkinson didn't want to go home so we decided to stop by a babushka, Lubof, who Sis Hakes and I found. Every time we have called this week she said she was "sick" so we decided to just drop by. We got to her door, but we had for gotten which apartment was hers and as we were trying to remember she came out the door with some trash. She let us come in and we talked to her about Christ's Resurrection. She gave us homemade compote, which is a drink here made of boiled fruit in water with sugar. It was cherry and was really good. We have met with her about 5 times I would say, but this time I finally realized she has no real religious background. Maybe because I finally decided to listen to what she was saying or I am now able language wise to understand. She has been telling us this whole time she doesn't understand she just goes through the motions (ie reads prayers from her prayer book) because that is what she thinks she is suppose to do. It was a miracle to me. Hopefully now we will be able to teach more to her needs. It was funny during the lesson because right when I was telling her about Christ's life the phone rang and it was a lady from another church. Lubof started telling the lady that we were there and about us and invited her to come over and meet us. This is not always good because people from other faiths tend to think that we are a cult. The lady didn't come over so it was ok. Then after that another investigator, Nina who hasn't been answering her phone finally answered and we were able to meet with her on a park bench. Yes it is finally warm enough outside! Well it was still pretty chilly but there wasn't any snow to hinder us. We knew that we were in the right place because a less active who has been avoiding us walked past with another less active. God blessed us. We try and try and try with our less actives, but in the end it comes down to their choice to come back. Especially here where its kind of a fight for your life to join the church. So they all have really strong testimonies when they are baptized. This week was also perfect that in my Book Of Mormon reading I just happened to be at 3 Nephi when Christ comes. I would be a very happy missionary if I could just help everyone understand a little bit more about Christ. I am glad that we don't have to be perfect for the Lord's work to go forward. I am sure not perfect. LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!