Thursday, January 12, 2017

Babuski Make the World Go Round (Week 31)

"Since nothing way too interesting happened this week, I will mostly be telling babuska stories. In case you don't know that the heck I am talking about, a "babuska" is a Russian grandma. Or Ukrainian. Or other nationalities. But, overall, they are grandmas who speak Russian. Typically the dress of a babuska includes pajama type looking pants or skirt and a colorful scarf with a sweater. or something along those lines. They are very easily distinguishable, especially since they "hang out" in groups together waiting for buses or crossing the street. For some reason, they're all about 4 feet tall, and they LOVE to invite us in and offer us interesting candy or fruit cake and tea. Sometimes it's really hard to explain that we won't drink tea with caffeine, and so we just have to carry peppermint or fruity tea around with us. (I've discovered a love for tea on my mission. That sounds funny...thanks sister orr, sister truax, and every Russian grandma I've ever met!)

Maria and her husband are both in their 80's. However, you'd never know it because the second that she opened the door, we both were blown away by the amount of energy that she had. So much for old people being frail. We asked about her family. Probably not the smartest thing to do. It took about 20 minutes to get through all of the family albums while she just babbled away at every single picture, telling us some sort of story about her cousins and grand sons and great grand daughters and whatnot. It's one of those times when you just smile and nod your head and don't ask questions. Just listen. Not sure how we started talking about exercising, but she put away the photo albums and started doing crunches and jumping jacks and all sorts of exercises on the floor. They then sang us Russian songs about Christ for a good while and gave us animal crackers and then sent us on our way. I love Russian culture.

One woman invited us in and was telling us all about how she is a doctor and she loves to give massages. All of her neighbors were young, except one of them and she apparently really needed a massage. Soo this grandma continued to tell us about how she wishes she could speak English to tell that woman that she will give her a massage. Suddenly she realized that we were American and she made us promise to go over there and ask if that would be possible. Unfortunately the neighbors weren't home. Her dreams were dashed. It's okay though because she got really excited when we asked for Russian referrals and started jogging down the road, yelling at us to follow her in our car. We did and then she happily pointed out the 2 houses down the road and then jogged away. I can't make these things up. Being a missionary is my favorite thing ever.

There are a lot more, but I am out of time. This week really was great! We learned a lot about how being a consecrated missionary takes you from being a good one to a great one. I know that's the same in everyone's lives. A word that I have begun to love is "re-commit." We have to recommit every week when we take the sacrament. Every new transfer as we set goals. Every new year. But more than that, we have to live our life, re-committing to the gospel and our lifestyle and our personal goals and values every minute! I know that in order to progress faster, we re-commit ourselves to our goals and then we can accomplish more things in less time. It's incredible how much it's really up to how dedicated and consecrated I am. It's so clear why sacrifice and consecration are so important in the temple.

It's been really icy...attached picture. I'm learning how to drive on that nonsense. It's really terrifying. Thank goodness Sister C is from Utah.

I love all of you people!
Have a great day and Happy (slightly late) Russian Christmas (January 7)!
Sister Jenne"

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