Saturday, January 17, 2015

Feels like home, Not in Palo Alto, the temple, favorite things, Zulema

"I'm adjusted to life here in Moscow. It feels like home now."
January 12, 2015

Dear loved ones,

Sounds like Sri Lanka was incredible! Can't believe Mom and Sterling decided to go there with Channing and Spencer so last minute :) I'm sure it was an awesome time together. 

Feels like home now
Today I bought a jump rope. I thought you would be happy to know that.... you're right for sure that I need to step up my cardio game so hopefully this will help! Thanks family for the Christmas package! So much fun!!! The TJs goodies have already been devoured. And even though you sent enough almonds with my district in mind, I've been enjoying them all by myself! Each morning I have greek yogurt with granola, chia seeds, almond, and banana so it's been perfect. Today I even switched to unsweetened yogurt (I had to make gradual changes) so hopefully I like it!

Another good week! I'm now adjusted to life here in Moscow. It feels like home now.


"For chia pets?"
Not in Palo Alto
I was at the grocery store and asked one of the workers where the chia seeds were and he looked at me and laughed. I just stared back at him in silence, so he realized it was an honest question. He responded "Chia seeds? As in for chia pets?" I felt like Dorothy when she realized she wasn't in Kansas anymore. Luckily he was able to find them and it turns out they're way cheaper than at home! But I said in my head "Sinclaire, you're not in Palo Alto anymore."

Going to the temple
We went on exchanges again and so the companion who has been in Moscow practically her whole mission and knows everyone and their dog was gone for the day. It was me and Sister Worthen left and neither of us knew the area at all. So when looking at a map, we thought two of our appointments were a lot closer together than they really were. Long story short, we walked for an hour and a half to get to the Tyler's apartment, but we made it eventually. And it was definitely worth it! They were baptized a year ago and are going to the temple to be sealed this month. They invited us but unfortunately we didn't get permission to go but I'm so so excited for them! 

Spokane, Washington Temple
One of my favorite things
We meet with the Sipes every week. He was baptized less than a year ago, and they're both only 19. Our job is to strengthen them and help them prepare to go to the temple. They're so close but they need to keep making changes but I know they can do it! I love them so much! They have so much faith and they're such deep thinkers. Each time we go over, we have Family Home Evening with them and then read a chapter in the Book of Mormon together, wherever they are in their reading. This has become one of my favorite things because we have such great discussions and they have awesome insights. I can feel the Spirit so strongly in their home and they're so awesome! 

The elders were on exchanges last week, so Elder Castlemain and Elder Hill were together. I wish you knew them so this story would make so much more sense! But Elder Castlemain is a zone leader and has been out for a long time and is very confident. Elder Hill is newer and but it was his turn being the senior companion, so he had to call the shots and do the talking and initiate everything while street contacting. 

"Some people are just different
and have a peace about them...."
They said a prayer and got started and felt prompted to walk a certain direction, so they did. Another important detail: it's been incredibly foggy lately. The type like in China where you can't see 20 feet in front of you. The type that I thought only existed in the movies! Like I thought they were using special effects in Vampire Diaries, but it turns out this weather really exists in some places! 

Anyway, it's eerie and creepy looking and just looks like a dreary wasteland! So they're walking and they see this girl up in the distance, so Elder Hill starts doing this bear run thing that he does and yells "hey!" to the girl. Her response: "This is kind of creepy..." probably because it's night time and these two boys are chasing after her and she can hardly see anything and one of them is waving his arms out at her. 

But long story short, her name is Zulema and she's a student. She has so much faith! The elders referred her to us (luckily she agreed to meet with the missionaries again) and we met with her for the first time last night. 

She said now that she's growing up and becoming more responsible, she's looking for a bigger picture and a deeper meaning to life. She notices that when she gets to know people, some people are just different and have a peace about them, like they have everything figured out. She then made the connection that these people she has known all happen to have a belief in Christ. 

She said she makes that same walk everyday and has probably walked that path hundreds of times, but that she has never run into those elders before so she believes it was for a reason. Missionary translation: she's GOLDEN! 

We met with her in her apartment last night and the conversation flowed so naturally. Maybe because she's 21, but I felt like I was talking to a friend. I love her so much already! She's such a wonderful person and I'm so glad she wants to learn more. I'm so excited to be able to teach her!


That's most of the exciting things for this week. Hope everyone is doing well! Miss you all! And my next P-day will be Wednesday of next week because we're going to the temple.

Sister Sinclaire Hancock

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