Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane....

Her last email does not disappoint.  I wish I could have been a fly at the honey festival to see her dancing!  So she will be home next week and her mission chapter will end, but she is ready to start writing her next story!  Thanks for all the support and love over the past few years with our missionaries.  ~ Mamma K

"The time has come" the walrus said, "to speak of many things."  So this week was so crazy good!!! The honey festival was this week, so that was exciting. I don't know if I have ever told you, but Russians love love love their honey, really it's crazy. So this festival is just all of these booths with people selling honey of all varieties. I never even knew that so many existed before! So on Saturday we were walking through the honey festival because it was on our contacting route and there was live music and dancers, so of course we couldn't help ourselves and started to dance just a little too and then out of nowhere this news reporter comes over and asks to interview us and all I could say, out of pure surprise is, "uhhh, well we're missionaries and we're from America..." thinking he would change his mind about interviewing us, but he just says, "COOL! That's prefect, so we want to do the shot over here with... " And then I cut him off and told him that we couldn't really do that. He was a little disappointed, but soon found someone else to help him. It was so funny. So we just contacted through the festival, and then out of it and then a little while later we looped back and the elders just so happened to be there and they were watching a dance and the dancers were getting people from the crowd to dance with them and the elders really wanted to, so the just jumped right in there and danced with all these old Russian women. It was so funny. I love Russia and all of their crazy traditions and dances and holidays.

So now I must tell you about the highlight of our Saturday. (FYI: this was right before we went through the honey festival) So we were contacting, like I already said, and we stopped this woman and she actually stopped and was interested! That was the first miracle! Then we started to tell her about the book of Mormon and about Christ and she was still interested!! Then we asked her for her number, and she gave it to us!!! Then she accepted a Book of Mormon!!! It was so wonderful. It was a miracle that day because we had been teaching people on the streets, but none of our lessons were really going anywhere and no one has been really interested in a while, and so we were getting a little down about that, so to have someone actually be interested was just such a refreshing change and just made my heart so happy! So we are going to call her tonight and hopefully start meeting with her and I am so excited!!!

Also yesterday at Church we had two investigators there! One that we have been working with for a while and one that just became our investigator this week. The Lord truly blessed us this week and my heart is just so happy about that!!

Besides this our week was just work as normal, well with a few extra trips to the store to pick of a few items of interest, because, in case you have forgotten, I am coming home in one week!!!!!! So, that's pretty exciting. I'm really excited actually. I have loved my mission, and still love it in fact, but I am so excited to live my life. I feel like coming on a mission has changed me so much and I am so excited to use all of these things and lessons that I have learned in my life now. I am sad to leave these people and have to say goodbye, but the happy part of the story is that we will see each other again, if not in this life, then in the next one. I love these people and they will forever be in my heart. They are the reason that I have changed so much. They have taught me what it means to be a saint to be a true disciple of Christ. And I know that it is only through this church, this one and true living church of God that we receive the saving ordinances that we need to be able to return back to live in our Heavenly Father's presence. It's all so clear to me right now. And I love my mission, these people and my Savior for teaching me these things over the past year and a half.

Well, until I see you then.

Sister Leavitt

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Grey skies are gonna clear up....So put on a HAPPY face!

Here is this weeks email.  Sister Leavitt has not lost her sense of humor, she keeps me laughing every week.  Enjoy, and next week will be her last email before she comes HOME!

Hey hey hey!!! Well the forecast for this part of the world is SNOW!!!! Okay, I don't actually know the forecast because we're not allowed to get on, but if this week is anything like last week, then it's Snow, snow, snow, SNOW! Well, I guess I should say that last week started out so wonderful! At the beginning of the week the temps were in the mid 40's!!! That was amazing, but then it just snowed all day Saturday and All day Sunday, so now it's just a winter wonderland here.

So here's the funny story for the week. We went to go see this babushka because it was her 83rd birthday and her family is a little bit... well rude to her (basically her daughter is just waiting for her to die so that they can have her apartment...). So we went over with the elders this week and brought her flowers and some fruit and she made us some food. So she brings out this drink for us, and it's just this typical Russian drink that we have everywhere called Kompote (which is just like homemade juice). So everyone tastes it, and she is not in the room by the way, and we all agree it is disgusting and perhaps a little fermented, except for one elder who thinks it is delicious and has already drank all of his cup. We all just laughed at him and told him it was fermented and that getting drunk on your mission is not allowed. It was so funny and perhaps a great example of why you should be careful about the food you eat when you're visiting people's homes in Russia. So anyways, follow up, the next morning when the elder woke up he said he had the most horrible headache of his life and was convinced that he was hung over, which made us laugh even more because all he had was a small cup of fermented Russian kompote, which shouldn't make anyone hung over. So that was our laugh this week.

In other news we have this investigator right now named Lyosha. He's super cool, just married a return missionary from our branch and now he is taking the missionary lessons. So things were going a little bit rough with him, but we prayed and planned and taught a lesson about prophets, and it was so cool because I don't know what changed but he was so much more accepting and actually full heartedly accepted the commitment to pray to know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and the Thomas S. Monson is his prophet right now. It was just a good lesson, and then they came to church together yesterday for the first time since I have been here, and it was just so good. It made me so happy about my life. So that's our miracle with him.

Also this week we went to this really good show where they sang and danced Russian style. Sister Tunney's dreams came true because she got to see a grown man do a toe touch, and I just loved my life the whole time we were watching it because I just love to watch good singing and dancing. So that's that, and it was a blast to have a "night on the town" well, it was only a two hour show, but it was still our night out for the transfer.

Okay, one last story. Since it was so snowy this week we went knocking last night. And just for reference on a list of things I love about missionary work, knocking would be placed in the bottom 3 right along with having to put up with drunk men and being squished between two stinky people on public transportation. Anyways, but we went knocking and it went actually pretty good at first and we actually taught a lesson and people were just being nice! It made me so happy and almost convinced me that I had the wrong idea about knocking. But then we got to this one building and it happened. This lady came out of her apartment and started yelling at us and telling us that she was going to call the police if we didn't get out and saying some not very nice things to us... and so we just got out of that building and went to the next and it was whatever. But then when we were waiting for a Tramvai to get home there was this little girl on a tram that was sticking her tongue out at me and then I started making faces at her and she thought it was funny and then as her tram pulled away we waved goodbye and then I was just so happy to be in Russia again because I had made a new friend. So the moral of this story is that we should be more child like and nicer to people who knock on our door trying to sell us stuff. Because that's what Jesus would do.

Well, I love you all and wish you the best of a week!

Until next time,

Sister Leavitt

Friday, February 17, 2012

It's a little bit Funny......

Oh I can totally see her having little mints on the pillows for her guest.  That's our Courtney!  Have a great week.  ~ Mamma K

Hey hey everybody!!!!  Well I can't believe that another Monday is
here. I feel like in on my mission Mondays have become my way of
judging how fast time is going and at the rate Mondays have been
flying by lately I feel like all of the other days are nonexistant.
But this week was so good! Well, it was mostly good. My companion was
pretty sick for all of it, so it involved a bunch of resting, but some
interesting things still managed to happen. So last Monday we had a
going away party for the senior couple that has been serving in this
area. They're getting transfered to Rostov, which is really strange
because senior couples don't usually get transfered, so it took us all
by surprised, but they are starting family strengthening classes, and
addiction recovery for our whole mission, so they will get to travel
to the whole mission and get these things going. I'm actually really
excited that they are because members and nonmembers alike can really
benifit from those two things. Anyways, so we had a going away party
at their house and we made really good Russian food and it was so much

Also this week was zone conference! So the zone that I am in right now
is HUGE!!! Not in the sense that it has a lot of missionaries, but in
the sense that the area we cover with our 6 companionships is really
big. Some of the elders have to take a 6 hour train ride just to get
to where we had conference, which, lucky for us, was at our branch.
Since everyone lives so far away they all came the night before zone
conferece. That was fun because we had english club that night so they
got to help us with that and Sister Tunney and I had a really fun
lesson planned because we wanted to teach them food and cooking words,
so we taught them how to make cookies. It was  a blast. Then in order
for everyone to have a place to sleep we had to let 6 elders stay in
our appartment and we had to go to the senior couple's appartment to
sleep. It was so much fun. We made our apartment like a hotel and put
chocolates on their pillows. Also Sister Tunney and I really enjoy
cooking, so we made them dinner so that they wouldn't eat all of our
other food :). Anyways, Sister Tunney and I also had a presentation at
zone conferece on the role of the spirit in conversion. We did a
really funny object lesson where we had Sister Potter go into this
room with an elder for two minutes and put makeup on the elder, the
funny part is that for the first one she had no light, for the second
one she had a flash light and for the third one she had all light,
then we just compared it to how the Holy Ghost should be the main
teacher when we are teaching and when we try to do the teaching
without him it usually doesn't work out very well.

We also got to go to this dancing class that the senior couple here
has been doing because we weren't able to meet with one of our new
members this week and she told us she would be there, so we just went
to talk to her, but it turned out to be so much fun I haven't really
danced in a while and I loved it. Granted we could only do the line
dances and the rest of the time we watched, but it was blast and ps,
our new member is doing so well and it's making me so happy. She is
the one who was baptized the week before I got here and she is just
starting to make so many friends in our branch and is really starting
to understand better. I am so proud of her. Yesterday at church she
didn't even sit by us, she sat by members and talked with them and made
friends!!! So that is wonderful.

Anyways life is good, time is flying and the work is going!!!

I love you all and I hope you have an excellent week.

Until next week,

Sister Leavitt

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Walking up hill in the SNOW!

Only 4 more weeks, and they are going so fast.  Enjoy each one of her last emails.

Hello Everyone!!!!!! So here we go for this week. First of all it was still really cold this week! There was snow and ice and I was just so cold. But we are living through it and everyone is saying that the cold should be leaving soon. So I am definitly looking foward to that!

Last monday we had an amazing family night with this family in our branch. They have active members and inactive members and a few non-members. It went so well and the spirit was so strong. We taught them the plan of salvation and had them teach most of it and they active family members were great with that because they just bore their testimonies of the plan of salvation and it was amazing. We hope to reativate and support that family in the next little while. I met the branch president this weeek who turns out to be an ex member of a rock band and has such an amazing conversoin story. Also I found some soy milk!!!!

I met another one of the new members of the branch this week and she is doing so well! She will have been a member for a year this March and she is preparing to go to the temple!!!! She is so solid and always looking for ways to serve and help people and she is just so amazing. I am just so amazed constantly by the faith and determination of the members in Russia. I love them so much!!!

Well, I don't really have much to say this week. But I am so happy here and I love serving in this new area.

I love you all and wish you a good week.

Sister Leavitt

Monday, January 30, 2012

I Believe in Miracles

What a wonderful way to start our week.  With only 5 weeks left, what will we do when these great emails are gone?  Enjoy!


This week was so crazy. It was one of those weeks that went by so fast, but was so filled that when I look back at last Monday I wonder how all that happened could have happened in just one short week. So I will start with last Tuesday night. I got to my new area all safe and sound. Sister Tunney and Cunningham met me at the train station and we all went back to their very small and cold apartment here. We talked until we fell asleep and it was so good just to hear about how their missions have been and how this new area would be. As Sister Tunney said, "This is the land of milk and honey." That really is true, they had a baptism every month last year and all of those who had been baptized in that year are active and doing well, which is wonderful. They have this new member that just got baptized last Saturday named Lubov. She is so amazing. Her husband was completely against her being baptized, but eventually allowed her to do it. Then this past week when we met with her she said that she and her husband hadn't fought all week and that her husband had started reading the book of mormon! This was such a big miracle for her in her life and it was such a testimony builder for her also. I am so glad that Heavenly Father blessed her for making a hard decision.

We saw a few more miracles this week also. One of them happened on Wednesday morning at 6:35 in the morning. So Sister Cunningham left for V-grad on Wednesday morning and the night before she had arranged for a member to come and pick us all up to take her to the train station. The train left at 6:50 and she told him to be there to get us at 6:10. Plenty of time, but at 6:35 he still wasn't there... So we called him and he was like, "I'll be there in 5 minutes..." Which was not good, because we would have been completely and totally not on time. But right when she hung up the phone a taxi drove by, saw us with the bags, stopped and asked us if we needed a ride. It was such a big miracle. He drove as fast as he could and we got Sister Cunningham on the train at 6:48.

So the next miracle started out in a very stressful way, so as I mentioned about before, our apartment here was so cold when I got here, and the day after I got here the freezing temperatures hit... Yep lucky me. So we wake up and it's about 50 degrees in our apartment, so we call Sister Nechiporova and ask her if we can buy a space heater. She said of course and then asked us what the temperature was in our apartment, when she found out she said, "okay we will look for a new apartment today." So later that day (friday) we found a new apartment and the next day (Saturday) we moved. It was even more stressful than normal because our old apartment was an attachment to a members house... so that was just a little akward... But now for the miracle. So we go on Saturday and meet our new landlady and landlord at our apartment and they show us how everything works and stuff and then they were asking us about our church because naturally they're curious. So as the landlady is showing us how to work the washing machine, the landlord is talking to the elders. They give him a book of mormon and a plan of salvation pamphlet and challenge him to read the introduction. So then Sunday the landlord and lady have to come over again to give us another set of keys and they get there and ask us more questions because they had read what they elders challenged them to read and had more questions. So right there we just teach them the restoration lesson and they are so interested. They ask us where our church is and what time it starts and it was just so coo! I just love how God really does know his children and puts us where we need to be in order to teach those that are ready.

This was such a crazy and good wonderful week I love my life and my mission and I am so happy to be serving the lord!


Sister Leavitt

The Wheel in the Sky

Hard to believe shie is down to only 6-weeks left on her mission.  Love how she tries to explain what Uncle Ben's is below.  Enjoy!

Hello World!!

Well, what to say about this week? I think that it was pretty average, but on Tuesday Sister LeBaron and I decided to go exploring in our area. We have a pretty large area, but just not very many places to contact. Anyways... That turned out well because we found a new busy street to contact on and that's so wonderful. We met this lady who was so interested in talking with us until she found out that we were mormons... she said that she didn't like our church because of what we did to children... I'm not quite sure what we did, but she told me that there was an article about it in Reader's Digest, so yep, but she was actually really nice to us and didn't say anything mean to us at all so that's better than being rude. So anyways we also met some really cool young mothers on Tuesday, it was kind of surprising because young mothers don't usually stop and talk to us. On Wednesday we went on splits with the elders, that's always a ton of fun. We also had sports night and the elders made up some pretty... interesting games while we were there. Thursday was just a normal work day. We also had english club Thursday night and that turned out to be pretty hillarious because we did a lesson on family words and stuff and then one of our members asked about uncle ben's and I didn't know what to say,  so I was like well... uncle that's дядя and Ben is a name... and then he asked what it was exactly and I so I said, it's like a special kind of rice, because I didn't know how to say brand. Then he said, Uncle дядя Ben name, and you put them together and it means special rice? and then that is when I just started laughing uncontrollably because that is just about the funniest thing that had happend to me all day. Friday was so much fun. We had meetings with a few of our inactive members and then also we found out TRANSFERS!!!!  So we had a meeting at the time that we normally take lunch and when we got done with our appointment we had 3 missed calls from the sisters that are serving in the southern zone. So as we were walking home for lunch we called them and they were freaking out and they said, "Do you know transfers?" and we said, "No." and they said, "Well we are going to tell you then." So they told us and here it is. For my last transfer I will be serving in Krasnodar! I am so excited about this because it's the warmest place I could go! I will be serving with Sister Tunney again, which I am also pretty excited about, seeing as I love Sister Tunney. Sister LeBaron is staying in Krasnoarmaisky and two sisters are coming to serve with her, Sister Cunningham, and Sister Whitaker (she's a newby, and she will set foot on Russian soil tonight!) So We're pretty excited about our transfers. It was hard to say goodbye to Krasnoarmeisky because I have really fallen in love with that place and those people. Also Sister LeBaron and I will part ways later today. We calculated it up and we have spent 71/2 months together on our missions. We have been together so much that everyone always tells us that we are turning into each other, and it's kind of true! We always have the same thoughts at the same time and it is so creepy! I love her so much! So it will be hard to say goodbye, but she'll be home in June and she only lives about 15 minutes away, so I think it will be okay in the end. Well, so that was Friday, we did planning that night and got things all ready for the new sisters coming. (aka we finally took down all of our christmas decorations and put away our puzzles.) Saturday we had District meeting and then we were planning on hurrying home because Saturday would be the only time I had to pack, but this crazy thing happened and Elder Jacobson accidentally erased all of the 2000 pictures on Sister LeBarons camera... He felt so bad, but luckily elder Jacobson knew this trick to do in order to get all of the pictures back!!!! It was a miracle, but it took about 3 hours to get all of them back. So that was basically what we did on Saturday, but it was worth it because Sister LeBaron has so many good pictures from our mission! Well, on Sunday we just had church. That was good. Again, it was hard to say goodbye to all of those people that I love so much, but I'll always remember them and all of the lessons that I learned from them. So then after church I just had to go pack and get everything ready. Then on Monday morning Sister LeBaron and I set off for Rostov and now we're just hanging out in Rostov for a while. My train to Krasnodar leaves at 4:30 and Sister LeBaron will take a bus with everyone back to Vogograd tomorrow. Well, that's all. Mostly just a normal week in the life of a missionary. I love you all!

Sister Leavitt

Monday, January 16, 2012

Put One foot in front of the other.......

Sister Leavitt is a ray of sunshine on a snowy day.

Well, another week has come and gone and I can't even believe it. Time is flying by so quickly. I feel like we make all of these plans and work so hard and time just gets away from us and we never even have time to do all of the things we have planned. And this week was no different. It started off so well. We went contacting and taught 4 lessons!!!! This was our very own miracle in a way because we haven't been having success with contacting at all lately. We also talked to this really cool girl while riding in those crazy vans that we ride all over in. She was young and started talking to us because she heard us speaking english. We didn't get to talk to her for too long, but we invited her to our english club and we really are praying that she'll be there. Besides that we just met with members and inactives like crazy. We did some small service for one of our members who is older and can't get around very well. We just got some stuff off of a high shelf that she needed and helped her sweep. We got to do a musical number in Church yesterday. That was fun. And we had branch council too. I don't know if I have told you all lately, but we really do have the best members ever here. Really. I love them so much! They are so good at keeping on top of the inactives and active members and meeting their needs and trying to help them. This week one of our members called us to get the missionaries phone number in another mission because he called one of our inactive members to see how he was, and found out that he had moved, wasn't doing too great and was wanting to attend church. I LOVE OUR MEMBERS!!! So that was just a testimony builder to me of how much love God has for his children. He knows what we need and he is more than willing to give us the help that we need, but we have to ask for it. So I just would tell you, that if you need help, if you're struggling with anything, if you feel sad one day, or you can't find your keys, or you just want to see the sunshine... whatever it is. Just pray. God is listening. He cares and he will send you help and comfort and whatever else that you need. Well, that's about it for this week. Sorry it's kind of short, but I just keep forgetting what has happened... all of the days are just blurring together into one big day and it's so crazy! But, know that I love my mission so much! I love every second, even the hard and annoying ones, but especially the moments when I learn and I can help others learn too. I love you all. I wish you the best week ever.


Sister Leavitt