Saturday, February 21, 2015

Week Piat! (Five)

Feb. 18, 2015
Dearest CemR (pretend that R is backwards, then it's Russki)
Where does the time go?! It's so crazy!!
This week was great! Thank you for all your Valentine's packages! The Valentine's and chocolate Costco almonds were THE BEST! Thanks Grandma and Robyn for the Cookies! They were sooo good!! And Megan: The Pictures of McCall are hanging on our room door! They are soooo adorable!!!! She is getting so big! The 4 sisters in my district had a party on Valentine’s Day! (aka, we ate a ton of junk and played go fish - in Russian ) hahaha! 
If I take one Russian class when I get back I can test out of 16 other credits and get As for those! Huge boost in my GPA! And there's a Russian Choir at BYU! I so want to do that! I love singing Called to Serve in Russian!!!
Our investigators, our Russian, and my own conversion is really progressing.
Funny story: Leda- who we are preparing for baptism, has a serious boyfriend. So we decided we needed to teach her the Law of Chastity. We taught the lesson and thought it went pretty well (it’s not very awkward, when you don't understand what you are reading! Haha! ) She comitted to live it, but we forgot to ask her if she was living with her boyfriend. Next lesson we did. She said she was but that she was moving out! Or that's what we understood. She actually said the opposite, she was moving in with him soon! Noooo! We had told her "oh that's so great!!" hahahahah! Whoops! We had to go over it again, and by the 3rd lesson of the Law of Chastity Leda was like "I get it!" hahaha!!! 2nd language probs.....
I'm praying at Tuesday's devotional! In front of a seventy or an apostle and the whole MTC AHH! Talk about Pressure! At least it's not in Russian...  Do I even remember how to pray in English? haha
Also I am the new Technology Coordinator of the zone- I give the new missionaries an orientation of how to use the language programs and stuff and tell them everything they can't do... haha! I'm happy to serve! The Lord gives us as much as we are willing to do!
I'm going to cut my hair shorter, like to my collarbone this week! I not ready for it to be long again!
I love this Gospel and the peace and joy it brings! Through Christ all things are possible. I truly believe that! For example, I can speak Russian!
I'm terrified of going to Russia in less than a month, but excited to get out into the field! Get people to read the BoM! It has all the answers!
Share the BoM with someone this week! Or your testimony of Christ! Thanks for being such a great example always of Christ like love!
Love Sister Tolley

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Extra Letter

This a handwritten bonus letter we received this week.  Her handwriting is difficult to read and she shares some Russian words in Russian alphabet which I cannot type.  This is my translation. (?) means I couldn't make out the word she wrote.  
Feb. 4, 2015
So this week flew by!  I can't believe it's already Wednesday again!  The days have become Preparation Day, Post-Preparation Day,  Super Long Day, Pre-SundaySunday, Post-Sunday, Pre-Preparation Day.  Days of a week mean nothing anymore.  What is a weekend?  Haha!  But it's great!  And I'm getting into the habit of getting up and going to bed on time.  Let's hope I can keep that post-mission!
I was a bit homesick this week, at one point I just wanted a hug from Paige!  But it wasn't too bad and I'm good again, although I still miss you all and pray for you every day!
Sis. Brown's (Natalia's companion) mom had a heart attack Monday and it was pretty scary, but she got to talk to her and she's fine and out of the hospital today!  There were so many miracles throughout that whole experience!  Her mom just happened to be near a hospital where the head cardiac doctor was on call.  And her sister was in town to help with her family, and we didn't have a teacher (?) (?) like we were supposed to, and Sister Brown was able to get a blessing right away.  Sister Brown was pretty shaken for a bit, but we got back to work, and had some awesome lessons,  and she's totally at peace now!  It was a good learning experience for me.  The Elders said, "I'm so glad you're her companion, she's in good hands."  I guess they think I'm more caring than I do.
I've been learning lots about Russia.  Almost all women have had a few abortions when they are baptized.  It's a big problem there, and Russian Orthodox--they don't understand why they should be baptized again, which is hard.  We are working with a woman who has been going to church for 20 years and has this problem! (more in my e-mail)  This is a whole floor of people learning Russian!  2 zones!  It's so awesome!
Look up "earnest" in the Bible Dictionary. It's so cool!
So I guess I should say something about Russian…haha!!  I only spend 8 hours + a day doing it.
It's going well!  I can get a basic idea of what my investigators are telling me with some gestures and a lot of "repeat please" (in Russian); and I can get at what I want to say, well the basic gist.  Sometimes I get full sentences, a lot of it is phrases strung together or just verbs and nouns if I really don't know what I am trying to say.  We taught a real Russian in TRC last week and he talked a mile a minute, Slow!  I'm terrified of Russia!  I  know that it will come if I keep working hard!  I only pray in Russian!
Fun Facts:  There aren't articles, so everything, pronouns, adjectives, nouns, verbs are all conjugated to take the place of articles.  That's the hardest part.  There are 6 cases and so far I only know 2 but there are way less tenses than English so that's good. 
Oh! And I get a new name tag when I go to Russia!  Tolley will be in Russian letters!  The Elders names (?), because they're are like an adjective!  So crazy!  People's names aren't even untouchable by the powers of conjugation.:(  haha!  Also Russian is really hard to say sometimes because it's all consonants!  Like priesthood sounds like this:  tsvfchenstva!  The longest word I know is apostasy.  say it: ostoopkneechestva or to testify,  say it: sveedetelstovevot.
Thank you for all your letters! I want to hear all about how you are doing!!  
Love you all,      Sister Tolley

Week 4

Only 5 more weeks till I get out of here! I love the MTC, it's a needed refuge, but I am getting a bit of cabin fever... I can't wait to get out and teach people! My Russian needs me to stay here though. haha!
The Church is true! This week Leda said she wanted to be baptized!  It was so awesome!! So then we had to teach her the law of chastity because she's living with her boy friend, but we forgot to tell her she can't live with him anymore... whoops! But she agreed to live the law of chastity... haha! I asked another investigator how his Restoration was instead of how his Sunday was... (Russian translation problems). The Russian is really coming though! There are 6 cases and every word has to be in a case. So that's hard changing them all the time but I'm starting to get it, And just my lack of vocabulary is hard, but it's coming! Through God all things are possible! I'm just glad I don't have to learn Tongan too (I had a dream the prophet asked me to learn both languages and it felt really real, I was soo stressed when I woke up!) 
There is an Elder here from Syria! His story is amazing, his parents have endured a lot of persecution.  There are also missionaries in Pakistan! (I'm pretty sure they are Pakistani..)But still! Can you believe that?!
This adorable temple worker who is like 80 or 90 saw on my names that I was from Moses Lake and she was from Walla Walla, and she gave me a big hug and now we are friends and she winks at me! It's so cute!
The church is true! I love all of you and this Gospel! I miss you all, but I think about my mission as the same as leaving my heavenly home to complete my mission on earth. It is a nice way to think about it! 
We had a super awesome Tuesday devotional and the speaker talked about how only 1/20 investigators/new converts had a meaningful experience with the Book of Mormon. Maybe you all already know this, but I thought it was awesome... They don't have meaningful experiences with the Book of Mormon because they don't understand what they are reading or how to apply it. Think about it, not many people read scriptures anymore or try to apply them to their lives! The speaker said missionaries should read the first 15 chapters with the investigators and explain hard words or concepts and show them how to apply the doctrines to their lives. Then we should have members help them read the rest of it! He suggested Book of Mormon reading classes if that would work better. Also the first chapter of 1 Nephi contains all the principles we teach in the first lesson! What a great review!  Christ is truly the foundation of the Gospel but the Book of Mormon is the Keystone. I know that the power that comes through reading and applying what is taught is what will change lives.  I challenge you to read the BOM together at home more or reach out and read it with someone, member or not, that has a hard time with it! It will bless both of your lives!
Have an awesome week! 
Christ is truly our Redeemer.
I'm working on not being selfish this week
Love Cectpa Natalia Tolley

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Week 3!

Feb. 4, 2015

We get fed teenage boy food... everything is fried, and the lettuce at the salad bar is limp. There's good stuff about every other day. It's great. haha! 
Shoutout: Lesli and Hannah sent me the most awesome Valentines package with some normal food like applesauce and almonds! And everything had little notes! It was so cute!! 

Look up "earnest" in the Bible Dictionary best thing ever!! 

Sister Brown and I fasted for the Spirit this week and one lesson was just so awesome! I think I told you about Leudmela and she doesn't understand why she needs to be baptized.  She mentioned something last time about how she didn't know if God was telling her to be baptized or he was just happy she was praying when she prayed. So this lesson we asked her how she feels God speaking to her. She didn't know. After that our whole lesson plan went out the window! We didn't have it scripted in Russian so the Russian was a bit rough, but we did it! We followed the Spirit and made real progress! She will be baptized so soon! The whole thing stemed from one inspired question! Heavenly Father is really in the details our lives and if we care enough to listen He will tell us what we need to hear. 

Things are going great! It's beautiful here! I miss school, and all you, and my friends, and everything but it's super great! The Church is true! The more I learn about Russia I know how right it is that I'm going there!! And how much I'm needed there!

Pray He is there, Speak He is listening!
You have one of the greatest gifts, the Gift of the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, don't take it for granted!
Love you all!
Love Sister Tolley