Saturday, March 14, 2015

Final MTC Letter

She didn't write much last week and she is getting ready to go to Russia on Monday so here's the last letters from the MTC:

Subject: Leviosa." "No it's LeviosAW!"

That's how I feel Russian is! The accents are so specific! and important! I can barely say the word, much less get the accents right! haah!

So Leda got "baptized" this week!! We had a baptisimal service and it was so great! Sister Brown and I planned it and got the whole districit involved! It was great practice for all of us and it was such a cool experience!  The Spirit was so strong and I am soooo excited for how it will feel to really change someone's life!! 

Watch the Ukraine temple dedication video on the youth Mormon messages! Everytime I get scared about leavving in TWELVE DAYS! AHHHH! I watch that video and it reminds me how much I love those people and can't wait to help them!!

I'm getting my travel plans Friday!!! I will get to call! But I think  it will be the 16th.
Life is pretty much the same! I 'm getting really good at SYL!! It helps so much!

Love you all!! Share the Gospel everyone needs to hear the "good news"!

Dear Family,

Soooo TRAVEL PLANS! We got them Friday and we just screamed for a good while.. haha! 9 weeks here will do that to you! 

We depart from SLC Monday at 8:30 AM and fly straight to Moscow!  We are reporting to the Travel Office here at the MTC at 3:35 AM, so I should have time to call before I get on the plane! All 4 sisters are traveling together which is really exciting since Sister Brown is going to Novosibirsk. It looks like we switch planes in NY- so I might be able to call again then, but I wouldn't count on it. 
Then we continue on to Moscow. All in all our travel time is 15:35! We land at 9 AM Tuesday Moscow time. Talk about jet lag! I'll forward you what the Mission Pres. said about what we will be doing after that!

I'm way excited, but so terrified! I don't feel like I know enough Russian! And I'm doing the thing where I wake up every morning panicked that in 5 days I will be waking up in Russia!  But I got a blessing last night and I'm doing better. It's like leaving home all over again, because Provo is my second home. But I'm way excited to call you!! We get to Russia 2 Sundays before General Conference! and Easter!! How great is that?!?! I will probably be showing people the Easter video!!! AHHH! :D

Packing commences today! I'll let you know how things go..

So this week was hard. I have been feeling like I haven't been teaching by the Spirit as well as I had been. And so we had a lesson that just crashed and burned. That was a good eye opener for me. And after a lot of study and pondering and praying I learned a lot. Every talk this week seemed to be 100% directed at me. I learned that we need to have faith. God has inifinite power, but He also respects our agency. So we have to ask for the blessings that He is already willing to give us. But we have to ask in faith. I was thinking about the story in the Bible where Christ asks the man if he has faith that His son will be healed. The man says "help Thou my unbelief".  I feel very much like him.  I finally understood why the Savior always asks the people before He healed them if they had enough faith, and how He says the same thing to me.

Elder Cook spoke yesterday and you cannot deny the testimony of living prophets and apostles when they are in the room with you. He quoted Pres. Hinkely who said "If they have more faith they will have more success!" I pray for the faith to have more success and the faith to not be afraid of moving to Russia for 16 months! 

I said  I received a blessing- it was such a touching experience. It was his first time giving a blessing and so it was really powerful to see the Spirit working through Him like that, but he also said things that Dad always says, so it  was really comforting. Heavenly Father knows us personally and Christ has been through it all before! I know that He lives and that He really appeared to the people in the Americas and Joseph Smith! I love the Book of Mormon and I know it is the word of God!

Inivte someone to do something this week that will bring them closer to Christ! It will bring you closer to Christ as well!

Oh! I have the First Vision, My Purpose, James 1:5 and Moroni 10:5 memorized in Russian! I'm working on the Baptisimal commitments!

Love you all! Have a great week! Pray for me in Russia!!!! :D I will miss you all!!

P.S. Funny story: I said "why" in Russian in my sleep Thursday night. Then Friday night I wake up to Sis. Emmons laughing hysterically- she reminds me a lot of Camiel if that gives you any idea of what this sounded like. And I'm so confused, I think we have overslept or something, but then I check the clock and it's only 12.. So I ask her what happped and she finally chokes out that I had just said "Do you want the meat or the potatoes?" clear as day in my sleep! We laugh! But Sister Decker is  grumpy about being woken up so we try to quiet down, when Sis. Brown- who has remained alseep through all of this says, in her sleep "Oh Da, Oh DAA" (da- yes) It was hilarious!! 

I thought you might be interested in the following letter from Natalia's mission president outlining how things will go when she gets to Russia:
28 February 27, 2015
Dear Sister Tolley
We are so excited for your arrival in the Russia Moscow Mission.  I look forward to meeting you at the airport.  When you arrive, put your luggage on a cart.  They are free.  Then look up to the second-level windows where I will be standing waiting for you until you go through Customs. 
You will be taken from the airport to the Mission Office to receive some instruction, have a nice meal, and completion of required visa and registration paperwork.  After the orientation, you will be taken to an apartment to sleep. 
On Wednesday morning you will come back to the Mission office where Sister Borders and I along with the Assistant to the President (AP’s) will spend some time with you.  After the training, you will have a chance to go into Moscow to do some street contacting on Red Square.  Thursday is transfer day.  You will attend transfer meeting, meet up with your trainer and go to your first area of assignment.  You will be off and running!
We know that the Lord has prepared you for this joyous assignment.  You will find service here to be meaningful and fulfilling.
We can’t wait to see you.  The Lord bless you always in your missionary service.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Leda is getting Baptized!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Funny stories:
I prayed at the devotional Tuesday and Elder Causse spoke! It was really cool! He and his wife Valarie are from Paris and lived there about the same time you served there mom, do you know them?  3 hrs.  before the devotional, at gym I got a volleyball kicked in my face.  I was like, of course this would happen to me, a black eye right before I have to pray in front of the entire MTC. So I iced it and thankfully I was fine! But... I couldn't hardly remember how to pray in English! My Russian prayers are soo fast now! I can hardly believe it! Oh and Sis. Brown go hit in the face three days before! What a companionship we make! haha!
I spilled a mop bucket of water all over myself and the carpeted hallway during service. The carpet smells really good now though!
One of our teachers challenged us to bear our testimonies in English one night to someone. I hadn't testified in English for a month! It was super weird, but it was a few minutes before lights out and I hadn't talked to anyone yet... so I called to a sister across the floor and asked if I could bear my testimony to her. She let me and it was so powerful! She was so touched that I would just share that with her! (I did think "I am a missionary.... It's what we do..." hahha) but we like became best friend's in that moment! We are challenged to testify more and more in our lessons, because that is really what brings the spirit! Even in lessons about the law of chastity! 

Testimonies are so powerful!! Pray for opportunities to share yours! I promise it will bless you and the lives of others! It will strengthen your testimony in huge ways!
Be bold!! You don't have to be on a mission to be a missionary. You promise to do that when you are baptized and take upon you the name of Christ. Share what makes you sooo happy! 
I love you all! I am really happy to be here ( but then it's just life and life is what you make it, so let's make it rock. ;)) 
Have a great week! Love Natalia!

The following is from a hand written letter, written the same day:

Dear Familia,

Time is flying by!  I leave for Russia in 2 1/2 weeks!!  Holy cow!  I'm really nervous but so ready to get out and teach!

I speak Russian at about the level of a 3 yr. old.  So that's cool!  Actually a 3 yr. old has me beat in the areas of colors and shapes and things, but I cant talk about the Restoration for days!  haha!

I'm meeting a ton of people who have siblings serving in Moscow right now, so that's way fun!

That's cool that Lecia Hinkson is thinking about going on a mission!  A lot of sisters here are 20.  But my companion is 21 and the old Sister Training Leader's was 21, and another sister is 23!  They are the best missionaries!  She is definitely no too old!

Sister King is finally here today!  I haven't met her yet but there are at least 5 sisters coming in today going there!  That makes 8 of us total!  Wahoo!  We got a district of 6 sisters, 0 Elders today!

Best part about praying at the devotional was that they said I was from Moses Lake!  Represent! 

I love and miss you all.  Thanks for all the letters!

CecTpa Tolley

P.S. I'm so fat. :(  But we started going to the 6 am workout class (are you amazed?)  the Gospel truly does change us! haha  Yoga tomorrow!  I'm excited!