Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Back in Rostov Center

Hello everyone,

Well we returned back from Madrid and the beautiful Madrid temple earlier this week and today is transfers. I'm still going to be in Rostov center but I'm losing sister Fourtina to Volgograd which is sad for two reasons: I love working with her, and that prolly means I'll never make it up there because I would be serving with her again. People don't just go up to v-grad for a transfer but for a long haul. Anywho, but I'll be with sister Pico who came out a few transfers after I did and is also a product of Sister Malinina and a great worker. She's known for her success and work ethic so I'm way excited to be with her and lose myself in the work yet again and finish strong.

Speaking of finishing strong that brings me to Dad's email about extending/coming out here to pick me up. So far, this is what I know: yes my visa that I just got runs out on the 14th which would be a day before my scheduled official end date: Jan 15th, BUT I am pretty sure that I will be able to extend due to keeping the numbers of sisters even. So I would go on one last visa trip and just go til' March 1st -I think that's when the transfer ends, or if you guys don't come out, til the end of when my visa expires etc. The office elder said he asked president about it as far as planning on me going to renew my visa or not. He said that President said he was pretty sure the answer is yes. So basically I'm 99% sure that I'm extending, and if I extend there is the possibility that I'll have time left on my visa for you guys to come out here.

That brings me to the other questions you have. I'm now not sure what I want because I could see the possibility of you guys coming out being a source of distraction but maybe not....also, I would love for you guys to come out and see where I've been, what I've experienced, the culture etc. so you would understand a lil bit more. But then again as far as what we would see, where we'd go, and who I would introduce you to -well that's the tougher question. I don't want to sound terrible but there's no one in Krasnodar that I'm attached to -I barely remember anyone, Taganrog ...my friends are all youth there, not really adults etc, and here in Rostov....I just dunno how fun/interesting it would be for you guys. I dunno, I guess I'm undecided now. Or maybe cause dad mentioned a possible trip before school -being somewhere in the Uk/Europe....prolly a lot more to see there than here, and I've always wanted to go to Ireland/Scotland....I dunno! Man, I really don't know which I want now....especially if we could come back later for the Olympics and see where I was a few years later would be soooo much fun and would let me keep my experiences wrapped up in themselves here and a lil separated from showing to fam and friends.

There would be some satisfaction of coming off the plane home knowing that I did it all by myself and it was my personal experience and then come back later with you guys (always wanted to go to Sochi!) Hmm....so basically now I'm starting to wonder if I would want you guys to come out. I mean ...as long as we're together going somewhere it doesn't really matter to me if it's here in Russia or somewhere else, just that we're together. So through the course of this letter I've felt more and more the impression that it would probably be better for me if you guys didn't come out to meet me so there's nothing to distract me towards the end. I'm really sorry for any inconveniences I've caused -if you've already spent money trying to get visas or travel arrangements etc. If it would be too expensive to undo anything we could go ahead with it. I just think it would be easier for me to just come home and then we can plan something cool together and maybe even visit the Olympics in 2012? I feel really bad and I hope this doesn't dash any of your hopes. Let me know your thoughts on the matter -your honest thoughts.

Seeing some of the missionaries go home today that I've known for awhile and always looked up to is pretty crazy. Thinking that Sister King and Taylor only have two more transfers left-aaahhhh! Time really is flying by and I don't want to waste another minute of it. One of our long time investigators -found the first week I was in Rostov, finally might be getting her work schedule figured out. Which means she could come to church, which means she'll get baptized soon, which means I'm really happy cause it's not just her. She has two kids -future generations open to the gospel, and a mom, dad and younger brother who will be influenced by her decisions. It would give me so much joy if she would be the way of all of them coming into the church, oh man ....pray for them please.

I love my Savior and I love this work, The trick is not getting into ruts, mindless repetitions of what we do everyday which makes special things etc. become rote and insincere -that's the trick. Always finding a way to be sincere and feel what you're doing/saying, improving, then the work is enjoyable despite results. I love you all and I'm so glad that you are all supporting me and always showing your love etc. Man I love my mission so much and feel so privileged to be able to be here even. I can't believe that I'm able to go and do what I do everyday and see so much and experience so much. It's really deepened my appreciation and understanding of the gospel and the reality of God's plan and existence and the truly obvious attempts that Satan makes to cloud this from our view. Everything is that much clearer on the mission and things that gave me so much pleasure before my mission prolly won't give me pleasure to the same extent that it did because I've found a deeper, more pure source of pleasure through living the gospel in this way and I can't wait to find a good way to continue this in my regular life after the mission.

I love you all (can't say it enough) and please don't be too sad about my change of mind -but don't worry I'll show you Russia, just later. I want that plane ride home- to be left alone to my thoughts and all the emotions I'll prolly be feeling-to sort it all out in my mind etc. Well anywho, keep me updated, and hey -mom didn't write this week 8(

Cectpa Richards


Just a thought... said...

Now I can totally relate ...I went to send my letter last night (Monday) after working on it for several days and realized that more than half of it was GONE! I have no idea what happened. It was great too. Lots of pictures and funny comments from everyone. I can't even remember everything that I had and to reconstruct it will take forever. Man, oh man what a bummer!

The worse part is that I must have forgotten Whit was writing a day earlier this week. I was thinking I had another day to try and fix this but NOOOOOOOOO ...boy was I shocked when I saw she had already written after I dropped Stephen off at seminary this morning. Sheeesh! Oh well I guess that just means she gets TWO letters next week ...lucky girl!!!

Sara Elise said...

aww, I'm sorry! That would be so frustrating. At least you can relate to Whit now :)

She'll be home before you know it. It is going so fast! I can't wait!

Just a thought... said...

When I told my husband why Whitney didn't get a letter from me this week he said when he wrote his letter on Sunday he was hoping that she wouldn't get a lot of emails this week because he didn't want her to be distracted or not have time to think about and respond to his letter. He wanted her to really think about what she would have us do. After hearing that, I realized that it was not a coincidence that my newsy letter "got lost".

Joy said...

If anyone's excited about Whitney's decision, it must be Stephen! What a a lucky kid!