Monday, April 3, 2017

MCOM #7: loving a place.

Today I woke up and reached for my phone {like usual. it's a bad habit}. I opened the New York Times and jolted up in bed, gasping "no. no no no. no." Because this morning I saw the article that announced the bombing of the St. Petersburg subway. My heart broke. It's an interesting thing that we can love a place so much that news from the other side of the world can break our hearts. I love Russia. I love that place and those people. And even though I've never been been to St. Petersburg, my heart aches for the Russian people. And my prayers are with them.

A little while ago, I came across this quote on pinterest:

It sounds incredibly dramatic, but I can say that it is completely true. First I left a little piece of my heart in England after a semester in London, and then in Russia after a year and a half long mission for my church. It's one thing to travel places, to be a tourist for a couple days, and then to leave. But living somewhere shows you a different side of a culture. I came to love the Russian people more than I can even explain. And the thing about Russia is this: people don't understand it. It's one of those places that people just can't really fathom. It one of those places that people don't really know until they live there. At first, Russians come off as being really closed-off. They don't smile. They don't laugh. They don't love. That's all I heard before I went there. But let me tell you, Russians are the best people I know. They are the most genuine people I've ever met. Aside from my family, I've never felt so loved and so accepted as I did sitting in the homes of dozens of Russians that I came to love. In my little bout of reminiscing, I found my last email home. I listed the top eight things I learned during my time there, and this was one:

"My understanding of the words "trust," "love," "friend," and "promise" have changed. I've said it again and again but I love the Russian people. They have taught me what it means to truly trust someone. The word love has, well, honestly, freaked me out my whole life. Because I know I love my family. And my close friends. But man. Loving anyone else, let alone a whole country full of people that don't speak your language and come from a very different walk of life than me... I didn't think that would be possible. can't help but love these people. My favorite quote from last conference was "love is making room in your life for another person." They are the best example of this! Today I was a Tatiana's house for one last lunch, knitting, and lesson. And as we said goodbye, I realized how much I love that woman and how much she loves me! (once again with the corny-ness) But she's wonderful. Love and trust and all that stuff is great."

I love Russia, in case you didn't know.

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