How is everyone adjusting to school and other activities? I always remember this time of the year. It was my favorite. Football was starting up and school was back in session. I am going to be honest, I miss football with a passion. Just this time of year, the tempature, the smell in the air, the leafs falling off the trees. It is my favorite. Well here in Russia it is the opposite. It just goes cold really fast and it rains all the time. Last week was the first week i got to pull out the coat. It was really nice. I can't believe that winter is around the corner. 1 more Russian winter that I have to survive ha.
Elder Riddle and I have been doing great. He is starting to adjust to missionary life inthe field. He is such a great missionary already. He honestly inspires me to do better. He is always willing to do anything and that makes it really easy for a trainer. Funny story,we were on the street contacting and we stopped this man. My companion asked him what religion he affiliates with and the man anwsered he was atheist. Well my companion didn't really understand and he then asked him if he believes in God and how God has played a role in his life. There was an awkward stare at us for a little bit. ha. I love my companion, Elder Riddle. He is such a great kid and I am so thankful that I get to serve with him and to learn from him. I love the way you can learn so much from a companion. It has only been about two weeks and I have learned so much from him.
Yesterday Alexandera came to church. We usually set up a meeting with her after church but she is just so tired after church so we never have the chance to meet with her on Sundays. So we met with her the third hour of church. My companion got straight into the lesson and asked her is she was going to be baptized or what? She didn't understand so I cleared it up and she thought about it for a little. She then said that she isn't ready. We told her that if we set a date with her for the 29th of September we will work with her and get her ready. She agreed so we are going to have a baptism date on the 29th for Alexandera!!!! My companion and I were so excited. We had a great lesson with her and talked about faith and repentance. I was so pumped that we got a date for her. I have been working with her since I got here to perm. It has been a while but she has made so many steps and it is awesome to see. Please keep her in your prayers as she prepares for hte 29th.
Today we are getting on a train to Yekaterinburg for Zone Conf. President Lawrence from area seventy will be there. I am so excited to meet him. I am also really excited to have my interview with President Rust. I love 1 on 1 time with President. He is such a inspired man. I am so thankful for him and that he helps me become a missionary that my Heavenly Father wants me to become. I love my mission President.
Lately Elder Riddle and I have been out on the streets trying to find new people to teach. It has been a really great experience. We have gotten a lot of numbers and we have met a lot of great people. I have figured out that when you are having fun doing something it makes it so much better ha. I wish I could have applied that with school, work. When you make something fun, it makes it a whole lot easier to do it and to do it successful. If you aren't having fun doing missionary work than you aren't doing something right. I am having the greatest time of my life working my butt of everyday. I love it, I have developed a passion for it. I am so glad that I did that ealry in my mission. I can't picture myself coming home. Just isn't possible. This month is my half way mark. I don't want to count time anymore. I want to take everyday as a miracle from my Heavenly Father, given to me to help someone come a little bit closer to Him.
This last week has been a blessing for me. I feel that I have grown so close to my companion, different missionaries, and the ward members. I love these people so much. They are like my family. I am so grateful that the Lord sent me here to Perm, Yekaterinburg Russia mission.
I just want to let everyone know that I know that my Redeemer lives and that he is our Advocate with the Father. If we seek Him, He will greet us with open arms. If we truly want to know if He is there, all we have to do is ask. He is our brother and He knows everything that we go through. He has the perfect solution, He has the perfect play to win the game, He has the love to comfort us, and most important He knows the path that we must travel on to make it back to Him and the Father. I testify that He knows each and everyone of us personally. He is All-Powerful and All-Merciful. Let us be believers and DOERS, and I know that we will come to know Him perfectly as he knows us perfectly. I testify that He lives and He awaits our return to Him. DC 76:22-24.
September 10, 2012
Thanks for the info about what is going on. That is too bad about the Utes. They probably thought they could go up to Logan and come away with a win easily... Wake up call. I got a text last night from Elder Pocock telling me that Utah lost. Elder Pocock is a big BYU fan. BYU fans...
Well it is so crazy that the weather is changing so fast. The trees are changing colors and it is so beautiful. I love this time of the year. The only problem fall here in Russia just means that it rains all the time and freezing wind. Elder Riddle and I have been definately trying to keep warm and out of the rain. That umbrella that I brought with me broke the second day I got it ha. So I had to go get a new one. It was way cheap so we will have to see how long this one lasts.
Last week was Zone conf. It was such a great experience. I enjoyed every bit of it. We were treated with President Lawrence adn his wife. Honestly I was more impressed with Sister Lawrences training than his. She talked about the house of Israel and a bunch of deep doctrine. I though I was pretty solid in the gospel but after her my mind was blown. It was so cool to see how many more new things you can learn about the Gospel. She helped me recognize who I really am and why I am here on a mission. At zone conf we talked a lot about our mission goal of 91 baptisms. Elder Lawrence helped us understand that it is going to take unusual ways to reach this goal but it is possible to accomplish. I thought it was so awesome to see our mission come together and stand and promise to do all that is physically and spiritually possible to accomplish this goal. We have a new motto for our mission. "Go bold and don't put limits on the Lord". I love it and Elder Riddle and I are 100% commited to this goal.
We have been working our butts of this last week to try and find new people to teach. Sometimes it feels like nothing is happening and that no one is listening. But it just makes us work that much harder. We need new people to teach and we will find them through going Bold and not putting limits on the Lord. News about Alexandera, she has been a little off and on lately. She is scared to make the decision for baptism. She has grown up in the Russian Orthodox church for all of her life. She just isn't ready to leave that church. But she knows that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the one and only true church on this earth. We have a lot of work to do with her and we aren't giving up on her. Everyone progresses at their own pace. We just need to know what and how to teach her so that she can understand.
Funny story we were on the street the other day ago and we were talking to this lady and all of a sudden I felt a arm on my shoulder. I turned around and it was a drunk dude with his drunk girl. He started asking who we were and what we were doing here. We gave him the spill and he said in broken Russian "Oh you are the American Mormons." We told him that we were missionaries from the church and that we had a special lesson just for him. He and his girl were so excited to hear it. We told them about the Book of Mormon and they asked if they could have one. We agreed only on the terms if they would read it. He said ofcourse. Then his wasted girl went up to my companion and planted a big kiss on his cheek. My companion got his first REAL Russian Welcome. It was so funny, he was so distraught that a drunk lady had just kissed him. My companion is now officially a Russian missionary ha.
Thank you all for the emails. Thanks Chan for the package...I had to hide it so I wouldn't open it. It was so close today to being open. Also I got a email from Elder Bybee. Can so start sending him my emails. Tell him thanks for the email and that I will get a letter sent off to him soon. Also Aunt Steph HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!! Hope that you have a great birthday and just think your next birthday I will probably be home to celebrate it with you ha. Love you family and miss you. Have a great week.
Are you a frozen popcicle yet? No not yet but I feel like soon I will be.
How is Elder Riddle? He is doing great. He has such a great attitude about everything.
How many branches in Perm? There is only one. Before I got here there used to be two. They made it into one so that they could be stronger in number.
How was your meeting with President? It was so great. I cherish every time I get to meet with him. I also got to be interviewed by President Lawrence :0
Package from Cindy? I haven't gotten it yet.
Did you sing at zone conf? Yes we sang. We sang child's prayer in Russian. It was great.
Baptism for the 29? From the looks of it right now probably not. It will be later though.
New talents developed from serving? I have developed many and I will share one with you. Im quite the cook.
How is the mission goal? We are at about 52 baptisms. We just had two in another city so we are getting there.
Picture requests? You should send some family pics so I can put them in my photo ablum that I show people. I am kind of bored showing the same pics ha.
Church meetings? They are all done in Russian. It is organized just like in the states.
English club? Yes we do english club every thursday. there are three goups and we teach the middle group. We just teach random topics.
How do you like singing hymns in Russian? I love it. We sing every morning to wake up. It is my favorite
Do you know the words Great and Awesome? Yes I do know those words and I will start using them now.
Do you need anything? I might have to buy a hat for the winter. But right now I am doing great, thanks for everything you do.
September 17, 2012
I am so glad to hear that the Utes beat, they who will not be named. I found out yesterday at church. Elder Pocock has an Iphone and he had the play by play going. After ward council he came up to me and said that it wasn't a good ending. He didn't take the loss to well. Typical BYU fan, loves to talk but in the end the facts are stacked up against them, that's ok, we love them anyways.
Well last week was a very eventful week. We got on another train back to Yekaterinbur for training. Elder Riddle and I will have two training sessions while we are together. It was really good to be with President. It is also really nice because Sister Rust always feeds us great food. I love being at the mission home.
We were gone a lot last week and when we got back we set up a meeting with Alexandera. We went to pick her up so that we could take her with us tothe Pococks house. When we got there she let us in and told us that she had to go to the dentist because all of her teeth have fallen out on the bottom (except for one). She was in a lot of pain so we told her that we would call her in a couple of days. We have a meeting with her tonight so we will see how things are going with her.
Elder Riddle and I were very blessed this week. We found two new investigators. The first one is Marina. She is about 24 adn she is way nice. We called her last week and she wanted to meet. So we met her in the mall. I asked her if we could sit down and talk. She said yes and we followed her up the stairs into a sushi bar/night club. Ha luckily it was during the day so we didn't run into any problems. We talked for about an hour and she said that she wants to meet again so we are going to give her a call today. The other new investigator is Alex. He was a former investigator. We met him at a restaurant and we talked to him about the Holy Ghost. We asked him if he wanted to start meeting with us again to prepare for baptism. He said yes! We are way pumped.
Lately I have been reding the book "Jesus the Christ" I read it when I was in Kurgan and I have decided to read it again. It is such a great book because it just gives so many facts that Jesus really is the Christ. I have learned so much about our Saviour and about His life. I am so grateful that we have the New Testament. That book is a treasure and we are blessed to have it. I am so grateful for the concept of prayer. I wouldn't know what to do if I didn't have the oppurtunity to pray to my Father in Heaven. It is so crazy to think that someone like Him who has created planets without ends, universes, and so many other things,knows all of us individually. He knows our names, he knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows our potential and who we can become. All that he aks us to do is to talk with him. Give it a try, just talk to him and tell him everything. You will soon come to feel His love more and see His hand more in your life. I promise.
Thank you everyone for your emails. I look forward every monday to see how everyone is doing. I am so blessed to have a great support system back home. Thank you everyone and I love you so much.
Hey mom I was wondering if I could get something warm to cover my head this winter. I have been to the market and have looked around. I think I have found the one I want. It is about $30. Would it be ok to get it? Also I am wanting to send a package home to you guys of random stuff I have collected. That is also going to cost about $30. Just let me know next email what you think. Love you.
September 24, 2012
It is good to hear that everyone had a great week. Katie that is so cool that you were able to go to Home coming. You look so beautiful in your picture. Tell me more about your date. I would like to see a picture of him .
Beau thanks for the email. Sounds like life is going well and that it is keeping you busy. Tell the family that I say hello.
Hey Chan could you tell Kevin congratulations with his mission call. Ask him what mission in Ukraine. I had a feeling that he was going to be called Russian speaking. That is so great, made my day.
Well last week was a very eventful week. We went across the river to Zakamkc, a small little city that is in our area. We decided to go visit the members that are over there. Well all of them were less active. So we had a plan to meet with all of them and see how they are oding and then invite them to come back to church. Well as we knocked on the first door this lady opened it. She said “what do you want”. We told her that we were the missionaries and she said “so”. We then asked her how she was and she said “Great” and then slammed the door on us. It was really sad. I thought about putting my foot in the door so it wouldn’t shut but the doors here are really big and heavy. It was really sad to see what kind of shape people are in when they ignore the church and everything.
This last week Elder Riddle and I were able to find a new investigator. His name is Ferdinand and he is from some country that I have never heard of. He speaks English so that really helps for Elder Riddle. He is really excited about that. I remember my first English lesson, it didn’t happen until my third transfer. It was a great experience that I will never forget. This last week we went on splits with the zone leaders so I didn’t have the chance to meet with him. Tonight we are meeting with him and we are way excited.
So my miracle from last week was that I called a former investigator that I taught in June. Her name is Natalia. We stopped meeting with her because she moved to another city for the summer. So last week I gave her a call and she was so excited to hear from us. We had a meeting with her and we got a baptism date with her. It is for the 20th of October. We were so happy for her. I pray that as we teach her that she will feel the Holy Ghost and that she will be ready for the 20th.
As time flys by I find myself thinking a lot about the beginning of my mission. I think of how I felt when I entered the MTC. I remember so clearly when I had a 17 hour flight and the flight attendant that I gave a Book of Mormon to. I think about my first day in Kurgan and how cold it was. I think of Ivan and Vera that I baptized. It is just so bizarre that, that was 1 full year. It is really to weird to think that I only have 1 more of those left. It honestly scares me to think about the finish. I have set some goals that I want to accomplish in this final year of my mission. I know that they will definitely make me stretch but I know that the Lord is with me. He has been with me ever since. I know that as we set goals in our lives we become more organized and more successful. I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to serve here in Yekaterinburg mission. I love it with all of my heart. I wouldn’t trade anything for it.
Thank you family for everything and thank you to everyone that has sent me mail/email. I love and need the support. I love you all.