Monday, May 27, 2013

The power of enduring. May 27,2013

Dear Family

  As always it sure is a treat to get so many emails.  Thank you so much for all of them.  They really make my day.  Sounds like school is ending and summer has come.  This is probably my favorite kind of weather.  Is the pool up in the back yard? Or did Dad throw it away? he he he.  By the time I get home could you please take the pool away so that I can play basketball in the back yard.  Thank you.  Also I hope that everyone has a great memorial day.  Thanks to my family calendar I know when there is a holiday back home.  Hope that the family BBQ is a good one.  
  So I am starting to get settled intoTyumen.  I am also starting to get acquainted with the streets and everything.  Tyumen is a really beautiful city.  The center of the city is so nice.  It baffles me that I am still in Russia ha.  It sure doesn't feel like it here in this city.  Yesterday at church we had about 30 people and we had about 5 at priesthood.  The branch here is very small.  I will probably have to give a couple of talks while I am here.  I really love the branch.  They are really great people.  One of the members is actually from Kurgan and when i was serving in Kurgan we got to be really good friends.  He is in Tyumenstudying at the college.  So it is really great having Andrei here.  He is such a strong member.  He was definitely the strongest member in Kurgan when i was there.  He is only 18.  He is a stud.  He will definitely be a branch president in the near future.  I love him.  Also I was able to attend the Branch Council.  It was crazy.  I think they need to read in the red handbook about ward council meetings ha.  As small as Tyumen is President Rust has asked us missionaries to help the Priesthood leaders with there callings.  So looks like my companion and I will have to sit down with the branch president.  BTW the branch President is so awesome.  He is the perfect man for the calling.  
  So I am going to write a random paragraph and answer some questions that have been asked.  First I didn't feel the earthquake.  That would be really scary if I did.  Good thing that Russia is the biggest country in the world ha.  Also summer is starting to knock at the door.  It has been getting warmer and warmer each day.  We had our first summer thunder/lightning storm yesterday.  It was awesome.  A little about my companion.  His name is Jacob Allred.  He grew up in Spanish Fork UT.  He was a lifeguard at seven peaks in Provo.  So that is something cool we have in common.  He played football and loves all other sports. We get a long very well ha.  He has a twin right now serving in Madagascar...Unfortunately that is something we don't have in common.  He looks a lot like Taylor Capson ha...Um what else... Oh he loves tacos, so I have gotten pretty good at making tortillas and all that other good stuff you need to make tacos.  That is my companion.  I love him so much.  We have really grown close and we really know how to have fun with the work when it gets tough.  I am so blessed to be with him.  Alright Katie I did get your graduation announcement.  You are so dang beautiful.  I put it in my photo album.  If someone needs ideas for stuff to put in a package.  I need pictures of me ha.  I noticed that I have no picture of me in my photo album.  Someone yesterday asked "where are you?" ha so that would be great if I got like 4-5 pictures ha.  Also I would love some Reese's candy.  And last but not least I would love a Dr.pepper.  I have been craving one so bad haha.  That is all that I can think of.  
  This last week was a very long week for Elder Allred and I.  We were out on the streets for the majority of the time.  We just don't have people to teach.  So we have been out finding.  Here in Tyumen it is very difficult to find out on the street.  This being a very wealth city not many people really want to change their lives.  I have been rejected so many times that when someone actually stops when we stop them I am amazed.  The first part of the week I was doing pretty well but as the week went on and we were getting zero success I started to get down on myself.  I started to get frustrated with people.  I thought to myself.  This is the true church and the restored gospel really is the best thing on this planet right now... then why aren't people getting baptized left and right.  Why isn't the church growing like it is in South America right now.  Or why is it so hard to get people baptized if it is so easy in Africa.  Elder Allred said that his brother averages about three baptisms each week.  Why is it so slow here?  The main question was why is missionary work so hard?  On Saturday night as I layed in my bed thinking about the week and just feeling like everything failed I got a feeling that I needed to turn to my Father in Heaven.  I got on my knees and just offered a simple prayer.  I asked for His help. I asked that he would bless me with the spirit so I could not get down on myself.  After my prayer I once again layedon my bed and eventually fell asleep.  Sunday when I woke up I was still not feeling any better.  When we got to church there was a guy sitting down in the chapel.  We went over and introduced ourselves and he said that his name is Vitalie.  He said that he met the missionaries on the street and that they invited him to come to church.  So he came.  He stayed all three hours and after we were able to set a meeting up with him for today.  Also later that day we had a meeting with one of our investigators.  He has been one for quite a while.  We taught him about the commandments and told him that baptism is a commandment.  We invited him to be baptized but he declined.  We then testified to him and read a scripture with him.  We asked again and he said yes!  There is going to be a baptism on the 29th of June for Bulat.  Yesterday was an answer to my prayers.  I knew that the Lord had given me a trial and wanted me to grow and become like Him just a little bit more.  I know that when we have hard times if we just do our best and try a little harder and give our best effort the balm in Gilead will come.  That ministering angel will be sent from above to give us that aid, that extra help.  Why is missionary work so hard here? Because if salvation was never easy, why should missionary work be easy?  When I think about other places in the world that are exploding with baptisms, I remember that the Lord wanted me here in Russia for a reason.  Success isn't measured by the number of baptisms that you get. Success is measured by how you choose to react to certain situations.  We can choose to be happy or sad.  We can choose the right or choose the wrong. We have the choice to become successful or unsuccessful.  Success comes when you become a little better than the person who you were yesterday.
  Thank you everyone for all of the support. I love you so much.  Hope that all have a great week.  BTW I would send pictures but I don't have the device to be able to send them.  So I will have to buy one.  Next week there will be pictures.
Love you all
Elder Flitton

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