Monday, November 21, 2011
And out of a worthless lump of clay God has made a man today!
This week has again been another week full of revelations and getting myself back into shape. We have wasted more time than we should. Granted, we have filled our time with important tasks but reflecting we have concluded that perhaps those were not the best ways we could have spent our time. We have been talking, like always, and starting putting into action plans to overcome our shortcomings. Most of all I keep asking myself, "If I saw myself from another person's eyes would I recognize myself as a servant of the Lord or trust me." Honestly can be hard and I realize how far I still need to go. But I don't let it discourage me. Instead I try the approach the angel used with Alma when he reminded him that he has already come a long ways from the time the angel first appeared to him.
Despite realizing that I have a lot more of myself that I can put into the mission we are stilling seeing quite a few miracles. Of our three investigators, two of them are baptismal dates. Both are progressing and it has been inspiring to see these people change, even after two weeks. Maria, our Filipino, has been talking to her member friends and finding out about the commandments. Before we taught the Word of Wisdom she had heard about it and had already stopped drinking coffee. We never had to ask her to make these changes, she made them herself. When we asked her about this she said something to the effect of if she wants all the blessing of the church she needs to accept all of the Lord's requirements.
We talked about baptism with our Russian investigator and again, she has been prepared by her member friends. Although her friends did not come to church she did and she brought her cousin. We planned to talk about baptism and confirmation and enduring to the end. In the room we taught her there is a picture of Christ being baptized. She asked about baptism by immersion and before the lesson began she asked, "When I am baptized how long will I stay under water?" Notice, she said when and not if. We were much better prepared this week and she asked thoughtful questions. She talked about having a desire to be baptized and she said that you need to have a desire and that having that desire makes you want to change your life. And she made the comment that if you aren't committted to enduring to the end there is not a point in being baptized. All and all I have been so impressed and reminded that the Lord is preparing these people and in case of our investigators it happened because they had member friends who didn't push but also did not shy away from telling why they were different. We just helped her fuel her desire. She said she wanted to be baptized before she started meeting with us and that thanks to our lessons her desire has grown.
In case you are wondering we will be celebrating Thanksgiving this week. P-Day is ending at 3pm today because on Thursday we still celebrate Thanksgiving at our Senior couple's apartment from noon until five at night. We can't wait.
And now for your Russian culture tidbit: Proper Escalator Ediquette (sp?). When exiting a metro or crossing to another metro requires the use of an escalator there is a procedure to follow. If you want to stand on the escalator you must stand on the right hand side of the step. Have a friend you want to talk to? They stand behind you. Also, respect personal space and leave a step in front and behind you empty. When you want to walk up you can walk up the left side of the escalator with ease. Rush hour? Russians will still follow this pattern, so the escalator line can get very backed up. Occasionally, metro workers at the bottom of the escalators will tell people to stand on both sides.
In other exciting news I am almost through Alma! I have come to really love the war chapters. There is a lot of evil but you see a lot of faith and desire for liberty. I also got a hold of the book, "Daughters in my Kindgom" which talks about the history of the Relief Society. Sister Rasmussen laughed at how excited I was and she said I kept looking at it like I wanted to devour it. There are just too many good and inspiring books that I want to read.
Also, I thought I would share my P-Day language study routine. In our apartment we found a Russian Beauty and the Beauty cd (the soundtrack of the musical). I have been listening to it and writing down all the lyrics and translating them. It is good practice because I have to listen and write what I listen and then disect it to make sure the cases agree and make sense. Russian is still coming along and taking Sister Lawrence's advice Sister Rasmussen and I are trying to memorize 2 Nephi 31 in Russian.
Well, that has been my week. Thank you for your emails and letters. Let's see what the Lord has in store for me this next week!