Monday, March 5, 2012

Every now and then there is an odd number...

First off, I should give the most exciting news: Elise passed her baptism interview and is getting baptized on Saturday! I am very excited for her but her excitement definitely exceeds my excitement. When she came out of her interview she was grinning from ear to ear and came up and hugged us. 

Second, I know what is happening with transfers. On Friday we met with President Sorenson and he told us what is happening. I am staying in Sokolniki and Sister Workman is leaving. She will be serving with a native, something I had suggested, as well as others, to President. As for my companion.... drum roll, please.... I have no idea. This week we are losing two sisters and no sisters are coming in until next transfer. Rather than close an area, President told me that they are searching for a short-term missionary for me. So far we have not found anyone. Until then I will be with the training sisters, Sisters Fravolo and Horspool, in Perovo (my first area) and the three of us will work both areas, which is pretty much all of eastern Moscow. It will be an interesting transfer to be sure. The other day Sister Horspool and I were trying to figure out how to coordinate church and district meeting and working two areas. I think for church I am going to try to go on splits with members so that I can attend my ward. We are still trying to figure out all the details until a companion is found for me. Most of the people who would be interested in serving a short term mission right now are in school or working.

This week was interesting and as always I learned new things. Monday and Tuesday we met with Elise and taught her the commandments needed for baptism. She had no problem, in fact, she was already living the Word of Wisdom. She is so golden that it is mind-boggling at times. 

Sadly, we have not met with Zhun Zhun this week. She cancelled on us. However, when she cancelled she told me on the phone, "Sister! I prayed and it helped! I am going to try really hard to pray every day." That had me floating on air all day. 

Wednesday was a tough day for me. We went out and went contacting. It was hard because I really wanted to give out a Book of Mormon that day. I felt all alone that day. We were just saying hi to people but doing nothing else. At one point I got frustrated and I did not want to be wasting our time. So I changed my tactic and took out my flashcards. Instead of just saying hi I started to ask people for Russian help. Some people provided help and those ignored me when I went up to them. But by the end I counted how many people I had approached. I had not done much but it was more than what we were doing. As we were leaving a lady stopped us and commented on how pretty we are and asked us why we were here. I had a Book of Mormon in hand and took the opportunity to give it to her and talk to her a little bit. She accepted it and I was so happy that a few tears escaped. I'll admit that contacting is something that I still struggle with. Although I have come a long ways I am still awkward and shy. But it is something that I need to improve so I will need to keep trying.

But then that night at English Club one of the members in Conversational group gave me a book by Tolstoi as a present. Today I am buying her a thank you gift for all of her kindness.

On Thursday Zhun Zhun cancelled on us again. So we took the time to prepare some soup for Adella. Adella is a former investigator from Cuba. We have been trying to meet with her for the past two months but it has never worked out. Last week we had an appointment but she got sick. So we decided to bring her some soup and brownies. Previously, she had given us her address but not her appartment number. We went to the apartment but when she tried to call she did not pick up. And we didn't have her apartment number so we could not leave it with her family. Then an old Russian lady came by. We talked to her a little bit (although we tried to explain who we were she still thought we were Russian Orthodox missionaries) and she told us that it was too dangerous for us to be out on the street. She walked us to the metro and as we returned home Adella called us back. We found out her schedule so we could try again but, again, she would not give us her apartment number. I just had to laugh at the situation.

On Friday after interviews with President we met with Anna and she is still doing great. She is thinking of being baptized in May now. She now has a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon and it is answering her questions and helping her resolve any of her doctrinal issues. She brought her daughter along and she is adorable. Mostly she was content to color and play video games during our lesson. 

Saturday afternoon was a little stressful. We met up with some other sisters to prepare a musical number for Elise's baptism. On the way to the Central Building I lost our cell phone. I still don't understand how. I had it in my hand and then when I exited the metro it was gone. I searched my bag and my pockets multiple times. Finally she met up with the sisters and I used their phone to call our phone. The lady who picked it up answered. She said she would return it and call the other sisters phone when she was done with work. We stayed with the others sisters and practiced our musical number. Finally, the lady called back and we agreed to meet. She returned our phone and asked us why we were in Moscow. I gave her a Book of Mormon. In the end she said that she was not interested in religion but she took the book and was interested in us. 

This week was interesting. It was not a bad week but a lot of emotionally hard things happened. A lot of people have been telling me to not be so shy and to have confidence. I guess that was hard to hear when I was trying so hard this week on overcoming those hurdles. But at least I know and the Lord knows how hard I am trying. Yesterday, I asked the elders to give me a blessing. When we got home after the blessing it was an emotional roller coaster and I felt bombarded emotionally. Thankfully, I took comfort from the scriptures and the new Liahona. Despite all my fears and worries, I felt comfort in the end and recognized areas for improvement and started to set some goals for this new transfer. I started to write down all my weaknesses and my strengths. Then I started to set some goals and small things I can do each day to overcome my weaknesses. There is always room for improvement.

Overall, I am doing fine. I am excited, nervous, and interested to see what this transfer will bring. Sometimes I am frustrated and humbled to know that the Lord sees me as who I can become, rather than who I am right now. He has placed a lot of trust in me and of course with trust comes responsibility. Sometimes it is overwhelming but it is always humbling in the end. I just want to always live up to the trust that the Lord places on me. Thank you for keeping me in your prayers. I think too often we take the power of power for granted when really they are the means of bringing to pass many miracles.

I love you all and pray for you.
-Sister Daniel

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