Monday, February 20, 2012

This week ended up being quite a week of service. And it put my French
to the test. Phew.

On Monday we had the priviledge of hearing from Sister Lawrence who
spoke about the signs of the second coming of Christ. As always it was
enlightening and instilled a desire to live a better life and become
more prepared. At the end Elder Lawrence (of the Area Presidency and
Second Quorom of the 70) spoke to us. Last week it was announced in
church that our stake is going to pray and fast that Moscow will find
the buildings that we need for the church. Since Moscow is one of the
largest cities in the world, property is hard to come by. Also, most
of our buildings are find to find and are tucked away into nooks and
crannies. We don't have a building large enough to hold the stake. The
fast will be next fast Sunday but Elder Lawrence encouraged us as
missionaries to include this cause in every prayer that we say.

Monday was also the coldest day of winter. It reach past -30 in the
morning. We missed the coldest part of the day but it was still pretty

Tuesday we had a mission conference in preparation for the mission
tour next month. It was also the day we are supposed to speak 100%
Russian outside the apartment. So far that has been interesting and a
bit of a challenge at time. But our mission needs it and it will be
exciting to see how our language abilities grow.

Wednesday we did service at Vika's apartment with the elders. As
always she was so happy to see us. She has been coming to church
everyweek so far and is becoming fully active. She also told us that
she will receive her patriarchal blessing next week so I am especially
excited and happy for her. English club was great as always and some
elders made root beer floats (they got extract from a package from
home) and it was fabulous. I forgot just how delicious root beer is
and I tried to savor it as I devoured it. The Russians seemed to like
it a lot and they said it tasted like Kvas (I disagree).

Thursday was a mixed day. We went out to Izolda, an old lady who lives
outside Moscow. I feel like I have hit a wall with her. We talk about
faith with her but she says no matter what she does she will only have
weak faith. I left a little drained and sad. But her nephew came over
and she became a lot more animated and we got to hear her talk more
about the church to him. He liked us and said that we had light in our
eyes. Of course, he asked some of those questions in order to test us
about how we react to certain situations, like beggars for example. We
tried our best and I felt happy testifying to someone and leaving him
with a good impression.

Then we met with Anna! She is continuing to be fabulous. In the past
few weeks her love for the Book of Mormon has grown so much. Before
she read it like a book, but now she is receiving answers to prayers
and finding wonderful insights as she reads. We always start by
talking about her reading and each week we go longer and longer
because every week she is learning so much. We talked about baptism
and the Holy Ghost with her and asked her to pray about a baptism
date. It is always hard to come up with commitments because she is
continuing to do all that she needs to to progress. When we asked her
to pray about a date she said that that day she had been thinking
about that and with a new job she needed to start thinking about this
things more concretely.

On Friday we met with Elise, our investigator from Chad who knows
French. We went over to her apartment and we watched the Testiments
movie with her. She loved it and liked seeing how the Bible and Book
of Mormon support each other. She knows the Bible really weel and is
taking the intiative in reading. Last week we gave her the Restoration
pamphlet. At the back are questions to help you study and understand
the parts of the lessons. We didn't ask her but she went through and
answered the questions and looked up the references. My French was
rusty but at least I understood all that she said. Oh! She gave the
opening prayer during our lesson and in her prayer she bore testimony
about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith's calling as a prophet!
Elise also came to church on Sunday! At the end she said that she was
really happy that she came. We are meeting with her this week again to
talk about the plan of salvation and I think we can set a baptismal
date with her.

Friday morning was a little rough I'll admit. Our landlord came over
to collect rent and he was not very nice to my companion and would
make fun of her Russian. He would say, "She can't get offended or mad
because she doesn't understand!" In some ways it was a blessing that
she could not understand him. She thought he was funny. But I knew
what he said and I did not like it. I had a hard time having charity
as he was being so mean. After he left I had to sit down and have a
long prayer before I could return to my studies because I could not
feel the Spirit. But as you can tell from our meeting with Elise, the
day got better and I tried my hardest to forgive him.

Saturday Sister Workman and I headed out early to help at a church
conference. It was a conference for the adults over 30 who are not
married. One of the members from our ward called us and asked for
help. I felt glad to know that they felt that they could turn to us
for help. We helped most of the day but I felt great. I got to talk to
people from all over Russia and I just felt great helping. I learned
some interesting things as well. During Soviet times bananas were a
sign of wealth and good living. There were always bananas at communist
party meetings.

Sunday was great although because of Elise she spent most of our
church time with the international ward. Afterwards I was so exhausted
trying to keep my French and Russian straight. And afterwards I found
more people in the ward that knew French and can help if I am

Well, I have 1 minute left on my time. I love you all and thank you
for your prayers and your support. It is working miracles in my life
and in the mission work. Prayers are much more powerful than we think

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