Monday, July 2, 2012
That leads me into the most exciting news of the week (besides setting a baptismal date over the phone last night)! Moscow and Moscow West have now combined to a greater Moscow Russia Mission. Because our mission has now doubled in size and lots of people are due for a transfer President has started to tell us about transfers earlier. On Friday President called Sister Gish and I in for an interview. When I sat down President told me the news, "Well, Sister Daniel we are going to ask you to be a trainer again. And if that isn't a challenge enough we would like you to shot gun the city of Ryazan." For thsoe unfamiliar with missionary termonology to shotgun means that for you and your companion you are both going to a new area together. In our new district only one elder has served in Ryazan. I had a feeling I would be going to former Moscow West territory but when I joked with my district leader a few weeks ago I said I hoped President wouldn't ask me to shotgun AND train at the same time. But I know it was the right decision because I felt peace and fear didn't take over. I just try not to think of all the crazy implications and all the practical details. I am excited and I feel that the Lord keeps wanting to challenge and push me almost to my limits. I'm sure crazy adventures will follow and I really know I have to rely on the Lord. I am going to need a lot of prayers because this will be like when I first came to Russia except this time I know slightly more Russian.
My next question to President was about how I would get to my new area. His response: "Honestly, I don't know. But we will let you know before the day of transfers." My poor new companion. I joked with Sister Gish that my first words would be, "Hi, I'm your trainer. I hope you are brave because I have no idea how we will get to our area or even find our apartment." Ryazan is about 2 1/2 hours southeast of Moscow by train.
This transfer brings lot of crazy surprises. I figured I would be training some time before I returned home. Next transfer 8 sisters are coming and 4 sisters the following transfer. I know of 3 other sisters that are shotgunning and training at the same time. One will be shotgunning Sokolniki. Next transfer Sister Gish will be going to one of my former companions, Sister Workman. Also President and I talked about my release date and decided on November 15 so I fly home November 16. There is a good chance that Ryazan will be my last area with 3 transfers left.
That has been some of the most exciting news for the week. We did have more meetings this week compared to last week with members and recent converts. For most of the week we could not get in touch with any of our investigators. So we did lots of contacting and I did something that always terrifies me: calling potential investigators sheets. These are sheets filled with random phone numbers former missionaries have received. Most of the people didn't pick up or were not too interested in meeting with us. But it was a scary thing and the Lord blessed us because we finially got a hold of Zhun Zhun, who had been out of Moscow during the week.
We were also not able to get ahold of Anya, another investigator. Sister Gish tried calling her all week. Then we showed up to Church on Sunday and there she was! During Sacrament meeting she kept asking us if we had chosen her baptismal date. We told her we would talk after the meeting but then she quickly left. We tried calling her cell but it was off that night. Then I remembered her mother had given us her home number! We called and talked to Anya. In the course of the conversation we gave her a baptismal date which she agreed to.
In other exciting news I am now in possession of an accordion and surprisingly it fits in my suitcase. All in all it was an exciting week and this week will be a busy week. The next week and a half Sister Gish and I have a lot to do in preparation for both of our departures.
In terms of study I am now through Numbers in the Bible and almost through 1 Nephi in the Book of Mormon. I just want everyone to know how much I love the scriptures. Whenever I get scared thinking about next transfer I read my scriptures and find the comfort I need and remember Nephi's words in 1 Nephi 3:7. It is a strange and good feeling to know and feel that the Lord has prepared me for what is ahead.