Well, I am now in my new city Ryazan' and I got here OK and have not gotten too lost. It definitely is a change. It is also interesting because at our mission conference the week before a few questions were raised about logistics and I hadn't realized how different things were between the Moscow and Moscow West missions. It will also be interesting to see how those who served under President Woolley will respond under President Sorenson because the two have completely different ways of handling missionary work. Not to say that one way is better than the other but they are different. However, I have seen how some people cling to the old ways and refuse to accept a different way of working. So like I said, it will be interesting to observe how missionaries will respond to the change.
The Lord has shown me a lot of miracles lately. Through everything I have tried not to become too stressed or worry too much and instead move forward trusting that everything would turn out all right. For example on Thursday we had transfer meeting where I met my new companion. Originally I thought the two of us would be moving our bags alone and that we would have to find the bus and somehow figure out how to get to our city. So I packed smart. All my souvenirs and things I wanted to talk home but I wouldn't need for the next few months I put in a suitcase and asked President Sorenson to store in his garage. Then I stripped myself down to the bare essentials which left me with one suitcase, a backpack, my messenger bag, and my scriptures. I was pretty proud of myself, considering I can be quite the pack rat.
Thankfully, when we arrived at transfer meeting the office elders told me that the Assistants would be helping us get to the bus. Phew. It was also great to be with the Assistants because even when we were moving bags on the metro they were working hard to talk to the people next to them. It was good to watch them and to be reminded how easy it is to talk to the people around you. They helped us buy our tickets and show us what we needed to do to get to our city. Then the elders in our city met us at the bus station and helped us get home. The bus ride was a little over 3 hours so Sister Hawkins had plenty of time to get to know each other and I was able to get in a little bit of study.
Another miracle involved losing my camera. Don't have a heart attack, dad! I have it safely in my possession now. At transfer meeting I was taking photos with a few people then I got to talking to a few members. Then the Assistants told us that they were ready to go. I was ready to go and I had been so caught up in talking with people that I forgot my camera was in the other room. It was only as I was unpacking that I realized I had not brought my camera. I offered a few heartfelt prayers that night and the next morning I called a few people in Moscow to ask them to be on the lookout for it. Well, thankfully someone found it and I believe gave it to President who gave it to our new senior couple. They brought my camera up with them. To me that was a huge miracle and I have since offered many prayers of thanks.
So... I wrote a longer email but then the internet froze up before I had the chance to save the email. So this is a little later and a little shorter. I wanted to include a quick spiritual thought. I love Moroni 8: 26 which says that the love of God endureth by diligence unto prayer. So many blessing come through prayer and it is easy to do. However, it is one of the easier things to overlook. But I can testify that prayer is so important and crucial in building our relationship with our Heavenly Father. I love my Heavenly Father and I know that He listens to me and our relationship has grown stronger because I have given Him more of my time and worked to include Him more in my life.
I love you all!