Monday, July 30, 2012

News from Ryazan

Well, this week was a good week and we put in a lot of contacting time. Of course through contacting you get the best stories and there were definitely some moments that Sister Hawkins and I have laughed about since. 

Last Monday we went with the elders to go see the Kremlin which what the photos I sent are from. We also went exploring in the woods by the Kremlin which was a lot of fun. Ryazan does have some other interesting sights that we are planning to see sometime soon. There is a museum and a square named for Pavlov, who was influential in the Behaviorist branch of psychology. Also, a famous Russian poet was born in Ryazan so there is a museum for him as well. Next week I'll get back to you on what is his name.

On Tuesday and Fridays we have our English club. So typically on those days we go out with the elders to contact and invite people to English club. We recently discovered something that has led to us receiving more telephone numbers: clipboards! For some reason having a clipboard makes us look more professional and more people give us our numbers. I'll admit that Tuesday was one of those days where everybody turned me down. It felt like every person that I tried to talk to would pull the "I'm in a hurry" "I don't need it, girl" or the simple ignore and keep walking. But! There was one success for which I am so thankful. One lady I talked to seemed very interested and then she went into the mall nearby the fountain square where we were contacting. After she was done in the mall she came up to me again and asked about some of the details. Well, that night she came to English club! I was ecstatic and she had a great time. She couldn't believe that it was free and we were not charging anything. That is typical, though, that most people don't believe us when we say English club is free. I also get asked a lot about that and I also get asked how long you can come before we start charging. All in all it was a very good day.

On Wednesday we had a meeting with a girl from English club. She is actually baptist and has great faith in Jesus Christ. She told us her conversion story to the Baptist Church. We tried to talk to her about the Book of Mormon but in the end she would not take one. But we will continue to be friends with her. It was hard because she was talking about her church and the great bond of friendship and unity, something that we are trying to foster more in our branch. 

We also met with Olga our investigator with a baptismal date. She is warming up to us more. At first, she was a lot more reserved but she is opening us to more. Her date is the 11th of August and so far she is doing well. She is progressing. Our biggest problem with her is a common problem here: prayer. It seems like all of our lessons this week were centered on prayer and the importance of praying for confirmation. A lot of people just don't understand the need to prayer or to pray if they already know sometime is true. It has been a little frustrating at times because I want these people to know that wonderful blessings that come from prayer. I ave learned so much and developed such a relationship with my Heavenly Father that I treasure. I know that so many of our problems that we face can be resolved through prayer and scripture study. 

We did get a new investigator. On Wednesday we went contacting with Book of Mormon. I met a lady named Oksana and talked to her for a long time. It was interesting because when I asked her if she would like a Book of Mormon she replied that she already had a Book of Mormon and she had read it. She agreed to meet and then went off from about something that I did not completely understand. Yesterday we met with her and it was an interesting meeting. She does have a lot of interesting beliefs but as I listened I did find a lot of truth. She has a lot of interesting ideas about the world but she is willing to meet again and she was interested as we talked about the Restoration. We did not finish the lesson but we talked about prayer and she was interested in the way that we prayed. She agreed to try praying and reading the Book of Mormon. We will see where this will go. I have faith that if she will read the scriptures and pray that she will find answers.

Okay! Now a thought from my personal study. I finished Joshua in the Bible and moving on to Judges. This morning I read in the Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 26. I really love this chapter because I feel that I learn a lot about Jesus Christ and His character. I especially love verse 24: "He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation." I know that this verse is true and the Lord does all things for our benefit. There have been many hard times but I know that they have helped me and been for my benefit. Also, I have gained a strong testimony of the commandments and that they are instructions to a happy life from a loving Heavenly Father. I know that God loves us and wants to help us. I know that He wants to communicate with Him and we can through prayer. Prayer truly is a precious gift and I know that I can always turn to my Heavenly Father.

Well, I need to get heading off. The elders are here and waiting for the computers to write home. I love you all! Until next week!

Sister Daniel

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