Monday, August 20, 2012

Oh the fun of technology

This will be an interesting email as I am typing from an iPad which belongs to out senior couple. I'm not sure how long this will be as it is very interesting to write on. Today we are taking a trip and going to see a city outside of Ryazan and so we are getting our emailing done.

In response to our email regarding my package don't worry about sending a lot of stuff. Remember when I get home I will have almost no clothes so the stuff that you mentioned is enough. I am good on dress socks and a pair of black tights and beige tights should suffice. I believe the size I need is either a small or a medium. I'm not sure because since the start of my mission I have lost weight and I don't remember the American dimensions. But thank you for all that you are doing and for all of your kindness. I'm sure my companions will gladly appreciate it.

Well this week was a good week. We saw a lot of miracles and found out more about our investigators who disappeared. I know numbers aren't everything but I am proud to report that this was our best week number wise. We found out what happened to our investigators Olga and Alexander! While contacting on Tuesday I was standing on Victory Sqaure when Olga and her husband walk up to me. She explained that they had been on vacation and just recently returned. My suspicions were correct, Russians have a tendancy during the summer to disappear and cause us to freak out because they don't tell us these things. However, this week she has still not been answering her phone but at least we have a better idea what happened to her.

Then on Saturday we ran into Alexander. That story is a miracle and just a lot of little things added up for us to meet him. Friday night we tried calling everyone we knew to get a lesson. None of our investigators, contacts, or less active members could meet or they did not pick up the phone. Then we tried to figure out a good activity as we contacted and decided to drop by our relief society president's home and give her something she had asked for earlier in the week. Before we could leave we had to drop something off at the branch building and then we had two options of bus stops. I randomly chose one and as we got there Alexander was standing there. Sadly, he had not been vacation and when we approached him he had the guiltiest look on his face and we knew he was avoiding us. We had been calling for the past few weeks and we had been pretty worried. It was a little heart breaking to hear him say that he had seen us around town a few times but had hid. But we did have a meeting with him yesterday afternoon and we are trying so hard to convince him to pray. He asks many of the questions of the soul but when we try to help him find the answers he won't accept it because the answer is so simple: pray and read the Book of Mormon. He wants worldly and scientific knowledge. Sometimes I want to tear my hair out but we were very bold with him and told him that he needed to pray before we meet again. We told him that he can find his answers but he needs to do his part and that it all depends on him. 

This week we also had our culture night. Because of the summer time and the fact that we are not in Moscow most of the theaters were closed in Ryazan. So we were creative and went to a monastery outside of Ryazan and walked around the small town. It was a fun trip and mostly we walked around and talked. Because time is a little shorter today I will not be able to send photos but I will next week.

The best part of the week is that this week we might have a new investigator! A member, Vitali, has started bringing his younger girlfriend to church. This was the second time she has come to church and she liked it. We got her number this week and she said that she would like to meet. Actually when I was on the phone with her last night she mentioned that she wants to come to church every week and be baptized. Sister Hawkins and I love her so much and so we are both excited to start meeting with her. 

In other happier news the weather is starting to get cooler and already I am pulling out my sweaters. It has also been raining a lot more. Summer was good but I am excited for Fall because more people will return. We also have some exciting work ahead. There is a slight mystery in our branch concerning members that are not on the ward list. Yesterday while looking through former investigators I found a few sheets of paper from 2004. Sisters had written done who they met with, including less actives. A few names I did not recognize and as I looked at the ward list I saw that they were not there! Thankfully there was a number and address so we are going to see if we can find more information about them. Working with the branch and helping them is coming slowly but it is coming.

Another bit of news is that next week don't be concerned if I don't write next Monday. Next Preparation Day I have my visa trip to Riga and with flights and travelling back and forth between Moscow I don't know when I will be writing. But be sure that I will write next week, I just won't know when. 

Well, I love you and sadly I need to get going. Thank you for all of your prayers. I need them. As I wrote to a friend last week I am determined to endure to end and keep working to the very end. It won't be easy and there are plenty of hurdles ahead but the Lord is going to test me on that resolve and I am working harder than before. I know that this is the Lord's work and I am so grateful for the chance to participate and show my faith everyday.

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