Wednesday we got back and traffic for some reason was really bad in Ryazan. It has been raining a lot but this was some of the worst traffic I have seen in our small city. So it took a while to go to the hospital. One of our members, Uliyana, called us while we were in Moscow and told us that her daughter went into the hospital. We went to visit her and although we got a little lost and it was my first time traveling to a Russian hospital we found her room and sat with her. We told us that she was going through and it just about broke my heart.
In terms of investigators we met with Angela, Oksana, and Alexander. Sadly, Nina is incredibly busy these next two week so keep her in your prayers. Right now our most progressing investigator is Angela. She is doing just great. We went out to her and taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She is reading the Book of Mormon and she asked her to repent in her prayers after we left and she did! She came to church on Sunday and after church we read the Book of Mormon with her. We also managed to resolve an issue over the phone. We invited her to be baptized and she said yes but did not agree to a date but she said she has some more repenting. On the phone we reminded her to pray about a baptismal date and she made the comment that she should be a member of the church first and then get baptized. I was very pleased to tell her that membership is the church is only after baptism and confirmation. I think that will help her have more of a desire. She really is doing so great and we are so happy with the progress she is making and her willingness to exercise her faith. As an orphan without work she has a lot of trials but I know the Lord is helping her.
Friday we met with both Oksana and Alexander. The lessons were good but they were draining. I love Oksana and she is reading the Book of Mormon and loves it. Our biggest hurdle is helping her understand the need for a Restoration. She likes learning about different religions but does not see a need to come to our church. But from our lesson I was able to understand her more and understand her definition of prophets. Our lesson with Alexander was also good. He is praying! That in and of itself is a miracle because our first three weeks with him he refused to pray. The phrase "easy to be intreated" would not be apt to describe Alexander. Right now our current hurdle is the Book of Mormon and getting him to read it. He has read about the Book of Mormon and church history on the internet but has not opened the book itself. By the end of our lesson he did agree to read for 5 minutes and we called him a few days later and he read! Now we need him to read from the beginning and not just flip open and the book and read whatever page to which he opens.
I have also been working with Sister Hawkins and preparing her to take on more. I told her at the start of this transfer that during the last two weeks she would have the phone and be responsible for most of the phone calls. A lot of missionaries are going home and soon the mission is going to be all new again which increases the chance of these new missionaries will be training sooner than I did. At least it is better to learn these skills with someone who knows Russian as compared to learning it when your companion can't really help. So far she has been doing great and I'll admit it has been fun for me to watch. Watching her and seeing the things that she got the most frustrated out helped me see my own personal improvement. Yesterday we spent an hour calling old contacts sheets and trying to call people we had contacted recently. Most of them didn't pick up or the phone numbers didn't work. I could tell she was getting frustrated while I was amazed by how many people actually answered the phone. I thought it was a pretty successful call session.
You can know that I am definitely being put to work. On Sunday our Relief Society President was released and Sister Ottley, the senior sister, was called to be the new Relief Society President. Since Sister Ottley does not speak Russian I get to do a lot of translating. A few weeks ago I had a thought that I needed to speak more Russian and I am definitely speaking a lot more and trying to speak Russian more with other missionaries. I am also learning a lot more about the organization of the church. This next week Sister Hawkins and I are giving talks so the Lord is definitely using me. It has required a lot of faith and a lot of patience.
I am doing great, besides being sick, and I am excited to see what will happen this week. We are seeing a lot of miracles and praying for a lot of miracles. Already we are seeing good things happening in the branch. We are also trying to find new people to teach. Keep praying that we will find the people who are being prepared to receive the Gospel. They are there but we just need to find them.
With love, Sister Daniel