This week turned out to be pretty good. I think in terms of numbers this week was one of the best of the my entire mission! I think this week we had the most amount of meetings with investigators that I have ever had on my mission.
Angela is doing just great. We met with her on Wednesday and Sunday and both lessons were great. She is progressing wonderfully towards baptism and she knows it too. I was so proud of her yesterday at church. She was going around to all the members and telling them that she was glad to see them. She even went up to a few members who were particularly rude to her last week. One cultural thing about Russians is that they are not particularly friendly on the first meeting. Once they warm up to you they are the nicest people. However, sometimes it can be hard for missionary work when you are introducing investigators to members and members are less than warm to investigators. I was a little teary eyed as I watched her go up to everyone. Since she is an orphan we have tried to empathsize that the branch is a big family. In our lesson this week she wanted to know how to say, "I don't have family" in English. Sister Hawkins was talking to her and responded in the best way, "Yes, you do. We are sisters." Her smile got bigger and she was much happier.
Yesterday marked my two months left on my mission, as Sarah noted in her email. I realized this only yesterday when Angela asked me how much longer I will be in Russia. Lately I have changed from telling people 3 months to 2 months. Then as I was telling her it hit me that it was exactly two months to the day. I also had an interview with President this week. He came to Ryazan to interview the branch president and decided to meet with all of the missionaries. It was a little humorous because President kept saying things like, "I can't believe it's time for you and Sister Horspool" and talking as if I was going home in a few weeks. It wasn't until the end when I asked if he knew what would happen to me next transfer that he realized I still had another transfer! He was greatly relieved to hear that I still had another transfer.
Yesterday was another landmark in my mission: my first tracking experience. For those of you who don't know what tracking is it is going door to door, knocking, and seeing if the people who live there are interested in hearing about the gospel. Some of you may be shocked that it was my first time. In Moscow tracking was discouraged, especially for sisters. We have enough incidents with drunk men on the street and tacking always brings the craziest stories. Well our elders sometimes go tracking and neither of our companionships could get lessons so the elders gave us a tutorial on tracking. The idea of it was terrifying and my heart was pounding the entire time. But it was fine. The elders and sisters alternated floors and for the first floor the elders waited by the stairs just in case. Most people didn't answer the door but one lady answered and took a Restoration pamphlet. I felt good afterwards especially because it was certainly outside of my comfort zone.
This week I have seen a lot of miracles. On Thursday we went contacting and I was shocked by how many people listened and gave me their number. It was a big faith builder because I know it was not me. I have been trying a lot harder to apply the scripture 2 Nephi 32:9 and really pray over my goals. If I know I am contacting that day then in every prayer I tell Heavenly Father my plan and pray for Him to bless me. Then I have tried to keep a good attitude no matter how things turns out. I remember when Elder Christoffersen came to our mission and someone asked us a question about patience. He quoted Romans 5:3: "And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience;" He told us not to worry too much about patience because a mission is a trial of patience. He said that as time goes on the trials of a mission will work our patience. I have been so thankful to the Lord because I have started to notice that I have a lot more patience than I used to. We had quite a few figs this week but I didn't let it phase me.
As a mission we just started reading the Book of Mormon as a mission from the beginning. The theme that President asked us to focus on was "faith to work miracles." I have learned to love Nephi even more. I have seen the importance of attitude and perseverance. Although he and his brothers were not successful the first two times he did not give up. As I read about Nephi attaining the plates this morning I realized that perhaps the previous attempts were trials of Nephi's faith. He was showing his faith and perhaps the other attempts built his faith so that he was able to perform the miracle needed to attain the plates. Trials do build our faith and patience. Of that I can testify.
Have another great week! I can't wait to hear about all of your crazy adventures. Keep safe, dad!
Love, Sister Daniel