As I wrote last week I am continuing to learn my role here in Yaroslavl. Yes, death transfers are a challenge at times especially when you know how much time you have left in an area. First now the question is "Can I get done all that I need to in 5 weeks?" There is a lot of work ahead of us. It is also hard fighting the urge just to do a lot of things by myself, thinking, "It will be faster if I do it". Sometimes it would be easy to do things that I know how to do but more importantly I have learned that I need to teach my companion. The way I got good at a lot of different skills is because I worked hard and did it enough. Sometimes it requires a lot of patience. It has been interesting to evaluate our missionary work here and here and think that there is something that we need to be doing more and then I think, "That's why I am here."
It was a good week including finishing General Conference, learning more about investigators, doing lots of service, and our elders had a baptism on Saturday.
I'll start with the investigators. This week we met with Caroline and Larisa. Caroline is from Africa and is studying medicine here in Russia. On Monday no one besides her showed up to Family Home Evening so we decided to watch some of Conference with her. She loved it and found it very inspiring. Afterwards we meant to have a small lesson which turned into a longer lesson as she told us of some of her questions. At first we fell into the trap of simply trying to answer her questions. But as we tried to answer the question another question would come up. As we talked I was reminded of the quote in Preach My Gospel where eventually every man is backed up to the wall of faith and a lot of concerns come down to the simple question, "Was Joseph Smith really a prophet?" which is answered by another question, "Is the Book of Mormon true?" The more we talked the more I realized that that was what was wrong with all we were doing. It has been interesting to see that the gift of discernment is real. I have been feeling lately like I will sit in lessons and the thought will come to me of what is wrong or what is missing.
we also met with Larisa, a nice lady. She had a baptismal date but got sick right before the baptism and became scared. She works in a flower shop and we helped her a little before we started our lesson. She is really nice to us. We learned a lot about her that my companion, Sister O'Neal did not know. With her it all comes back to faith and trusting in the Lord. Right now she has a lot of trials and the solution is simple but challenging: do what the Lord asks and trust that He will fulfill his promises. One scripture that I shared with her is 3 Nephi 13:31-33. For the past 3 transfers I have found myself sharing this scripture in almost every lesson because I have applied it and it is true. Whenever I have put the Lord first everything else has fallen into place.
We met with quite a few members this week, which has been really nice. The members that I have met I have loved. We have some great youth who take a lot of responsibilities upon themselves. They are great and I admire them so much. I have especially come to love the church youth here in Russia because I see how they are the future and I want to do everything I can to help them.
Of course the one thing we need more than anything is new investigators. If you could, please remember us and the Russians in your prayers. Pray for us to find those who have been prepared. It is so easy to get distracted but we are trying to stay focused.
In other random news it has been pretty cold this week, certainly colder than Ryazan. As we walked to the baptism a thermometer read 3 degrees celsius. I read it might snow this week here. The Volga river cuts through Yaroslavl and there have been a few mornings where it has been very foggy. There has also been a fair share of rain. I'm just hoping the snow can hold off for a few weeks. But Yaroslavl typically gets snow earlier than other cities so I assume I will see some snow fall before I go.
This next week will be a good and exciting week I think. One of my investigators from Ryazan, Angela, is getting baptized this weekend! I am so happy for her and from what I hear she can't wait. We made some good plans and are working to execute them and not become distracted from our purpose here. Thank you for all of your support and all of your prayers. My prayers are with you.
Love, Sister Daniel