Monday, October 29, 2012

Walking in a winter wonderland

Life is funny. As you may have guessed from the title it snowed this week on Friday... and until this afternoon it did not stop. It was funny because I remembered my last interview with President, after we cleared up that I had one more transfer left, he said, "Well, maybe you'll get to see some snow before you go home." I responded, "I hope not. I really don't want to buy another pair of boots." Well, Heavenly Father has a sense of humor because we are probably the first city to have snow in our mission. But all is well. I'm enjoying the snow, especially because I know I won't have to deal with it for the next 5 months. Even some of the members were surprised that it snowed so early. They said it had been a while since they had seen it snow this much in October. 

Anyways! This week was a good one. We did a lot of service and went around to different English groups in Yaroslavl. Also we went up on Wednesday to Rybinsk, a city about 2 hours from Yaroslavl. A pair of elders in our district live and work up there. It is a new area and was only opened about a month and a half ago. A few great members live there. Well, we went up, spent two hours contacting, and then had our district meeting. I was really excited to go contacting. Lately we have not been putting in as many contacting hours as we should so I was so excited. It was pretty chilly but despite complaints of how cold it was we pressed on and we talked to a few people and hopefully we have some more potential for the elders. Overall it was a really great trip and I came away very happy.

ON Friday we had our branch Halloween party! At first we were all a little worried because for the first 45 minutes only people from English Club, the missionaries, and the members who planned the party was there. But slowly other members trickled in and then our two families came. It was a success! And it was hilarious to see Russians doing the limbo. Some people could go really low. We were put in charge of all the games and thankfully they all enjoyed them. We played limbo, musical chairs, had a three-legged race, and had to find a candy in a whipped cream pie. I participated in the pie eating contest. I had my face painted as a lion which got ruined but I think they enjoyed seeing a sister willing to bury her face in a whipped cream pie. Overall it was great and so many people came.

There were some great experiences this week. There is a member who got upset at the sisters a while back. We have been trying to fix that and just be nice to her. I called her earlier this week and asked if we could come over. She refused us and told us that she was busy all week. It would be easy to say, "Well, at least we tried!" It was her birthday this week and although she had given us the cold shoulder we decided to do something nice for her. We dropped by on her birthday and gave her a card, chocolate, and a purple flower. She didn't expect it and I think she was happy. Yesterday at church she said hello to us and gave me a hug and she initiated it. 

We also tried to find Larisa. I have only met with her once and then she disappeared. Her work went out of business and she has not answered our calls. It has been very sad but we saw a lot of miracles in trying to find her. We didn't have her address and we prayed that we would find some way to find her. We talked to a former sister and she gave us a lead on where we might find her address. Well we found it! Sadly, when we dropped by no one was home and the person who answered couldn't give us any information. Although we still have not found her, it did not diminish the fact that it was a miracle that we even found her address. The Lord helped us to be after to do all we could to help her.

I have definitely seen so many miracles and answers to my prayers. Yesterday was a great example. I fasted for help in finding new investigators because that is really what we need (it's what all missionaries need). Yesterday in district meeting the training was about finding new investigators. It was not anything new but it reminded me of what I needed to be doing. I remembered so many instances where I talked to someone and it was a great experience. Also, I have received so much knowledge as I have read the scriptures.One thing I have learned to appreciate, or rather a trait I want to emulate is the phrase "easy to be entreated". So often in life things don't happen how you want them to be or how you planned. But what is our attitude when we are faced with a difficult or expected situation. Do I complain or do I press forward with a smile. Do I have to be forced to do what I know needs to be done?These are a lot of questions I have been asking myself as I think about this phrase. Easy to be entreated is really honestly being able to say, " not my will but thy will be done".

This week we have a zone conference in Moscow and I will have my last interview with President before the final exit interview. I'll include the details about those last few days when I find them out. I am continuing to work hard and trying to do my best. I love you all and pray for you. Please continue to pray for the Russian people. 

Sister Daniel

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