Highlights from the past week:
I was on a split with Elder Nelson in Sesteretsk and there we met with a couple of grandmas and also a less active member named Ruslan after we played soccer with him. During one of the meetings we were at the branch helping a grandma with her family history work and, Ruslan showed up at the branch. Ruslan has been meeting with the missionaries for some time, but never wanted to do anything about trying to come back to church. Well we invited him in and as we were sitting by the computer, Russlan said out of the blue, "I want to pass the sacrament. How can I do that?" Elder Nelson both got a shocked look on our face for a second, then told him that he needed to repent and come back to church to be able to do that. He said, "Okay, call the branch president. I'll meet with him tomorrow" and now he has started the repentance process! I don't do this story justice, but it was a true miracle to see!
The next day before we left we cut wood for a Babushka- Grandma, and that was really fun and eventful. Poor Elder Sherman almost cut off his finger- not good! The Babushka's neighbor had a chocolate lab that really wanted to play, so I got my dog fix. ha ha.
Lots of people agreed to meet with us this last week, and then dogged us or didn't want to later... I'm trying to find a way to achieve our goals, but it is really hard when your goals are dependant on other people's schedules, and their desire to meet with you. We aren't letting that stop us though and we are working hard, especially with less active members, as we don't have many investigators... yet.
I was on a split with Elder Rasmusen from St. George, and he is a really cool Elder! He's had some hard things happen to him in his life, but has a great testimony and he works hard. He's pretty brave! The way he contacts people on the street makes you think he has been out here for a while. When I was with him we met with a new investigator, and a less active. He is doing really good and will become a great missionary!
I don't know how to help one less active member who I have been working with for the pass 3 transfers. He loves the missionaries, and he knows the Church is true, but he doesn't want to come to church. He says he has other interests and that it is boring to him sometimes. Yesterday we had a meeting with him and both Elder Loskutov and I felt the Spirit very strongly and this less active said he did too. But he still didn't want to come back... Any ideas? We've talked with him about everything it seems.
About the date that I am going to go home on, I have decided on January 26th. I can honestly say that I have worked hard on my mission, and I've put in the effort. I feel that the Lord will support whatever I decide, and He wants me to make the decision. Also, I think if you served your mission right, then it never really ends, you continue to serve throughout your life, just the type of service changes.
I've been sleeping better lately, and I'm doing well. :)
Did you get my card yet? I sent a card a little while ago, but never heard if you got it?
Glad to hear that the Code man is safe! Faik has been keeping me up to date with everything in New York, as he knows that Cody is serving there. That's crazy! Signs of the times! Sounds kind of exciting actually to be serving in New York right now...
I'm really glad to be serving my mission. I've learned a lot. I've come to understand better that this life has a silver lining, the promises of God are golden, and our potential is priceless, I love you all, and hope that you know this for yourself!
Gotta Run! Peace!