This past week, we watched 17 Miracles with the senior couple that lives next to us for district meeting. I really enjoyed it, I can't believe how many trials that they had to go through and how the Lord was truly with them. It really made me think about the work and how they're sacrifice made it possible for the Church to be established in Salt Lake. We celebrated Halloween with the members in the branch, but I'm not gonna lie it was pretty lame haha. But they don't celebrate Halloween so we didn't expect a lot. They had two pumpkins and just had everyone draw a face and they carved them and then they pulled out Monopoly again haha. And that's how they did Halloween. We were hoping to meet with a lot of people this week because the other part of Cold Mountain has been given to us for a few weeks until the end of this month because of transfers (the other elders in our district got moved out) but hardly no one answered their phone so we were only able to meet with one of their investigators. We visited him last night in the hospital. He just got a hernia removed. I hope I never have to go to a hospital here! An elder here Elder Perry got really sick and something ruptured in his stomach. He had surgery and he's still recovering from it like 5 months later. Anyway, the hospital was really sketchy. But the investigator was really cool. His name is Oleg. He knows perfect English and has been speaking since the 90's he told us. He told us that he wants to move to the US because work here isn't good and stuff. We taught him about prayer and he prayed at the end of the lesson. We will continue to work with him but I don't know how long we'll have him because new elders are coming in at the end of the month and will retake the other area of Cold Mountain. We are hoping to meet with the family that we helped move the linoleum floor this week. They are hard to find home. Last night the boy talked to us but his parents work really late and weren't there so we're going to go by tonight and try and set up with them for this week. We got stood up by a lady who called us wanting English practice so we're going to try to meet with her again as well. We were also stood up by the lady who we moved all that stuff for. She needs help moving it out of that room and into her apartment now. We were waiting for our ride to pick us up but then they called and said that she cancelled so sometime in the future we'll be helping her again. We have some good goals for this week and we are hoping to achieve them. As I said, Cold Mountain is a slow area but we're doing what we can.
This past Saturday and yesterday were district conference for all of the branches here. (It is the same as stake conference) Saturday night was a Priesthood session and general session and then yesterday was a broadcast from Salt Lake for the Europe East Area. All of the conference was in Russian, so I didn't understand a lot but from what I did understand it was a good conference. Other elders translate for the senior couples and for English speakers that are here (like people from Nigeria) so Elder Schoen was translating and every now and then I would try and listen to what he was saying as well. The session yesterday was great. Elder Uchtdorf, Elder Oaks, Elder Whitney L. Clayton, and SIster Barbara Thompson all spoke from Salt Lake and then it was translated into Russian. As I said the conference was for the Europe East Area. They talked about marriage and encouraged the young single adults to get married. They also talked about helping less-actives come back to church. And Elder Uchtdorf's talk was especially good. He said that the people in the Europe East Area need to be doing three things: they need to have a current temple recommend, they need to read the scriptures as a family together everyday, and they need to pray as a family everyday, morning and night. He also stressed the importance of paying tithing, avoiding pornography, attending the temple as often as they can, and helping the youth in their branches prepare to serve missions. They need more Russian speaking missionaries!!!! It was a good conference. This really cool guy in another branch in Kharkov brought his mission call to open up on Saturday night. He is the branch mission leader there. He is handicapped and has difficulties walking and using his hands, but he is awesome. Elder Schoen worked with him when he was in that branch. So he opened his call up in front of everyone and he has been called to the Ukraine Donetsk Mission! This is where everyone thought that he would serve. He's coming in sometime next year, so it will be awesome to have him here. I don't know him or anything but I know he will be a great missionary for this mission. Maybe I will serve with him? We'll see.
So I mentioned earlier our contacting goal of 10 people a day. It is going good so far. I learn a lot when contacting and I gain more confidence as I do it. There are a few experiences I'd like to share. I've been trying to learn things to say about the Book of Mormon to people on the street in my language study because we always carry copies of the BOM as we contact. The first happened when we were going home after Saturday night's session. We were waiting for our metro train to come and this guy came up and grabbed me and said "I've never read your book before. Can I ask you a question? Who is Mormon? He was a person, right?" So I did my best to explain what I could but I couldn't remember anything I'd studied for the life of me! But then Elder Schoen stepped in and explained things in more detail. We gave him our number and a brochure and stuff so maybe he will call back. The second one was on our way home from Sunday's session. We talked with some Jehovah's Witnesses. It was pretty frustrating! They're arguments were quite lame and we talked to them for like 15 minutes at least. I understood like everything they were saying and we stomped their arguments and everything but they refused to read the BOM so we were both just like Well your choosing to reject the word of God. We know its true because we have read it. That's all we can say to you. Happiness to you! (that's what you say to people after you talk with them) And then last night I approached an older man and starting to talk to him. He said he believed in God and so I started walking next to him. I told him we were here to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and then he asked me "How can you preach something you can't see?" I looked to my left for Elder Schoen but he wasn't there! I was on my own. I asked him to repeat the question to make sure I understood it and then I said Well we can't see God, but we believe in him, right? And I know that he loves us. And then the man said "Well I'm glad that you are here preaching what you believe." and that's how it ended haha, but it was my first time talking to somebody on the street by myself. It was kinda scary but it was a good experience for me.
I received the newsletter and the notes from the Primary yesterday. It's always good to read about how everyone's doing. I especially enjoyed the notes from the Primary. Thanks for those! Annie Abramov wants me 'to tell Stacey how many baptisms I have.' Well Mom, I don't have any yet but I'm here doing the Lord's work and working hard. I know I'm here for a reason. I'm loving my mission very much so far. It's hard to explain the things that I'm learning already but this mission is the best thing that I could've done in my life. I'm very blessed to be here and I'm loving everything about my mission. It's hard work but I know that it is the Lord's work and that there is no other work more important than this on the earth.
This guy came up to me at the district conference and wanted me to do a favor for him. He needs me to order him two CTR rings and have them shipped here. He showed me the exact rings and everything and they're just from the company in Utah where I got mine from. So I'm placing the order today and they will be shipped to the house. He is going to pay me back and everything so when they arrive just put them in my package. That would be awesome! It sounds like everything is going well for you guys. I love you very much! Thanks for your emails, love, and prayers. Thanks for the birthday wishes. I can't believe its my 20th birthday this Friday! Crazy. I will be making a wish at 11:11 and 11 seconds. That's the only time that will happen haha. And Brynn is turning 18! Where has the time gone? Happy Birthday Brynn! I love you all very much. Have a good week!