Monday, November 21, 2011

Week 9 in Cold Mountain

Hello family! It's been a good week here, our most successful week yet! We taught 5 lessons: 3 member lessons, 1 less-active, and 1 member present lesson to an investigator. It was our very first member present lesson and was a very good one. Our investigator's name is Sasha. He was the other elders' investigator but because we have their area now he is our investigator. He is studying right now to be an engineer of sorts and is very busy with school and studies. He believes the Book of Mormon is true but he won't make time to read it and pray about it because of school. He is confused about why there's no evidence of the Book of Mormon (like why we can't see the gold plates) so in our lesson we showed him the testimonies of the three and eight witnesses and shared Ether 12:6 with him. The member we were with is one of the youth in the branch named Pasha. He is 18 and is getting ready to go on a mission. He is also busy with school but he shared how he finds time to study the Book of Mormon. We also read from the Book of Mormon issue of the Liahona. That issue is awesome! We read the story about the girl from Russia who found that the Book of Mormon was true and shared with him the article titled "If you really want to know, you will know." He says that he will try to read but that he won't promise us anything. So we told him that we will text him and remind him to read everynight. He liked this. (And yes, we can text now, it just barely got approved in the mission!) Unfortunately, he said he can't meet until mid-January now because of school and then he's going to visit his family in Donetsk and friends in Moscow for break. So hopefully he reads and is able to know for himself that the Book of Mormon is true! The same day we taught Sasha the girl we met at my birthday dinner named Laura called us and said that she wanted to give us the Book of Mormon back that we gave her. She didn't consider it to be a holy book. She is taking the discussions from the Jehovah's Witnesses right now and she said she didn't want anything to do with the Mormons. So it was very interesting to receive a Book of Mormon back from someone who rejected its divinity and truth and then right after, teach someone who believes its true but just needs to put forth the effort to really know if it is. I am learning more and more everyday from my personal study and from experiences like this how true the Book of Mormon and how crucial it is to the work. It truly is the keystone of our religon. Our less-active lesson that we always have weekly can't meet anymore so this week was our last meeting with her. Her name is Vika and she was baptized 7 years ago. She moved in with her parents now and they are very against the Church so they won't allow her to meet anymore. She will still continue to go to Church and Institute but she can't meet with missionaries anymore. Hopefully she stays active in the Church.

I learned a 'transfer secret' from the Zone Leaders this week. Transfers happen every 6 weeks and there's always a lot of hype about transfers. Everyone tries to figure out whose going where and whose going AP and Zone Leader and stuff but sometimes secrets get out haha. So because Elder Schoen is going home in week 5 of this transfer, I will be put into a threesome with the Zone Leaders in Center Kharkov to finish training. But because they are Zone Leaders I will either be going to different companionships when they do their Zone Leader things or I may get to go with them for trips and stuff. We'll see. And then after this transfer, I will be staying in Cold Mountain for at least one more transfer with my new companion. So that's the secret! I really love this area so I'm glad I'll be staying. It is really hard but it's where I need to be. We got some good contacts this last week so hopefully we will be able to meet with them this week. Last night we met with President and Sister Miroshnichenko. (Valera and his wife) We did a short spiritual thought about receiving revelation at church and then the Zone Leaders helped him come up with a branch mission plan. This branch is really awesome. The members are great and the families that we meet with are strong. But as I have said, they just need help becoming better members. I can't even imagine being branch president after being baptized a year ago! The Lord truly prepares His children for the callings they have and to hear the gospel.

And now to answer your questions! The temperatures here are in celcius not fahrenheit so it's really like 15 F here. Its cold but I'm staying warm. I hear it gets really cold in January and February so I'll keep you posted. President and Sister Campero are amazing! Elder Rallison said it exactly right, he is like a Spanish President Hinckley. He knows what needs to happen here and is very loving of everyone. Yes, I am learning to cook many things. I really enjoy cooking now haha. We make our own pizzas every week with our own dough, we make our own flour tortillas for tacos, we make borsh so yeah I am learning a lot about cooking. We will make many things when I get back for sure! Elder Schoen is going home in like two weeks. Crazy stuff. He has been sick this past week but he's doing better now. I'm trying to keep him alive haha. I haven't heard anything about Christmas yet but I will let you know when I do. And I can't believe my package is 38 pounds!!! That's crazy!!! I can't wait to open it!

Well, I love you all very much. Thanks for everything. Tell everyone I love them and that I'm good. Have a good week!

с любовью,
старейшина каун
украинская донецкая миссия

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