Monday, February 6, 2012

A Freezing Cold, Hard Week in Cold Mountain

Privet, family. I don't know if you know that word but it means hello in Russian. I hope you have all had a good week home in the USA This week was probably my hardest yet in Cold Mountain. Dima and Vova showed up to our lesson on Thursday night and said that they came by to say thanks for our lessons and for our book, but that they are not interested to meet anymore. We invited them to come up and talk with us a little bit more so we did. They said that they just don't have time to meet anymore and that they just plain and simple aren't interested anymore. Dima said that he has a lot of problems with the Book of Mormon even though he has prayed about it and Vova says that he thinks that the Church has a lot of good things but just doesn't really want to come anymore. I was pretty heart-broken about them dropping us but that's missionary life I guess. I was pretty down on myself after that but through prayer and talking with Elder Frandsen I have come to know that I did what I was supposed to with them. They won't forget me, the Church, or the things that they have learned and I feel that in the future they will remember one day and want to come to back to Church again. I still love them and am grateful that I could teach them the gospel. This area has been hard. They were my only real investigators that were doing progress I've know on my mission. I don't know what else I can do in this area. I've been wondering this question since I walked in the door with Elder Schoen. It's always been a tough area I hear. But I continue to pray that my efforts don't go to waste and that we can find people that want to listen. We have several people that we can meet with but they never pick up their phones! It's super frustrating. So Elder Frandsen and I will be doing a lot of finding, just as Elder Schoen and Robison did with me. We go out every morning at 7 to find and then go finding at night time as well. Because it's pretty cold here now we have started to do some tracting in domes, the huge apartment buildings. I am faithful that we will find elect people that want to hear the gospel. I have been thinking a lot about something I learned in the MTC this week, and that is a mission isn't supposed to be easy because if it wasn't then you wouldn't learn anything. I have been thinking about things that I have learned from being in Cold Mountain so far and I think that the main one is just accepting the will of the Lord and striving to be obedient. No effort is wasted and He always works in His own time. I have also learned to trust in Him with everything that I do. He is only a prayer away and is waiting to help me. I pray that I may continue to grow everyday that I am here and that I can become the missionary that He needs me to be.

And now I will comment on your emails/talk about other things. Yes the weather is freezing right now! Apparently it got to -30 this past week. But I am staying warm though. The members say it's pretty cold and that it's like a rare cold. We went to a family night this past week with a family that Elder Schoen and I got active again (the Morgoon family- I'm not sure if I've talked about them. They are an awesome family!) and the dad scolded me for not wearing a sweater under all my layers haha. I always wear my sweater now! Elder Frandsen and I are getting along better now. It's always weird getting used to a new comp but usually after a week all is well. With my past companions it's just been really easy from the get-go but it wasn't as easy with Elder Frandsen. But we get along good now. We have our differences but he is great. We know some of the same people back home which is cool. We were talking about dates we've been on and whatnot and it turns out that Melinda Murri was in his BYU ward and he knows her. Small world! Also, he seems to think that maybe you might know his mom from Olympus, Janet Thueson. He says that she was a dancer and is probably about your same age. Maybe you know her? I'm sorry that you all have been sick. I haven't been sick since Elder Schoen was with me and that was only for like 2 days (knock on wood) Get better! What did the groundhog say on Groundhog Day? Will there be 6 more weeks of winter? Do you think it would be possible to send me an absentee ballot for the upcoming election? Lots of elders are having their families do that for them. It sounds like Mitt Romney is ahead right now. Also this past week we got mattressess!! So now my back doesn't always ache from sleeping on a piece of plywood! Elder Robison and I had got one mattress but we had to share and took turns every other week. But now we got one more so sleeping is awesome now. And one more thing is that Elder Warner has to go back home due to having some crazy health problems going on right now. They were going to send him to Germany but decided to send him home. Hopefully he can come back. I've only known him for a little more than a transfer but he's a good missionary. So it sounds like for a while now Elder Frandsen and I will be in a threesome with his trainer Elder Fish. I'm not sure yet how that's going to work out, it will be interesting to do things, but we'll make it work. 

Thanks for everything family, you're the best! I love you very much and am so thankful for all that you do for me. Have a good week. The Church is true and we are beyond blessed to have the knowledge that we do of this restored gospel. Talk to you next week!

с любовью,
старейшина каун
украинская донецкая миссия
PS - The picture I sent is how frozen I was after coming in from our morning finding one day this week. You might also find this interesting. There is an Elder in our mission who is from Novosibirsk, Russia, aka Siberia. He says that it feels much colder here than it does back home for him because of the bitter winds and humidity here. So yeah, it's pretty cold here. Drink some candy cane hot chocolate for me! Love you all very much!


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