Monday, February 27, 2012

It's Getting Warmer!

Privet Family!

Well, it's been another week here in Cold Mountain. As you might've noticed from the title this week, things are warming up. The snow is basically all slush now. Elder Frandsen and I are continuing to do our best in this area. We found some really cool people on the streets this week but unfortunately nothing turned out with them. One guy in particular was named Arthur (Arture in Russian) He was very interested in our message and wanted to meet on Saturday. He told us that he just barely started to read the Bible and recently quit smoking but that he didn't know why! So we were very excited to meet with him on Saturday but he didn't show up. And he told us that he didn't have a phone so we didn't have his number or anything. But hey, now he knows about the Church and all we can do is just pray that in the future when missionaries find him again that he will remember us and want to meet. We have met some pretty prepared people on the street but nothing ever happens with them and it's frustrating! But I am learning time and time again that everyone has their own agency and that no effort is wasted. Also that same night we saw two really young kids smoking. The one was probably about 10 and he passed the cigarette to his younger brother who was maybe 6 at the oldest. It's pretty sad but we can't do anything about it. I'm just grateful for laws in the US that prohibit things like this.

So Wednesday this week we had our district meeting with the Burrs. Sister Burr told me that she received an email about Turkey being opened and that there were pictures of all the missionaries arriving and stuff. So she let me look at it and there were several pictures of Elder Seymour and the other missionaries starting to work! It was crazy to see Gerrit because I was just thinking back to our lives before the mission and it was weird to think that I know him haha. I don't know if that makes sense or not but it's just weird and awesome at the same time. I forwarded you the email so that you can read it too. Hopefully the pictures work and stuff on it. This week was also Elder Frandsen's year mark on his mission. Time is crazy here, it just kind of exists. Pretty soon I will pass my year mark of getting my call. Where did that year go?! There was also a holiday this week called Men's Day. It's basically like Father's Day in the US except all of the men here get honored, not just fathers. There's basically a holiday every day here though haha, we usually just don't know what they are.

We taught three member lessons this past week. One was with a lady who has been less-active named Vika. I'm not sure if I've talked about her. I probably have. Elder Schoen and I met with her. She wants to serve a mission now so we're helping her get ready for that. The next was with the branch piano player. He's probably the best piano player I've ever heard. He is a professional classical pianist and if I understood right has won tons of competitions in Moscow and stuff. He played some Beethoven for us after our lesson and it was amazing. And then last night we met with the Nadenko family. They are an awesome family. The dad got divorced about a year ago but remarried a returned missionary and now they live together with two of his boys in Center Branch. We have been trying to work more with members here to help them share the gospel with their friends and families. We had an idea to ask them to think of a name that we can pray about and then make a plan to invite them to know more. This has been going well. The Lord always provides a way for His will to be done and as we strive to invite others to learn about the gospel He blesses all of us.

And now to answer some of your questions/comment on things. Yes, of course Elder Frandsen and I talk about music haha. Not so much percussion but sometimes. He knows Danny Soulier because he taught percussion at Bingham/graduated from there. Elder Frandsen stopped playing percussion like his senior year or around there so he's a little rusty but he can still play some things though. I have only talked to Elder Schoen once because he never emails me back. He's doing good it sounded like. He said he went on a date but didn't know what to do haha and he's also going to Institute. That's awesome we're getting a fence! Send me some pictures, it sounds like it will be very nice. That's cool you got to talk to your client about the Church. It sounds like you cleared up a lot of his concerns. But most of all you gave him a better impression of the Church and were able to testify to him. I agree with you 100% that Church members just shove religion down your throat. That's not how it should be at all and it's unfortunate that that's how it is with some members. But serving a mission I've really learned so far that no effort is wasted and that really just sharing our testimony with people is the best way to preach the gospel. Just being respectful and kind is how the work needs to be done. Of course we must be bold but we must also be loving. The first and second commandments were to love the Lord and our neighbor, so that's what we need to do. When Abinadi was teaching the priests of King Noah he started off with love. And although he thought he was unsuccessful his efforts weren't wasted because Alma listened and later became a prophet and influenced many generations all the way down to Moroni. So basically that's awesome that you were able to talk with him a little bit about the Church! Elder Frandsen and I have been talking and we have decided that it's not hard to share the gospel with people we don't know but it's terrifying to share it with those we love haha. We can walk up to Ukrainians and Russians on the street and just get rejected but we're terrified of sharing the gospel with our friends and family at home. After my mission though I really want to share the gospel with all of my friends who aren't members. I know that the Lord always provides a way and that we are blessed as we strive to share the gospel.

Transfer calls are coming out again this Friday. I am pretty certain I will be getting one but at the same time anything is possible haha. But most likely I will get one, only time will tell. If I had a guess I would say that next transfer I will go to a younger companion who has just finished being trained because next week there is a huge group of missionaries going home, many of whom were training, but we'll see. I'll keep you posted. Also, I have a few picture requests - a picture of the Church building, our house, and the beast! People here like to see stuff like that. I can't think of anything else for this week. I love you all very much and am grateful for your love to me. I hope all is well with you. The Church is true! Keep on keepin on!

с любовью,
старейшина каун
украинская донецкая миссия

ps - Pictures this week are our current district, a picture from a celebration this week in Center about winter leaving and spring coming, and me standing by a poster in Church about Men's Day. (We brought ties that we didn't want anymore and they were given to men in the branch as gifts) Enjoy!


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