Monday, February 20, 2012

With Love from Cold Mountain

Privet family! Once again, I can't believe it's been another week here. I couldn't think of a good title for this week so because it was Valentine's Day I just did something really cheesy. Don't judge me haha. Thanks for your emails, they were great. I was so thrilled to hear that Dad got a new job! That is awesome. And on top of that to hear that Brynn got a sweet internship! Heavenly Father blesses our lives as we are patient and turn to Him. It's never right when we want it but it always comes in His own timing. I know this to be true. This past week was good, just another week in Cold Mountain. We were able to meet with Sasha, the investigator who Elder Schoen and I met with a few times. It was a good lesson, we just talked about the Book of Mormon and he wanted to read a chapter from it so we read 1 Nephi 4 with him. He says that reading the Bible and the Book of Mormon bring light to his life. He recognizes the Spirit in his life which is awesome but he won't act on what he feels. We asked him to keep reading at home but he said his same excuse as the previous times- that he doesn't have any time at all because of school and that he doesn't want to get school and the gospel mixed up with each other. So unfortunately we can't really do anything with him until he decides to act. It's frustrating to teach people that know the Book of Mormon is true and can feel the Spirit but just don't really have a desire to do anything further. But I am learning that all I can do is just love and invite these people to act and the rest is up to them. I feel sometimes that I haven't really done a lot for Cold Mountain but I must remember that I have been doing my best to build it up and have been following the counsel from President Campero. My work here will help future missionaries who serve and I am faithful that the people I have met with will be able to meet in the future and remember the Church.

Let's see, I went on a split this past week with the Native Ukrainian in our district now. His name is Elder Vitali Yurtaev. He is 28 and is in the Branch Presidency at the Saltovka Branch. I asked him about his conversion story and it was pretty cool. In 1992 sister missionaries contacted his mom on the street and then they came over and started teaching his whole family. His whole family (grandma, mom, sister) and himself got baptized pretty quick but his dad never joined. He went in-active in his late-teens but he said that because of good friends and their influence that he became active again and is grateful that he can be a member of the Church. We didn't do too much on our split, just went finding on the streets and talked to people. We were supposed to have a lesson but it fell through. It was interesting to be with a native doing missionary work. He said that he hopes that everyone remembers at the final day that they rejected the gospel when it was presented to them on the street. It's pretty harsh but true haha. And also this past week there was a Valentine's Night activity at the branch that the members arranged. We watched some youtube clips about where Valentine's Day came from, listened to a spiritual thought about love, and then there were some musical numbers as well. It was a good activity, the members are doing good at planning and carrying out things like that, instead of the missionaries doing it like it's been in the past. Elder Frandsen and I are continuing to do what we can here in Cold Mountain. We have basically made a huge call list of everyone that might be able to meet and we just call them everyday. It's pretty frustrating though because no one picks up. We also do lots of contacting on the streets as I'm sure you know. We have talked with some cool people on the streets but nothing has come out of it yet. One man gave us his address but he wasn't home and two numbers that we got don't work. But we just gotta keep on keeping on and just keep on trying to find people that are ready. We had an interesting contact on Saturday night. We stopped an older man and he talked to us for like 20 seconds maybe. We asked him if he wanted to live with his family for eternity and he said no! That pretty much stopped our conversation from there. It's pretty sad but like I keep saying everyone has their own agency and all we can do is invite people to come unto Christ.

Also last night we met with President Miroshnichenko (Valera) and his wife. It was a good meeting. We talked more with them about doing My Zion and how the most effective way to do missionary work is with members inviting friends to know about the Church in their own home. They want to do it but they wanted more time to pray and think about it. Elder Frandsen gave a talk yesterday in Church about this and so we just talked more with them basically about doing work with members. We talked about this area and about the Church here. Someday there will be a stake in Cold Mountain and a Temple in Kharkov! But in order to get there members have to do their part. The Church is still young here but in the future it is going to be booming.

And now for some other comments/tidbits. I wasn't too freaked out with the whole police incident because the police here don't really do anything and I've always heard from other missionaries that all you really need to do is just show your passport. And I just kept praying throughout the whole thing that everything would be okay and it was. It's still pretty cold here. Maybe not as cold as it has been but it's definitely just bitter cold. I hear that next month things will start warming up again. And it sounds like your lesson was the same one that I heard yesterday in Sunday School Mom. 2 Nephi 4 is definitely my favorite part of the Book of Mormon. It's pretty powerful stuff. I'm glad that you are enjoying teaching it. And one more thing, very soon here the new translation of the Book of Mormon in Russian is going to come out. The current Russian Book of Mormon has several errors in it and was not translated very good so they have been working on a new one for a while now and it's almost time to be revealed. All of the missionaries are getting a free hardback triple of the new translation but we can order a leather bound one on and it's like $20 so I'm going to do that.

Thanks for everything family, I love you very much. I continue to pray for you and hope that all is going well for you in work and school. Heavenly Father loves us. He hears and answers our prayers. The Church is true and I'm so grateful to be a part of this great and marvelous work. Talk to you next week!

с любовью,
старейшина каун
украинская донецкая миссия

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