This past week has been good, Elder Lambert and I have been working hard finding on the streets and trying to get investigators progressing. Here's a little bit about investigators- We have a new investigator that we met last week but met with him this week. His name is Akbar. He's from Iran and knows pretty good English. I don't think I talked about this yet but English club is back in the mission and every week we are allowed to hold a club and speak English with people for half an hour and then do half an hour of spiritual english. So he came to English on Friday and loved it and stayed for the spiritual thought so now we're meeting with him. He grew up Muslim and he doesn't know too much about Jesus Christ so we're going to basically teach him who Christ is and why He's so important. Muslims actually believe very similar things to us, which is cool. They believe in the same Plan of Salvation but just that Christ was only a prophet, not a redeemer. It will interesting to teach him. He's way cool though and super nice. Immanuel has started to read the Book of Mormon. We met with him last night and had a lesson all about the Priesthood and how authority is needed to baptize. He still doesn't understand this concept. So as we were teaching him he said that he agreed with everything and whatnot, so at the end of the lesson it all built up to asking him to be baptized. He said "My brothers, I'm already baptized. I already have the authority." So we explained it again and committed him to pray about it. We don't know how much he's understanding. We have a lesson with him again on Tuesday so we'll see how that goes. And Cody. We taught Cody on Thursday this week and did the Plan of Salvation with him. He agreed with some parts of the plan, but not all. He doesn't think it's right that the gospel is preached again in the spirit world. He sees it as a second chance and so his main concern was "Why accept it here if we can accept it there?" We tried to explain this a little but it's a hard question to answer. He also sees the Terrestrial Kingdom as a middle ground and therefore not necessary. He has some interesting opinions. We don't know what to do with him. He seems like he just wants to know the doctrine but not really do anything about it. We're going to have a keep or drop lesson this week with him. After our lesson we went to his apartment for a dinner. His team was there and we just talked about lots of things haha. But not really about doctrine so much, just about how we do missionary work. Their mission is basically just volunteer work. They don't have a schedule, they go out to movies, talk to their family whenever, play xbox, etc, and then now and then have Bible studies/sermons and teach people. They also don't really study Russian at all, there are just translators in their church who know good English so yeah. We talked a little about our daily schedule and they couldn't believe some things that we do, like only talk to family twice a year. They said that they experience the same trial we do though, like people not being open to meeting and changing their lives. This led us to talk a bit about modern-day revelation and how apostles have prophesied about this area of the world exploding haha. It was a very interesting, eye opening night. They were really nice people but it was just so obvious like something was missing. And of course that is the gospel. But we gave them a good example of missionaries though so maybe in the future they will remember the Church.
We had a crazy experience this weekend. I don't know what to think of it yet. So Saturday night we had a lesson set up with Immanuel. We got to his house and he dogged us, so we decided to just find people around that area. We talked with the first man we saw and he was a little crazy. We didn't really understand him at all and so we kept walking. I had a feeling that we were going to find someone amazing. We kept walking and in the distance we saw an older guy walking with crutches. We got to him, stopped him and started to talk. His name is Volodia. We asked him if he believed in God and he said "Of course. I'm standing because of Him." Then he told us a story about how his doctor told him he'd never walk but that he proved the doctor wrong and was walking with the help of crutches. It was awesome. So then we talked a little about the Church and asked him if he read the Bible. He said yes. We asked him if he had heard of the Book of Mormon at all and he said no. So we talked a little about it and asked him if he heard about Christ appearing on other continents after His Resurrection. He said "Yeah, I read about that happening. I believe it" And then I said "There's an account of Christ appearing on the american continent in this book. The Bible also talks about it happening. I know it's true." I felt the Spirit testify of this truthfulness as I said these words. And I know he felt it right there on the street. We talked after that about the Restoration and how we have a prophet and apostles, just like the Church that Christ organized. He said that he felt that was true. We gave him the Book of Mormon and he said he would start reading it that night and that he wanted to read the whole thing. We asked him if he wanted to meet and talk more and he said we could meet the next day (Sunday) So we wrote down his address and confirmed everything. So then yesterday we showed up to his apartment building but the number he told us he lived in doesn't exist! We went into a few of the floors and knocked doors and asked if anyone knew him but no one did. We searched around the apartment for a long time but we weren't able to find him. I don't know what to think of this! This man was prepared to meet us and now we can't find him. This week we're going to spend time every night around his apartment and see if we see him again. I pray that we'll find him somehow. If not, then I guess that he'll come in contact with missionaries again or something. The Lord works in mysterious ways.
Also this week we did a service project with the branch. Every several months there is a Helping Hands service project that is through the Church and happens everywhere in Ukraine. Each branch does their own so it's pretty cool. Our project was cleaning up a road littered with trash. We were there for three hours and took out like 50 bags of trash, it was crazy. I sent some pics from that. It was kind of funny because there's a warning painted on the fence of the road that says "Fine for throwing trash is 1000 grieven" Welcome to Ukraine.
Now for comments/tidbits. I sent a package home last Tuesday. I really hope it gets to you okay haha. I always wish this but this time they sent it Russian style, wrapped in paper. So keep an eye out for that. It is gifts from Armenia and some posters that I bought here. I put everything inside of a bag that I bought in Armenia including a note so just read that when you get it. I also received your package! but I haven't opened it yet. It was in Center, and then the sisters picked it up and haven't brought it to me yet so their supposed to bring it today. So I'll tell you how everything is next week. Thanks in advance though for everything in it!
I love you all and hope that all is well. Have a great week and I'll talk to you next Monday!
украинская донецкая миссия