Monday, October 1, 2012

Goodbye Donetsk! Miss you already!

Privet family!

Well, the time has come- I am getting transferred out of the office to somewhere new. I'm really sad to be leaving because this area has been my favorite so far on my mission! I have been so blessed to serve here. I have truly grown to love the people with whom I work, as well as the members in the branch. The office has become my home away from home! Sister Irina and Sister Lydia are like my grandmas, the Colemans are like my parents haha. But seriously though, it will be hard for me to leave the office. But wherever I serve next I know that everything I've done here has prepared me for it. It's so amazing to think that Heavenly Father works through us to bring about small and simple things. Working here in the office I've basically seen firsthand how the mission works. It truly is a great and marvelous work to be a part of.

This past week several miracles happened that I'd like to write about. The first is Nadezhda. Elder Nuzman and I met with her on Thursday and had no idea what would happen on the lesson because of the text she sent us last week about her family being against her going to Church and being baptized. We planned a few verses to read with her but mainly planned that we would just need to really teach with the Spirit because what could we say that she doesn't already know? That she should be baptized and abandon her family, even though family is the most important unit of the Church? So we got to the lesson and I remembered a quote from Elder Holland that all we need to do is just listen to our investigator and they will tell us what we need to say. She first told us a story about how she went to the Russian Catholic church with her family last Sunday because they wouldn't allow her to attend ours. Basically she met a priest there who was praying for vodka that had been purchased with the tithing money. He then started to drink and hold a worship service. Nadezhda scolded him and asked him how he could be a priest if he was drunk. He said that because he went to seminary and passed that he was a priest and that she should leave him alone. But she just kept saying all this stuff to him about how the body is a temple and how the Russian Catholic church isn't true and that he was a false priest that he kicked her out of the service. She was really sad because she wanted to come to Church with us and prayed for forgiveness for not being able to. After this intro to the lesson, she brought up a question her family told her about it's a sin to be baptized twice. We explained the importance of receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and turned to Acts 19. From there we were just able to share a few verses from 3 Nephi 27 that talked about the importance of being baptized and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. We felt impressed to pray with her on the lesson to know when she should be baptized. We decided on October 6, this upcoming Saturday and told her that she needs to come to Church in order for this to happen. We listened to the Spirit and the lesson went really good. Well, she came to Church yesterday and loved it! She wasn't able to stay the whole time but she stayed for Sacrament and Gospel Principles. Unfortunately, the branch president wants to wait for her to be baptized so it won't be this Saturday. BUT it will be soon, hopefully in two Saturdays. I will keep in touch with Elder Nuzman and keep you all informed how she's doing.

Another miracle was that we finally got moved out of our apartment! and are now living with the APs for the time being. We don't have an apartment to live in so we're living with them until a new one is found. But they are rarely even there because they travel around the whole mission so it will be alright. It felt awesome to move and I must say that cold juice tastes 100 times better than warm juice haha. And the other miracle I wanted to write about happened when I was on a split with Elder Moss Saturday night. We went finding on the streets for the night because no one could meet and literally everyone on the street didn't want to talk with us either. However, we were faithful and tried talking to every person that passed us and at the very end of the night we were blessed with an amazing contact named Dmitri. He was the last one we talked to just before coming in. I stopped him in Russian, then he replied in perfect English! It turns out that he lived in California for five years working for a security company and he knew about the Church because many of his bosses were members! We just got talking and learned about his family and life, then tied the gospel into the conversation. He wants to meet (we're hopefully meeting him tonight) and he told us that if there's anything he can help us with then just call. The Lord truly blessed us for our efforts on the street, I know this to be true. It always blows my mind that within several minutes we become friends with strangers on the street and they want to meet and become friends. That's the power of the gospel. Also this week we met several of our goals, including two new investigators Aleksander and Sasha. Aleksander is mostly interested in English but wants to read the Book of Mormon and Sasha had us over for dinner last night (again, power of the gospel!) but unfortunately he doesn't live in our area so we have to pass him. They're both just contacts from off the street. There are people everywhere, we just need to talk to them.

I love you all very much! Have a great week and keep on keepin on! Talk to you later!

с любовью,
Старейшина Каун
Украинская Донецкая Миссия

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