October 31, 2011
Galloween (nope, I didn't misspell it!)
Hello family and friends!
Well, the Russians love to make any word that starts with an "H" in English over to a "G", which makes it kind of funny at times. Galloween, Garry Potter, etc. it makes sorta sense why it's like that in Russian, but it's still just super funny to me. Not sure if I could take Harry seriously if he was actually called Garry. Ah well!
It's been a good week! It's confirmed, I will be staying here in Zavodskoi for another cycle and I know my new companions name! Mom, you'll really love this, his name is Elder Johnson! I'd tell you about him, but I don't know him yet! I'll be meeting him tomorrow at the train station and then start working with him! He actually was trained here in Zavodskoi, so he knows the area as well as I do (which is good, because I'm still, as ever, not the best of navigators). Cool beans!
The work has been going really well here! I had the privelage of asking our 13 year-old investigator (whose name is [...]) is she would prepare to get herself to be bapized. And she said yes! He baptism will be on the [...] of November, with any luck, and I'm way excited to begin setting that all up for her and whatnot. In this interim period between my old companion, Elder Fearn (who will already be home by the time you read this letter. Crazy!) and my new one, Elder Johson, I've been working with Elder Stoddard, who came into Russia the same time as me. We've been having a blast working here together and it's comforting to both of us to see that our Russian is on the same level and that we can even hold our own in conversations with people on the street and in lessons with investgators. Way cool!
I had a cool experience this past week that I wanted to share with ya'll. One personal study session I read all of Ether in one go. I love Ether, and especially Ether 12, but it wasn't an extraordinary study that day, just a usual one. After personal study we always have companionship study and we start it by telling each other that which we read. As I was explaining to my companion what I had read I had an odd prompting come to my mind. I felt like I should merely look straight ahead while I explained what I read (as opposed to te side in explaining to my comapnion) and imagine like I was talking to Heavenly Father about what I was reading. It was an odd prompting, but I did it. As I was explaining to Heavenly Father (and my companion, by proxy) about Ether 12 I started to cry. Moroni is talking, inthat chapter, about how worried he is that the Gentiles would mock him for his writing. How if it were possible he would write in a different language and it would be clearer, or if he had better hands he could explain better like unto his words, but that he could not. I saw myself, in my minds, kneeling before my Heavenly Father and crying. I still feel the struggle an dthe hardness of talking to people in Russian, in struggling still in trying to explain how I feel and what I think and what I want to teach. At times I truly feel like I have no skills, save for the skill to love others, and that I must be a poor servant to my God in trying to work with the Russians. I felt comforted though as I read on and explained to Heavenly Father that it would be ok, just like it was for Moroni and I knew and felt God's love for me that day, along with the knowledge that I am supposed to be right here, doing this work right now.
Thank you so much for you love and help. Mom, I especially feel you love and prayers. The hard times are hard, and the sweet times and even sweeter because of your love and prayers. Thank you so much for writing me everyweek, both you and Dad and for reading what I write. I love you all so much, my family especially and my friends too. The Lord is here in Russia, and I'm lucky enough to be numbered among the servants in this part of the vineyard. Be good, eat your veggies, and everything will go well :)
Much love, as always