Thanks for forwarding emails of Elders Wheelhouse, Peteresen, Chapman, and McClure. It was really cool to read them since they're all in different phases of missionary work, but at the same time it's fun to relate to the experiences they're having. It makes me happy to see all of my good friends going on missions and STAYING on missions. I'll always remember Dad's quote about how important staying on a mission is.
Well, let's start with the good news... 2 of our investigators came to church yesterday! We only had sacrament meeting because the building was really cold (thanks to someone who forgot to pay the gas bills) but they really enjoyed it! The bad news is that Aba has disappeared and we haven't been able to contact him... It's sad when people that we come to love don't want to talk to us anymore... But no matter what, we still find. I really love to knock out here. It's fun to meet all sorts of people and talk to them about Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon. We're still teaching Коля. He's reading everything we ask him to. He's almost done with the Book of Mormon AND the Doctrine and Covenants. Just recently, we gave him Safety For the Soul to read and he loved it. He still thinks that the Orthodox church and our church are both right, but we're still trying to get him to understand the whole authority part of it. The gate to eternal life is baptism. To open that gate, you need keys. Without keys, you cannot open that gate. I just wish I could explain this in a clear way to him... But he told us this week how he always prays for us because he knows how it is to be away from family for 2 years. He was in the army. He also wants us to Skype him when we get home. I love these people!
We had our first missionary-planned youth activity this past week and it was really successful. A lot of our English students, young members, and investigators came. We were very surprised with how well the turn out was. Hopefully this gets the ball rolling on frequent youth activities that will eventually be planned by the branch instead of the missionaries. I feel like it's really going to help the youth grow!
All of you remember how much I love Keane right? Well when we went to go visit Rocky (the guy with the Waffle shop in the mall), Everybodys Changing came on the radio! You have no idea how excited I was to hear them again. I felt bad though because my focus was more on the song than on the conversation. Oops! Russian is still a struggle for me, it's quite a complex language. A lot of the time people don't understand what I say, but it just makes me want to get better at speaking. We often just laugh when we say something to somebody on the streets and they respond with, "Could you say that in Russian?" Gah! We just said it in Russian! Hmmmm, what else.... Mission conference this week. Should be fun. Not looking forward to the train ride though...
It's always fun to read what's going on back at home in your lives. Thanks for keeping me updated! Dad, have fun with all that golfing! Give everybody a big hug for me (you know, since Valentine's Day was last week) I wish you all could be here, and I think about you daily. Love you all and have a fantastic week!
P.S. If ANYONE wants to email me, they can. The rule is is that I can only reply to my family through email. So if someone other than my family sends an email, I'll respond with a letter. It just makes the process quicker. I would love to hear from people whose addresses I don't have! Also, can you send up 2 more journals? I'm almost done with my second one. I really liked the ones that Grandma and Grandpa P. gave to me before I left, so if you could find the same ones that would be great!
Scripture of the week: D&C 127:2
2 And as for the aperils which I am called to pass through, they seem but a small thing to me, as the benvy and wrath of man have been my common lot all the days of my life; and for what cause it seems mysterious, unless I was cordained from before the foundation of the world for some good end, or bad, as you may choose to call it. Judge ye for yourselves. God dknoweth all these things, whether it be good or bad. But nevertheless, deep water is what I am wont to swim in. It all has become a second nature to me; and I feel, like Paul, to glory in etribulation; for to this day has the God of my fathers delivered me out of them all, and will deliver me from henceforth; for behold, and lo, I shall triumph over all my enemies, for the Lord God hath spoken it.
Q & A
1. What are the missionaries like that you serve with? What do you enjoy doing together?We're all a big happy family up here. I LOVE the elders and sisters I work with. We really like to eat together on P-days. Because there's really not much else to do here. Elder Monroe and I like to explore the city when no one else is around.
2. Do you pull any pranks or have you had any pulled on you?Yeah. One comes to mind. My bed is one a couch, but the couch folds out. So one night Elder Monroe pushed the couch back in, so when I sat on my bed, I fell to the floor. I'll think of some other pranks for next week ;)
3. What is the thing that has been the biggest surprise for you about Moldova and the people there?THE PEOPLE ARE SO NICE, AND THE LANDSCAPE IS BEAUTIFUL. I love everything about this country. Nothing negative whatsoever. Best mission in the world ;)