Well. I'm STILL in Chisinau, and I'm STILL loving every minute of missionary work here. We've done a lot of finding this week, and again, a lot of our previous investigators have disappeared... But we still pray for their return to listen to the wonderful message we have to offer! An elder that's from the branch returned home from his mission last Thursday, and he's been helping us A LOT with member present lessons and finding. He really understands the meaning of "Every member a missionary." His name is Саша Соколов and guess who his last companion was before he went home? Elder Grover! My companion from the MTC. So he was able to give me a letter from him, and from his RM "countenance", I could tell that he was a hard-working missionary. He's one happy guy! He was also able to give his homecoming talkin front of 5 investigators who were able to attend. I always feel like every week builds up to our investigators (and members) coming to church and being able to feel the strong spirit there. It's such a great feeling to see someone that we're teaching to walk through the doors of the chapel. One young man in particular, Дима, was a part of those 5 investigators. We met him through a group of younger guys who we let play basketball at the church, and he expressed his desire to quite smoking and to turn his life around. That is EXACTLY what our message can do. So we started meeting with him, he came to institute night, and then came to church the following day. A member of the branch presidency even expressed to us afterwards how golden this young man is. So we plan to keep working with him and help him change his life.
I've been thinking a lot this week about the question, "What helps me to make the every day decision of continuing to be a member of the church of Jesus Christ?" The answer was pretty simple: I'm happy. Of course, there's a million other reasons, but they all fall back to the happiness I experience by embracing the gospel of Jesus Christ. Would I want to deprive myself of that? Of course not! And that's why I'm here, to help others find that same happiness that I've found. I'm happy because I have a testimony of the truth, and I have seen that the application of scriptures from the Bible and the Book of Mormon helps me gain an understanding of God's plan for me, and find the right direction in life. In short, to find happiness. Because that's what God wants for each and every one of us. Sadly, I haven't seen anybody go through with their decision to be baptized yet, but either way I know they're strengthening their testimony and their faith in Jesus Christ, and they're on their way to finding happiness.
"With time, our definition of 'hard' changes." Something that was hard for me 10 months ago when I entered the MTC, isn't hard to me now. But something that is hard to me now won't be hard. Life is all about progress. The blessings of the gospel are more abundant when we make good progress. I don't think I've ever been so aware of how much progress I need to make than on my mission, or been so aware of the blessings I have received. I wish you could all experience the missionary environment because it's fantastic! In the meantime I hope life back home is treating you well, and that you're happy even when life gets stressful.
"We decide to live the gospel every day." - Саша Соколов. Choose the right! I love you you all!