Well. This entire week I was down in Bucharest for meetings. And it was the last time I will have to take two 12 hour trains and be in a country where pretty much no one speaks Russian. Hooray! BUT while I was there I was surprised with two big packages full of goodies that would make any missionary overjoyed. Thank you! I also put the family pictures in an album and you all look so great. Wish I could've been there!
|Elder Adams and I at the Gara in Bucharest|
We were lucky enough to have City Day on P-day last Monday. All of center was closed down and I'm pretty sure all of Chisinau was there. There were concerts, rugs, tons of people, BBQ's, stands selling wine, and lots of random activities. To my surprise it was a bigger celebration than the New Year. Basically, Monday was Chisinau's 577 birthday.
Oh my goodness, how could I forget. There's been a change-up amongst the companionships. Elder Hollist and I talked to our mission president about how the zone leaders need to be together, and so instead of having the zone leaders in different companionships, they have now been put together! So Elder Hollist and I have become companions. This is my third zebra companionship and I'm really excited. He's a great elder and I've known him from before when he was here about 8 months ago. Elder Lippert is now with his MTC companion, Elder Koch, and they seem to really be enjoying it. My time with Elder Lippert was short, but it was still productive!
Elder Westover had to leave the country due to not getting his visa work done on time, and so that means he will have to stay outside of Moldova for 6 months, or, by some miracle, get his visa paperwork in and come back. We're all praying that he can come back because if he can't, then that's a huge loss for us.
Elder Hollist and I don't have any serious investigators at the moment, but we're working on it! It takes some time and a lot of effort to turn a new investigator into a progressing one. We even read some scriptures about the struggles missionaries had in the Book of Mormon:
30 And, as it happened, it was their lot to have fallen into the hands of a more hardened and a more astiffnecked people; therefore they would not hearken unto their words, and they had cast them out, and had smitten them, and had driven them from house to house, and from place to place, even until they had arrived in the land of Middoni; and there they were taken and cast into prison, and bound with bstrong cords, and kept in prison for many days, and were delivered by Lamoni and Ammon.
14 And the Amalekites were not aconverted, save only one; neither were any of the bAmulonites; but they did harden their hearts, and also the hearts of the Lamanites in that part of the land wheresoever they dwelt, yea, and all their villages and all their cities.
But there was also much success:
35 And it came to pass that there were many that did abelieve in their words; and as many as did believe were baptized; and they became a righteous people, and they did establish a church among them.
4 And they began to establish the achurch more fully; yea, and many were bbaptized in the cwaters of Sidon and were joined to the church of God; yea, they were baptized by the hand of Alma, who had been consecrated the dhigh priest over the people of the church, by the hand of his father Alma.
I think this next scripture sums it all up:
37 Now my brethren, we see that God is amindful of everybpeople, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen.
The church is in its baby stages here, so it's very delicate. Me, my companion and all the other missionaries in Moldova have been trusted to handle everything with care and to find those who are ready and prepared to hear the good news of Jesus Christ and to bring them into the waters of baptism so they too can enjoy the blessings that come with making that sacred covenant with our Heavenly Father. I'll end with a really cool chain of events that I don't think I mentioned to you when I was with Elder Westover........... So the sisters here have an investigator named Victor right now and yesterday he brought one of his friends to church. The following events is how he came to find the church: about 3 or 4 weeks ago, while we were waiting to do service at the kindergarten, a teacher of a high school nearby walked past us and said, "Hey! You're those guys who teach free English. Would you mind coming to my class and teaching them about America's educational system?" How could we turn down such an opportunity?! So we went, talked to the class, and I noticed a kid on the front row who was listening to us very intently. So we gave him an English card and we went on our way. Not too many days later did we see him show up to English classes. To make a long story short, he kept coming to English, then transitioned into Sports Night, and now he's coming to church and investigating. Just think, if that one simple act of teaching a random class about the educational system in America never happened, then this young man may have never found the gospel. Something as simple as standing around waiting to do some service can provide the way for someone to change their life. Just as much as I love seeing success in my own efforts, I love seeing other missionaries be able to see the fruits of their labors. There's nothing that brings me more joy than to see someone immerse themselves in the message that we have.
|Elder Ward, Me, Elder Rodenberg. Romanian-speaking elders that I'll probably never get to see again.|
I challenge all who read this email to do something this week that will help the missionaries in your area find those who can enjoy the same blessings that we enjoy. Member-missionary work is SO IMPORTANT. I love you and thank you for your amazing examples to me. The field is white and ready to harvest!
"Dear Elder Farnworth,
It looks like the closest release date to your two-year anniversary of entering the MTC is July 9. Let's plan on that date, OK? I have changed it in the system." - President Hill
I'll be home on July 9th! Just wanted to let you all know.