Dear Family and Friends,
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas day. The food, the atmosphere, family, the music; I'm sure it was just like it always is.
|Christmas Day at the Schwartz'.|
We did way too much traveling this week back and forth between Balti and Chisinau. But the days when we were in Balti were really great. We got to meet with our investigators often. Nastia is still doing great. We had a lesson with her on Tuesday and we went over 1 Nephi 4. I KNEW that she would bring up the question, "Why did God command Nephi to kill? That's against the commandments!" So, we talked about how God has a righteous purpose behind every commandment. He commanded Nephi to kill Laban because they needed the plates of brass (which contained many writings of biblical prophets.)
13 Behold the Lord aslayeth the bwicked to bring forth his righteous purposes. It is cbetter that one man should perish than that a nation should dwindle and perish in dunbelief.
Then we all tried to figure out why God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son. Well. Honestly, we don't have the answers to everything. BUT the Doctrine and Covenants does:
36 Abraham was commanded to offer his son Isaac; nevertheless, it was written: Thou shalt not kill. Abraham, however, did not refuse, and it was accounted unto him for righteousness.
She also prayed for the first time at the end of our lesson! It was great. She was so nervous because she had never prayed the way that we do, but she did really well. I love when people just go for it and do something that they've never done, especially when it's learning about Christ's true church.
We received some sad news this week from Denis at one of our lessons. I asked him how life was and he said, "Well. I am leaving to Bulgaria.... and I'll be back on the 15th of January..... Is it possible to move the baptismal date?" He seemed really bummed, but we told him that it was very possible to move the date! We all, I guess you could say, felt relief that the baptism will still happen. Sadly, we just have to wait a little longer. It's okay though, because we were able to teach him all the lessons before he left. So when he gets back, we'll review them and keep preparing him for baptism.
Hot chocolate church tours haven't been going as well as we'd like them to, but something really great came out of the one we did on Saturday. A young member brought two of her friends (we gave them the names of Banana and Cheese), we invited them to come to church on Sunday and they came! They stayed for all three hours and it's because my companion did an awesome lesson on Lehi's Dream that all 7 of the kids really enjoyed. They told us that they want to come back tomorrow and the next day and the next day after that. Well. We'll see!
Sunday night we went to go finish knocking the building that we found Nastia in and we found someone else who told us to come back tomorrow (today)! We were also able to give a woman, who had heard about us before, a Book of Mormon. We have found around 5 potentials in this one building, and one of them is even an investigator! Building up an area is tough, but worth every second. I love finding, but I love teaching even more.
Funny experiences of the week: A beggar told Elder Monroe that he was going to marry him if he didn't give him money. Also, Elder Westover called Nastia to invite her to church, but she couldn't because her daughter was sick, so he asked if we could come by on Tuesday. "But that's New Years!" - Nastia. My companion was thinking "Okay, then Thursday?" but this is what came out of his mouth, "Okay, so Tuesday then?" We both laughed really hard.
It was great to see all of your faces on Christmas and to see you open your presents. I really felt like I was in the room with you. As always, thanks for the emails and pictures, and I hope you have a happy new year! Love you!
|Laying on the floor at the Schwartz'.|
|A really fat duck.|
|Look! We got the whole family in the picture!|