Dear Family and Friends,
С НОВЫМ ГОДОМ! It's now 2014 and I'm sure almost all of us have made at least ONE new years resolution. Mine is to finish these last 6/7 months of my mission strong, to sprint to the end and do the best I can to bring people unto Christ. I always like to think of the Utah Jazz and how they folded way too often in the fourth quarter and end up losing, but that will not be the case for me! I am determined to give all I got in the fourth quarter of my mission.
|Santa and his helpers in center.|
Last P-day just before we went to go email, we had to stop by the church and one of the members was there waiting for us. "I had been waiting here for you since 7 am." (We were there around 10) I don't know why everyone here thinks we live at the church.... But he told us that he had left his scarf and jacket (which had his wallet) in the library and that he hadn't eaten for a long time. So we helped him get all his stuff and when we got off at the same bus stop he turned to us and said, "Я хочу проповедовать с вами." (Google translate translates it wrong. It means I want to preach with you.) Now keep in mind that this is a man in his late 70's. Our response was, "Okay. We'll come by your home sometime during the week and we'll talk more about how you can help us preach." I love how the members really want to help us out with missionary work!
The very next day we were getting ready to go to district meeting and we got a call from Elder Monroe, "You guys ready to meet at Sister Valea's for district meeting?" She's the most recent convert and she calls us ALL THE TIME. She is a huge blessing to the branch and she's always got something for us to do. Remember the really heavy bags of coal that she had us move? Well, they made her wall look like it's about to fall down. So, we had to move them again. We cleaned out this area that looked like a hoarder had lived in it and we turned it into a "Russian tank". Not really, but that's what Elder Streletski said it looked like. Now all of her coal bags are safely secured under a large pile of wood.
|New Years Eve!|
New Years was fun. We spent it in Chisinau. Our mission president let us stay up till a little past midnight so we could watch the fireworks and celebrate with the people of Moldova. Oh I wish that all of you could listen to the beautiful Moldovan music while watching them do a traditional dance. Last year I wasn't the biggest fan, but it has grown on me since that time and I actually enjoy it now!
We were exhausted when we got back to Balti. In fact we were so tired that we almost forgot about our appointment with Nastia! So we hurried over to her apartment and had a pretty good lesson. We wanted to show the restoration video but it didn't work again, so we read about Lehi's Dream. Once again she asked us a lot of questions, but we somehow kept the focus on what we were reading. We talked about how the fruit of the tree represents the love of God and she asked, "Not everyone can partake of that love, right?" We told her that EVERYONE has the opportunity to partake of the love of God if they want to and have a desire to. God loves every one of us no matter what we do; it's just up to us to accept and cherish that love. I wish I could have known the location of this verse when we were teaching but it's John 4:16
16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that adwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
She seemed to really take that to heart. The Spirit in the room seemed to change when we started to talk about the love that God has for us. I'll never know perfectly of the love that God has for us, but I do know that it's boundless.
Despite the holiday season, church attendance was great, and testimony meeting was even better. A little girl in the branch asked the branch president if she could give her testimony first, so she went up and gave the sweetest little testimony I've ever heard. It almost brought tears to my eyes! Every single member in this branch have such strong testimonies of their Savior Jesus Christ and His restored gospel and I always really enjoy listening to them share what they know to be true. Sunday night we decided to go stop by Sister Valea's again and she is a recent convert powerhouse! "Through me, with you Elders, we can help those who have fallen away or never heard about the church." And right after she said that, she called 2 sisters and invited them to a relief society lunch (which is today). Then she called one of them back and asked if we could go over and help her with remodeling that night. The member said that we could, so we all went over and helped. It was a great way to end the week.
This email ended up being longer than I thought it would, but that's a good thing I guess. I hope you all had a fun-filled New Years and thank you for the pictures, emails, and prayers. Love you!
|Yes. You see that beautiful thing on the wall? We put that up.|