Good morning everybody!
-20 degrees Celsius this past week. Luckily we're not in Siberia where's it's probably -50. Our branch president and I had a nice discussion just before church yesterday about how compared to Russia, it's actually not too cold here. He's right!
We've been finding more really great potentials and stopped by previous ones this past week. When we stopped by ones we had already found, the first potential didn't answer their door after ringing the doorbell twice, so we moved on to the second potential. The first time we met this lady, she was really nice, took a Book of Mormon, and told us to come back. This time someone else was behind the door and they didn't sound very happy. At first we thought that we might have knocked on the wrong door, but after looking in our planners, we figured out that it was the right one. Confused, we continued on to our third potential. The lady who answered the door remembered who we were but apologized that she couldn't meet that night because she was going to the hospital the next day. Feeling a little let down, we went back to the first potential and knocked on her door one more time before we left the area..... And she answered! She also remembered us and said that she had just gotten home from work and was making dinner so we set up an appointment today to go back. We're praying that she lets us in a has time to sit down and talk about our message.
Nastia has been making a ton of great progress. We taught her about the Word of Wisdom, and like everyone does, she didn't understand why tea was not allowed. But we told her that God has revealed to us through Joseph Smith that alcohol, coffee, tea, narcotics, and tobacco are substances that we must completely avoid no matter what. While she was quietly thinking, I opened up Ether 12:27, handed it to her, and told her to read it out loud. "What does this verse mean to you?" we asked. "Well. It means that God will show us our weaknesses and turn them into strengths.... So..... I can quit smoking." Exactly! We told her about the program that we did with Denis and how well it worked, and she said that she wants to give it a try. Two days later we went back over and she told us how she hadn't smoked yet that day and was really excited about it, which made us excited for her! Unfortunately, we couldn't start the program that day because a member was going to help us, but was unable to be in on the lesson. So, what did we end up talking about? Baptism! I opened up my planner and read to her all the things she will need to do before she's baptized and she agreed to do whatever it takes. She has even thought about who she wants to baptize her, and who to invite to her baptism! "I'll start thinking about WHEN I want to be baptized too and then tell you when I decide." Wow. Missionary work gets so much better when someone decides they are going to work towards getting baptized! I love it.
Sister Valea didn't have wood to warm up her home on Friday, so we went over on I think the coldest day of the week and chopped wood right outside her door. Despite the fact that my toes were completely numb and I couldn't feel my face, we kept chopping wood until there was no more to chop. After we finished, she had us come in, warm ourselves up, and fed us some lunch (mamaliga, some kind of berries, and fruit tea) and thanked us and Heavenly Father for everything that the Church of Jesus Christ has done for her. Every time we've stopped by since then I've asked her, "Are you nice and warm Sister Valea?" She just gets a big smile on her face and says, "Yes! Of course!" Friday night we stopped by a member who hasn't been able to go to church since her daughter died and she said something that just strengthened my love for these people. "You know, every missionary that has ever served here has loved it. You want to know why? It's because of the people." Couldn't say it any better.
Well. I sure do love all of you a lot and I hope you have a fantastic week. Thank you for all your support and love. Don't know how I'd get through each day without it! Love you!
P.S. Sorry. No pictures this week.