Monday, March 24, 2014

"одна семья - Бельцы" One Family - Balti

Hmmm. Where to start? Well. Anton will be getting baptized next week! We're really really excited for it, and so is his grandma (and everybody else is the branch, of course.) He's been living with one of our recent converts (his grandma) for the past 5 or so months, coming to church almost every week, and meeting with the Elders pretty much the entire time. He has made some pretty big changes in his life and we finally decided that he was ready to be baptized. We've got quite the responsibility of making sure people are ready to make this step in their lives. Of course we want everybody we meet to be baptized, but only if we know that they'll endure to the end. And Antone will do just that.

On Tuesday, we had to go down to Chisinau to finish up Elder Streletskii's visa application, and while I was sitting in the hallway on a bench in the immigration office building, someone walked in that I thought I was never going to see again. It was Aba! I was so happy to see him, and he told me that he met some of the Elders in Chisinau not too long ago on the street and pretended like he didn't know anything about the Church. He never even told them that he investigated at one point, and told me, "This is our little secret." Ah man, he is so funny. Eventually we had to part ways, but God knew that we'd run into each other, and I hope that wasn't the last time I'll see him.

Baba Tamara is our new investigator. Elder Streletskii and Brother Monroe found her by knocking, and she is a hoot. She's 70 years old, has a really humble husband, read the Book of Mormon and marked what she liked/didn't like, has met with the Jehovah's Witnesses before us, and I sense that she has a true interest in our message. She told my companion that he doesn't know Russian very well, and then looked at me and said that I was spoke Russian well. It's the exact opposite! He's FROM Russian for goodness sakes! I don't know what she was thinking. Anyway, we started to tell her about Joseph Smith and then she said, "Goodbye." (in English) But it wasn't because she wanted us to leave, it was because she had been sick all week, had just gotten home from work, and thought it would be better if we talked more next time. So we left, and as we were leaving she said, "Guys, don't forget about me! I want you to come back okay?" Okay! We'll definitely be back before she knows it.

Remember that Martha woman I told you about last week? Well. We stopped by and it didn't turn out so well. She wasn't home. But as we were waiting for another potential to get home, my companion noticed a lady who was sitting on a bench nearby and said, "Let's go talk to her." So we did, and she was one of those people that are pretty set on their faith, but took a Book of Mormon and thanked us for sharing what we believe. We're planting a lot of seeds for the future; whether it be in 2 weeks, 2 months, or 2 years, missionaries will find her again.

Also, I had an exchange with Elder Westover this past Thursday and in the morning we went over to teach Nastia about missionary work (which she already knows a ton about.) We were really excited to see her because it had been a long time since we last taught her together. The spirit in her home is always so strong, and she told us about how she's been thinking of talking to her cousin about the Church and giving her a Book of Mormon (which she did by the way later on in the week.) "Every member a missionary" and Nastia understands that phrase very well! And just yesterday we took her to Sister Anna's apartment (one of the first members in Balti) and had Sister Anna share her conversion story. She met the missionaries the same way Nastia met us, and I hope it was a good experience for her to hear that.

That's all I have for this week. I hope it was a good enough update, and I love you all!

-Elder Farnworth
Doin' some service at Sister Valea's.

A cool poster they put on the building next to our church. "одна семья - Бельцы"

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