I'll start off with the news: I have a new companion! His name is Elder Chapman: he was born in Chisinau, lived in Ukraine for a while, then moved to America and that's where he was baptized. He knows Russian and English fluently, and I'm excited to work with him and see what we can do together for the last transfer of my mission. Elder Streletski is now with Elder Westover, and I'll miss that big teddy bear! (He's not going to be very happy that I wrote that). I'm just glad that we're all still in the same district.
Well. I guess I'll explain a little bit about our fun P-day last week. We went to Old Orhei (a place that I went to towards the beginning of my mission) and spent the day there. We forgot to bring water with us and by the end of our excursion we were very sun burnt, tired, and dehydrated. It was beautiful there though. It's a big U-shaped hill with a river running along the side of it. There were some cave-like places, and a monastery inside the hill that we got to explore. I'll send some pictures.
|A church there.|
On Tuesday we were in Chisinau for our Zone Training Meeting, and before we headed back to Balti we waited in the center park to give some "congratulation" notes to a someone that was just baptized in the Chisinau branch. While we waited, the other elders noticed a guy walk by and said, "Hey Elder Farnworth, isn't that Aba?" I quickly turned my head and sure enough it was! We yelled his name to get his attention but he had some earphones in, so they told me to get up and run after him. So I got up, ran up from behind him, and tapped him on the shoulder. He was very surprised/happy to see me, and offered to walk me back to the bench where we were all sitting. He was heading to a meeting, but took some time to talk to all of us and see how we were doing. I don't know why, but I see him almost every time I am in Chisinau. I'll have to call the elders serving there and have them give him a call so they can start meeting again.
The next day while the other elders were at the church in the morning (they had to open it so a member from Germany, who checks the buildings, could use the internet for a conference call) a lady came in and asked if they could help her. Her name was Aleona. She went to the mayor of the city to ask for some pampers for her bed-ridden mother, but they refused and told her to either go to our church, or a church down the street from us for help. She obviously decided to go to our church. Her husband had died recently from cancer and needed some help because she has been taking care of her mother and 5-year old daughter. This is when Elder Westover gave me a call and told me about the situation. Luckily we had some pampers that were donated from a member in Italy in our building, so we gave her those. She couldn't carry them by herself, so Elder Streletski and I helped her carry them back to her apartment. When we got there she introduced us to her mother and gave us some apples and candy before we left. While we were on the bus headed back to the church, we got a call from her saying that her mother broke down in tears after we left and wanted to thank us for helping her. I really like what it says in the For the Strength of You, "Service to others is an important characteristic of a disciple of Jesus Christ. A disciple is willing to bear other people’s burdens and to comfort those who need comfort. Often Heavenly Father will meet the needs of others through you." She ended up coming to the third hour of church on Sunday and talked to our branch president to thank him personally. Can you imagine how uplifted Christ felt when He served everyone around him? Being a missionary has given me a little taste of how Christ felt when He went about serving others. It's a feeling you just can't get enough of!
Balti's birthday was also this past week and literally EVERYONE was in center celebrating the entire day. There's a member I've mentioned in previous emails, Sister Anna, who is stuck at home all the time, so right after studies we went over to her apartment to see how she was doing. We got there the same time that her sister did, so she opened the door for us and the first view we had of Sister Anna was her using her walker to walk around with a big smile on her face. She sat down on her couch, I sat on her left, and Elder Streletski sat on her right. We spent around 45 minutes sharing our thoughts, and feelings about the Plan of Salvation and the whole time there was just a good spirit in the room. She's been having a lot of health issues, but you know what she told us? "I'm not afraid to die because of the knowledge that I have." We're not sure how much more time she has left on earth, but we enjoy every minute we get to spend with talking to her. It's a good thing we went over the degrees of glory because she said, "I don't want to stay in Heaven, I want to be on Earth! Because I love Earth!" She thought that there was just going to be only people dressed in white in heaven, but we assured her that everything that is here will be there, but much better. She was happy to hear that.
Guess who received the Priesthood? Denis! We finally have a new priesthood holder in the branch and it will be so great to see him passing/blessing the sacrament each week. We are so blessed up here right now, and we pray and hope that the blessings will keep coming for this branch. Thank you all for the support you've given me throughout these two years. Love you!
"God's number is always in our hearts. We don't need a money or a phone to call him." - Natasha (Our institute teacher)
P.s. The guy who owns our building told us this, "Every Elder should have my number. If you ever have any problems with people, give me a call and I'll handle the situation." Well that's nice of him! I wonder what would happen if we called....
|Elder Streletskii's favorite car.|
|A small town nearby|
|Another group picture|
|My "senior picture".|
|One more group picture where only Elder Westover and I are looking|
|Group picture in the "caves"|
|We found a Hobbit Hole. With "clean" water inside.|
|Walkin' through a herd of goats/sheep.|
|.... A cow.....|
|The staircase down to the monastery built inside the hill.|
|Yes, these are the Elders I serve around.|
Remember the window that I talked about a long time ago? I finally got a picture of it.