Monday, May 12, 2014

"I studied the exact same thing!"

It feels like just five minutes ago I was talking to you on Skype. It sure was nice to see all of you!

All of you from my screen. Looking good!
So it was our turn this week to go over to Nastia's, and BOTH days when we got together for companion study I said, "Hey, so this is what I studied, and I feel like we should teach about this." And my companions response each time was, "I studied the exact same thing!" It sure is nice when that happens because then we know it's exactly what we need to teach. We taught her about the Last Supper, the Garden of Gethsemane, and read The Living Christ together. Our focus was on one line from The Living Christ: "He Lives." And in True to The Faith it says, "But because the Savior lives, we do not use the symbol of His death as the symbol of our faith. Your life must be the expression of your faith." Nastia's life definitely is an expressions of her faith. She had the opportunity to go work in Moscow, which would have made her take a plane there this past Friday; but, because she chose to pray with sincerity and fast with faith, she received the answer not to go. The Lord has a special purpose for her here in Balti, and she knew exactly what to do in order to receive an answer of whether or not to leave AND she acted upon that answer. Because of this we were able to meet her mom, she's planning on sharing the Book of Mormon with another one of her friends, and she still gets to teach primary and bless the lives of the children we have in the branch. The Lord knows what He's doing, and we're very grateful that she is still here!

Lessons with Denis have taken me back to the days when Elder Westover and I taught him during the cold winter months at the branch building. His baptism is coming up and so we got to teach him about enduring to the end. Probably one of the most important lessons if taught right. Each elder shared why enduring to the end is so important, and I told him about an experience I had in high school when I decided to skip seminary and one of my friends told me, "You know, Satan wants you to skip seminary (or church) because he knows perfectly well that you'll learn something that will help you in your life, or spiritually strengthen you if you go. So when Satan tells you it would be better not to go, remember what I told you." I have never forgotten what that friend said to me, and I hope Denis understands that this is the reason why members go less-active. When it comes down to it, don't listen to Satan and everything will be alright. I knew he'll be fine though. He's a good kid!

Playin' volleyball with the youth. 
Calling Tamara has been not so productive for us because she tells us that she's busy every time. So, what did we do? We stopped by without calling her. And it worked out great! She just happened to be home, was really glad that we stopped by, and sat us down in her kitchen (she sits us down in her kitchen a lot) to tell us stories about her family from wars in the past. She holds these memories so close to her heart that it made her cry a couple times. It was the perfect opportunity for us to talk about family history, and how we have a website where she can write down everything that she knows about her family so that future generations can know about it too. Unfortunately, we don't have those My Family pamphlets, but hopefully we can get them soon. She seemed really interested, and I think it would be a lot of fun to help her fill out her family chart and write down what she knows about them. Right before we left she invited us to be in a parade (which turned out to be a long line of people walking to a memorial) with them the next day. To make a long story short, she literally introduced us to everyone that was close by. I even got to talk to a guy I was walking next to about the church. He wasn't very interested but shook my hand and said that it was nice to meet me. We also got to meet her daughter's family, and eat dinner with them. This lead to us finally being able to teach her granddaughter English and giving her a Book of Mormon in Romanian and in English. We'll see how it all turns out.

I already told you a little about the branch picnic, but I didn't mention how members invited friends and we had some less-actives come! I consider it a successful activity, even if a lot of things didn't go the way we wanted them to. It also bonded us closer together, and we got to eat some tasty food. I love this branch!  
Our picnic area that we almost used, but then it decided to rain.

I think that's about it for the week. I can't get every little detail in, but just know that I love you all! Have a wonderful week.

-Elder Farnworth

Quote of the week: "Truth will always be opposed." - Lawrence E. Corbridge
Our friendly neighborhood bull.

Elder Westover made me put my hand inside it's mouth. 

Elder Streletski and I in the "parade".

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