Monday, May 5, 2014

"recent convert bike"

Happy cinco de mayo!

Is anybody else wondering where April went? It feels like we skipped a month this year! I can't believe it's already May, but it's good that it's finally here because the weather is warming up, everything is green, everyone is happier, AND I get to see all of you on Skype! That's the last time I'll see your faces before I'm home. I look forward to it!

We started off our week with teaching our newest recent convert about Mosiah 18:8-9, and how there's a lot of things required of us after we are baptized; but, with these requirements come great blessings. Recent converts can help a ton with the growth of the church. Missionaries (and members) are like training wheels for the "recent convert bike," and with our help we can help them eventually be able to ride on their own. This skill will bless them and the church for years to come. Recent converts are a huge blessing for this branch. 

Almost every sign in Moldova has Romanian and Russian on it. 
You may remember how in past emails from when I was in Chisinau, I talked a lot about street-boarding. Well, here we started something called book-tabling (which has been used in the past by previous missionaries). We put a stand out in front of the church with copies of the Book of Mormon, pamphlets, and other materials, and then talked to people when they walk by. Since it was the first day that we had done it, it didn't work out as well as we would've like it to, but there was one lady that tried to avoid us, then stopped, turned around, and came up to ask us what we were doing. She ended up taking a Book of Mormon in Russian AND Romanian and gave us her number. Unfortunately when we called her and told her who we were and if she was interested in learning more, she didn't say anything and hung up. These kinds of things we just have to shrug off our shoulders and keep going because there are other people to find!

Baba Tamara..... I just love saying that...... We got to talk to her and her neighbors for a little bit when we stopped by (they were all outside sitting on a bench.) I think it was good for them see us as normal people and not "robots" from America (and Russia.) It was pretty funny what Tamara said when we walked up though. She got at us for wearing black jackets in hot weather. I honestly don't know why we were wearing black jackets either but she's our Moldovan Grandma and Grandma knows best! Eventually she took us inside and sat us down in her living room to talk more about the restoration pamphlet. It was like she was testing us to see if we know our stuff. The question she had was, "Why do we need prophets?" Every missionary should have a good answer to this question. My companion whipped out his Bible and turned right to Amos 3:7. She said, "Okay, now show me where in the Bible it is written how God calls prophets." The scriptures that popped into my mind were scriptures that we had shared with a recent convert the previous week from Matthew 10:1-10. We told her how many times in the Bible Jesus says that He does the will of the Father; so, when he called the Twelve Apostles, God was calling Apostles through His Son Jesus Christ. We continued by saying that it's basically the same process. God chooses His prophets, not men. After that she didn't say anything, so we figured that it had answered her questions. Or maybe her question was already answered and wanted to see what we believe. But nonetheless, she agreed with what we believe! After our little lesson she crammed us into her cozy kitchen, fed us a meal (even though we had eaten just before that), and when we finished she looked at me and said, "You done eating? Okay, get outta here." Don't worry, she said that in the most loving way possible. We tried meeting with her later in the week, but every time she called she was busy with something. She still wants to meet with us though, and that's a good sign!

Lately the other elders have also been asking if we would like to teach Denis with them and so all four of us got to teach him about the Priesthood, missionary work, and service. I would go more into detail with how the lessons went but I don't have a ton of time. Just know that they were powerful lessons, and he is definitely ready for baptism. One night after we finished an activity he even took a Book of Mormon and said that he was going to give it to his grandma - Missionary work!

Interviews were also this week and it was the last time I would have an interview with President Hill. Sad, but it's a good thing he lives in Utah. Well. I can't wait to see all of you on Saturday. Love you! 
Two great men! Our branch president and mission president.

Quote of the week: "Knowledge without feeling is nothing."

-Elder Farnworth

P.S. I made cookies for the first time in a long time because we had a cookie competition with the members and.... I won! It was a miracle. I'll attach a picture.

Our cookie competition. In case your wondering, I made raspberry cream cookies. 

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