Monday, October 28, 2013

Stormy Kromer in Siberia

Hello Hello my American family and friends, 

I hope all of you are doing well! From what those of you who wrote me said it sure sounds like it. 

I'm officially done being trained. A full blown missionary. We got calls about transfers this last week too. Elder Batson will be a zone leader in Novosibirsk and I will be training a new missionary coming from Germany. He spent 6 weeks in the Provo MTC and then 3 in the Spain MTC so i'm thinking that his Russian is already pretty good. I hear he speaks English well as well. 

Today's my last day in Tomsk with Elder Batson. We leave tomorrow and I will come back on Thursday night with my trainee. I'm pretty excited for the opportunity to train. I guess not many people train after just 12 weeks. I'm guessing it's just cause I know German. :P But I feel confident in my Russian abilities to do what I need to do to fulfill my purpose as a missionary...teach, contact, set up meetings, shop for groceries, make phone calls and work with the branch leaders. Now I just won't have the crutch of a senior companion to lean on. That's alright...I've already got a lot of ideas of things we can do or change or do better in my area to be more successful! I feel really good and optimistic about the next 2 transfers. So yeah, I guess I will be here for Christmas and into the end of January. So I get to spend the darkest coldest part of winter in the coldest mission in the northernmost city! I already wear a scarf, hat, gloves and a fur-lined leather jacket when we go out at night. Still working on the boots thing. I guess the weather has been about the same as in Ironwood...just less snow here. 

So that's about all the exciting things going on here. We had a really good meeting with one of our investigators from Nigeria. He is Catholic...not sure how much he practices. But he knows the Bible pretty well. We taught him The Plan of Salvation and he loves to compare our views on it all. He agreed with it all up until the 3 kingdoms after judgment. I think for him to understand it more fully, he needs to gain a testimony of The Book of Mormon and prophets and modern revelation so that the Doctrine and Covenants explanation will make sense to him. We teach him in English too so it's nice not having the language barrier. 

Oh! One cool experience I had this week! We met with a guy, Orthodox Christian. It was me and Elder Colton who have both been here 12 weeks. We taught The Restoration and when we were discussing it he used the Elephant analogy...yes, Michael...elephants. :P He said the one of the 3 guys in the dark one grabbing the trunk, then the tail, then the tusk. Each one described it differently. and that's how he tried to explain Christianity. So I understood his antidote. and was like yeah! you're absolutely right. but there is one church, that has turned on the light and has the whole picture and can describe everything exactly as it is. He kinda just moved on. But I was supper happy for getting that.

I've got a few pictures this week too. Get Branch President has a STORMY KROMER! I told him all about it and how it was from my town and then showed him on the tag where it said Ironwood, MI. So now you can tell your friends that people in Siberia wear Stormy Kromers. :D

And for lunch one day we just bought a cake and ate it. :) There is a place called Lenta that just opened and it's pretty much like a big Walmart and it's kinda new to the Russians...they love it...there were SO many people there.

I love you all and hope everything is going well!

Elder Moore
Sunset from window

Ice cream from Penguin!

(And a bit more from an email to Dad)

Well I'm going to be staying in Tomsk! I like it here a lot my area, apartment, and investigators are all great. My new companion will be a new missionary from Germany. I will be training him. Which means that I'm training right after being trained... that doesn't happen too much. Elder Batson said that President Gibbons has people that he wants to be future leaders train early on in their mission. Whether that is true or not I have no idea. 

So we leave tomorrow morning. Tuesday, to go to Novosibirsk again and drop Elder Batson off and pick up my new companion. He flies in on Wednesday night and I will pick him up on Thursday at the mission home...just like I got picked up 12 weeks ago! I'm excited to train. I feel like I can do everything that I have to do with the Russian part of things and hopefully I can brush up on my German skills as well. This morning I kinda deep-cleaned the apartment a little bit to get it ready for him. About 3 weeks ago I super deep-cleaned the bathroom... it was gross. I don't think it had ever been cleaned before. There was like mold on the ceiling and walls that could just be wiped off with a rag...the shower had a lot of scum build up that just needed a little scrub off...lots of missionaries just don't think about that kinda stuff. So I think this will end up being a pattern in my mission.... move into a nasty apartment because missionaries don't care and then clean it up really least I get to say here and live in the clean a while longer. I will be in Tomsk for at least the next 12 weeks. So for Christmas I guess.

So thank you for raising me to have a sense of cleanliness! just simple things like picking up after yourself and putting clothes away and wiping off the table and sweeping.. sometimes i feel like i do it all. 

I have been back to the mission office every time I go to 3 times since coming here. I can call the office elders or whatever. There are bins for each city where they put mail and packages and things for the cities that just get emptied when somebody comes to the city. So I will pick up the Tomsk stuff when I go tomorrow. :) 

The church spends SOOOO much money on this mission. It is one of, if not the most expensive, mission in the world. I figured it out one time sitting on a bus: Taking in rough estimates of all the expenses I could think of for the 100 missionaries and the mission president. The way that I figure...give or take a little...probably give a little because my estimates were modest...if we get our 100 baptisms, I calculated they would cost the church about 10,000 dollars per baptism. You could also say that each missionary is about 10,000 dollars per year. and it's honestly probably more for other expenses I didn't think of. Crazy!! So if people ever think the church just wants money from can tell them that.

Christy sounds like she is doing well in Chile... sounds like she never goes to school...vacation this and vacation that! :P I ALWAYS went to school!?... right? 

Let's see what investigators are doing well...I guess. We have a few that are getting closer and closer each time we meet. It's just super hard sometimes. People don't realize how important it is to have a strong ward or branch. The branch here is really small and not really a friend group for all ages or fellowshipping is hard. Getting people to come on lessons with us is hard. There are like 3 or 4 people we seem to always be bugging. But soon there will be a stake here! Soon they won't rely on an American mission president to be their ecclesiastical leader but to a Russian Stake President! It will be great! We are well on our way to achieving 100 baptisms this year in this mission. 

I miss home sometimes...just being with the family and relaxing. Going out with friends on random adventures, planning and going on dates, hanging out with my roommates, playing with all the kiddos. But I'm happy to be here and I wouldn't want to give this up for any of that. This is an important work. We are literally preparing the way for the 2nd coming of our Savior. Being here and preaching this message to the Russian people has opened my eyes to the beauty, simplicity and perfection of the plan of salvation. I know this gospel is true and that it does bless families. That everything God does, he does so that those that believe on him may have joy. 

I miss you! I hope that you work hard and keep busy but not too hard or too busy.  I love being a missionary, and I'm glad that I have been raised in a way that I can be a missionary and happily give away these two years of my life to do so.

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