Another busy week gone by. I really don't know what to say about this week. I got this quote from another missionary in our district. From the Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy.
Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy visited America in 1892 and was asked by a reporter, “In your study of great Americans this past year, who do you consider the greatest?” His answer, “You have only had one truly great American, one man gave to the world ideas that could change the whole destiny of the human race – Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet.” -- as reported by William E. Berrett, “The Life and Character of the Prophet Joseph Smith,” BYU Speeches of the Year, 21 April 1964, 2.
Tolstoy shared his opinion on the future of "Mormonism" with Dr. Andrew D. White, Former Cornell University President and U.S. Ambassador to Germany, as told by Elder LeGrand Richards ( See The Improvement Era, Feb. 1939, p. 94.) Tolstoy is reported to have said, “The Mormon people teach the American religion; their principles teach the people not only of Heaven and its attendant glories, but how to live so that their social and economic relations with each other are placed on a sound basis. If the people follow the teachings of this Church, nothing can stop their progress -- it will be limitless. There have been great movements started in the past but they have died or been modified before they reached maturity. If Mormonism is able to endure, unmodified, until it reaches the third and fourth generation, it is destined to become the greatest power the world has ever known."
I'm reading the Presidents of the Church student manual. I'm on John Taylor (the 3rd President) but it's pretty interesting to know more about their lives. Besides Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, I know literally nothing more than their names. I'm just about done with the New Testament, made it to Revelations. I'll probably spend a few weeks on it, then on to the Old Testament. Wish me luck with that one.
So you know that cartoon show Southpark? I guess there is a Mormon episode where they rip on Mormon stereotypes. Anyways, 3 years ago, a 14-year-old Russian kid watched that episode, and wanted a Book of Mormon. He lived with his mother and his grandmother. They went to a couple of book stores on the main street to find a Book of Mormon, asking the workers if they knew where to find one. They said well we don't have one here, but if you go up to this address there is a church. Just go there and ask them. So that same day, being a Sunday they went up to the church where it was the end of the third hour. Asked someone where they could get a Book of Mormon, who then replied...let me get the missionaries! Then the missionaries got them one, and they got baptized not long afterwards. So...Southpark has brought people to the gospel.
Other news! We found Konteek in Tomsk!! Missionaries have been looking for them for like the past year and a half... We ran into them at a little street vendor shop at a bus stop. Pretty random... We bought all the ones that they had (6) and told them to order a bunch more. So tonight we're going to go clean them out again.
And the days are getting shorter. The sun comes up at about 9 and goes down at about 5. Just about 8 hours of sunlight. We don't get done with studies and lunch until 1. So that leaves 4 hours of sunlight. We usually get to enjoy about one hour of day time outside every day. Other than that whenever we are goign home or leaving for church in the morning, it's still dark.
That's about it around here.
Hope all is well in the States!
Pictures: the eternal flame, Konteek, Konteek with milk and hot chocolate. You bite off both sides of the cookie and use it like a straw. With the hot chocolate, the cookie pretty much melts before you can eat it. :)