Happy Valentines Day, eh? At the beginning of the month the Elders here in Tomsk were going to go out to eat for it but it never happened. ah well. We were also supposed to go see the Nutcracker 3D at the theatre for our culture night but the tickets were really expensive so we didn't do that either.
I have some big news. I used the Bacon Wave! Dad sent me a bacon wave for Christmas! Well when we were grocery shopping, we found some bacon and tried it out. :) It worked! Nice, fresh, microwaved bacon. :)
This week was actually a pretty full and busy week. We have two new investigators. One was just interested in English, but the other, Juli (Юлий) is promising! He's a college student here in Tomsk that I contacted back on thewith Elder Colton when we were on exchanges. Since then he's floated around the contact lists until we gave him a call the other week to set up a meeting. We met with him and brought him on a tour of the building where we explained what all the rooms were used for and pretty much how church goes on Sunday. We ended up in the Font room where we talked about baptism and how that works. He asked some questions that led perfectly into the Restoration lesson. He is Russian Orthodox, and was baptized when he was 5. He doesn't believe in that church though. He said that they are a sect, and it is really more like a business. That all of his mother's money ends up going to the church. He also didn't like how there was a priest that separated the members of the church from God. As in people needed to use the priest to pray, etc. When we began teaching him about the restoration, we said that the answers to his questions would become clearer as we taught. The spirit was really strong as we testified about the restoration of the gospel, and especially as we told him that he needs to find out for himself through the Book of Mormon. When we said that he told us "I really would like to read that book." He has a lot of promise, and is ready for the gospel.
Remember Nikolai...yeah the Nikolai from my first month in the field. He's still hangin around. He loves the missionaries and the members and the relationships that he has with them. President Gibbons was here this week, and after church was doing temple recommend interviews for the members. Nikolai went in and talked with him, and President gave him a blessing for his health. He promised Nikolai that if he gets baptized, he would be blessed with health. Nikolai bought a suit this last week just so he could match the missionaries and the members. "Well I have to do it so we are all the same! You have a tie, so I need to wear a tie." He's funny.
President came to visit Tomsk this week. All the missionaries got interviews with him and we also had an hour-long meeting with him and Sister Gibbons. We're supposed to have interviews every other transfer. This is my first one since I got to the field and it's already my 5th transfer. He shared with us some of the plans of the mission for the next few months. We are striving to create the stake here by. All we need to do is increase the number of Melchizedek Priesthood holders in the district so they can have the right number to preside over the congregations. We're going to be doing that, but also, we will be going through all of the branch lists in the mission and updating them. There a lot of people on there who have moved away, or passed away. So in the next five weeks, the focus of the mission is going to be to go through the lists. Starting with all the less and non active people and verifying whether or not they are actually here. When we get the list cut down, we won't need as many Melchizedek Priesthood holders. When they actually form the stake, someone from the Quorum of the 12 will be here. Hopefully they will bring all the missionaries into Novosibirsk for it! Or hopefully I'll be serving in Novosibirsk at that time. It's a pretty busy time for our mission.
Elder Aubrey and I are doing great! We're good friends, and we work well togther. The first time I talked with Elder Aubrey was in the MTC as he is only a transfer younger than me. At the last couple Zone conferences before we became companions, we always talked about serving together. In my interview with president, he said not to count on serving together for too long because "we can't keep all our strength in one place." So I'm thinking this may be my last transfer here in Tomsk. Who knows!
Here are some pictures from President's visit, and of Tomsk. It's been a little bit warmer, so I took the opportunity to take some more pictures.
There was a marshrootka bus that got hit by one of the bigger busses. Tore a hole right in the back of it. We see accidents just about every week...
The Usanova family from Tomsk.
Hope all is well back home!!