Monday, April 21, 2014

Transfers, Lisa, & A Duluth Stake Reunion

Dear Family :)

I hope you've all had a great week! This last one has seemed like a long one, that's for sure. I was in Novosibirsk from Tuesday Morning until Thursday Night late for transfers. Last Monday I was still with Elder Zhitkov, but on Thursday morning, I went to the mission home in Novosibirsk to pick up my trainee. Wyatt Hancock. 18 years old from Vancouver, Washington. Before I picked him up, though, I had Tuesday and Wednesday outside of my area, in Novosibirsk to work. When we got there, I dropped off Elder Zhitkov and picked up Elder Garfield for the day. 

A miracle happened right when we left the apartment. A couple of blocks away, on a pretty busy sidewalk, a 20-ish year old girl came out of nowhere, looking kinda nervous and started talking to us. (Her name is Lisa.) She asked us for help with her University English class. She needed to interview two native English speakers. So we told her we could help, and that she should come to the youth activity that was planned for that night in the home of the Senior Couple on the left bank of Novosibirsk. We told her that there would be about 10 American Missionaries that she would be able to talk to. Well, we were at the Senior couple's place and she came! She had already said that she wasn't really religious, but we told her that she was welcome to come to our English group as well. After the opening hymn and prayer at the youth night, she leaned over and said "that was beautiful." The members there connected with her really well, and the missionaries all befriended her. She definitely felt the Spirit. At the close of the evening, I was talking to her about the church a little bit and about the missionaries. So we left that night pretty excited. I kept thinking about her and the hope we have for her. 

The next night, Wednesday night, she showed up to the English group on the right bank of Novosibirsk, which wasn't the one we told her about, but it was great because after English I got to talk to her more. She kept saying things like "I love the atmosphere here" or "the people here are so nice." She also said that she is actually religious, but not really partial to a church. I gave her a Book of Mormon and introduced it to her and she got really excited about reading it. She promised that she'd read it. We also got her connected with the sister missionaries that live in Novo, and really set her up to learn more. So it was really cool to be part of that miracle. 

Thursday morning, Elder Bingham (the other trainer) and I headed over to the mission home to pick up our trainees. We got to President's house at 8:00 am and met our trainees.  Sister Taylor is training Sister Rebecca Cisar (The one from our Duluth Stake!!) and are in Omsk with myself and Elder Hancock, and Elder Swenson and Bingham are together in Novosibirsk. It was super weird seeing Sister Cisar again. Last time I saw her, we all enjoyed a nice Blene breakfast prepared by the Assistants and the Sister Training Leaders. We were at President's until about 12:30 having a meeting, then we went with the Assistants and Office Elders to a Russian restaurant for Lunch. 

Our train didn't leave until 11:00 pm on Thursday, so we had some time in Novosibirsk. We went to the Bible store and got Elder Hancock, Swenson, and Sister Cisar all Bibles. Afterwards, the four Elders went to the house of a Babushka that lives on right bank to give her a blessing. It was really cool for Elder Hancock and Swenson to see on their first day I think. 

Elder Hancock has had an interesting first week that's for sure. Before we even met, and he was on the street contacting with the Assistants, within about 10 minutes, they got pulled into a Police Outpost. Since being in Omsk, we've had a couple encounters with drunk guys. Two of them were nice, and two of them were not. The not nice ones tried to corner Elder Hancock in, and the nice ones loved us and insisted on giving us his bullet key chain. It was an AK-47 round. :P We've also had a lot of really good contacts and are building up a pool of potential investigators. 

Artur, the guy that Elder Lewis and I contacted and taught when we were on exchanges finally answered his phone yesterday. We went and met him near his home but didn't go inside because his wife didn't want anything to do with us. So we walked over to the church which was locked without a security there to let us in. We taught him in the hall there and talked about Christ and the Book of Mormon. He expressed how much he wants to quit narcotics and turn his life around. We gave him some tools to help with drug recovery and invited him to the branches sport night to make some good friends. He's got a long way to go, but he has the desire. Right after church, we did the sacrament for Baba Zhelyeznyak with Brother Botnikov. 

Friday was my first district meeting as the district leader. I think it went well. After all the business was out of the way we talked about and studied sanctification together. My district has Sisters Butler and Summers, along with Elders Klein (that means little in German. :D), Riordan, and Hancock. Elder and Sister Walker are back from America as well which is great! 

Omsk is the city that those going to Kazakhstan have to come to do Visa registration. The Despain couple came this morning on the train to renew their Kazakh visa so we met them at the Train station at 7:15 a.m. Took them to our Visa Registrar, then to the Walker's for a nice breakfast, and then to the hotel where they will be staying the night. Tomorrow, we'll help them make their way to the Omsk airport so they can fly back to Astana, Kazakhstan where they are serving as Humanitarian Aid Missionaries. 

So all in all, this was a busy week. Lots of to-do's. 
For all of you who like pictures, here they are. :)

Love of Love, 

Elder Benjamin Moore

 Elder Zhitkov being huge last P-day at the gym

 Last district meal at KFC 

Goodbyes to the members at the train station

Youth chasing the train
 Ikea in Russian
 View of Novosibirsk from the Senior Couple's place

 A kvac truck... Kvac is the fermented bread drink.
 Meet the Trainers

Restaurant with everyone
 Me with Elder Garfield
A temple
 Me with Elder Prince
 A train ride

Last ones. :) 

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