Well everyone, this is it. Thursday Morning, the 5th of June, 2014 I'll be at the top of the hump looking down the other side. But we'll save the one year thoughts for next week when I've actually been out a year.
Omsk, Russia is a great place to be in the Novosibirsk Mission. This is my third transfer here already and I love it. It doesn't even compare to Tomsk in some ways because they are totally different cities and branches, and I have some pretty different responsibilities here.
Tuesday was the venture with Elder and Sister Walker with Rudoslav, their taxi driver friend, out to the monastery about 40 minutes south of Omsk. It was quite the experience. The monastery had 7 different temples in it alone with living quarters for all the Monks and Nuns. It's out in the country, and the drive out there reminded me a lot of the drive we take from Ironwood to Ashland. Lots of trees. Right when we got there, we ran into one of the head priests who told us some of the history and showed us around a little bit. This monastery was built in the location of what used to be a concentration camp in Stalin's era. This is where they sent hundreds of thousands of thinkers. Artists, Scholars, Inventors. The people were brought and left to starve and freeze in the Siberian winters. The monastery was built in this place to remove the evil spirit that was left over the land. It's said that an oil baron that lived in Omsk at one point was the wealthiest oil baron in Russia, and that he paid for the monastery to be built as an offering to receive forgiveness for his sins.
So that's a bit of the history. For our needs though, it was a great time to open the doors and work with Rudoslav. We had the whole taxi ride there, the time walking around there, and the taxi ride home to talk about the gospel. There will definitely be more opportunities in the future as well.
Malo, who I wrote about last week, came to church again and it was testimony meeting. He received a copy of the Book of Mormon in Portuguese this week from Novosibirsk, and has loved it. He got up and bore his testimony saying, in his broken Russian. "I would read the Book of Mormon in Russian, and not understand many of the words, now I have a Book of Mormon in Portuguese and understand everything perfectly. I know the Book of Mormon is evidence of God's love for us." It was pretty powerful. The second hour, we, along with the sisters, ended up teaching Malo about the Restoration.
Our English group has been more successful lately. We had about 16 people there on Tuesday, and three of the new people there came the next night to the youth night at the Walker's apartment.
Drinking the Holy water from the mineral hot spring. It's supposed to cure if you're sick.
So it's been a good week. Now maybe someday soon we'll find a new apartment.
Hope you all have a fun week. Here's a bunch of pictures.
Lots of Love,
And I got a Package from the Schrecks this week! Vielen Vielen Dank. :)