Monday, June 16, 2014

Farewell President & Sister Gibbons

Private Family and Friends, 

The day has come and gone. President and Sister Gibbons have given us all their final words of advice and council. All the missionaries in the mission except for those in Kazakhstan gathered together in Novosibirsk for a combined Zone Conference. First one that we've had since my first transfer when President Lawrence came last August. Tuesday night after English group in Omsk, we headed for the train station. As Sister Taylor was getting emergency-transferred into Novosibirsk to become a Sister Training leader, we had to help get all their stuff to the train station. This resulted in the worst taxi ride ever. Russian Taxi services are free-lance. If you have a car you can just sign up to be a driver under a company. Some taxis are nice cars, but more often than not, they're Russian beaters. We fit 4 missionaries and a bunch of luggage into a compact car. The driver was a bigger guy dressed in raggy old pajama pants, and didn't want us to open the windows saying we'd get sick. (It was in the high 70's). So there went our fresh suits for conference. Well, we eventually got to the train station, and were sent on our way by Vanya and Chris who ran alongside the train as we pulled out.

Wednesday morning at 7:45, we woke up (Yes, on trains we get to sleep later than 6:30!!) to the conductor knocking on the door as we arrived into Novosibirsk. After arriving we all split to different apartments to clean up. Elder Hancock and I headed for the Zone Leaders' place. Elders Duncan and Lewis. A metro ride across Novosibirsk and we made it with time to shower, study a little, and head out for the conference which started at 10. It was so great to have everyone from both Russian zones in one room. All my old companions and districts! All but Elder Bergmann, who is over in the Rostov mission now, and Elder Zhitkov who got transferred down to Kazakhstan last week. 

After getting settled down, we sang while waiting for President and Sister Gibbons to get in. From 10-12, they addressed us. Sister Gibbons recapping her top 10 teachings from the last 3 years, and President sharing his top 16 tips for the mission and for life. At 12, we had our usual Papa John's lunch. So much Papa John's! From 1-3, we had the afternoon session. Normally we are addressed by the Mission Leadership Committee (Zone Leaders, Assistants, and Sister Training Leaders), but this time it was just a three-hour-long testimony with the last half hour given to President and Sister Gibbons. There were so many great testimonies given. Among other things, I shared Alma 8:1 and related it to President Gibbons. 

~~1 And now it came to pass that Alma returned from the land of Gideon, after having taught the people of Gideon many things which cannot be written, having established the order of the church, according as he had before done in the land of Zarahemla, yea, he returned to his own house at Zarahemla to rest himself from the labors which he had performed.~~

President and Sister Gibbons have taught everyone here many things which can simply not be written. The power of their testimonies, and examples, just like Alma, go a lot farther than we are able to record. So now they're going to go home a much deserved rest. 

They'll officially leave at the end of this month. President Williams, our new mission president, will come in on the 28th of June. We may or may not be having another big conference so that he can meet all the missionaries. He may also just opt to tour the mission and visit all the missionaries in their cities. 

We got a new apartment!! Finally. We signed the contract on Friday and will be moving all our stuff in on Tuesday. I'll be happy just to be moved and settled into a place with more space and a better location. Though it's sad to leave the nice track we have right across the street from our current place. 

On Saturday starting right after studies and lunch, we went to help a member who was moving to a new apartment. We helped him pack up all of his stuff, move it all out, load up the truck, and unload it into his new place. We didn't get done until about 7:30. It was a long day. 

Sunday, Malo, the investigator from Angola came to church. He's finishing up the semester and will go back to Angola in July. So we found him a ward in his city and it's only about 3 km away from where he lives. He'll be there for two months before returning so we're hoping he gets taught by missionaries in Portuguese there and then comes back to us baptized! 

3 weeks left in this transfer. Hoping I can squeeze out another one or two more here in Omsk. 

I hope you're all safe, doing well and having a great summer! 

Michael, your Boundary Waters trip sounds like it was a blast. We'll have to go next year after we build our boat. :) 

Lots of Love, 

Elder Moore


 Bowling Last P-day for Sister Cisar's Birthday.
 Taxi ride to the Train station
 Vanya and Chris sending us off on the train.
Papa John's pizza for conference.
Last Picture with President and Sister Gibbons.

 A lot of our stuff for moving apartments.
Everyone at conference! 

Have a great week!

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