Monday, August 4, 2014

National Paratrooper's Day

Hello Hello, 

It's P-Day already! This last week was typical Russia. They like having reasons to celebrate here. Saturday was National Paratrooper's Day. Something like the 84th anniversary of it. Sunday was Omsk's Birthday. 298 years old. On Friday during district meeting, we got a text from our mission leaders saying that on Saturday and Sunday we were to avoid public places and we were not to street contact at all. Only friendly nods to passersby. 

With the lack of meetings, we have been blessed with more opportunities of service! Service leads to interest which leads to meetings. I've had more opportunities to do little acts of service this week than in any other week of my mission. Monday night last week we helped to finalize some things for a Russian Sister who is soon leaving for her mission. Tuesday we had our English group. Our friend Tarlan from the river a few weeks back has been coming every time with his brother. We have some good discussion every time but have never been able to have a meeting yet. The Walkers came back, so being able so have a more spiritual Youth Night will facilitate meeting with him. English group was good. After English, we invite everyone to stay for a spiritual thought. I gave it this week on dispensations and the blessing the gospel will be in our lives the moment we make the choice to let it bless us. That's the reason we do English, is so we can have 20 plus people hear the testimony at the end. 

Wednesday, we were leaving the branch from something and were walking down the street. The one other guy on the street that we were walking towards: We said "hello!", he said "Your ties are not pretty"... and kept walking. Elder Swenson and I just looked at each other. I've gotten it all on these streets. 

Thursday had planned to go stop by Sergay again this week. We were almost all the way down to him when his wife called telling us not to come today. So that was a bummer. We spent the rest of the night on the street with little acceptance. 

Friday was a great district meeting about prayer and fasting. None of us truly comprehend how truly important fasting is. That night we tried to stop by a couple Less Actives but they weren't home. 

Saturday was the day. Paratrooper's Day. Elder Hodgson and I were on splits for just a few hours. We went way down south of the train station where I had never been before to find a couple Less Active homes. This is the private home district rather than apartment complexes. Most of the homes are about the size of our play house back home. But only one floor. Some are burnt down, and some...some are huge, nice brick houses. The roads down there are dirt, and not kept. We were walking trying to find this house of the less active, and we notice that we're walking on pavement. Right outside a nice big house. They had paid to have their section of the road paved. There were two ladies in the driveway hosing out a big rug. They asked, as we approached, how did two young guys in ties end up in our little part of town?! We talked, asked if we could do anything to help them, and they said yes! Russians never say yes! We helped them bring four huge rugs to the second floor of their house. It was more of a mansion. After moving the rugs, we sat down and ate some melon with them. The man of the house was Russian, one of the women was a Gypsy, and a couple of the other ladies there were from Tajikistan. It was a good visit which resulted in us scheduling to go back on Wednesday to help in their garden. Elder Hodgson and I walked away from the house wondering what had just happened. Who does the things that missionaries do? It was a great example of "going about doing good" from PMG. Felt good to have someone accept our help. 

Sunday was Fast Sunday. Omsk day. I guess things got pretty crazy in the center. Testimony meeting in Russia is one of my favorite things. You never know what you're going to get. 1. It's a small branch, 2. It's Russia. :) The members that testified are strong, and great. A lot of the testimonies referenced Ukraine and the War there. I don't even know what is going on over there. I hear so many things from so many people that I don't know what to believe. I think some people here, especially on the street, sincerely believe that I have a personal connection with President Obama. They tell me all the time to pass some kind of message to him. Yes, let me pick up my Obamaphone and get right on that. There is so much confusion among the people here. Sunday evening we visited Sister Zhelyeznyak to give her the sacrament. Those meetings are some of my favorite. We were at the branch Sunday night. Our investigators Chis and Sergay were there. The other Elders as well. Elder Hodgson made lemon bars. When we were there, the sisters called and said they were lost somewhere down south, and there was a guy there bugging them at the bus stop. So I took out my maps and helped them get going the right way on the right bus and they eventually got away from the guy. You never really know what you're going to get here. 

Our district is doing well. The other elders have an investigator with a baptismal date for the 16th. His name is Dima (short for Dimitri). He's 17 and is great. Speaks a bit of German so whenever we greet each other, we speak German together. The whole district is supporting him, as well as the youth in the branch so he is well on his way to that date. He'll be the first baptism here in Omsk since March. Miracles are happening! 

That was my week. I'm happy and working hard. Here are a few messages that I have received lately.

Here's an update on Elder Bergmann! 
If you remember, he's my first trainee, and seccond companion in the field. He went home right before the end of his training for medical reasons and has since returned to the Donyetsk-Rostov mission. This is an email I received from him this week. He really sounds like he's doing great and working miracles. 

Hey dear friends in different missions,
so I want you just to write you about some really cool things on the borders to the Ukraine, which are happening here. 
We found an awesome investigator, whos name is Roland, who is Armenian-Greek, who grew up in Russia, who will be baptised this week. We hadnt have here a baptism for half a year and we are good in the Rostov-Mission to reach our goal with 121 baptisms this year after a lot of problems with writing incident reports and safety problems here. We were planning on having one baptism this week on sunday on the 3 of August, which super great, because Taganrog is in nowhere and a lot of refugees are here. But the super great thing is that we found somebody who is superprepared 2 weeks ago, who will be baptised on 3 of August also in the Sea of Asow. So that its super cool. 2 Baptisms in the sea. Thats crazy. So yeah, never forget that miracles are happening. God leads us and blesses us.
I personally hope to become better, because I know I am weak and have mistakes. The only way to become strong is through christ and he helps us as long as we do everything we can. I hope the lord will bless you and you have some crazy things happen in your life, of course,postively. Just make everybody happy. We have the plan of happiness and a lot of joy. I learned a lot about Trust in the lord and Faith. My hope is christ and also all my success. We just need to do our best. I hope I really doing everything good enough. 
You are all great and great examples to me. Everybody of you should know it and to some of you I said it more often or less. It was great with being with together. Bless the lives of your close ones and about who you care for. 
So yeah, thats what I wanted to tell you. Sorry, for my maybe not good enough english or germanish kind of speaking.
Take care my friends. I pray for your success. 
If you need me for something, I will help if I can.
God bless you, my friends.

Elder Bergmann from Taganrog.

Here's a little snippet from President Gibbon's blog that Elder Swenson forewarded to me. 
Do you leave unopened gifts under the tree when Christmas is over? Do you blow out your birthday candles but leave the presents untouched?
Of course not.
Each of us has been given a gift that no other person on earth has been given. So unwrap your gift. Don’t leave it unopened year after year. If your gift is to teach, then teach. If your gift is to write, then write. If your gift is to build, them build. If your gift is to sing, or create, or lead, then sing, create and lead.
But whatever you do, don’t leave your gift wrapped up, hidden, on the shelf, untouched, untapped, unused. Use it whole-heartedly, with passion, with energy, with conviction. Give your unique gift back to the world and to the Great Giver of all Good Gifts

Message sent out by President Williams this week:

Dear Elders and Sisters!

I am pleased to inform you that, today (August 3, 2014), we created the first branch of the Church in Astana, Kazakhstan.

Sustained and set apart as the new branch presidency were:

-- Branch President: David Snyder
-- First Counselor: Chris Keeley
-- Second Counselor: Scott Christensen

We look forward to the branch progressing under this strong leadership and the inspiration of the Spirit. Our focus, consistent with what we are doing everywhere in this mission, is to lay a foundation for strong local member leadership. This recognizes that they and we are covenant people of the House of Israel, who are charged with loving and serving one another.

May God bless us as we (2 Ne 31:20) "press forward with a steadfastness in Christ" (Consecration), "having a perfect brightness of hope" (realizing we are Covenant People and can do much good by working together), "and a love of God and of all men" (thus serving "like unto angels," through "inviting all to Come Unto Christ," by acting in faith (per PMG Ch. 11)).


Have a joyful, consecrated week!!


President Williams
Hoping you all have a great week!

Elder Benjamin Moore

No comments:

Post a Comment