Well I'll start where I left off, in OMSK! Monday was a crazy day. You all sent fantastic birthday emails. The whole time during email my phone was blowing up. All of the missionaries and youth waited all day to call me during email time. :) The youth tried so so hard to be sneaky in planning a bit of a birthday party. Their plans changed about 10 times, so I finally suggested a park in the center. Figured they could do less damage there than elsewhere. We took part of P-Day and went to Cinnabon with the district. In the mall waiting, a guy came up to be, and while talking he said something in German. So like I like to do, I kinda put him to the test to see if he really knew German or not. Well he did! So I told him all about the church in German. It was taking all the brain power that I have to speak in something other than English or Russian! He took a Book of Mormon, introduced us to another lady there working in one of the little shops just in time for the sisters to come and talk with her. She also took a Book of Mormon and is now in contact with the sisters.
We went to meet Denis. He is the Elder's Quorum president here, and he's moving to Moscow. We just encouraged him all we could. He's getting ready to head out on a mission within the next 6 months. His papers are already completed! We walked with him to the park where all the youth were waiting. With Elder Hodgson's idea, we turned it into a youth testimony meeting, as we all stood in the trees there. Our investigator Chris was there, and she was kinda nervous as the circle went around to her. She expected us to just skip over her, but then she kinda broke in, and bore an amazing testimony, and closed it in the name of Jesus Christ. It's amazing how far she's come since I've been in Omsk. We got all of their testimonies on video, and gave them to the Walkers as they also go home soon. So we got home that evening, and I finished packing all my stuff. Vacuum bags are a miracle. I have a ridiculous amount of stuff. After this next winter I'll make the first big dump. Tuesday we had a meeting with Tarlan finally. Our Muslim friend from Tajerbaijan, in the south west of Russia. He's great. His brother is an investigator of some of the other elders in the other Branch. The meeting was at the Walker's place, so we had the Walker effect of ice cream, and a great environment. We watched a video about the importance of families, and talked about the importance of families. He understood it all really well.
That evening we got on out overnight train from Omsk to Novosibirsk. Got into Novosibirsk on Wednesday morning and took a taxi to "the Peacock" as my new apartment is called. Got ready, studied a little, and Elder Jacobsen and I had to leave to go to the train the trainers meeting at the mission office. Pretty much all of the missionaries in the Russia part of the mission are in Novosibirsk right now, so between everyone staying at out place we had 4 phones to make calls. We set up a lot of meetings for that night. Two of which worked out!
Thursday we had our MLC meeting at the mission home. We talked about the mission goal and vision, and came up with a program for how we were going to present it all at the next day's multi-zone training. Thursday night, we had a meeting with a member, Pasha, who is great. Been a member for about seven years. His house recently burnt down, so he has nothing, and lives in a room in someone else's apartment. He's got a lot of desire to share the gospel, and gave us some names of people he knows that we are starting to pray for. So it's in the high 70's during this meeting and we're still in our suits from MLC, and at the end, he asks us if we want some tea. So he brings out this lava hot tea, which we had to throw down really fast to get out of there and home by .
Friday was Zone Training. Which was pretty much part one of the multi-zone conference. There were some missionaries in Novosibirsk, not in their area for 4 days. There was so many people on the Visa trip, as well as those geting transfered, and going home, and training. It all goes through Novosibirsk. Zone Training was great. We presented the mission goal, and the new standards of excellence which we hadn't had done up until this point. My part was at the end kinda helping to wrap it all together. I encouraged everyone to build enduring faith using the example of the Sons of Mosiah in Alma 17. Shared a few verses and expounded upon them to help everyone see that missionary work is the same now as it was in their day. Just as thousands came to the waters of baptism when the sons of Mosiah were on their first mission which was 14 years, Russia is no different. There are 22,039 members in Russia, and it's only been open the last 20 years. An average of a thousand a year.
Saturday, we had our real Combined Zone Conference with President Bruce Porter. President of the Europe East Area. It was a great conference, and he made some powerful promises. He talked about Russia, and especially Siberia. Relating to the lost tribes, and the blood of Israel. He promised very firmly, that here in Siberia were tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of people being prepared to receive the gospel. He related the growth of the church here to that of Brazil's and said the explosion of the church in Brazill will be nothing when compared to what will happen here in Russia in the next years and decades, starting many years ago, and really starting to pick up now. There was a Q&A during which came the answers to a lot of questions about how to accomplish this.
All of the conferences, especially the one with President Porter stressed the importance of our consecration, but my questions lately have been, "Well, what next? How do I go farther, and do it better?" The answers are in the attributes of Humility and Love. If we are truly humble, we will do nothing that the Lord wouldn't have us do. He said that the best way to be a humble, Christlike missionary, would be to study the Life and Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Or the Atonement. I've already started another study of the New Testament with all of this in mind, looking for the details.
Between all of the conferences and meetings, Elder Jacobsen and I had a ton of meetings! We ended the week with 5 other lessons and 2 new investigators. Adding what we had in Omsk before coming to Novo, we had 2 member presents, 3 new investigators, 5 other lessons, and 3 at church. Somehow the busiest week of my mission thus far was also the most "successful." It's just evidence of the Lord's hand in the work. We've really got a lot going for us here in Novo.
Oh, and they have a McDonald's in Novosibirsk now! First one in Siberia! They have a "Greek Mac"... a Big Mac put into a flat bread.
Well I'm out of time! Hope you all have a fantastic week!
From Russia, with Love,
Elder Benjamin Moore
The Park with the Youth in OMSK.
Packed up and leaving.
Elder Batson, Nelson, Prince, and Foster at conference.
I got a Birthday package from the Schrecks!! Thanks Carolin, Christian, Silke, and Charlotte! You're the best.