Monday, September 22, 2014

Many Miracles for the Novosibrisk Right Bank Dzerdzinski Area!

Happy P-Day! 

After Being away from Novosibirsk for the majority of the last two weeks on Exchanges in Omsk and Berdsk, it was good to get back and have a whole week where we could just focus on our own area and get a lot of work done! Since Monday night last week, we were calling this week "Miracle week"! We were busier and more successful than any other week on my mission so far. I'll just share some of the highlights I guess.

Last Monday evening, we were stopping by Less Actives. The first one we stopped by opened up and welcomed us in. The Arxipovi family had gotten back from their summer's stay at their cottage home the night before so the timing was perfect. We walked in and they just knew the drill. They dropped everything the were doing, and all sat down in the Living Room with us! It was a great lesson, and they are planning on coming back to church in the next week or so. On their wall, right when you walk into their apartment, they have over a hundred names written. Every missionary that visits them, writes their name on the wall. It was nice to see how much they love the church and the missionaries. Now we'll be working with them to help them realize the importance of it all. From there, we hit the street. It was dark already, and pretty cold and windy. Nobody was on the street. We walked by a Shishkabob shack and Elder Jacobsen and I both thought of the words of President Porter from the last Zone Conference. He suggested that we try to stop in at small local businesses and ask to speak with the owner. He said more than not, the owner would be glad to have a little break from work to talk with us. So we kinda looked at each other and then decided to go for it. The restaurant was totally empty so it was an ideal time. Georgi, a man from Armenia was the owner working that night. I thought for sure that he was going to be Muslim which is a little harder to approach with a message about Jesus Christ. Turns out that he was Christian! After talking for a few minutes at the counter, he invited us to sit with him at one of the tables. He was interested. Turns out that Georgi was in prison about three years ago and while there had a cell mate who was reading the Bible. With nothing else to do, Georgi read the Bible and began to believe in God and Jesus Christ. Since getting out of prison, he has been searching for the truth. He asked a lot of questions. Such as, "why do so many people not believe in God?, isn't it obvious that this is just a temporary place and that our real home is in Heaven with God?", or "How do you pray?... I only know how to pray with my own words. I don't really like to pray with the icons and written prayers from the Russian Orthodox Church." or "How can my family be happier?". He was just asking all of the right questions, and leaving it open to teach any of the first three lessons and have them apply directly to his concerns! He took a Book of Mormon in Russian until we get one for him in Armenian. 

The week was full of miracles and investigators just coming out of the woodwork! On Friday, we went to stop by a less active woman who wasn't home. Her nonmember husband answered the door, and we got to meet with him! When we left, he said that he enjoyed our visit and that we were different than all of the other missionaries that have stopped by there in the past. He wasn't very interested in the Gospel, but at least he felt something as we met with him. On Sunday, a man came to church for the third hour. We welcomed him in, and he sat through Priesthood. After church was over, we met with him and had a lesson. Turns out that he is a past investigator from a while back. He had a date for baptism, and then a lot of crazy things happened in his life which stopped everything. His name is Yuri. Yuri came to the church on Saturday, and only President Williams and a couple other people were there. President Williams invited him to come back on Sunday to go to church where he could then talk to the missionaries. So Yuri worked really hard on Sunday morning to get five hours worth of work done in just over one. He was late, but made it in time to meet with us. He still has a great understanding of what he has been taught and still has a desire to be baptized. He now has a baptismal date for the 1st of November with a plan to meet with us at least twice a week, and to come to church at least three times between now and then. Another big miracle! 

One last miracle... I got a package this week! Christy sent me a Christmas package onAugust 21st or so, and I got it on the 18th of September! Knowing Christy and how she likes to send homemade cookies, I didn't wait until Christmas to open is. :) So thanks for that package! 

It's starting to get colder. It snowed a bit on Thursday. Winter's coming! I can't believe that it is already the end of September, and the end of another transfer. We should be getting transfer calls on Friday or Saturday. 

In our mission, we are trying to share more success stories and little miracles. We let President and Sister Williams know, and they in turn put them into the weekly news letter. "The Vineyard" This is his email to the missionaries this week.

Thank You for Your Gratitude!

Dear Elders and Sisters,

That subject line may seem a little circular, since it expresses thanks for thanks. What I am talking about is how thankful Sister Williams and I are for the gratitude that is evident in your acknowledgement of miracles and sharing them. Your awareness and sharing of miracles is an acknowledgement of God's hand in all things. And the more you do that, the more He grants you miracles, because you are actually keeping a commandment that applies to such.

Specifically, in Doctrine and Covenants 59, verse 7, the Lord says, "Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things"

And in verse 21, He makes clear how important this is: "And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments."

So, again, we say, "Thank you for keeping the commandments, especially this one, noticing the miracles, and, by acknowledging them as being 'miracles,' you are actually thus acknowledging the hand of God in all things."

God bless you -- wonderful servants of the Lord!!

We love you!


President and Sister Williams
So that was our week here!! 
We were so busy that I didn't really take any pictures. Here's the only one I've got from this week. The big Theatre in the center of Novosibirsk. Last Christmas, President Gibbons brought all of the missionaries in novosibrisk to see "The Nutcracker" there. Maybe we'll go see it this year as well! Shellkooncheek is how you'd say it in Russian. like shell+koon(racoon)+ cheek. 

Hope you all have a great week!!

Much love to all, 

Elder Benjamin Moore

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