Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Omsk 1, President Callister & President Porter Conference

What a week!
We had a lot happen this last week, so I'll see if I can do it all justice. Starting last P-Day, we got to the Mission office at 6pm where we met our area 70 and mission driver, Elder Gushin, who drove us an hour out to the Novosibirsk Airport. How often do you get to get to be in a car for an hour with a member of the 70. It was great. We talked the whole way and he told us about his conversion and how he came into the church. Back in 1996 on the coldest day of the year here in Novosibirsk, the Missionaries who were advised to stay inside because of the weather prayed and felt that they should get outside for a bit. In the dark -40 degree weather they went proselyting and ran into Yuri Gushin and his wife. It all went from there. Diligence.
Since Trains are no longer an option as long as a flight can be arranged, we flew from Novo to Omsk. After all the flying I've done on my mission, I really wish I had sky miles. It was a small 50 seater and the flight was just over an hour. That's like flying from Minneapolis to Denver to go on exchanges with the other missionaries in your zone. :) We got in and went to the apartment of Elder Robley the District Leader and Elder Wilkinson, his trainee.  I got to be on exchanges with Elder Wilkinson all Tuesday. I love working with the missionaries. Especially those like Elder Wilkinson who have such a drive to do the work. It was a lot colder than we were expecting as we landed on a snow covered runway. The next day was -10C and windy as Omsk usually is. We were out sign boarding for our new Group Gospel English discussions, and freezing. A Catholic woman came and talked to us. Probably the only person who talked to us. She said she loved what we were doing and was absolutely going to come. She ratted on us for not dressing warmly. She left and came back 10 minutes later with two foam cups full of nice hot tea... Black tea. It was awkward as we explained that we don't drink black tea. In the end she left, and we just dumped the tea out in the snow... after letting it warm our hands up. :) 
The next day I was with Elder Lewis! My MTC companion and his trainee. last time I was on exchanges with him, he was the district leader and I was with my trainee in Omsk! It's always great to be on exchanges with those from my group. I really came in with a powerhouse group. We started the day with no solid plans. After studies were making calls and after 5 minutes were out to the door to go meet with a guy who we had just set up a meeting with. So we got to the branch and he came! New investigator names Sergei who is teachable and interested. It was a successful trip and we were all edified, uplifted and encouraged. Thursday at 5 am we woke up to make it to the airport for our flight back to Novosibirsk.
The rest of the week was great. We met with an active woman and her non member husband Vlad. He's great, and will come around. We had a meeting with a less active woman. Our goal was to have her realize herself that she needed to come to sacrament meeting and renew her covenants and come unto Christ daily. Throughout the lesson she kept getting distracted by this or that and we thought it was lost. Then after we read Alma 36 and had a visual aid, she said, "I know I need to come to church and take the sacrament". !! It was a miracle. The spirit works in ways that I don't always understand. She didn't end up coming on Sunday which is a bummer because it was a fantastic and empowering sacrament meeting.
Our General Sunday School President, President Callister was in town along with our area President President Bruce Porter. Saturday they had a training for the member leaders in the whole District. Then on Sunday we had a Sacrament meeting with them all in the Marriott hotel in the center of Novosibirsk. Right across the street from the big Opera theatre. It was amazing. All of my favorite members from Tomsk that I haven't seen since February were all there!! Along with all of the branch leaders from Omsk who I love so much. Including Vanya. :) It was almost too much excitement to handle. It was such a happy few hours. Seeing all of my favorite members from all of the cities I've served in all together in one room for sacrament meeting hit me and I felt the spirit confirming the strength of the members and the church here. President Callister and his wife both spoke on the Atonement, and it was inspiring and empowering. The Atonement is such a simple thing that is so simple to understand. Or so you think, until the General Authorities come into town and open up a goldmine of inspiration and understanding. President Porter spoke about the atonement as well. He always speaks in Russian. His Russian is amazing, and it threw me for a few hoops as I was translating for a few of our senior missionaries.
Some Notes from Elder Callister's talk. 
The Atonement: There are 4 obstacles that we may overcome because of Christ's Atonement. 
1. Physical Death
2. Sin and it's Consequences
3. Weaknesses and Imperfections
4. Life's problems, and diseases
The Atonement is not just meant to cleanse us, but to perfect us. 
His suffering on the cross and in the garden made it possible for our sins to be forgiven. Every sin from Every person who ever has or ever will live. 
Isaiah 1:18Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord : though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
We need to trust and have faith in the power of the Atonement and realize that when we have received forgiveness, and are made clean, we have the promise of a perfect standing before God.
Revelations 21:4: And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death , neither sorrow , nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain : for the former things are passed away.
Alma 36: 19-20: 19And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more. 20And oh, what joy , and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!

The pain and guilt of our transgressions are swept away, and replaced with a Joy. Alma said he was Harrowed up no more by the memory of his sins. This doesn't mean that he didn't remember them or the guilt that came because of them, but that he was freed from that through Christ. We retain a remembrance of our sins as a blessing and a shield to protect us from making the same mistakes. 
So That was Sunday. We had sacrament meeting with them in the morning and a fireside with them in the evening. Monday we had a Missionary Zone Conference with them here in Novosibirsk. All the cities came in except for Omsk, Krasnoyarsk and Novokuznetsk who participated by video. They got us all pumped up to be missionaries. :)
So that was our week! There were more meetings and time proselyting on the street that filled in all the cracks.
I pray that you all are safe and warm, working hard, and being nice to everyone. :)
Much Love,

Elder Benjamin Moore

 Pictures: Our Plane ride.

 Elder Wilkinson holding our sign board so it doesn't blow away!
 Dinner on Exchanges with Elder Lewis
Got Comp Ties with Elder Jacobsen
Elder Lewis and I in front of the impressive Omsk map
 Novosibirsk Airport
 Tomsk members at the member conference
Omsk branch presidency at the member conference
Elder Batson and his 2nd trainee Elder Idso. I've got a brother!
In front of our Apartment building this morning!

Have a good week!

No comments:

Post a Comment