Monday, January 12, 2015

Visa Trip, Omsk Zone Training and Exchanges

That's the longest I've ever gone between P-Days, but it feels like it was the fastest.

A lot has happened this last week or so, so I'll see what I can remember. 

Last Sunday held the biggest miracle for us. It's the continued story of sister Lyuba and her daughter Rita. It was fast and testimony meeting. Rita came to church again for the second week in a row. She even got up to share her testimony. It was sweet to hear her testimony along with her new found desire to be active in the church. She said she was back now, and she's ready to serve. Sister Lyuba then got up and shared her testimony as well about how she had been praying for something like this to happen for the last few years since her daughter stopped coming to church. God can soften peoples hearts. That's a theme that really jumped out to me as I read the book of Mormon these last two weeks. By the prayers of the faithful, God will perform miracles. 

We slept at the Palace (AP's place) Sunday night as we had to get up early and head out for Visa trip. Elder Coulter was there as well. He had spent almost the last year serving in Kazakhstan in Almaty and Astana. He's here waiting for his new KZ visa. Kazakhstan is the edge of it all. The church is very new there and the work is a lot different as they have a lot of legal complexities. Even between having to apply for licenses to preach and waiting on those, it was incredible to hear the stories and miracles that are happening there. Anyways... 

Monday morning we woke up at 2:40 a.m. and were bussed out to the airport by Elder Gushin. [On this visa trip were Elders Lewis, Allen, Hodgson, Stucki, Swenson, Barns, Jarman, along with Sisters Cisar, Fullmer, Summers and Robinson] Flight to Moscow, Flight to Helsinki. 9 Hour lay over. We didn't get to leave the airport this time, but it was still great as they had a little grocery store there and we were able to get some good European food. In other words, we got milk and granola. Milk in Finland is fantastic. A very stark contrast to what we get here in Russia. Elder Lewis and I ended up together for a while which was fun. We went to a quiet part of the airport and found a couple empty benches and checked out for about an hour. That was probably the best sleep I've gotten all week. 

To meet my goal of reading the Book of Mormon in a week, I was using every minute of lay over and flight time. By the time we made it to Moscow the second time and had been going for over 32 hours I had just 30 pages left. I was confident to finish it off the last flight to Novo, but I was too exhausted and gave in. We actually got a bit of a free flight! The Moscow airport has some horrible memories as we've had layovers of up to 13 hours there. One the return trip from Helsinki we got off our plane, went through passport and security and got to our gate just in time for the plane to take off to Novo. We thought we got away clean this trip until after 25 minutes of flight time, the captain came on saying that there was a technical difficulty and that we were returning to Moscow. o.O We deboarded and waited inside a different terminal, which was freezing!.. for over an hour before finally getting on another plane and making our way home. 

Got into Novo around 10:30 and by the time we got home it was 11:30 . Enough time to sleep for a half hour before MLC at 2. Half of the MLC had been on the visa trip, so Elder Stucki and I weren't alone in struggling thought this one. That went 4.5 hours until 6:30. When we finally got home that night, it didn't take long to fall asleep. 

Wednesday we woke up and had enough time to plan our Zone training before going down to Berdsk to present it. Went well. Got back to Novosibirsk in time for our Group Gospel English to start. As it was the 7th of January, nobody came. The 7th is when the Russian Orthodox church celebrates Christmas. That night we got on a train to Omsk. Pulled in the next morning and it was like coming home! Omsk is great. We were up in the first branch and I went on exchanges with Elders Wilkinson and Gardner there. There was a big two mission Ball there, and all the seminary and institute students were in town for it. President Williams went as well as Elder Jorg Klebingat of the the 70. We weren't there, but because we had zone training that Friday, President attended our Zone Training as well. I'll send some pictures of our chalk board from the Doctrinal discussion we had to start it off. The training was powerful as we focused on not only being consecrated missionaries, but also on consecrating every phase of the day. 

Saturday evening and Sunday, we were working in the 2nd branch area. My branch! :) Elder Hodgson and I have a great time on exchanges. It's absolutely incredible to think back on how the branch was last February when I came to Omsk to where it is now almost a year later. Unlike in America, the District leader has a lot of responsibility in the Branch. For Omsk 2 the last year it has been like pushing against a wall, but looking back we see that the wall has actually been moving. I was happy to see Sergay Shirokov, a less active man with a wife and son that I had worked with back in July, at church with both his son and his wife!! That was a tender mercy. There were 11 Melchizedek Priesthood holders at church. I never once saw that when I was there. They now have an Elder's Quorum Presidency, and three people who are soon going to be ordained Elders. 

It's all so incredible. Even when things to be at a stand still, God has his own plans. 

So I didn't quite finish the Book of Mormon in a week, but I started the 31st of December and finished yesterday morning. My focus for this month is finding what makes the Book of Mormon "Another Testament of Jesus Christ". For the rest of the month, I'm going to be going back throught and taking a closer look at what I hilighted and found. Hopefully I can write about some specific insights one of these weeks. 

We were on our train last night and got in this morning. After plane sleep, no sleep, train sleep and cold, air mattress sleep, we're happy to be back in our own area here in Novo.

I'm going to sleep well tonight!

Much Love

Elder Moore


Elder Lewis and I. We talked to this girl for a while on our flight from Novo to Moscow. She is from Siberia, but lives Vienna Austria as a math teacher. She's fluent in English, German and Russian. It was fun, and a bit of a challenge to use what I remember of my German. I'm definitely going to have to brush up on it when I get home.

9 hour layover in Helsinki. Milk and Musli. Elder Swenson and I went and found the bear statue for old time's sake.

Train to Omsk: We ended up on the same train as two of our Senior Couples. They were having a hard time with the conductor and we saw them out the window so we came to the rescue! The Jefferies who are serving in Tomsk, and the Thomases who are on Left Bank in Novosibirsk

Elders Garfield and Gardner up in Omsk 1.

Elder Hodgson and I got to teach the Nikiforov family and also see some of the Youth at the Jaussi's place.

A huge Russian Orthodox Cross out on the Left Bank of Omsk

 Board after Zone Training

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