Monday, February 23, 2015

Moore and Noore, Branch Council!

Happy Men's day!

Here in Russia it's Men's day. Kinda like a veterans day to honor the men. Don't worry, they've also got Woman's day, on the 8th of March

We had quite a week this week. From finally finding the elders an apartment, to freezing on the streets. :) The On Monday night we checked out a couple apartments, and on Tuesday we closed a contract to rent one of them. It's nice and more in the center. It's a much more productive location for proselyting, so I'm excited to see what they can do there in the next few weeks. Now that we're done running around with the realtor, we've been able to spend much needed time and attention on our own area. Since coming to Barnaul, we've stacked up quite a few solid potential investigators, but haven't had much luck in getting a follow up meeting. Friday morning around language study time we get a call from Noore who said he was out in front of the branch! So we bailed on the rest of our studies and ran over there. Noore is a man from Tajikistan. The best part is that he's Christian! It's rare to find people from the -stan countries who are not Muslim. We showed him around our branch building and had a get to know you lesson. He's from a family of 9 kids, and has a wife and kids. All of his family lives in Tajikistan still, but he is here working to support them. We struck it off talking about families, and he's excited to meet again. We are too. 

Branch council this week for the first time since I got here. It was a wild ride. Our branch mission leader wasn't there either, so our past month of missionary coordination meetings have been for nothing. The project now, is to help the branch mission leader to understand better his calling. He is a recent convert of just under a year so he may just not understand how the keys and such are supposed to work. Our mission is focusing on strengthening branch councils. When you have a strong branch/ward council, you in turn have a strong branch/ward. After being on a council, it's now evident that we have to help them to focus on the people. To focus on the pearl and not the box. The leaders of the branch are passionate and driven, so once we get them all going in the same direction, the branch will really start to take off! 

The Church is facing a lot of opposition here the last little while. Last summer we had a conference with President Porter who said that "The time for Russia is now". It's no surprise then that the opposition has come now as well. For whatever political, and social reasons, it's a burden for not just us as American Missionaries, but also for the members. When Joseph Smith went to pray in the Grove, it was "the time". He experienced such great opposition from the time he knelt in that grove to the day he was murdered. Through all of that opposition though came some of the most miraculous events in the history of the world. The Restoration of Christ's true church. in the Book of Mormon as well. The opposition between believers in Christ and others is always intense. Whenever the people relied on God, and put their faith in him through prayer and action, they were able to overcome, but not before great opposition. In our personal lives as well. The greatest opposition comes before great moments and big decisions of eternal significance. In the next 10-20 years here in Russia, we'll see miracles that will surprise all of us. It's going to be hard and a lot of work, but they will come as missionaries and members act in faith. 

The best thing you can do on a mission, is eat well. About a year ago back in Omsk, I was running on ramen and nutella sandwiches. If you had the kitchen I had there, you'd do it too! I was always so tired! Elder Yungfleish and I are a good team though. We eat pretty well. We've got a bread machine in our apartment. One of the world's greatest inventions. We've been into making our own tortillas lately. Making all kinds of burritos and tacos. When you eat well, you have energy! Who knew!? 

This next week, We go to Novo for Zone Conference! Word is that we're going to watch Meet the Mormons. 

Hope you all have a great week! 

Much Love,
Elder Moore

 Some quality Area Book work
Out in the city

 Our Beautiful branch building!
The Relief Society awarded us for Men's day. 

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