This week is a big week for a lot of the people with whom I've been blessed to work over the last two years. On Saturday we received some miraculous news from the First Presidency, through our Mission leaders. As follows:
<Please Pass this to all missionaries. I will pass it to kazakhstan: "The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles have approved the creation of the Centeral Eurasian Mission effective . This new mission will be formed from divisions of the existing Bulgaria Sofia and Russia Novosibirsk missions. The new mission will be comprised of five branches and will serve the countries of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Uzbekistan. The mission president and his wife will reside in Istanbul, Turkey.">
In my last two years betweek my procelyting areas in Tomsk, Omsk, Novosibirsk and Barnaul, I've known and taught people from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. In Novosibirsk we even started to greet people in Uzbek or Tajik rather than in Russian as it better got their attention and spurred conversations. With the challenges that there are with the work in Kazakhstan, I thought it would be years until these other -stan countries would receive more attention from the church. The Lord is, however, hastening his work! Over the next years and decades, we will see miracles as the people in these contries are given opportunities to accept the gospel. Let us pray for the political barriers to fall and for the Mission president and missionaries that are to serve in these places to be blessed with the spiritual and temporal preparation that they will need to fulfill the sacred trust that awaits them.
As for the rest of my week. We were in Novosibirsk on Tuesday for Elder Gardner's medical care. He's been in contact with specialists in Novosibirsk, our mission doctor, and President Williams, and his parents. He may need surgery and if it comes to that his options are to get it in Moscow or to return to the States for a few weeks. We'll see what happens.
We returned on Wednesday and had exchanges with the other elders. I was with Elder Reynolds It was his last exchanges on his mission. He goes home on Wednesday. I met his group in the MTC. Weird. While on exchanges, we got transfer calls. Elder Gardner is going to the center area in Barnaul and will train a missionary coming from Kraznoyarsk (another city in our mission). He will only be out for 6 weeks on a mini mission. I will be in my area still and will serve with Elder Hatch. Elder Hatch will be my 17th mission companion. That averages out to one in the MTC, and one companion per transfer. Crazy!
The sisters are being taken out of Barnaul. We just don't have enought of them as they are all starting to go home! So we have the task of closing their apartment. After 5 years of Elders, Sisters and Senior couples living there, there is a LOT of stuff!! We're almost done, but it's a big project. Lots of moving. Lots of left over clothes. Lots of throwing out.
This next week. We're going to Novosibirsk tomorrow for transfers. Elder Hatch goes to Finland for his visa trip, and then it's on to the rest of my mission!
Hope all is well at home, and that you are all happy.