Monday, June 8, 2015

One Last Email from Elder Moore

Well, I don't know what I'm going to write, but I'll write something.

Right now I'm in the Internet cafe just like a normal P-Day. The only difference being that back at the apartment is empty, and tidy wardrobes, and desks. Spotless kitchen, and bathrooms. Luggage packed and waiting by the door, not to be opened until they reach America. I'll be sitting here for another hour and a half, then we'll walk back to the apartment one last time, call a taxi to bring us to the Bus station and be off to Novosibirsk. 

Elder Kovrigin and I are both leaving. We've been getting the area ready to be white washed. Kinda. Elder Gardner with whom I served last transfer is coming back from America and his operation on Wednesday and will be serving in our area. He will be with Denis Schwetsov who is a good friend of mine from Omsk. He moved to Moscow the day I moved from Omsk to Novosibirsk, and there put in his papers and was called to serve in the Novosibirsk Mission. Funny how it worked out. Barnaul will be in good hands. 

I'll say a bit about this last week I suppose. 

Monday we met with Sasha and Lilia, a member from Novosibirsk. Barnaul is her home town. We tried to stop by a less active guy, but he wasn't at work. 

Tuesday we spent the day emptying out the center apartment and closing it down. I got put in the back of the moving truck. 

Wednesday was my last Group Gospel English discussion. The topic was supposed to be the Word of Wisdom, but we decided to do something different, and instead did a kind of an Introduction to Mormonism class. We used the churches videos that they created in 2012. It was a good thing too. We had 14 people! Everyone just decided this was the week to come. We normally have like 4. We gave each in attendance a picture of Christ, and left them with our testimonies of the Savior. Honestly, I normally dislike English group as the only people that seemed to come were the long term atheists who never progressed. We both felt that the testimonies were received this week. Making it more enjoyable. 

Thursday, we were invited to dinner at the Klevakin's home. Brother Klevakin is the 1st councilor in the District Presidency, and his wife with their five kids are incredible members with an incredible conversion story. Missionaries haven't been invited to the Klevakin's home for... a long time. I never ever thought that would happen. It was a great evening. We talked about the missionary work in the city. What's going good, and what needs help. Missionary work in Barnaul is definitely not at an all time high. It's getting there. We ate Blini with ground beef, and also with skushanka. 

Friday, we met with Noor! I kinda bribed him into meeting as I am leaving. We actually managed to pin him two days in a row! Friday and Saturday. He's such a good man, doing all he can for his family. His daughter is getting married soon in Tajikistan. Marriage customs are much different in Tajikistan than in America. They basically have two weddings. One one day for the Bride's family and friends, and the next day a separate event for the Groom's family and friends. The families of the bride and groom don't even meet each other until after the actually wedding. Like Dad used to say... "It's not better. It's not worse, It's just different!" We encouraged Noor to continue to come to the Church and learn of Christ despite my not being here. He has met elder Gardner, so hopefully they can bond as well. 

Saturday was an Activity commemorating the 120 year anniversary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Russia. We had a small choir, and we performed the musical numbers that we had been working on the last couple of months. it went very well. Afterwards, we got to walk and talk with Sasha. He was baptised in December. It was a miracle that his mother gave him permission to get baptized. He's been slowly working on her, and helping her to warm up to the church. She recently gave him permission to serve a Mission! He will be going in July to serve a single transfer "mini-mission" and then after being accepted to university plans to serve a full time mission. Russia needs more Russian missionaries. For them there are simply less barriers to break down in order to connect with the people here! 

Sunday. Last Sunday in Russia. Fast and testimony meeting. I shared Ether 6:5

 And it came to pass that the Lord God caused that there should be a furious wind blow upon the face of the waters, towards the promised land; and thus they were tossed upon the waves of the sea before the wind.

In short, my thoughts on it being that the Brother of Jared and his family who have left their home, and everything they are comfortable with and know in hopes of receiving greater blessings from God. I can't imagine anything they had to do to obtain those blessings were easy. But as Elder Scott taught, "when was anything really worthwhile easy?" Another thought being that the "Lord God caused" the winds to come. I can't imagine that furious winds make for a pleasant journey. The furious winds were necessary in order to reach the Promised Land. We also are finding our way through this life back to our Heavenly Father. There are many blessings to be received, and many waters full of furious winds to be crossed. Keeping our eye on the promised blessings and our faith built upon the rock of our redeemer, all will be well. Promised blessings always come, as long as we keep the promises and covenants that we have made. I really like that imagery. It can apply to all of us regardless of where we are in life or how easy or hard life is at any given time. The point being that there will always be promised blessings for us if we want and seek them, and there will also always be furious winds to get us to them. 

Well, I've said most of the goodbyes that there are to say. The excitement for all of the hellos there will be in the next few days seem to over-ride any emotions. 

I'm excited to come home. Lots of adventures to be had in the next few months and years! 

I will write one more group email after ariving home, and that will be that. I'm really grateful for these last two years. I don't think I can properly express what they have done for me. Maybe I'll try to express that next week when I write one last group email.

With love, 

One last time as Elder Moore

Walking with Sasha and Lilia

120 years of the Church in Russia

Planners... all of the planners. For the last 730+ days of my life.
This is where my bags are right now. Waiting to be taken to the taxi... then home to America. :) (Pray that they make it all the way!!... or you won't get your presents.)

Walked a bit with Armen and Arman this morning.

A couple more days and many more miles. :)

If anyone is going to respond, please use my normal email which is.

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