Monday, March 21, 2016

Happy Easter

Hey Friends and Family,

I am sure some of you heard about the disaster in Rostov, that was pretty sad news for this area. Big time prayers to those that were involved, and very thankful all the missionaries are safe. (airplane crash at the airport). 

I had a great week! It started with a good Coordination Meeting, we have been focusing on the fact that the work with less actives is a process! It is not simply one phone call or visit and they are reactivated, we might not even see the end of the process while we are here, but we are getting it rolling for the future missionaries. So I have been calling less actives just to befriend them rather than invite them to Church as if they don't know when and where it is. It has been really awesome to get to know some incredible people! One less active we visited at her hat shop, told me I look very Russian and I have gotten that comment a few times on my mission, so I guess I really do look Russian after all. 

We had Zone Training this week led by the Zone Leaders, my two former companions. They did a great job. We discussed how we can respect other people's agency better, after all, we are here to invite, not force. We also discussed new ideas for street teaching rather than the typical routine that is unfruitful. We are trying to eliminate the line, "Hi we are missionaries from our Church..." and just trying to be normal people and have natural conversations before the gospel inevitably gets brought up! So far, so good!!

All is going great with Elder Gerrittsen and I. He is an awesome cook and made Borsch for us this week, as well as some other goodies. I love his cooking! We are getting along really well and working well together. We both love Krasnodar! 

We are continuing to serve Aleksye. The hole we started is now about 6 feet deep, it is huge! We still have lots of work to do out there and he continues to be more and more open to hearing about the Gospel. 

We have gotten close with Sister Sveta this week, the Seminary teacher. She thought I had been on my mission almost 2 years already, and about died when I said how short I have been here. She then told me one night "Elder Tucker, I heard you have the most beautiful family." She LOVED the photo book especially my beautiful sisters and mom. 

Both our meetings with investigators fell through, both were sick- lots of people are sick right now. However, I had a great phone call with Edward. When I called he said, "Talk of the devil, I just thought to myself 'I wonder what Tucker is doing right now.'" After he asked if that was correct to say and I told him it is "speak of the devil" then after the call he texted us and wrote "In your case I should say, "Speak of the Holy Ghost." I got a good kick out of that. Hope we can meet with him and Denis this week! 

There is nothing quite like a sunny Sunday in Krasnodar. It was a great day. We taught Gospel Principles class on the Atonement and it went pretty well. We were also invited to Primary to teach the hand symbols for the 10 Commandments which was really fun. I was asked to give a couple blessings after church. After one, the Sister stood up and put her hand to her heart and said something that only makes sense in Russian but she really felt the power of the Priesthood. She thanked me and I explained that it is all by the Spirit. Priesthood blessings are so powerful and the feelings are just undeniable! 

Yesterday after Church I was just looking out the window eating dinner and thought to myself 'what in the world did I do to deserve this blessing of serving here?' I honestly cannot explain how much I love this city and the Branch here. Had it been my choice, I would have never put myself in Krasnodar, Russia but I know with all my heart and mind that there is no where else in the world I should be right now. I am so thankful for a Heavenly Father who knows me so well and for the Atonement of Jesus Christ, that makes this all possible.  Happy Easter!!
I love you all! Thanks for all you do for me!!  Til' next time!! 

-Elder Tucker//Старейшина Таккер

Picture of Zone/District

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