Monday, April 18, 2016

Visa Trip

Hi all,  I will start with great news! I am staying in Krasnodar with Elder Gerritesen for another transfer! Last transfer was crazy because every companionship changed except three and this transfer was crazy because only three companionships changed! We have no new missionaries and no one leaving for a few months so we get to stay put for now! I am pretty pumped to get to serve in this area longer.  I really like it here!

Big event of the week was of course the Visa Trip.. My alarm went off at 1:30 AM on Thursday morning to get ready to head to the Krasnodar Airport. We first flew up to Moscow and then all the way down to Armenia. In Armenia we ran into the Elders and Sisters from the Volgograd Zone so I got to see Elder Thayer and some other friends serving there! They flew with us from Armenia back to Moscow. On that flight, I got to sit in between Elder Gerritsen who is my size and Elder Clark. Luckily, Elder Clark is one of the newer missionaries I have not met so I had a great chat with him the whole flight while stealing some of his leg room, haha. Elder Clark and I became pretty good friends, he is a great guy! I will attach a pic of us! We got to Moscow and waited for about 7 hours there where I realized how unique our mission is. I said at 11:30 PM "Most missionaries are fast asleep at this time but we are not even in our mission!" We eventually got to Krasnodar and got to our apartment just before 3 AM with some swollen legs, plugged ears, and greasy hair. Not a huge fan of visa trips just because they really take a toll on us and our work, but we gotta do what we gotta do, to legally live here!! 

The next day we had a great District Meeting where Elder Johnstun and Elder Barnes led discussions on urgency, something our mission is working on. I have wanted to improve my urgency and that meeting really helped me to know how I can, it was an answer to my prayers! I love what Elder Johnstun said as he compared our missions to paying tithing. When we pay tithing we give a full 10%, we don't hold back a percent or two. For us missionaries, 2 years is 10% of our lives and we cannot hold back a percent or two of this sacred time! 

Had an awesome meeting with our investigator Oveg. We started from scratch with him and we kind of doubted there would be any progress, but this week was a lot better. He even said his first prayer in his own words in his life! It was short but powerful! Also had a few service opportunities this week!

Sunday was great as always! In sacrament meeting, there were a few mentions about missionaries! One speaker called us "mini saviors" and another talked about how there is a visible light around us that draws people to us. It was funny to hear, sitting in the chapel as a missionary, but I cannot deny the uniqueness of missionaries, and not just because we are Americans surrounded by Russians! 

It was the 3rd Sunday of the month which means, the missionaries teach the second hour. Elder Gerritsen and I taught Gospel Principles class on The Covenant People of the Lord. It went very well and one of the sisters' investigators was answering all the questions! 

3rd hour we were in the primary helping teach the Restoration! My mind was blown away, when one of the little girls stood up and practically taught the whole Restoration plainly and powerfully, better than I can! Her name is Sasha and she now has my name memorized and talks to me every Sunday. She has started giving me hugs but she is pretty tiny so she only hugs my leg. 
That is all for my week! Have a great week!! Thanks for all the love, support and prayers!!

Much love! 
-Elder Tucker//Старейшина Таккер

Pictures - District, Visa Trip

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