Well it has been a solid week, full of ups and downs! Unfortunately, we had to drop Aleksye and Roman as investigators. We have not been able to get a hold of Aleksye for a while now and Roman said he will maybe just come to English group instead. They both had so much potential but they just are not ready yet! Someday!!
Other than that, we had lots of ups this week! Our recent converts are progressing really well. Maxim should be getting the Melchizedek Priesthood soon and we are continuing to re teach the missionary lessons to Mihael! We worked with Yegor as well who is 14 and he has almost completed the Book of Mormon and is attending seminary regularly!
This week we met a man named George. He actually approached us on the street and said something we did not understand so then he started speaking English! He has an Australian accent but he is from Moscow, he has been traveling around for a while now though. We had a great visit with him and then the next day we decided to take a different route to the branch and saw him on the way! So we took him to the branch and showed him around before he stayed for English group. He was sharing how he prays and how he gets answers and a day after English class he told me how he is looking for something that can give him some guidance and help him through life. Unfortunately, he has been spending some time on the streets recently and he is embarrassed to keep meeting with us until he can find some nicer clothes. Although I told him multiple times it does not matter to us, he said he needs to look as good as he feels and asked us to pray for him! Hoping for some miracles with him!
We finally got the chance to meet with Edward this week!! He came and was ready to learn! We taught him the full Restoration and he committed to being baptized when he knows that it is true! We invited him to read Alma 32 and pray about it to know for himself and he said he would. Edward really likes the Mormon lifestyle and already has a solid Christian background. I am confident that if he reads and asks sincerely, he will know for himself that this is the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was great to see Edward, it had been a long time since our last meeting, he is a great guy and we really love and care about him!
Yesterday was Easter so Happy Easter from Russia! It was also Fast, so quite the day! We live right next to a Russian temple and it has been packed all weekend. Everyone goes and gets their Easter cakes and eggs blessed so there were lots of people in the temple and a lot of people outside the temple selling all sorts of things. Everyone was saying "Jesus is Resurrected" and in response "Indeed, he is Resurrected" (A Russian Easter Tradition).
We had a great fast and testimony meeting yesterday, I love hearing the testimonies of others! There were some amazing stories shared. Sister Viola shared about her recent trip home to Donetsk, Ukraine. She explained how the branch there used to be full of people and the Spirit but due to war and tough times in Donetsk right now, the branch is closed. However, the faithful members there still gather in their homes just like Joseph Smith and the first members of the Church! We have a new family that moved here from the Samara area and the mom testified about their little autistic boy who was born 1 month after they joined the Church. They were told he would never speak, however, just 4 days after receiving a Priesthood Blessing, he began to speak! And as she was sharing that testimony, the little boy was running around the sacrament hall talking to people. Quite the miracle!
Last night was one I will remember, forever! We went to Krasnaya Street which is the main street in Krasnodar that is shut down to car traffic on the weekends and it is full of people, music, lights, entertainment, etc. We decided to join in with the other street performers and share the gospel! So we had a few Sisters sing hymns while Elder Gerritsen, myself, and Sister Price talked to people that stopped and handed out pass along cards. It was intimidating at first, but was a big success! One man told me he has always wanted to know more about Mormons and had some other good conversations. We are hoping to be able to do it more!
Till next week! Thanks for all the love, support and prayers!!