Monday, June 27, 2016

Last Contact - Miracles!!!

Hi All, First off,  a quick apartment update so Mom stops worrying! 1st, we got a new fridge! 2nd we got a fan in our apartment which has been a life saver,  in the Sochi heat. 3rd we finally caught our 3rd companion in the apartment.. (picture enclosed).

Wednesday I got to go on splits with Elder David! It was so awesome to have a day together in Russia just being missionaries after working hard together for this in the MTC. I sure love Elder David and the friendship we share! He can be described with the D's. Diligent, Dedicated, Desire. He fills every minute with something productive and is very dedicated to his calling as a missionary. He also has a true desire to find, teach, and baptize. He is just an awesome missionary and I am so glad we get to work with each other. 

Thursday in District Meeting we discussed teaching- focusing on teaching simply using the pamphlets we have and testifying often. Elder Vonn and I have a goal to be like Nephi, in 2 Nephi 25:28- to teach so simply that they cannot misunderstand! We have discussed it a lot and came up with new approaches to teach simply and we are excited to put them into action! 

Friday we had the rare treat of having the Miners in town. Their daughter is here with a friend from their ward and of course they wanted to come see Sochi! They took us out to McDonalds and we had a good time all together. I am endlessly grateful for the Miners, I know that I was meant to serve under them! 

We have been trying to get more involved with our less active members, there are quite a few down here! One sister lives just a couple houses away and we had a great visit with her the other night. She was a little reluctant to let us in because she is now a Jehovah's Witness but we ended up making a great friendship and she invited us back "anytime." She is great and we are excited to keep working with her and re-ignite her testimony! 
As for our investigators, we had another powerful lesson with Alexander. The spirit was so strong and afterwards we just said a prayer of gratitude for it. He is starting to keep commitments and progress towards his baptism next month! 
We have another investigator named Nikolai and he just got some surgery and he called us to go visit him so we are going to try tomorrow. He has some friends, in the branch and is doing well. 

Our other investigator Sergei is super busy but when he has time, we always have solid lessons with him. He has such strong faith and wants to know the truth and prays to know but he just does not want to start the Book of Mormon until he has finished the bible. He is such a cool guy and we love him so much! 

Saturday night before bed, Elder Labizov called me and asked if I could speak in sacrament the next day for 10 minutes about the meaning of Jesus Christ in our lives. It was short notice, but I was happy to do it. Ran out of notes quicker than expected so I just started talking and testifying and the Spirit took over! The branch was very nice afterwards to me and one sister told me my talk really spoke to her and she felt it ,so as long as it helped one person, I am good with that. 

Last week, Elder Vonn and I practically chased down a man named Daniel. There are many Africans in Russia here to study and often times they speak English so that is why we were so excited to see him. Turns out he was actually born in Russia but his family is from Mozambique! (could not help but think about Elder Chipman). He told us he knew about Mormons. We had a good conversation and planted a good seed and then two days later in the exact same spot he ran into the other Elders. So he came to church after the 3rd hour yesterday and Elder David and I taught him the first lesson. He already had such a good knowledge of the Gospel and he really just wants to know the truth- turns out he had become an atheist but now is thinking there is a God. He understood everything we talked about and said he would absolutely read the Book of Mormon and then pray about it! 

This week on the streets was often the same- hours of rejection or little conversations and then the very last person we talked to before going in turned out to be a huge miracle. We have learned that miracles are out there and prepared people are out there but they are never just given to us! We have met some incredible people and after we meet them we are just so happy and we talk about them and how much we want them to know what we know. It is sometimes hard because we have those desires and then it does not always go as planned and we really care about these people, but we have faith and there is some awesome potential with some of these great brothers and sisters in Sochi!   Thanks for all the updates, love and prayers!!

Till next week,

-Elder Tucker//Старейшина Таккер
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Pictures - Black Sea, 3rd Companion (haha),  older picture from Krasnodar(service day)

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