Monday, July 25, 2016

Happy Pioneer Day, VTC, MLC, and a Baptism

Hello everyone!!  It feels like I was sitting at this computer writing you all,  just yesterday! It has been a solid week, first week of the moratorium in the books! Happy Pioneer Day to all of you!!

I had a great birthday last week, got lots of very nice calls and texts from missionaries and others around the mission. Everyone made me feel real special! I also got a package from home so thank you Mom for putting in all the effort to get that to me and thanks to everyone who wrote a card, you are all the best! Elder Shumway and I went to a restaurant called Rees and got some Sushi for dinner so that was how we celebrated! 

Wednesday was also Day 1 of our Volunteer Training Center (VTC). We really want to come out of this two week moratorium stronger than we started, in all aspects, so we cover a lot of ground at VTC. We are very fortunate to have two Russian missionaries in our Zone and they helped us a lot with Russian. We also assigned Elder Kempton, who is super smart, to give us a Russian history lesson and he did such a good job! It was very interesting to learn about Russian history!!

For VTC we have also had the opportunity to do some Indexing on! Elder Shumway and I really love indexing now and we always want to do it! The other day while looking at my Family Tree, I came across some pictures I have not seen before.  Made me really happy. Family History is a great work! 

My favorite part of VTC so far has been our Doctrine and Covenants study groups. As missionaries we typically study the Book of Mormon and occasionally the Bible so we are taking this time to study Doctrine and Covenants. I am in an awesome group and we have had some powerful studies together. We just started from page one and have been able to relate our current situation to the various sections at the beginning of the D&C. There is always so much comfort in the scriptures and it has been powerful to read and discuss them with other missionaries! 

Friday we had Mission Leadership Conference (MLC) and it was my first time in attendance! It was fun to have all the leaders from around in the mission travel into Rostov and discuss the future of our work. President Miner went over the new "do's" and "dont's" as volunteers and then we just discussed how we can help our branches. There is so much work to be done in the branches! He also showed us some numbers to show that we ended the old era at a high- teaching more lessons than ever before and sacrament attendance increases. Now, with our focus on internal growth, we are going to see lots of improvements and miracles in our branches!

Because all the leaders were in town, I got to reunite with Elder Tolokonnikov and Elder Belan- my Russian brothers! I didn't think I would be seeing them again because they go home in a couple transfers but it was so good to see them and have them stay with us for a couple days. 

Now for the baptism! Last week, I wrote how I interviewed an investigator of the Sisters, her name is Snezhana. She told the sisters that she wanted me to baptize her but she was super scared to ask. She finally asked, and I of course, said that I would happily do it! Me and four other elders also went out to her house to do some service in her yard the day before the baptism. We actually found out the next day that our service was what helped her really know that this is the right path for her. She was having her doubts and Satan always works on those about to enter into the waters of baptism but just some simple service was all she needed! The baptism itself went well, it is always very powerful to be at a baptism watching someone be cleansed from all their sins and start a new life in Christ! 
On Sunday, Snezhana was confirmed and we were able to be a part of that sacred ordinance. The rest of church went really well and there were even more people in attendance than last Sunday! There are some great youth members here that I have started to get to know a little better. Really loving the Rostov Center Branch so far! 
That is all from me! This week we have Zone Training on Wednesday so lots of preparation to do for that! 
Thanks again for all the love, support and prayers!!  Much love!!

-Elder Tucker//Старейшина Таккер
Строка за строкой

Pictures - Birthday balloons (from my package from home), sushi, fun with some other volunteers!!

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