Another week down in south Russia! Biggest change recently with our new standards of excellence is that all day every day is in Russian! Elder Shumway and I only speak Russian for most the day, our district and coordination meetings are now all in Russian, and we all just talk to each other in Russian! It has been way sweet! This week we also got our first snowfall but it was just early one morning and didn't even stick, today is real warm and nice!
Sadly, this will be my last week with Elder Shumway. I am going to miss him so much and hope you will all get to his homecoming. It has been a fast 3 transfers and it will be sad to say goodbye. Transfers are not untilbut I know I will be in Rostov once again next transfer and I have a great new companion coming in but more on that next week!
Early last week we went to Sister Ludmila to do some service and she was very thankful we decided to go that day because she had an eye appointment that she obviously could not go on alone because she is blind and her caretaker was not really wanting to take her. So we got to take her to her appointment, guiding her every step, and walking her through all sorts of tests. We found out some really exciting news, she will be able to get an operation either this week or next and get her full sight back, in just one eye for now! Crazy to think that she will be able to see us! She told us not to worry, she won't judge us by our looks, although she asks us who is better looking haha. We will be taking her to her appointments because she does not have anyone else really, and it will be quite the moment when she sees us for the first time!!
We had a good meeting with our little brothers Nikita and Bogdan. We talked about the covenant of baptism with them and they had a good understanding of it by the end. We fasted with their grandma and great grandma and other membersfor their parents to give them permission to be baptized! We have been calling them at night to remind them to say their prayers as they asked, so they don't forget. They even called us today so see if we could go for a walk with them haha. They will be waiting for us to get back to them and we are all just praying and hoping for a miracle with their parents!
Had a couple great meetings with Yura this week. He has started the Book of Mormon and uses a pencil to underline different words and verses that he has questions about, and he has lots of them! We went over the 10 commandments, per his request, and he wanted to fully understand each of them and accepted them as truth. Then, Sister Inkeles called us unexpectedly and said meet me at the branch , I'll be with Yura- a great surprise! She told us that they had started talking about the Word of Wisdom and he wanted to know more about it. We covered the whole thing and he just loved it. Immediately after he asked why we didn't teach that to him the first lesson. I don't know about other missions, but the Word of Wisdom usually sounds pretty crazy to non members just because it is different from the culture here. Yura, being prepared for the Gospel, does not smoke or drink- which is a rare find in Russia- and was totally open to giving up tea and coffee. He said he has always had feelings all of that was bad, which was why he quit, but this was just confirmation to him that those feelings were right. He also said that although he won't say the Book of Mormon is true yet, he has found truth in it and he is taking the next step and going to ask to not have work on Sundays to come to Church. He is hesitant to pray which we need to focus on with him next but he is progressing in the right direction!
After talking with President, got to chat with Sister Miner as she checked my planner. We also talked about the Zone and the mission and different things, could talk to her for hours. I am so grateful for the Miners and for the relationship I have with them! Great people!!
Fastwas great! Got to bless the sacrament for the first time in quite a while which is always a great experience. Then we got to hear the wonderful testimonies of the members here. Sister Miner stood up to testify and pointed at me to come up at translate and it caught me off guard, I was honored but I hope I did not mess it up to bad!!
OurSchool lesson went very well! We had President Miner in our class with us which helped, all the kids participated and we had such a good discussion when usually we spend most the time talking over them and telling them to quiet down. They even did their homework and got treats for it and asked what their next assignment would be! Two of our students also testified in sacrament meeting which was pretty powerful and rewarding to see!
Today we got a referral which literally never happens! Someone in Rostov wants a Book of Mormon in Russian!
Thanks for all the love, support and prayers!!
Till next week!