It has been a rainy, busy week in Rostov with it being the last week of the transfer!
Elena is continuing to progress! She is getting towards the end of the Book of Alma already in the Book of Mormon and continues to make changes in her life to live according to the Gospel. She shared with us that she has been working really hard to improve her speech and she said that she feels so joyful when, at the end of the day, she knows that she went the whole day without saying a bad word. She is feeling the joy of repentance! She also shared with us that when things are chaotic or hard, she just opens up the Book of Mormon and she said it is like leaving the world behind and it brings her peace! Unfortunately, she was sickand could not make it to church but we were able to go to her home last night for a lesson. She has a little home in her yard that she rents out to a women named Eriknaz who recently moved here from Armenia and is a member! Eriknaz is going to the Kiev temple soon so Elena had lots of questions about that and about family history so we had a good discussion about that and she is excited to look for her ancestors. She now has a baptismal date for and although we think she is already ready, she just wants some more time to get used to all of this!
We met with Aleksander a couple times this week, he has been so busy recently with work that it has been harder to meet. He said that he just recently started paying tithing and has been blessed with a lot more work! He is going through a lot of hard things right now and we continue to testify to him and he continues to have hope that things will get better!
The main event of mywas that I finished the Book of Mormon in English! I love that book so much and it really is true and I just want everyone to come to know that for themselves. It helps me so much, every day. There is guidance and principles on every single page that can help us all in our daily lives. It truly is the word of God and I know that from the Holy Ghost, the warm, comforting feelings that I have as I read. Read the Book of Mormon every day and feast upon the wonderful truths inside it!
Sundays are the busiest, most stressful days of the week as we manage our callings in the branch while still trying to minister to those that we are teaching as volunteers. We had the Miners with usand they gave incredible talks. Our former investigator was there to get some bedding from us and he said that he liked that sacrament meeting more than any other and that it was really inspiring! It is always a special meeting when the Miners are in town!
This Sunday and last Sunday have been especially busy due to the fact that the traveling Patriarch is coming to Rostov next month. He typically only comes once every few years so when he does come, there are a lot of people wanting to receive Patriarchal Blessings. We were in charge of the interviews, scheduling everyone and making sure it ran smoothly. It has been going really well and there are already 14 people in the Center branch that have been interviewed and have their recommend to get their Patriarchal Blessings. I read my blessing just yesterday and was reminded of how blessed we are to have that guidance. One member last night said it is literally like scripture made just for you and I totally agree. It is impossible to not feel Heavenly Father's love when we read the scriptures and our patriarchal blessings!
Today starts a new transfer and I am excited to get to work! My theme for this transfer is to act (see 2 Nephi). Elder Nielson taught us, that leaders don't wait, they act, they make things happen. At the same time, though, I am striving to submit to the will of the Lord cheerfully and with patience in all things (Mosiah 24:15).
Love you all! Thanks for all the updates, love, prayers and support!!