I am starting off with a spiritual note, this week I studied Alma 17 in preparation for our Zone Conference with Elder Kacher this weekend. It is one of my favorite chapters because it is so relatable to any missionary but I think especially those of us in Russia. I can just relate to Alma and the sons of Mosiah who leave friends and family to preach among the Lamanites and pray and fast to just be instruments in the Lord's hands to bring some to the knowledge of the truth.
Last Monday we were in charge of the Family Home Evening for the youth in the branch. We talked about James 1:5 and gave everyone the time to write down a question(s) that they have and to ask of God and I challenge you all to do the same just as Joseph Smith did! He knows all the answers and is just waiting to be asked, but we must listen for the answer and take it for what it is, because it might not be the answer you want/expect!
This week I have learned a lot about spiritual promptings as I have been focusing on them more. I realized on Wednesday that promptings really come a lot more often than I think but they are always inviting me to act, to do something usually outside of my comfort zone or just something unexpected. It is up to me whether or not I just trust the prompting and act on it. This week I felt like I needed to sit by a younger man on the tramvai and I felt prompted to study my Russian words for the day after saying hello. Within no time, he had started asking me about why I was studying Russian and what we are doing here. The conversation did not lead to much besides a friendly wave from him as the tram passed us when we got off on our stop, maybe it was all he needed to get the seed planted for a future harvest!
We had a miracle last Wednesday night! We had just finished teaching Anya and we were up in the branch kitchen having a quick dinner before Student Council started. We could hear Margo, a very active young single adult who is very eager to share the gospel, downstairs but we were surprised when she come upstairs with a woman named Tanya and asked us to help her give Tanya a tour of the building. Turns out Tanya had stopped by a few times but no one was here. Margo had seen her reading the sign outside and invited her in to learn more! She expressed how she felt different in the branch building and was eager to give us her phone number and learn more. Since then, Margo has given her a Book of Mormon which she has already started reading, she came to Mexican night and made friendships with members, and she came to all three hours of Church yesterday and told Margo that she already feels like one of us. We have a lesson with herand she is coming to our Adult Family Home Evening as well!
It was great to have an interview with President Miner, I wish I could explain my love and respect for that man. He has been called by God to serve over this mission and I was undoubtedly called to serve under President Miner.
In Student Council for the past few weeks, we have been preparing for our big Mexican Night that wasand it turned out to be a huge success and we hope to see some of the fruits of that this week! There were 85 people in attendance at Mexican Night (keep in mind there are usually less than 80 that come to church on Sundays!!), and I would say about half were non members or members that I have never seen in the branch last year or this year. We had seven of our potential investigators come, one investigator, and two less active members. Two of the potential investigators came to church yesterday and one of the less actives, who is reluctant to meet with us but came to the activity and we talked to him there, texted us night after the activity and said he had set a goal to come to Sacrament meeting and he did! A couple weeks ago, a man called that had met an Elder long ago and he invited us to his Amway presentation and we went thinking it would be a unique way to find, nothing really came out of it until we invited him to Mexican Night and he came with his wife and daughter and they invited some other people that we met at Amway, they all came!! They all had a great time and were asking questions about the Church and want to come to game night! It was the best activity I have seen since coming to Russia, we planted many countless seeds!
Last night we got to attend the Mission Prep. class that is held in a member's home for Anton and Kostya who are both preparing to go on missions. It was awesome to be able to share mission experiences and help them prepare for the greatest experience of their lives.
I love my mission and am so grateful for it! Thanks for all the love, support and prayers!! Prayers to all of you!!