Monday, May 22, 2017

Mexican Night

Hey everyone! 

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!

Tuesday morning we went out to Aleksei's to serve him aka help him build his house. When I was here over a year ago, the foundation of the house had just been laid and I will send a picture of the progress that has been made! There were a couple other guys out there helping us and we became friends with them and one came to our activity at the end of the week! 
Tuesday night we went to the Biletski home with the Lunds for family home evening and it was so great to be back with them, we used to visit them a long time ago with the Johnstuns. They are a great family and it is wonderful to help the Lunds get Family Home Evening going in their home. 

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! 
Wednesday we taught our investigator Anya the Restoration! When we asked her if she knew of any prophets, her first answer was, "Joseph Smith." She really believes he was a prophet but has not quite made the connection yet that if he was a prophet, then the Book of Mormon is true, and if the Book of Mormon is true, then the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. She committed to read the Book of Mormon and pray to know if it is true! 
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 her tonight and she is coming to our Adult Family Home Evening as well! 

Friday we had "the best district meeting ever" in the words of President Miner and I would have to agree, it was so good. We were so blessed to have President and Sister Miner with us, they came down for the day to do interviews - I miss them so much! Elder Feldman gave a great spiritual thought about reaping what we sow and that we always get out what we put in. Sister Klimash gave a great discussion about developing Christlike Attributes, something I used to focus on a lot but have been slacking recently in doing. 
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 was on Saturday and 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 Saturday 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! 

Sunday we taught our Sunday School class and talked about reverence and it went way well. I forgot our lesson plan at home, but I think that was a blessing because it was more Spirit led and went better than usual! A recent convert named Nastya gave the spiritual thought and did an incredible job, I was blown away! The youth here are just the best! 

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!!

Much love,
Elder Tucker 
-Elder Tucker//Старейшина Такер
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Pictures - Al's home, Mexican Night, District Meeting

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