Monday, March 25, 2013

Week 19: Training, Teaching, & The Gift of Tongues

Wow, what a crazy week! ( I think "wow" is the most common start to all of my journal entries, ha.) So we went to transfer meeting, and I found that I"ll be staying in Gorlovka as ZL while training an Elder Gittins from Utah! If all goes according to plan, that means that we will finish training at the end of my 5th transfer in Gorlovka. That's over 7 months in one city! 

So like I said, training started this week. We had an awesome start. Yesterday (Sunday), while sitting in church we got a call from the assisstants saying that a snow storm was coming down, and that we shouldn't go outside unless we have lessons. Well, we just so happened to have 4 lessons. Turns out that none of them cancelled! Talk about a blessing. Anyways, the lessons were super cool. One was with a new investigator named Lydia. She is probably in her mid 50s, and we met her on the street. At the time, she wasn't interested but we gave her a pamphlet with our number on it, and she called us back later in the week asking us to come over. So we did, and it was awesome. Turns out that she got a book of mormon from her neighbor, and had read all the way to second nephi. We talked about the BOM and reread the first chapter together and discussed it. It was cool to see an person that was not a member of the church to be bearing testimony of a book that she had received just earlier. Before we left, we invited her to be baptized, and she said she would prepare for it on the 14th of April. Right before we headed out, I gave her a "Liahona", the church magazine that they get over here and told her that if she had time she should read the first presidency message. Not even 10 minutes after leaving her apartment I got a call from her telling me how it had been an answer to her prayers, and she can't wait to come to church on Sunday. Talk about a miracle story! It seems almost too good to be true. I will keep you updated with how things are going with her.

As for upcoming news, I'm super stoked for General conference. I don't think I've ever been this pumped in my entire life for conference, hahaha. The bummer is that we will be watching it a week after you, because that is about how long it takes to get the translations perfected and so on. Either way, it will be great. I've also found a lot of joy in reading church magazines as of late. Part of it is probably because it's one of the only things we can read, but as i've spent time reading them I've really enjoyed the lessons and values taught in them. Super cool. First presidency message each months rocks. Everyone should read it! And home teachers that are reading this, you need to go teach the families it! 

One cool thing I've noticed while training (even though it's only been a couple days) is the gift of tongues. I'm not saying I can say anything I want to, but I can definitely understand more and speak more than I think I'm capable of. It is really cool to see how the Lord qualifies those that he calls. I have a hugeee testimony of that already. I'm pretty sure that if I wasn't blessed and I couldn't speak Russian, we would both be dead already. Haha.

Anyways, I hope you all have a great week! I love you! 

"Me wearing the most ridiculous fur hat I've ever seen in my life. Yeah, that's a tail sticking out of my head!"
"Gang graffiti, it looks pretty cool. That symbol above the other is the Ukrainian crest. Go go Gorlovka Ultras."
"A sunset pic I took as I was headed into the church"

"Elder Groothuyzen and I on our last day together! I miss that kid so much!"
"This is just as proof that I'm not getting fat here. haha"
"Our new district! TOP : Efoshkin (Moscow), Gittins (Utah), Goloshokov (St. Petersburg/Canada) Bottom : Nuzman (Utah), myself, and Johnson (Washington)"
"Me and the coolest guy on this side of the world!"
"This week marks my first 7 months of being out on my mission!"

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