All is well,
So my companion and I just got a call a few minutes ago from Sister Schwab, she had all the news for transfers a week early. I am staying in Balakovo, I will be serving with Sister Martinez (I've heard AMAZING things about her, Sis Busman trained her) and Sister Haroldsen will be serving with my old companion, Sister Palmer, in Saratov. She is going to love Sister Palmer :) I always told her that. I am glad not to be leaving this blessed area, but I'm scared to be the missionary left here beceause I still have such a nasty language barrier with this members!
We actually saw a couple miracles yesterday. First of all... we went to follow up with a member who had a referral for us. We met with her a week ago and had her write down 5 names of the people she loves most in her life, and to pray about 2 people on that list that she wants to share the gospel with. Well yesterday we met with her and she said that she hadn't received an answer yet and that she didn't think any of them were ready. She seemed to be a little bit bummed down about it, but as my companion and I spoke to her about how God can soften people's hearts as we pray for them, her own heart began to change! By the end of the lesson she told us, "How about on Friday I invite my cousin to my house and you two sisters come over to meet her in the evening?" She set up a lesson with us right before our eyes. God changes hearts and he gives people courage when it comes to doing his work. I have noticed it in myself and others as I share the good news :)
Also... there is an elder in this mission who is an EXACT COPY of Drew Hutchins. His name is Elder Serino, and they need to be friends when they get home.
We made a goal to hit 6 baptisms by the end of his cycle. We actually had a baptism this weekend with N :) She is handicapped with the understanding of an 8 year old, but that's enough to be baptized! Elder Wall baptized her and was so good with her... basically we went to a sauna for the baptism, and she was baptized in a pool. But the pool was SO DEEP, so Elder Wall had to hold her. Imagine an extremely awkward situation, and then put a really Christ-like person into the situation and suddenly it's not awkward anymore. Basically that's Elder Wall. He was so good with her. After she was baptized and dressed again she was talking with my companion and I and our branch president about how "not tasty" the water was, and that it is "not mean to be drinken." we were all trying so hard not to laugh. The best part though was the next day at church when she recieved the Holy Ghost, wow the spirit filled the building. Those blessings are so special. I am going to invite anyone who has the opportunity to go to a baptism to take it :) I love baptisms. So now we need 5 more baptisms because N was baptized, you don't need to fast for it or anything, but it means a lot to me so please just pray that we can get these 5 baptisms. We are expecting BIG miracles in this mission. Our mission president told us that Russia is the new Brazil, and that it's not going to be tomorrow or next year, but the time is NOW. And I believe him.
In closing I just wanted to share a scripture with you all :) It is 2 Ne 32:8, The spirit teacheth a man to pray, but an evil spirit teacheth a man NOT to pray. I paraphrased that for sure.
And now, my beloved brethren, I perceive that ye ponder still in your hearts; and it grieveth me that I must speak concerning this thing. For if ye would hearken unto the Spirit which teacheth a man to pray, ye would know that ye must pray; for the evil spiritteacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray.But I could not believe how PERFECT that lesson was, let me tell you why. We have an investigator who hasn't come to church in a long time, and won't speak to us on a spiritual subject anymore, and is tired of praying because he's not getting any "feedback" (however he only prayed for 3 days in a row), but he still comes to all activities. He came to the baptism and to church just to see what it's like to see a baptism and confirmation, but decided to stay for sunday school too... basically the Sunday school teacher was extremely inspired. Because he didn't even know that our investigator would be there. However it applied to me as well, because sometimes we are out on the streets and I think, "we are having no success right now... we should pray." and then the natural man in me says that I don't need to pray! I am too prideful to tell it to my companion. How awful is that? Guess who it's from, SATAN. That nasty devil. Our investigator asked the question, "well isn't it better not to pray at all than to have an insincere prayer?" and our Sunday school teacher said, "anything that teaches NOT to pray, is from the devil." Simple as that.
When you feel like you gotta pray,
get down on your knees and pray :) swallow your pride!
(Can someone figure out how to say that in Russian for me?
I've wanted to say it like 10 times at least)
Love you all :)