August 3, 2015All is well :)
The area presidency has asked our mission (and other missions as well I'm sure) to talk to three times as many people. So in order to do that, Sister Sotnikova and I have began talking to men too :) President said that sisters should focus on woman, and that elders should focus on contacting men, but if there aren't any women for us to contact then we should still talk to those around us. I can't say that I fully encourage the idea of talking to men... I've never so many awkward situations on my mission as I have had this week.
I remember looking out our open window and seeing massive raindrops, smelling wet asphalt and wet bark, just taking in my surroundings :) and then two seconds later hearing two boys about nine years old riding their bikes home and one yelling repeatedly to the other, "Aaahhhhh, aaaaahhhhh I can't see anything!" Russian rainstorms are crazy.
Two elders went home from our district this week, Elder Myers and Elder Weber. So Elder Myers decided to buy sharma for everyone, sharma is a russian burrito. There are mexican burritos, breakfast burritos, but Russian Burritos are pretty good too :) There is tomato, cucumber, mayo/sour cream, and chicken and other wonderful spices in them. It doesn't taste like a mexican burrito at all though. It's Russian somehow. Parker should look up a recipe for them online, they are great :)
We had 4 member present lessons this week :) That's better than 2 (which was last week). We are trying to help our investigator, H, who is the father of a new convert, to stop smoking. He love love loooves church, but he feels embarrassed cause he needs to take a step out between hours to take a smoke break otherwise he gets antsy sitting in there. Also L came to church yesterday :) she is finally home from Moscow, and I am sure that she will be baptized this cycle.
I have noticed an awful weakness that I have this week, which is that I have a really hard time finishing things that I start. I can finish it, but the quality at the end is always much lower than the quality that I start with in the beginning. I noticed that a little bit in my mission this week and I realized that it is a trial of my faith :) Will I finish the race strong? Will I sprint to the end? Or will I let myself go and loosen up and slow down? I think many of us can find the same problems in our every day lives... with school, with projects, even with fasting! The thing about enduring is that it really does test our faith, and holy cow is my faithfulness to God being tried! It's really not important whether or not you finish a mission, school, a fast, exams. What matters is what you learn. You don't fast just to get to the end of it. You don't take a biology class just to take a test at the end, you take the class to learn something during that period of time. We're not living just to get to the end of our lives. This is in fact a probationary period. We are being tested in every way. I feel like the closer a missionary comes to the end of his mission the stronger Satan tries to work on them. As long as I keep my covenants to remember Christ, I do not fall. As long as my faith is based on the Savior and not in myself, there is no failure. I know that clinging to Christ is the only thing that will allow me to endure WELL to the end of my mission.
We got transfer calls on Saturday night. I will be training this cycle :) there are 5 new sisters coming in, I get to meet her on Wednesday! I am also going to open an area that's been closed a while, beautiful Kazan :) I have heard that it is gorgeous there, I'm so so excited! I will get to see it in the Summer and in the fall and maybe even in the winter. Honestly my guess is that I am going to end my mission there, but we'll see. I am also going to be sister training leader. So yeah, president really dumpted a load on me. This will be a really interesting cycle :) My native companion, sister Sotnikova, will be serving with the only other Russian native in the mission, Sister Matakina. I am SOOO excited for them, it will be a blast.
I'm sad that I won't be here to see the baptisms that will happen this cycle, L, H, and others. But I am just a worker in the vineyard, and the Lord tells me where to go. And I can't complain that I'm going to Kazan :) I've never heard anything bad about that place!
Thanks for the prayers this week. I honestly felt real support. There are times on a mission where you know that the only thing that is keeping you going is the prayers of others, that's me right now :) And I'm grateful for those prayers. Cause now I'm on my feet again. And I'm ready to kill it this cycle! Missionary work is miracle work :)
In a recent General Conference, Elder Kevin W. Pearson gave a talk entitled "Stay by the Tree". The following is a quote from that talk:
Enduring to the end is a hallmark of true discipleship and is essential to eternal life. But when trials and challenges come our way, we are often told to simply “hang in there.” Let me be clear: to “hang in there” is not a principle of the gospel. Enduring to the end means constantly coming unto Christ and being perfected in Him.