Sunday, July 28, 2013

good week, elder barney went home, being of service

Dear Family and Friends,
My last week with Elder Barney has been a good one. We got some good things done before he headed home.
I gave the spiritual thought at family night on Monday from Mosiah 2:17 and basically asked who are other people in our lives and then expounded off of that (the answer i eventually wanted was neighbors). Next i asked who our neighbors are (people next door, work with, go to school with, play with, etc), how can we love our neighbors (lots of good answers and then the answer at the end is by serving), then how can we serve our neighbors (sharing the gospel was the answer to continue the discussion but it is good to let members come up with other good ideas they can use as well), why do we share the gospel if we love our neighbors (because if we love our neighbors and want to serve them then we will want to share the gospel with them), what is bad about the gospel (the members said nothing is bad about it so that leads into the last question) and what is holding us back from sharing the gospel (the members discuss some things that make it hard for them to share the gospel which can be referred back to general conference such as overcoming fear with faith). I was told my Russian is very good so far and Sister Aytaleeyeva (Russian Sister Missionary) has been asking for help to learn some English when i see her and so she has been asking for some language learning ideas. We had a good amount of people at family night again so i was proud(: Afterwards, we gave Cveta a blessing because she was having bad dreams.
After English practice on Tuesday, we had stuff to do which was good because there was no one to talk to after because we decided we aren't talking much with William and Makceem anymore since they aren't interested in the gospel. Artyom, the priest in the branch, is getting ready to go to a big youth conference in Russia and he was acting nervous so we gave him a blessing after English practice and he was really grateful for it. 
We had two kids stop us and ask us what we were doing in Russia when we were on our way home. They seemed interested in the gospel at the beginning. One of the kids asked a bunch of questions about the gospel and we answered him but nothing ended up happening when we asked to teach more.
During district meeting this week, we talked about lift and drag which is something from zone conference. We talked about how airplanes need more lift than drag to take off and the less drag and the more lift that they have, the better it takes off. As missionaries, we need to look for the things that are causing drag and become more obedient but then also find things that make us lift so that we can take off.
We went to Sister Pyskol's apartment after district meeting. She asked on Sunday if we could come over on another day because she wanted to say bye to Elder Barney. We went over and had a good conversation with her and i shared a few verses with her from 2 Nephi. She had us stop by and pick up a treat the next day because the power had been off most of the day and she had something she wanted to make for Elder Barney. 
We had a lesson with a man named Vladimir. He came and he was super nice and showed us some pictures of his family. We showed him some pictures, talked about the gospel, the family proclamation to the world, and gave him a Book of Mormon and asked him to read it. After that, we gave him a church tour and he left. He is a super nice man and he is now a new investigator but we really need to plant a seed of faith in him.
We went and had a surprise visit with Yevgenni as our last event of that night. He hadn't been answering the domaphone or his phone so i came up with the idea to call a neighbor to let us in. We got in eventually and knocked on his door. He didn't answer so we knocked one more time just to make sure he heard and eventually he came.
Yevgenni said that he has been in the hospital. He couldn't talk very well since they had shoved a camera inside him and it was hard for him to say much. He said that he wasn't sure if he could come to church.
We headed over to Baba's house on Friday. We picked some stuff for the Bryson's at her garden because they helped her so much with it and she wanted them to harvest their plants. We talked with Baba and the Brysons inside and had brownies and helped translate. Elder Barney and the Brysons left so it was a good visit to do beforehand. She was also very happy they all came and i feel it was a very good service. 
We went to go stop at some addresses of previous potential investigators and had a great time contacting on the way. I started a conversation with a man named Valyera and we had a mini lesson with him. He was very nice and wanted to know more but wouldn't really give us any contact information unfortunately. We talked to some other people and felt like this part of our area will be super fruitful so we are going to work with it more in the future. We talked with another man named Sasha. I stopped him and i didn't think it was really going to go anywhere but we kept talking. Elder Barney testified and the man kept talking with us while he was with his girlfriend and then asked how we could meet with us again. I gave him an invite to church and he seemed enthusiastic to come when he can. He avoided giving us his number then i showed him the English practice invite because he tried to speak a little English as we were going and i had taped some English invites inside of the Sunday invites. 
We were so blessed with good contacting that we were enthused to do better. We talked to so many people that we didn't have time to actually do any stops to the people we planned but we almost got some new investigators and didn't have any appointments set up.
Saturday was a small day to get Elder Barney ready to go home. I helped him pack, did some studying, a little cleaning, cooking, and some packing of my own. We made a few stops then Sister Ayteleeyeva called and asked for a blessing so we headed over to the church and gave her a blessing because she hadn't been able to sleep.
After church on Sunday, Elder Barney and i got in the car with Zhenya and he dropped me off at the other Elders' apartment where i said goodbye to Elder Barney. We ate dinner and then headed out to some appointments. We went to Edik who is the husband of Sister Perfiliva. We had a lesson about things he is worries about and he is a good man. I shared with him the big picture of the gospel and tried to get him to make a baptismal date but he wasn't comfortable yet so he didn't. We gave Elder Ostler a blessing because he wasn't feeling well and we went to bed early. That was my week! We did some good service, gave some blessings, we were blessed with good contacting, i will be getting a new companion on Wednesday, and we are ready for another week! Love you all, Elder Elwood

Picture attachments:
1. Giant spiders that they have all over outside. You are fine as long as you don't walk into their web. There is no problems with them coming inside and i rarely see any bugs in the apartments of anyone ever and they aren't big or anything.
2. One miserable cat after the rain. 
3. A random building i saw that was interesting

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