Tuesday, July 16, 2013

June 24th letter from jacob

Hello Everyone
It has been yet another great week here in Ussurisk. We worked hard and had some great successes. We met with the Shatilov's (a family in the branch) and we taught the plan of salvation and asked several questions to try and get a referral. They didn't know of anyone so we invited them to make a new friend this week.
I gave some examples of what they could do and specifically to Artyom then i did a demonstration with him. In the end i suggested that he complimented, showed interest, and invited someone to an activity. 
We were able to help a lady in our ward this week too. Her name is sister Alla and she needed help painting. We went and painted a room and it is a lot different painting in Russia. We just put one coat of paint on the walls and painted around everything in the way. It was great and she was pleased so we were too.
Thursday was a really great day this last week. We had weekly planning spread out in big chunks of the day because we had a couple lessons. Planning went well as usual. We had a great lesson with Lev and helped him understand prayer better because last time he said he didn't understand it very well and we were starting to review commandments.
We went over to a family in the branch and taught a kid who just turned 8. We taught him a bunch of simple principles and started teaching him some things so he can be baptized soon. His family isn't super active but they are super  nice so hopefully their son will help them come to church. At the end of our lesson the mom asked where his brother was. He said in Russian, "He is sleeping." She then asked how since he has a crib and he wasn't in it. Then the 8 year old pointed and said, "like that." (also in Russian). We all looked on the side of the couch and his brother was lying on the hard floor sleeping in a really funny position. 
Artyom came to the church on Friday and we helped him with Duty to God. We had an idea and we tied Duty to God in with home teaching since there is a section for that. We thought it would be great if he could find someone else and go home teaching with them so we gave him a list and hopefully he will get started. It will be great because we have a lot of less actives, we will have people home teaching, it can help the missionaries find people and we could even go with him sometime.
After we were done helping Artyom, we had told him we wanted him to help at Baba's house. He came with us and we introduced him to Baba and he helped us cut a ton of wood. Baba liked him and we thought maybe he could come more to help her which would be good service opportunities for him. 
Sports night was great. There was a bunch of branch members but we also had all of the other missionaries this time. We were able to play a Frisbee game this time. We found a frog during sports night and that was fun. One of the girls in the branch brought her bunny which was fun too. I think it was good for her because she likes it but also because the branch members showed a lot of attention and this girl needs it right now. We went to the branch and gave Sister Aytelova a blessing again so that she could do the things she needs to.
Sunday was also another great day. We went and made sure everything was prepared before sacrament meeting. President and Sister Brinton came and everyone was in a great mood. During sacrament, everything ran smoothly.  Elder Lyman gave a talk because he is leaving to home soon. Before that Sister Braithwait also gave a talk because she is being transferred. I am not exactly sure what all of what they said was but they had powerful testimonies.
Sister Brinton spoke and expressed a lot of enthusiasm about how great the people of Ussurisk are and some other good things. She thanked the missionaries here and then talked about how the members are also missionaries. She finished and gave us a special performance on the piano and it was beautiful. She played If You Could Hie to Kolob.
President Brinton was last and he also was very enthusiastic. Many tears were shed around the sacrament room as he announced that Elder Bryson is the new branch president in Nakhodka so he probably won't be here much longer. There was a great feeling when he announced that we will have a new senior couple in August. The new couple is from St. Peterburgh so they are Russian. They are strong members and will really help here and it is what this area needs. They also speak English really well so it will be perfect. 
After church we were able to take the sacrament to Sister Pyskol. She has been gone and not answering the phone the last few weeks so we haven't had the chance to take her the sacrament. She is a very nice lady and we always try to offer help if we can. I listened to the broadcast which was on Monday for here and it was great. There was much said and i am not sure what is going to happen here yet but some new things will happen as the mission president directs. Love, Elder Elwood

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