Well Happy New Year everyone! I cannot believe it’s 2013! Nuts! And let me tell you what was nuts… New years Eve here!!!! They started the fire works at like 6pm and they went ALL night. (we were in from 6pm on so we heard and saw them all) And then I finally fell asleep and BOOOOOOOM It was Midnight and it was absolutely INSANE!!! I have never heard or seen so many fireworks in my entire life. They were going off everywhere. The whole world was smoky and you could hardly hear each other speak. I got some videos of it. The fireworks went on for hours. We eventually stopped watching and realized we had to get some sleep.
For some reason the fireworks still continue to go off every night. I figure maybe it’s a weekly celebration or the Russian Orthodox I think has a different new year so they are preparing for that? haha not sure but it was definitely an intense new year celebration! Lots of fun.
My main focus for this year is showing forth charity to all through service. I feel overwhelmed with so much love all the time and I want to show it to people– on my mission and continue with that once I’m home. I love January. It’s so great to have a fresh beginning. A time to set long time goals and rethink what you learned in the past year.
We had a good week. It was a bit slower than it has been. But we got some good contacting and knocking time in. I had a neat experience with contacting the other day. We had a pretty open day and so we planned for a lot of contacting time. (searching for specific people of course… we had a M.P holder, a young mom, and the next sister missionary on the list for the couple of hours) I have contact every day on my mission, but I just felt like I needed to pray for courage. I really pleaded with Heavenly Father to give me courage to talk to everyone on the street and to feel charity towards them. I prayed for it in every prayer and many times throughout the morning in my head. Then we went and set out to find some wonderful people for a couple of hours. About half way through I realized I hadn’t been nervous the whole time.
I had even gone out of my way to talk with people crossing a different street or turning another way before they got to us. The courage and love I felt was actually a physical difference I could feel. I know that God answered and answers my prayers everyday. I was thankful for his help and realized how much I can really rely on Him.
I had to teach a section on contacting in our Zone training. I don’t know why, but I always get asked to teach about “contacting”. This is my 3rd time in 2 transfers. I decided to take a different twist and I had everyone say the reasons why they are afraid to contact. What is it that holds them back? Why are they afraid? I had studied scriptures beforehand and Preach My Gospel quotes that gave answers and solutions to all of the reasons I could think of. It is actually interesting how much courage and solutions to your fears are in the scriptures. I hope it helped. But even though sometimes contacting can be hard, it is actually fun. And even though things go wrong, if you do as much as you could that is all the Lord requires of you.
I contacted this man on the street on they way to a lesson this last week. He was very nice and listened intently. He was giving me his number when a big old Russian woman came up and for 10 minutes yelled at all three of us in Russian. I told her I didn’t understand and she continued. The miracle was that after she left the guy said that 3 years ago missionaries came to his door and as he was talking the same thing happened. An old Russian lady came up and yelled bad things about the church. He STILL gave us his number and told us to call him. He is Russian so I gave his number to the Russian sisters. We’ll see what happens!
Oh funny side note: I also contacted a JEDI this week. Real life. I asked about his religious beliefs and he said he was a Jedi. hahaahah whatever that means… I hear it’s a real religion…
We had a sensitive conversation with Vasis this last week. I explained how although we like to talk about religion that is not why we are here. We are here to help people to change; to change their lives for the better and to be baptized into the church of Jesus Christ. We asked what his main motives were for meeting with us. In the beginning I felt like his answers were going to mean that we wouldn’t meet with him anymore. He basically said, he wants to know the reasons WHY people believe, but he’s not religious himself… We gave him an ultimatum. We said well, if you want to make changes and keep meeting with us then you could come to church on Sunday. He said he’d try and come, but he knew that if he came he was committing to more than just a church service.
So Sunday came around and I sat in my chair watching the door like a hawk. And then… HE WALKED IN! He had changed from his normal “sweats attire” and was in nice pants and a nice sweater! And he even took the sacrament which was a sign to me, because that last time he came to church he said he didn’t want to take the sacrament because he didn’t believe in Christ and he didn’t want to do it until he knew what he was doing (the next lesson after that we taught all about what the sacrament means) We have a meeting tonight and I asked him what he wanted to learn about and he said “the commandments” We have a wonderful member who is going to help us. We figured we might as well give him one last shot and give him commandments to live by and if he can keep those commitments and see the difference they make in his life maybe that will help him accept and draw closer to the Savior.
The Internet girl, Lauma from 2 weeks ago didn’t show up to her meeting… Then a new member (Agneta) came up to me on Sunday and said she went over and talked to her because I guess they were acquaintances and they talked for 4 hours and now Lauma wants to meet, but wants to meet with us and Agneta and have Agneta set up the lesson. So let’s hope it all works out!
Also one of the young girls I contacted a couple months ago answered and is coming to FHE with us tonight! Woot! She is an anthropology major here. She seems really cool. I hope she comes.
Well that about wraps up the week! I miss you all and I love you dearly. I hope you have a wonderful week and that you all had a wonderful New Years!!! You are all in my prayers!!
p.s. Happy birthday to Joyce!!! Thank you for the wonderful package and the cards! It made my day and I cried reading your poem about Grandma!! It is hung up on my wall. I love you!
Also isn’t it Grandpa’s birthday next week? If it is tell him Happy Birthday from me and that I love him so!!