May 30, 2007
Ok so thankfuly this week wasnt as crazy as last week was! haha but it was still a really good week. so my first adventure was going all the way clear out of the city again to visit a lady named natasha (no to be confused with the ribbiata natasha that I will talk about later). So we go out to this place and it turns out its a sanitorium (which unlike in the US is not a place for crazy people but a resort of sorts for people who live in the city) so we go all the way out there on a marshrootka (маршрутка) which is like a little buss kinda, and that took like 40 mins. So we finally get out there and we realise you can only get into the little like city if you or someone you know is staying there and all we had was this ladys first name and that she lived in this sanitorium. So we talked with the guards for like 20 mins and finally we were just like "well so much for that lets go back to cold mountain (холодная гора)" so as we were waiting for the marshrootka these two old ladies started talking to us so we missed the first lil bus cause we were in the throws of the first vission (haha). So then after we finished talking to them and got back in line Natasha came out of the lil guard house and asked us to come in. So we finally got in and we taught her a first discussion and even tho she was speaking sherseek (like a hybrid russian/ukrainian) I was able to understand most of what she was saying and asking and she said when she talked with others about thier religion she felt like she wanted to fall asleep but with us she felt alive and energized. So we explaind the manifestations of the holy ghost gave her a book of mormon and asked her to read 3ne 11. So that was a pretty good day for us :-D K so my next exciting thing is christina is still planning on getting baptised! haha its been really fun teaching her (mostly cause its in english). Its amazing seeing the way we can remember things and recall specific words and scriptures when the lord wants us too. Its also cool as a missionary (and I'm sure for all of you who are teachers in the Auxileries [wow I forgot how to spell]) to be able to study in the morning for specific things and for specific people. as much as its fun to say "I've read the book of mormon from cover to cover three hundred times!" Its alot cooler to say "my study helped me change somebody's life." thank goodness for the words of the prophets otherwise missionaries would be USELESS! But yea christina still has lots of doubts and as one of a few hundered members in a city of a few million people she has alot of trials ahead of her but we are working on building her faith and preparing her for saturday (at 3 o'clock pm YAY!) ok NOW onto my fav story of the week! So this was just last night we were teaching Natasha and shenya (man thats alot easier name to spell in russian! женя) two of our ribbiata. Michael was not there last night (which might have actually helped a little) but the three of them all havent been taking our message all that seriously and were having trouble keeping the commitments they had made so we were going there last night to pretty much tell them that if they werent gunna read and pray about the book of mormon for them selves there was nothing more we could teach them until they gained that testimony (which is REALLY sad for us missionaries to do!) but we went over there and it was just the two girls and we started to teach them. my companion went first taking about the importants of what we were bringing in our message and why we came 6000+ miles away from our family friends and schooling to go to ukraine for 2 years. So after he talked about that I had them read from mosiah where is says this is the only name where men can gain salvation and then I started to explaine what that ment and why we felt it was so important that all know the truth, and this is where something really cool happened. As I testified about the importants of the book of mormon and its message to all people, and how a knowlege of the truth could only be gained by praying for answers to our prayers, I spoke clearer and with more confidence then I ever have in russian. I was able to remember things that I thought I had forgoten and recall the right words to help them understand the truthfulness of the book of mormon. So if any of you doubt that miricles still exist, and that gifts of the spirit as explained by moroni arent manifest I'll tell you right now that they are and I know it because I was able to speak to these girls in their native toung and help them to understand why they need a testimony of the Book of Mormon. After we finished our lesson we asked the two girls how they were feeling and what they were thinking, shenya said, "tonight the lesson was different, I felt something change inside me. I feel like I need to do things differently" We told her more about the Holy Ghost and told her if she would pray about the book of mormon she could feel that same feeling inside and know it was true. So last of all I guess this week I'd like to end with my testimony. (now you have something to put it moms book finally): I know that Jesus Christ is the son of God. The same that led the children of Israel to the pomise land and came down in the flesh as the son of Mary. I know he suffered for all men kind that we may be saved, both in the garden of Gethsemany and on the cross. I know during his time on the earth he orginised his church setting forth the Priesthood and the offices there of. I also know this church, along with the gospel of Jesus Christ, has been restored on the earth once more by a Prophet. That restoration of the gospel to Joseph Smith also included the restoration of the Power given to man to act in Gods name, the power of the priesthood, as well as the offices there of. I know again in our day angels minister to men on the earth and miracles are performed. I know revilation can be recieved to know the truthfulness of things and also to know the paths that we should take. I know the book of mormon to be the word of God and along with the bible, Doctrine and Coventants, and the Pearl of Great Price helps us to understand the way back to our heavenly father. I Sustain Gordan B Hickley as a prophet who guides this work in our day. I say all of this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.