|Krasnodar Zone Conference|
This week has been wonderful and has been probably one of my happiest weeks on the mission!!! I absolutely LOVE my companions Sister Derek and Sister Summers!!! they are amazing:) We are all relatively new in the mission so we have had some fun figuring out things together:)
We had Zone conference this week that was amazing! President Miner brought up some great insights and I feel really edified by what we learned. it was wonderful!
With Sister Derek and Sister Summers we have an investigator named Axxxxx and he is awesome! he has been investigating the church for a LONG time. like years. He told us in the last lesson that he knows the church is true and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that Joseph Smith was a prophet. I was absolutely blown away when he said that! but apparently he has said that for a long time and just won't (not won't- hasn't yet:)) committed to baptism. so we are working with him on that! We also found out that he loves table tennis! (not ping pong, mind you) and so we had an activity with him this week where we played table tennis. Man he really got into it! he has a case for his paddle and then he also changed his shoes in order to play. You can only imagine how embarrassed I was when I called it ping pong instead of table tennis hahahaha.
Man we had another Russian missionary play him and they are both ssssoooo good at table tennis. It was crazy how good they were haha. But yes that was super fun and we are hoping Axxxxx can make some more friends in the ward through table tennis (every time I have written table tennis I have had to erase ping pong and change it to table tennis haha)
oh another interesting thing that Axxxxx told us in the last lesson was that one of the reasons why he decided to come back to church and English club was because he saw the great examples of the members. Now this was back in 1998, I was only 3 years old then. In that moment I just wanted to thank all of the church members that were going to church then and now I want to thank all of you for the examples you have been when you didn't even know you were being an example!!
We also had a cool meeting with a recent convert Oxxxxx who is just a sweetheart and has two little kids dxxx and Nxxxx. We shared a spiritual thought with them and then got to decorate the tree with them! It was super fun and I got to help Dxxx put ornaments on the tree:) It was so fun! Not the same as home, but still pretty great:) I felt as if God was really mindful of me in those moments:) definitely a tender mercy:)
ok funny story: last week we were coming home from Rostov and we were in the Rostov train station and I had to use the bathroom SSSSOOO bad. they had a bathroom there so I was so relieved. I went to the bathroom and there is a sign that says you have to pay 20 rubles in use the bathroom. Man I had to go so bad though so i paid that money haha! I walked into the bathroom to see these stalls and I was so relieved because it looked familiar haha. so I walk up to a stall door and OPEN THE DOOR AND THERE IS JUST A HOLE IN THE GROUND. so I check the other stalls and they are the same so I just bust up laughing and took a picture and then awkwardly figured out just how Russian women pee in public restrooms hahha. oh man.
yeah last week (like not this week but the week before) was hard and if paying 20 rubles to pee in a hole doesn't sum it up then I don't know what will:) haha anyway...
I think this week was one of the happiest of my mission and I can't really pick out why:) I know and can testify that I have felt God's love this week and my testimony has grown that he is mindful of us and loves us immensely:) I love that you spoke on the refiners fire this week because I feel like I have been feeling it! even writing this email I feel boring and spiritual haha.
I would like to leave you with this thought: when the wise-men went to visit our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ after His birth, they were instructed to leave a different way (Matthew 2:12). Sister Miner at this past zone training used that scripture and compared it to our missions and how once we have come to know Christ, we should never be the same. It can be compared to real life as well. Once we come to know Christ, know The teachings of the Gospel, know the temple ordinances, and know how much God loves us, we should "leave another way"
Changing is one thing I was really nervous about in coming on a mission and quite honestly it still scares me! I am nervous I will be different and weird and my wants and desires will change. and that is a scary thought! but through this wisdom and through lots of hard work and soul searching I have come to the realization and comfort that change is fine and a lot of the time wonderful. And I guess if we are changing in the way that the Lord wants us to change then we are only becoming the best people we can be. and I guess that is something that I have been learning is to have faith in the Lord that change can be good and he has our best interests at heart always:) May I encourage you all to have the best Christmas ever and to invite the Savior's love into our lives. May we change and become better people this Christmas season!
I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!!
see you soon:)::):):):):):):):):):):)
|President and Sister Miner with two of their children|
|Practicing Street Contacting (Hannah :))|
|Krasnodar Zone Conference|