Monday, October 12, 2015

October 12, 2015

Дерева упала на меня!

I couldn't think of what the subject for my email should be, so I just decided to tell you the craziest thing that happened this week, and then if you speak Russian you don't need to read the rest of this email, and if you don't then you'll find out soon.  Before I forget, the music you can put on an SD card or a CD (CD's work in every apartment, SD's might send better and should work in every apartment but apparently don't sometimes, it's really up to you and what's easiest for Spencer to do).  I also forgot that Piano Guys is можно as well.  Also, if you haven't already assembled the package, a small, spiral bound, laminated PMG would be great (I'm only 3 months in and mine is dying), a vacuum seal bag would be great too, along with some small and big ziploc bags (those can just be fillers if there is space), some scripture-underlining pencils, a small Merriam-Webster Dictionary (you'd be surprised how valued/needed and English dictionary is during personal study), and some American goodies if at all possible (preferably starbursts would be included).  Other than that if there's room, makings for pumpkin pie, and for stuffing (Elder Simonsen and want to eat nice for Thanksgiving).  Phew, now that I finally got all that taken care of I can tell you about this crazy week!
First off, this week has just felt like night and day.  Also, I was really lucky and I got to watch the Sunday Sessions, and Priesthood all in English one of the themes that I got from conference is that things take time, which was such a comfort to me.  Now, that's not to say that we can't work hard in the here and now, Elder Bennett (who we got to meet a few times in Moscow!) talked about how we need to counter the desire to procrastinate, put off, or give up.  We shouldn't say that it takes time in order to procrastinate, but just realize that God has a plan for us and that as we do our part that he will magnify our efforts (President Eyring).  I just love that message!  Don't put off and procrastinate, but also realize that we're moving in the right direction and that to reach our goals, time, patience, and enduring to the end are required.  I hope you all enjoyed General Conference as much as I did (although I didn't get too much out of the Saturday Sessions).  For those of you who don't know what that means, essentially it's a time for us to get council from the leaders of our church about how we can improve and change our lives to bring us greater and lasting happiness.  If that's something that would be interesting to any of you, it's easily accessible on!
Anyway, from this week.  Oh how this week was just ridiculous.  So last week we had another Missionary Leadership Council which means that we get to do another Zone Training.  We got to go to Novgorod, and this time I wasn't sick for it!  It was so much fun, we just took the train down first thing in the morning and then at night we came back up.  After Zone Training we had a little bit of time, and I got to go on a mini split with Elder Williams who is just an absolute riot.  He reminds me a lot of Jeffrey McDonald actually.  Anyway, so we were contacting, and he asked me if there was anyplace in particular I wanted to go, and I said "It would be cool if we could go by the Kremlin" so we went that way.  Anyway, when we were there, we were walking through this grove of really tall trees around the Kremlin, when a big gust of wind blows in.  We were jokingly acting scared when all of a sudden, we heard a crack like thunder and we look back and the tree behind us was falling down right on us!  And it was big!  I wish my camera wouldn't have died otherwise I would've gotten a picture.  Anyway, I turned around and booked it, but then I realized I didn't know what direction it was falling, and I look back and it's about to fall on me!  Fortunately I was booking it, and it was a lot of smaller branches that hit me, but I still got knocked to the ground and got pretty scratched up along with a couple big old bruises on my leg.  Elder Williams was smarter than me and dove out of the way, but his suit was just covered in mud.  When he saw that it had knocked me to the ground, he ran over, but I got out just fine, we were just so shaken up by it, but the best part is we had a really nice contact right after with a lady who came and said "Дерева упала на тебя" and I replied, "Да дерева упала на меня!"  Which means, "yes, a tree fell on me!"  It was crazy, and Elder Williams and I were pretty shaken up so we started going back home after that, but they've started working with this lady and hopefully things will work out!
Anyway, I don't have a lot of time, but it's just been such a fun week.  Elder Williams and I were talking right after that experience how miracles really do exist.  We were talking about how what would have happened if we were just a little slower, or a little too slow to realize that it wasn't actually a crack of thunder.  We truly felt blessed and humbled by that experience, and I prayed really hard after that just thanking our Heavenly Father for the blessings that are in my life and the miracles that happen around the world daily.  I love you all so much and I hope you have a fantastic week! 
Elder Belnap

None with me in them, but one from when I first arrived in novgorod and one from my split with one of the AP's (we got to spend the whole time contacting on Nevsky Prospect!)  Anyway, love you, bye!

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