Monday, October 26, 2015

October 26, 2015

Dear Family/Friends,
First off I just want to thank you all for your letters this week!  It's so much fun for me just to hear about all the fun little things that are going on in peoples lives, I think that's why I like talking to the бабушки so much because they just talk about the little things and it's tons of fun!  Also, I might not be able to write any letters next week because we have an awesome opportunity to go to Novgorod for P-Day and actually look around!  We have to do Zone Training the next day, so we just got permission for it and we'll go down a day early, start our splits that night and go home the next day!  Anyway, just wanted to let you know that first so that you're not too concerned if I don't write a letter next week!  Thanks for all the stories too mom, I love the one about the cat, just too cute!  You all are always in my prayers and I hope you know that (that goes for all my friends on this email list too)!  Anyway, I have to make this quick, but what DIDN'T happen this week, I'll try and make sense.
So we've had a lot better of a contacting week than usual.  It's funny, Elder Simonsen and I are just two entirely different people, but as we've communicated more, it's just made a world of difference.  We've been going around to meet with Less Active members in our area and we've had a lot of success and also a lot of curses thrown our way.  Nothing out of the ordinary though.  We have a new investigator named Viktor that we met with on the street and he's awesome.  We had a great conversation and we'll have our first meeting tomorrow.  We're also meeting with a less active family tonight with the sisters (in their area) and we have a message planned out that we really feel like they need to hear and we're just so excited!  We also had an experience the other day in the middle of ward council after church when these two rough looking guys came in asking about what we believe.  There were some lingerers who were talking with them and the Elders Quorum President and I went out and joined.  Anyway, it was just such a powerful experience about the importance of members.  It was a 4 member present lesson and it was just so awesome.  At one point one of the two guys was asking one of the members about what I was even doing here as an American who doesn't even understand what he was saying right then, and I just responded "Actually, I completely understood what was just said, and if you want to know why I'm here, it's because of this book."  And it was the strongest testimony of the Book of Mormon I've given on my mission.  It was just so awesome, and it really helped strengthen some relationships with some members of the ward.  One of the tiny little old бабушка's in our ward gave me all the days she was free to help with lessons right after.  We also called the two guys that night, and as soon as we find out if either tomorrow or Thursday works better for them, we'll have 3 new investigators!  And we got a referral the other day, and we're still trying to set up an appointment with him, but if that works out then 4!  AHHH, I'm just too excited right now, it feels good that we've been trying hard and things are finally starting to come together.  Also, I did get to see the Powell's which was a lot of fun (with permission from President Childs of course).  We get breakfast for a little bit and then Janae was like "Christopher you know I love you, but I'll see you again in 20 months.  This is my one chance to see the Hermitage."  I was laughing too hard.  Thanks for remembering everything mom!  We're pretty stoked for some pumpkin pie.  Anyway, we also did Hermitage service this week which was tons of fun, and I also just have a couple funny pictures of notebooks we found at a little store here!  That's pretty much all!  Love you tons, thanks again for all that you do, hope you all have a great week!
Elder Belnap


Tapestry in Hermitage

CAB outside Hermitage

Gate opposite Hermitage

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