Monday, October 5, 2015

October 5, 2015

 I decided that I totally lost track of all the weeks, so that I'll just take after your example mom and just say what week it is.  When I can actually think of a creative title I'll try and be witty, but no time on P-days to waste!  It's so nice that we have a washer in our home and we just leave things out to dry (every apartment in the mission has one) because I have no idea how we would have enough time to do it all on P-days.  Today we're planning on just getting a couple things that are needed for the apartment (we'll get reimbursed, but it's a super nice, and fairly new apartment and a lot is missing) and then go back and just get some study of last General Conference because unfortunately I need to listen to it in Russian.  What my companion and I are doing right now is just listening to some of the talks while we are writing home.  It's not the most effective way to listen to conference, but I hope it'll help when I try to understand it in Russian.  Before I forget, I'll go ahead and let you know a couple of things I've thought of for the package (also would you mind telling the Powell's to try and get in contact with the mission office to get my phone number, I've still yet to talk to President Childs about getting permission to have lunch with them, but I've heard there's a precedent for that already so fingers crossed).  Anyway, I was thinking about what I would want, and as I said earlier, President is very lenient with music, and just says as long as it invites the Spirit, so I've talked with a couple Elders, and decided on stuff that will be appropriate.  As I said, Glorious by David Archuleta (for some reason everyone has that one) Vocal Point (BYU Accapella Group), MoTab, and the LOTR Soundtrack.  That was one that I asked a lot of people about, but I feel like it's можно (allowed).  

I'm so glad you've had such a great week, it seems that things are just going well at the home, and that you're actually able to leave it every once in a while, unlike our first year.  I'll go ahead and get started on this week.  Frankly, this week has been a little harder for me.  Elder Simonsen had his turn to spend most of the day on the toilet, so we stayed inside for a couple days this week.  Whatever it was, it wasn't what I had, because he still had an appetite, and he got better after a couple days.  It's just been a little harder, because we haven't felt very effective while contacting, our one investigator stopped contacting/responding to us on a dime, and I've frankly just felt weighed down by the wasted opportunities I had to prepare for a mission, and now I feel like I'm stuck playing catch up instead of trying to help people to come unto Christ with all the focus I can muster.  I'll just share a couple of things that have helped me.  Last night was especially hard for some reason, and I was reading through some talks from last conference and I read "Latter-day Saints Keep On Trying!" by Elder Dale G. Renlund.  He just talks a lot about how the Lord cares a lot more about where we are going and what we are becoming than where we were.  It's hard to know that instead of just having lived in Russia for a month, I've lived here for a year and a month, and instead of reading the scriptures, I watched Netflix and spent my whole day socializing.  I've just felt that weight a lot lately, but I hope that my word can be an example to others when I say, IT'S NOT WORTH IT.  Even though I've had a hard time, I'm happiest when I get to build relationships with people on the street, serve the bishop and make his burden easier, and establishing relationships with members of the ward.  I've just been trying really hard to focus that the Lord cares more about where I'm going than where I was. 
Anyway, I'm going to get going, I love you so much mom, I got to listen to Elder Holland's talk just a few minutes ago, and I have to agree with him about the love of a mother!  I love you so much, let everyone in the family know I love them so much, and I hope you all just have the best week! 
Elder Belnap

So there is a building being built next to ours, and we saw this guy rappelling down the building on literally just a little plank of wood, and he was just chilling there smoking a cigarette.  I'm not even going to try and understand.

our break the fast feast from yesterday.  Also, I forgot to mention in the email, I won't be at the Hermitage this week, because I get to go to Novgorod tomorrow!  Woot!  Anyway love you bye!

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