Monday, November 23, 2015

November 23, 2015

Oh my goodness, where to begin.  Yeah, we're very safe with food preparation, it literally was just the mushrooms that got to me mom.  I'm fine I promise.  Ouch, let Uncle Doug and Rebecca know I'm praying for them.  As well as Grandma and Grandpa too :).  That's too funny about Nathan wanting some tap dance shoes.  When Aaron and I were younger, we wanted to buy tap dance shoes so that we could add a little more flair to our dance for America from West Side Story.  They had a board at the Shavitz's that we would use, but we both wanted to actually get tap dance shoes to try it out.  Even without them though, we had a pretty killer dance down to America, the finale was us running down the hallway, and then linking arms and spinning around in circles.  The first couple times we fell because I was so much heavier and we didn't have the balance right.  I haven't thought about that in forever, I'm just all smiles right now from thinking about it :).  Also that's too funny about Singin' in the Rain, I can't believe Ryan hadn't seen it.  I sing something from that movie at least once a week.  Also, I'm printing out Elder Uchtdorf's talk right now/downloading it on to our flashdrive so we can listen to it in the apartment.  Ugh, I love the letter mom, keep filling me in on those sorts of things, I love hearing about them.  Anyway, I'll go ahead and get started on how things are going here. 
This week has just been HARD.  I don't know how else to put it, appointments falling through, and I'm two transfers into my stay here in Nevsky and we've only had one investigator during this whole time.  We've been working hard to find people who are interested in knowing more, but it's starting to get cold and snow (I've been plenty warm though) and people just are giving us less time of day than they have before.  It's led to a lot of moments throughout the day of praying and asking, "What Lack I Yet?" like Elder Lawrence said in his talk this last Conference.  Sometimes, I don't like the answer, and I don't act, and then when I get the same answer the next time I ask I still don't act, and it's just been a very humbling process.  I'm really trying to do all that I can to serve these people and love them, and be ready to help teach them the message that I came here to share.  When I finally act and try to change something, I don't always immediately see results, but I'm just trying to keep moving forward in faith, and trusting in the fact that God has a plan personally tailored to me.  Even when I don't like a part of that plan, I'm still only ever aware of the smallest part, and I'm just trying to learn that he knows far better than me.  It's-as I've already said-been a very humbling experience to say the least.
This week we did service on a Dacha for a member of our ward all day.  It was tons of fun and I got to work with this guy who thought I was an American spy, and refused to tell me his real name.  I don't know what it is, but my one year in Ogden, there was a rumor about me being an undercover cop, even though I looked like the biggest (and fattest) teddy bear the world had ever seen that year.  People just get the wrong impression.  It was just tons of fun and a really Russian experience.  We also met this super cool guy on the street who plays basketball, and I had a little too much fun talking basketball with him (in Russian!).  He's about David's height and was telling me "You're from NYC, why the heck did you come here?!?"  It was a lot of fun.  Anyway, I'll just share a quick scripture and then I need to sign off, also no pictures this week sorry!  Anyway, I was reading in the Book of Mormon and I was really struck by Jarom 1:2.  He basically says that the prophets before him have already revealed the Plan of Salvation to us, and that what more would he need to add than to that what we've already received.  I immediately thought of all the cool talks and wisdom that Jarom probably gave while he was alive, and yet when it came to adding something to the scriptures that we would have in our day, the fact that we have already received knowledge about the Plan of Salvation was enough to him.  Anyway, just talk a moment to appreciate the docttrine of the Plan of Salvation, and the comfort that that gives us that there is life after death, and that we can live with those we love the most for the rest of eternity :).  Love you all so very much, and you're all in my prayers!  Have a great week!
Elder Belnap

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