Monday, November 30, 2015

November 30, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,
I hope you all had just the best week!  This week was just so wonderful!  We were blessed to have a meal with our mission president and his wife on Thanksgiving because we had a Mission Leadership Council that day.  It was a big old meal with stuffing, pumpkin pie, turkey, you name it!  It was so good!  We also had a meal with our Senior Couple in the ward too which was so much fun.  When we were at our Mission President's home we all went around the table and shared 2 things that we were grateful for.  The first two things that came to my mind were first that I was so grateful for this opportunity to be on a mission and learn how to become more humble, and number 2 was just all the family traditions that came back to my mind just sitting around the table having a big Thanksgiving feast.  Thank you mom and dad for having those traditions for us growing up, it just sent a flood of nice warm memories coming my way, and it just felt so good and happy.  Also I have to side with everyone else on the tree debate, sorry Mom. 
Anyway, I don't have too much to report from this week, just a couple of fun stories and a couple of spiritual ones.  Well really just one funny story.  So this week I started talking to this guy on the tram, our main mode of transportation, and he told me to show him his documents because he was a policeman.  It happens all the time, but very rarely are they the police, so you just say, "first prove to me that you're a police officer."  His response was that in Russia, "we're all the police."  I told him that wasn't a good enough answer and until he showed me his identification, I wasn't going to show anything to him.  It was just a really funny back and forth for about 5 minutes, until he finally got to his stop and just left.  Made me laugh, and made the little tramvai conductor lady next to me laugh which made for a nice little conversation between us.
Anyway, this last Sunday was awesome!  We also have 2 investigators, woohoo!  It's been so nice to actually teach someone what we believe, and just a lot of fun.  They're both really cool, and I'll keep you posted.  Also this Sunday, we had 3 less active families come to church which was awesome.  One of them we taught a lesson to recently, and invited them to prepare to go through the temple as a family, and they have officially come to church 3 weeks in a row which has been awesome!  They're more set now than they have ever been before to make it to the temple which has been so exciting to see.  I also got to go on splits with the Assisstants a couple weeks ago (don't think I mentioned it in last weeks letter) and it was just so much fun.  I'm blessed to be surrounded by amazing examples :).  Also, I read Elder Uchtdorf's "Grateful in ANy Circumstances" talk this week and it was awesome.  Last but not least, this Sunday was the first day really in my whole life, where the blessing of the sacrament just meant so much to me.  I got to renew the week and it felt incredibly amazing.  I was strengthened by the talks of the wonderful people of the church here in Russia.  They're incredible, and I've just been so blessed by my association with people that are better than me in this wonderful country.  Anyway, I really don't have that much more to add.  Love you all so very much and know that you're in my prayers!  Have a great week!

Elder Belnap

PS Mom: I had a kindof embarassing moment this garments are now gray!  It was my fault and I feel stupid, but I just threw everything into the wash at once, oops lesson learned.  They're not actually gray, just no longer super white haha.  ANyway, I just wanted to ask about the likelihood of being able to get new ones, please let me know next week and I'll send you my new measurements.  Also, would it be at all possible to send a package home?  I know elders do that sometimes with things that just take up space right now, but they really want at home.  Also, can you remind me the exact dates of Grandma and Grandpa's b-days, Matt Goff's, and Ryan (bro-in-law)?  I just want to make sure I can send them an email at the time of their bdays.  Anyway, I love you mom, thanks for all you do!

Elder Simonsen and I building and after building a pyramid of cans with just a noodle (a fun MLC activity) first visa trip to Estonia, Thanskgiving meal.  Love you have a great week!

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