Monday, November 9, 2015

November 9, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,
Wow, the one year I'm gone and now you decide to go on a trip for the Holidays?  If I didn't know any better, I would think you just didn't want me around.  Just kidding, sounds like a lot of fun, although I'm sad I'm missing out on it.  Is it just me or do you seem to do more fun things in Utah this time around as opposed to last time?  Maybe I was just on my phone the whole time and missed it all when I lived there (now that I think about it I've answered my own question :) ).  That's fun cleaning through Grandma and Grandpa's basement, I've always known there were treasures down there but it's just been a matter of finding them.  Send Matt my love, and let him know he's in my prayers!  I hope they find out what's the issue soon and he's able to go on back, and even if he's not, he's been a really stellar example of enduring your trials and enduring them well throughout this whole process.  It's cool to see how we've both changed :).  Anyway, I feel really bad because I don't have a lot to report this week!  Just some fun pictures I'll send your way in a few minutes.  Basically this week has just been a lot of contacting and trying to hold one another accountable for talking with more people when we're on the streets-what's the point in trying to find people who are interested if we're not talking to as many people as we can!-Anyway, sometimes it's easy to get down on yourself when there's not a lot of success, and we've found that just having fun with each other on the street makes it so much easier.  The other night we met this awesome man, and Elder Simonsen and I were in the middle of a conversation, but we broke it off to talk with this man, and as soon as the conversation was over we picked up right where we left off until the next person came by.  That person cursed us out for being Americans, but hey we were just still glowing from the wonderful conversation we just had.  We also had a lot of fun with the members of the ward this week.  I think everyone on this email lists knows that I like to talk and I like to joke around, well I'm proud to report that although I still can't talk in Russian, I can joke!  Which might just be the most important thing for building a solid relationship with these members!  My area has a bit of a reputation for being hard, and so a lot of Elders who have come here before hand have just done there time until they got sent somewhere else, and so the members didn't have the best opinions of the Elders.  We've been trying really hard to change that reputation, and little by little it's been happening.  We also ran into one of our potential investigators who hadn't called us back while out contacting which was just a miracle and a lot of fun!  He was pretty shocked just running into us, but I think it might have been just the push he needed. 
Other than that I'll just close with a spiritual thought.  I was reading in the Book of Mormon today and I was reading in 2nd Nephi 25.  Anyway, it just strikes me how much the Book of Mormon testifies of Christ.  So many people call us a sect and that we're not Christians here and we whip out the Book of Mormon and show them the name of Christ on the cover.  And now I'm going to start opening to that page in the Book of Mormon because the name of Christ is invoked 4 times in that verse, and 13 times (I think ) on that page overall.  We are Christians because we believe in Christ, and we try to follow his example in our lives.  Anyway, that was something that just hit me kindof strongly today, I love you all and I hope you have a great week!  You're all in my prayers!
Elder Belnap
Nimbus 2000 in Novgorod

I'm breaking free


CAB's run in with the tree in Novgorod

Novgorod Kremlin

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