March 7, 2016
Dear family and friends,
Dear family and friends,
Well another week is in the books! It goes by too quickly. Today and tomorrow will be kindof boring because we aren't allowed to be on the streets because of a holiday, but we'll still be making effective use of our time. This last week has gone by in a blur, tons of fun though! We have been working on trying to get all prospective Elders in our branch a class about the Priesthood and what that entails, so a lot of time for us these last couple weeks has been spent on meeting with people and trying to get them to be prepared to make the next step in the gospel. It's been a lot of fun working with them and really humbling. They're all wonderful men, and it's been a lot of fun. We have also been working with a couple who are really trying to make changes in their life and set things in order to set their lives on the gospel. We taught them the Law of Chastity which was such a cool lesson, and they took it well. The Spirit was super strong during that lesson, and although I might not have the opportunity to see them baptized while I'm here, (they're still trying to get a lot of things in order and have a wedding planned for the summer), it's been such a pleasure just getting to know them. We've been trying to help our other investigators see the importance of acting in order to find out if what we're telling them is true, but we've been having a hard time trying to read the Book of Mormon on their own time, so for right now we've been reading it with them on lessons and reminding them that they have to do it at home. One thing I've realized this week is the importance of setting the tone for spiritual experiences. We felt that with both of our investigators this week, the couple, and the other one who we've had trouble getting to read the Book of Mormon. The one who hasn't been reading the Book of Mormon also speaks incredible English, and sometimes things get distracted just by him asking questions. My companion and I role played just trying to keep things focused on the message during that time, and it paid off in our following lesson with him. We felt the Spirit more strongly, and he did too, and he finally opened up to us about some of his concerns. With the couple, we just felt such a feeling of peace from the second we said a prayer to the about 5 minutes after the closing prayer. We just sat in peace after the closing prayer, none of us wanting to leave, it was such a wonderfully peaceful moment. Anyway, I've just noticed that these moments come as we prepare for them. If we want to have a good lesson, what should we do? Study! If we want to have a spiritually uplifting sacrament meeting, what should we do? Get there 15 minutes early, listen to the prelude, and prepare ourselves for a spiritually uplifting experience! The power of just giving ourselves the time to prepare for these experiences can't be understated. We felt that with our investigators as we prepared for them, and set expectations with them for the following meeting, and it paid off.
Anyway, Elder Crookshanks and I also went to the gym again this week for P-Day, which is definitely going to become our P-Day tradition, we've enjoyed it a lot, and it's a nice break from the 30 minutes of home workouts. I also want to give a little shout out to Nate and Rebecca, who sent me the sweetest letters, and who both did incredibly well in their piano performances, and David who sent me a nice recording catching me up on life there and sharing some wonderful insights. We also did primary again this week which was tons of fun, the kids are awesome. We acted out stories of the prophets, and that was really fun trying to explain that in Russian. Let's just say it was the first time that I had to try and explain to kids that they needed to act out the story of Daniel in the Lion's den, but I got some good vocab, so I can't complain. Russian is coming along, I love this language, and it's cool being able to translate for our senior couple, I feel like the language is really starting to click!
I love you all so much, sorry for a scatter-brained email! I'll be better next week!
Love you all!
The ugliest picture and the best picture of me taken to date on my mission...I'll let you guess which one is which