Monday, April 11, 2016

April 11, 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

Sorry for not getting an email off last week!  I typed it all up, realized the internet went out half way through, and that I wasn't able to save it to any program on the computer or to the email.  Kindof unfortunate, but oh well, it happens.  I just felt worse that I wasn't able to send off a warning of sorts, but I'm grateful the Glausers (Senior Missionaries in our area) were able to send something real quick.  Anyway, this week we were everywhere except for in our own area doing missionary work!  It was kindof aggravating, but also a lot of cool things happened this week none the less.  We were up in Saint Petersburg for a day and a half, then in Демянск, visiting the family with 10 kids.  That was really fun, we made the mistake of pulling out the camera to do a funny selfie with them, and soon we had little kids climbing all over us, but at least the parents were in the room laughing with us.  I'm always so awed when I meet that family, they're 3 and 1/2 hours by bus from any other members of our church, and yet, they live the Gospel in their humble little home none the less.  The kids read the Book of Mormon every day, because that's the goal in primary this year, and the parents live the Gospel and teach their children the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  They're an incredibly humble and good family, and it's always a pleasure seeing them.  We then came back to Новгород, and had to spend a big chunk of the night on the phone trying to fix the internet in the ward building so that we could do conference/financial work (it didn't work, the Glausers ended up just downloading it and we watched it that way).  The next two days were also chock full with Conference!  What a wonderful 8 hours, and I can't wait to watch Priesthood next week!  We got to watch it in English which was wonderful, although watching in Russian would have been fun too!  We're planning on burning both onto discs and watching them at our apartment (oh yeah, I forgot to tell you that the apartment here used to be a Senior Couple's, and so there is a nice TV, a crock pot, nice shower and oven.  I've been spoiled by my first 2 apartments).

Anyway, my favorite talks were President Monson's, and (of course) Elder Holland's.  Those were all just so powerful and so well put and clearly stated.  I felt the love that they have for each one of us, and the love that God and Jesus Christ have for each one of us.  I really understood that perfection is a life long quest, and the Lord just asks that we keep improving and getting better one step at a time.  In one of the prayers at the start of one of the sessions, the person who prayed, prayed for the Spirit to be poured out upon all those who were listening.  That really stuck with me the rest of the conference, and I found myself praying during talks and inbetween talks for that prayer to be answered.  Well, when both of those men talked I just felt an outpouring of love and support.  That I'm not a perfect person, and I won't be in this life, but that as I keep taking things a step at a time and relying on the Lord as I go, that I won't be weighed down by my imperfections, rather, I'll be grateful that I have reminders about how much I need a higher power, and Savior and a loving Heavenly Father in my life.  

I've included the links to those two talks at the bottom.  I invite everyone getting this email, to listen to those two wonderful men speak.  You'll feel uplifted, and you'll find answers to questions you might not even have known you had. You'll feel that there is someone that knows all the feelings and thoughts that you have, and that you can turn to him for help.  

I know that God wants us to be happy, he wants us to be successful in whatever wholesome endeavors we undertake in life.  He wants us to learn, to become parents, to have good relationships with those around us, but most importantly he wants us to know that the first great truth of eternity is that he loves us.  

I love all of you soo much.  I'm grateful for your support.  I'm excited to see many of you in a very, very, VERY short 15 months.  I hope you all have a great, and successful week!  Also, best of luck to my friends starting finals, you'll need it!


Elder Belnap

P.S.  Thanks to David, Spencer, Rebecca, and Nathan who have all written me or sent me a voice message in the last two weeks.  Caroline and Ryan are the two who have been slacking ;).  

The pictures are of our sketchy hotel room and the goofy picture with the kids. 

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