Monday, November 21, 2016

November 21, 2016

Dear Family and Friends, 

Thanks for the scoop on everything going on and the pictures sent.  For ANYONE who gets this email and actually reads more than the first and last sentence (please take note that this is the 2nd sentence), if you feel that you don't have time to write me, that's normal, but feel free to send me pictures :).  There's nothing more fun to see on P-Days, than how much of a man Spencer has become or how good Nate is looking, or how awesome Rebecca looks on stage.  Or pictures of David and the height discrepancy between him and anyone else in this world.  Anyway, I just got a lot of great emails this week from friends and family members alike and I want to say thank you, and just repeat that you're all loved :).

This week has had highs and lows, we had a hard time getting meetings this week, as well as we're having another push to get all the materials that aren't marked with a 6+ tossed.  We've been scanning old Russian Church magazines that aren't on the internet/, just so that they can be preserved.  We've had a couple good meetings, made friends with our neighbors who are the most stereotypical Russian men you could meet, and I love them for it, did a lot of things for my calling (a building inspection, and a couple of other meetings, as well as studying up for a couple things that are coming up).  Being in a position of leadership right now has helped me realize how blessed we are to have things laid out for us in the scriptures that help us realize what the Lord expects of us. There's a good Russian saying that goes "соблюдай порядок, сон будет сладок!" which roughly translates to "Follow order, and your dreams will be sweet!" but it has a nice rhythym in Russian.  I love the scripture equivalent "inasmuch as they shall keep my commandments they shall prosper in the land." (See Alma 50:20 for an example of such a verse).  I know that commandments are given to us by God to make us a happier people, not to put more pressure on us, or make us feel like we're bad people all the time when we make mistakes like everyone does, or that they're just too hard to follow and therefore are not worth our time to try to follow.  I know that all that God does is for the happiness and the benefit of all of us-His children, whom He loves very much and desires all the blessings that he has in store for us.  

Thanks mom for writing that funny little saying from Grandma, she cracks me up how full of little wisecracks she can be sometimes.  I was recently telling someone about my Grandma, and I was just saying how she's the most resilient woman I know.  I'm glad that the family gets to be so close to them right now.  I don't really know what else to write about specifics from the week, we did have one guy walk up to us on the street and say "Мормоны!  Как считаете, у Ромни будет пост в президенстве Трампа?"  Which is to say "Mormons!  What do you think, will Romney have any position in the Trump's presidency?"  I just said that we don't talk politics, and then we were able to have another conversation, turns out he has a Book of Mormon and he reads it from time to time! Sometimes it's so hard not being able to invite when we're not inside our building, but we told him about game night, and church and hopefully he'll come to one of those and we'll be able to talk more.  We're having Mexi Fest this week so I'll be sure to send pictures!  I love you all, have a great week!


Elder Belnap

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