Sunday, January 22, 2017

January 22, 2017*

I'm really sad to hear about Grandma, I'll miss her so very much, as will we all.  She was just such a light and I loved spending time with her, and hearing her little quips that would occasionally, and very sometimes very suddenly come out of her mouth.  Give Grandpa a big hug from me.  When will the services be held?  

Well, it's official, I've been out of Kaliningrad for a couple of days, and an assistant for eternity already (at least it seems that way).  I miss Kaliningrad very much, I knew everyone there really well, and it felt like I was just part of the ward family in that ward, I would talk to people often about how things were going and we'd talk about how their life was going, and I just had lots of opportunities to help strengthen very active members of the church, encourage them to read the scriptures and pray more often, just in the flow of normal conversations about life with them.  I miss that close relationship that I had with all those wonderful people, all of which I love very much.  All that being said, the congregation in which we serve is awesome.  And my companion is awesome.  And President Childs is so spiritual (and awesome).  There was a devotional talk where a man warned against using the word awesome too much, so I think I'll stop there.  

Anyway, we've just been so very busy.  We have a lot of mission functioning things, as well as we have a lot coming up.  3 straight days of Zone Conferences in a week and a half, I'm excited for the 3 free meals that that entails, but I'm sure I'll be wiped out my the end of the 3rd, 8 hour conference, please pray that we can keep our energy up and going strong.  We also have another meeting this Wednesday with the leaders in the mission, our weekly meeting with President this Tuesday, a broadcast for missionaries/volunteers throughout the whole world on Thursday.  We've also been getting a couple of referrals from the people in the ward, meeting with people, and there are just so many people that are excited about the work.  We have our meetings essentially lined up for this week and are already looking at how we'll fit in all the meetings that we want to have this coming week.  

This week I've been thinking a little bit about the Lord's timing.  That he not only has a plan for us, but a timing for every plan.  I've seen that coming in here.  We've had several miracles, one of which was the Moscow Mission President requesting us to start working with an American living here in St. Petersburg.  Well, not only do I know the aforementioned American from earlier on in my mission, but he has a son that I knew at the Christian school in Moscow, and he's good friends with the McNelley's, one of my friends from Moscow.  I gave him a call, he was super excited to hear from me, and we're going to visit him today!  Just a little taste for how things have been falling into place for us at this time.  

Anyway, the Lord has a timing for all of us.  Read the first 9 verses of Ecclesiastes 3 to see that. The Lord truly does know what we need and when, and he's always trying to do what is best for us, and what will enable our growth.  I love the opportunity that I have to serve people here in St. Petersburg and so doing serve God. (Mosiah 2:17).  I've seen that in our mission as we became volunteers, and to now where a lot of restrictions have been lifted and we're able to go about teaching almost as before, but just better than before.  The Lord wanted us to learn something from those 6 months, and now we are better off for it.  Please, be willing to accept God's will AND timing in your lives, you'll be happy and at peace knowing that he has our absolute best interests in mind.  

I love you all and I thank you for your support and love.  Have a great week!  

Love, Elder Belnap


image 5:  I got caught making a face, and here's the beauty that came from it.  The watch you see there got stolen about a week after that :(.  

image 2:  So we had a family home evening at the lady who is on the far left.  Her husband is a former branch president, currently doesn't come to church, but we worked with him and I have a good relationship with him.  Anyway, usually you're supposed to take pictures with your companion, but my companion jumped up and took a picture before I could even react.  He thought it was really funny.  In any event, the picture turned out great so I have to send it.  

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