Sunday, February 26, 2017

February 26, 2017*

Wow, what a fun week.  We have been with President more than usual this week, because it was the week of...transfer calls!  If that makes no sense, the low down is this, every 6 weeks, volunteers can either stay in a city/area, or leave a city/area.  Our mission president is inspired as to where people need to go in order to develop their skills and abilities better, and continue to grow.  So, we got to call people about that this week, and make the final decisions about where people will go.  That was a really cool experience, just seeing how President Childs prays to know where people need to go in order to grow, be happy and serve at maximum effectiveness.  

We also went to the most northern city in our mission this week (well, most northern where there are volunteers), and that was a blast, I'll have to send pictures as soon as I get them sent to me.  It is a beautiful city, and from there you can take a 3 hour boat ride to see Kizhi.  So, if dad really wants to see that place, there's about a day of travel involved to get there.  

This letter is going to be relatively short, because honestly, I am under the weather, and very tired, but I had a really cool experience up in Петрозаводск.  First off, little fun fact.  Петрозаводск was called that because it was a factory (завод) and it was Peter the Great's (Петр) and it was one of the richest sources for iron to be found in Russia.  The location of the city is right on the lake, and through several smaller rivers, a boat can travel directly to St. Petersburg.  I really enjoy being around President Childs, because he knows all these things.  It is like being around dad, but now I have grown up a little bit and I am actually interested in learning all of these things!  I promise dad, we will have some more interesting travels when the opportunity presents itself in the future.  

Anyway, up there we got to meet some of the church members, and it was really fun.  There was one 14 year old girl, who was really nice, the sister volunteers in Petro have been working with her, trying to support her.  Anyway, we got to play a couple of games with her and some other people on Saturday, and then on Sunday we saw her again.  The difference was Sunday she was rather subdued.  It turns out that her grandma had passed away that morning. She burst into tears, and I felt like I should show her the pictures of my grandma who had recently passed away. I was able to show her the pictures of grandma goff, and tell her that I also lost a beloved family member recently.  I was able to testify to her of the plan of salvation, and help her find comfort that she will see her grandma again, if she will obey the commandments and live as God has taught us to live through his prophets.  She was comforted, and I was struck that God knows his children so very well, he knows the intimate experiences of our lives, and he places us where we are needed, when we are needed, to help others, and to lift them up.  

I love serving a mission, each day is a new opportunity to do some good in the world, and help people that are in need.  

I love you all very much, have a great week!  I promise pictures will come next week!


Elder Belnap

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