Sunday, March 12, 2017

March 12, 2017*

Dear Family and Friends, 

What a great week!  We were really busy all week, but that's exactly what we are trying to do :). We had the opportunities to meet with a couple of members which was really fun, and get to know them a little better, and help them set plans for inviting others to learn more.  We also had MLC this week, which is just when different leaders in the mission gather together and discuss the affairs of the mission, what we can work on, and how we can improve things.  That's a once every 6 week meeting.  We had 2 wonderful lessons that really stick out to me in my mind.  One was with with Tamara, she's 18 and is from a different city, but her good family friend who is a member is also from that same city and we've started meeting with her and teaching her.  It's really cool to see what strikes a cord with different people, and for her the Plan of Salvation was something that she really perked up about.  She had lots of good questions, and we are excited to talk about it more with her.  Her progress has been slow, but she's very naturally in tune with things of a spiritual nature and willing to talk about them.  We are excited to see how she will open up some more.  I love being able to ask people to read and pray about it for themselves, and that the questions that she has can truly be answered through study and prayer.  

We also had one of the coolest experiences of my mission. I had a split with Elder Hallstrom this last week.  We had 2 lessons fall through for the my split with Elder Hallstrom during MLC, and we were not really sure what we would do, but the Lord gave us what we needed to do as we prayed humbly, and sought for what he needed to happen. We then got to see one of the biggest miracles of my mission with Edward. For the last month and a half he has not opened the door to us. We knocked and he told us to leave, so we prayed, and Elder Hallstrom and I both the need to stay. He is a drunk who is only capable of not drinking when he doesn't have anymore money to buy alcohol, and he was baptized about 20 years ago.  We felt the need to not leave even though he told us several times to do so, and the need to sing. So we sang outside his door to him and a miracle happened. I really got to see how, as one of the first Presidents of the Church Lorenzo Snow said, "There is no mortal man that is so much interested in the success of an elder when he is preaching the gospel as the Lord that sent him to preach to the people who are the Lord’s children”. 

We also got to go to Pskov this weekend, and I think that there might be more churches in Pskov than in Provo, Utah.  There are so many, and it's truly a beautiful city.  I would love to show the family that city some day :).  The church is very small there, but it was a great sacrament meeting.  I got to speak and I talked about a couple of verses in D&C 93:36-37 "The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth. Light and truth forsake that evil one." In my talk I really talked about how we come to church and read the scriptures not для галочки (for the check mark, can you say that?), but to learn and grow, and understand why what God wants for us is better than what the people in the world might be encouraging us to do.  I know that I receive so much joy and peace in my life being here and serving people, teaching the Gospel.  I love Russia, Russian, and everything to do with it.  I love you all so very much!  


Elder Belnap

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