Monday, April 17, 2017

April 17, 2017

Dear Family and Friends!

Христос воскрес!  That's the greeting for Russians here on Easter, and it means "Christ is Risen".  What a wonderful, busy busy busy week.  I really enjoy conducting trainings, and we had several of those this week seeing that we got 7 new volunteers.  Tuesday was madness because we were at the airport for a while, we had volunteers coming both from the Spain MTC and the Provo MTC.  The 2 from Provo missed their flight, and the 5 from Spain came on time.  I got to take one of the new Elders around, and he was born in 1998!  It's weird that this next wave will be from 1999!  It's strange and I'd be lying if I said I like being one of the older ones in the mission.  Anyway, so while I got to take him around and talk to people, the Childs and Elder DeVol sat at the airport to wait for the next wave, we were supposed to have dinner at 6, but because of complications that started at 9, and короче it was one big mess.  The new volunteers are all so capable and ready, it's been inspiring to see.  On Thursday while they were without their passports for reasons very specific to missions in Russia, we got to do a training about language study and goal setting.  I love the opportunities to do trainings, because while I'm preparing for it I am able to see things that I would like to improve on and start doing better at them. It's always a great time for self evaluation to make sure that you're ready and doing all that you would like to teach people to do.  

We did have another meeting, it was rather short, and I was on a split at the time, so it was actually my companion who had the meeting, but the man we met on the streets will come to a special fireside tomorrow.  Speaking of which...ELDER HOLLAND will be in our mission tomorrow.  Yes, on of the Apostles will be here tomorrow, and I'm so excited to hear all that he will share with us.  I'm just so excited, and then there is a fireside at night and we have people who have agreed to come to it.  Anyway, I've kept that hidden, because we have known for 3 months and it's far more fun to share it right before it happens.  

We had several little miracles this week, my favorite of which was a conversation with an investigator, who has been kind of aloof.  She finally opened up on the phone and asked "Why do I need to get baptized?"  I explained what reasons there are, and that it is something that has been a tremendous blessing in my life.  She agreed to come to the fireside with Elder Holland and think about it.  

In the scriptures recently I read in Alma 1:25 which reads: Now this was a great trial to those that did stand fast in the faith; nevertheless, they were steadfast and immovable in keeping the commandments of God, and they bore with patience the persecution which was heaped upon them.

This verse really testifies about life not always being easy, especially for those that "stand fast in the faith" but that if we are steadfast and immovable in keeping God's commandments, we can bear with patience anything that the world has to throw at us.  I know that it is thanks to our Savior Jesus Christ that we can be forgiven, and strengthened in our trials.  I know that He died for the world, and I am so grateful for this special time of year when we can remember him.  His resurrection happened, and because of Him we can continue to progress and grow until the perfect day.  

I love you all so much!  I'm sorry that I have no pictures to share, that will be some other time!  

Have a great week!

Elder Belnap

Pleasantly surprised this morning to receive from a friend in Russia a photo of our son, ElderChristopher Belnap, meeting Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, with the following message: "He asked, 'Are you the son of Brent Belnap who was the stake president in New York?'" 

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