So many miracles this week. Sunday was AWESOME. There was a man and his wife that showed up to church! It was SO COOL! They said they had met elders at some point and had been invited (I don’t know when or by who) and they were interested. She really wanted a book of Mormon, and so we gave her one, got their information and we will be meeting with them! (Unfortunately she said they can’t meet until next week.) They stayed for all three hours, and the ladies in Relief Society were so wonderful at helping fellowship her! I am so excited to meet with them next week!
I have realized a lot lately how important it is to have a worthy priesthood in the home. There are familes here who have that, and then there are a lot of wonderful single women with and without children who don’t get that in their homes. The families that are so strong and that really hold our ward together and are able to help strengthen others and bless the ward are those who have a priesthood holder in the home. I want that. More than ever. I am so grateful that I always had one in my home, that my father and then brother were always worthy of that power. I am so grateful that they used that and helped our family, and that our home was always one of safety for everyone, and still is, that people can come there and feel something different. Such a power. It is an irreplaceable thing to be able to use that power. Those families are so much more happier, there is more trust, confidence, faith, service, and overall just so much more love. We have been visiting with the members and trying to get to know them better and it is just so cool to see the happy families here. I just want these young women (in their 20s) to get married to these Return Missionaries that are in their ward and to have strong church going families. It is so cool because not tons of people here have been born into the covenant. The church is at such a pioneer stage, we get to see it, and help it grow, through the good and the bad. There are so many strong members who are willing to help us and we really do depend on them and need their help to show others that they need this gospel.
What a beautiful part of the world that I get to live in for 18 months. Really. We had a few different days this last week that we walked more than normal, and it was just wonderful to be reminded of the beautiful earth and what heavenly father has given us. W\I realize that I sometimes don’t always appreciate the beauty that is around me. But, I feel like more lately i have been more appreciative of the world, the earth, and just everything around me. it’s starting to get darker at nights, still not dark, but sometimes people turn their car lights on it’s weird. i am not used to dark. i forget sometimes that it gets dark for other people at night haha.
We truly live in a day of miracles. I see them every day, you see them every day. I don’t know why I never thought about it in my life more before coming on a mission, but there are so many things about every day that are just not possible without the Lord. I think a lot of times we take too much credit for outselves and think that we came up with this great idea or that we have just been so clever that day. Nope, sorry. You were inspired from Heavenly Father and he wanted you to do that today and to get everything done!
So, pretty cool week.
This has been quite the week. It has been emotional and wonderful, hard, and miraculous. I have been shown so many things to remind me that Heavenly Father has got my back. He really knows me and he knows what I need. This weekend we have been on splits, and I was with Sister Dexter and Sister Brown, both of whom were in my district in the MTC! I love them so much! Sister Eyring was off in Petrosavosk with Sister Porter, and later today I will be back in my area. I have been here since Friday evening. It’s been a party! I seriously love them so much and want to be companions with each of them! They are such examples to me of everything. Always so positive, happy and just hard workers. I just have to remember that I am not going to be perfect, so I can’t keep getting frustrated with myself for not being perfect. That is why we have the atonement. It is to help me. I know that! Satan is a mean guy and trying to get us down when we are having success and right when things are about to happen. A couple days were frustrating last week and mostly just Satan putting thoughts into my head and wanting me to get down. Can’t let him have control! We have the most awesome investigators and we have having wonderful things happen and experiencing miracles every day! Paulina, who we have been working with for most of my time here has a baptismal date! She is getting baptized on August 17! I am so thrilled for her and we she is just so wonderful I am so excited to continue working with her and help her get there and beyond! ( I cannot be transferred… I might cry!) She is working on quitting smoking and she doesn’t smoke as much as she did and is now starting the 12 step program. She has such a desire and a love and she bore testimony to another lady that was at English Conversation Group of church and the truthfulness and how awesome it is and that lady now wants to come to church! It was so cool! We have seen so many miracles!
So every week we go over to this 92 year old woman’s house that is a member who is amazing and I love her with all of my heart. She cannot really leave her home because she lives on the 8th floor and has no elevator and she is…getting old and frail. She makes us an interesting dinner with lots of bread on the side with too much butter and gross cheese. Nonetheless I love it and we eat every last bite of it. She called us last thursday and said that her son (who is probably older than you-mom and dad) was not feeling well and not okay (he has anger problems and mental health issues, and just about two weeks ago returned from living in an institutional hospital) and so we couldn’t come over. It broke my heart. Not because I live for that food, but because I love her. She is the happiest, sweetest woman, loves everyone, and just has a heart of gold, and she is not very happy. She is missing that light in her eyes. Last week when we were over there she said to us, “There is joy out on the streets and happiness out in the world but not in my home.” What.?! This is coming from the woman who was a decoder during the blockade and she tells us every week what we need to do when we get home and how to date men, that we need to let them come to us, we cannot chase them! Also, she gave us a law of chastity lesson before, she explained to us the importance of chastity and purity before marriage. hahah I love her! She also had a fly in her house and said that it was her friend and she had given it a name because it had been there for about a month and it stayed off the food but just needed somewhere to live. She is the sweetest lady in the entire world, and all I want is for her to be happy and for her to feel peace and joy again. She is not the joyful, radiant lady that she usually is. I just want that back for her. We havebeen praying for her!
I have been thinking about that a lot lately. Trusting in the Lord. What does that mean. Sister Eyring and I were talking today and I realized that when I got my answer to go on a mission, about a year and a half ago, I didn’t trust in the Lord enough to just follow that. When I got another answer about six months later, I also ignored it. I was being a bad disciple of Christ because I wasn’t trusting in the Lord enough. Finally, with enough push, I trusted enough to just do it, even though it wasn’t in my plans. How grateful I am for that. I really need to put more trust in the Lord. I need to put him First. I need to remember that he really knows best. I loved this verse that I read this morning, 2 Nephi, 4:34, and the wonderful reminder that it is really a dumb thing to trust in myself, to trust in man. I really don’t know anything, and every time I think about it and am reminded, the Lord knows EVERYTHING. He knows. So why would I ever doubt something that he ever told me to do. That’s just silly of me! He will answer me if I ask not amiss, and He is the rock. He is my rock. I need to build my life upon Him. I have been given every single thing that I need. So why am I so stubborn and prideful sometimes? I need to just let Him guide me and let Him be my light in the wilderness like he says in 1 nephi 17:13. He will guide me. He promises that He will!Last Monday, we took part of our p-day and went to the park with one of our investigators, Natasha! It was so fun! We were going to play ping pong but it is a park bigger and more beautiful that Central Park in New York, so we didn’t find it and instead we did some stretch like yoga-ish things and then just layed down and listened to the birds and looked at the beauty around us. It was so fun! We had dinner at a cafe after, and we shared a spiritual thought with her, and it was just fun! She is progressing steadily and came to church Sunday! We are planning on setting a baptismal date with her this week! We will see!
Sister Rebekah Schaff.
Less actives- One lady, Ludmilla, who we met with my second week here and wouldn’t pray, wouldn’t say Amen to our prayers, and was just a very unhappy lady, we have visited with a few more times and (she LOVES Sister Eyring) now PRAYED! and is helping us with language study once a week and we read the Book of Mormon with her and she asks us lots of questions! It’s so great. Another family that the mom is a return missionary is coming back to church! They have been here the last three weeks and they have been participating and staying all three hours. Oh how I just love that family so much! I hope Serioge goes on a mission! He just turned 16 and he will be the most wonderful missionary one day! (She has two sons, Serioge and Syeva). Also, Larisa Zukova, I told you about the terrifying experience at her house my first or second sunday, we have been working with her a lot, she has a friend who is interested in being baptized maybe, and tried calling her yesterday to wake her up, but next week we are just going to show up at her house and pick her up! She needs it! She will come. I know it! We just have to drag her there at first. :).
Paulina is so cute. We have still been meeting with her and she is doing so well. We finished the three main lessons and we are onto the commandments, and we know that is going to be hard because she does have a smoking problem. Never fear, the Lord is on our side, the lord is on HER side! (if she chooses that side). She committed to a baptismal date on July 13! But, it was like a yes, I just have to make sure I have a testumony, so We are planning on solidifying that date. She came to church yesterday and Gospel Principles just happened to be on baptism. That was good. (except for when our teacher was joking around about women baptisimg women and men baptizing men…that was a bad call on her part).
XOXO. rebekah. sister schaff. me whom you might not recognize through this email because I read my scriptures every day (and love it) and pray ON MY KNEES without a fight 🙂 hahahah. love you so much!