Well, yet another week has passed. I am still here! Yay. No really though. It is way great. I love it. It’s crazy though because I feel like this is the world. I’m pretty sure that nothing else exists in life. Only the MTC and maybe then one day Russia will be real. Hahah. It is great though! I have already sent some pictures that you can add to my blog and they are so cute. Just kidding. But some of them will be great. The two sleeping pictures can attest to the statement that someone in my district is ALWAYS sleeping. It’s great. Unless we are in “class” with a teacher present, (and even sometimes then) there is someone who is asleep. And the sister that is asleep there…is my companion. Hahaha. She doesn’t know yet that I have that picture, and I will be deleting it from my camera. Oops! So… This has been another great, but long week! I have learned many things, but one thing that we have learned was more about repentance. We had a devotional by David F Evans from the 70 last night about repentance and what it really means to repent. It is important to remember that as a missionary I have been called to preach repentance, not to have people confess to me. I am there to teach how we have been asked to repent, and to remind people who our God is a loving God. He wants us to be clean in his sight. He wants us to be happy and to have no sin, so he has made it possible through the atonement. That does not mean that every time that we sin, we need to talk to the bishop, we need to talk to God and go through the process that he has given to us in the scriptures. Repentance is not just telling God, and not just telling a priesthood leader.
We are reminded many times that when we keep the commandments, we are happy. We have been taught what is good for us, and taught what we are supposed to do, but we sin, and we want to be happy again so we must repent!
also, Whatever the Lord asks me to do, I will do it. Whenever the Lord asks me to do it, I will. However the Lord asks me to do it, I WILL! I have been focusing a lot on that lately and remembering how everything that I am doing and the reasons I am doing it are for the Lord. There is no other reason. It’s great that I get to go to Russia, because it will be a wonderful chance to experience a new culture, but I am only going there because I am on a mission for him, to talk to the people who He has prepared for me. I need to put more energy into becoming the disciple that He wants me to be. My goal for my whole mission is to leave the door with the faith that we will find someone who is ready to hear the gospel and is receptive to it every day. I know that if I have the faith to find people, heavenly father will place people in my path that he has made ready. I cannot let myself get discouraged here in the MTC with the language, or out in the field with the language and the people because I know that with faith, he will help me to accomplish the tasks that He has asked me to do. I have been asked to learn the Russian for one purpose and one purpose alone. That is to preach to people in their own tongue. I have been given the gift of tongues to help me so that I may help them to understand the gospel and understand the way that the spirit might be speaking to them. I need to work on that language and try to become better about speaking it because if I am afraid to speak because I am not good enough, or I don’t think I know the words, I am only thinking of myself and being prideful When I go out of my comfort zone, and use the language to try to help my investigators, and focus on them, I am then using the language in the way that the Lord would have me.
I have been working on becoming better about trying to use new words that I learn every day because sometimes I learn them, and then don’t use them.
Our lessons just get better and better. We are getting better at working together and teaching together every lesson. Our investigator Dima, who has been kind of difficult because he is afraid of god, and would not pray, finally prayed yesterday! That was amazing! The spirit was so strong in our lesson and we had asked him to pray at home but then I though, well what the heck, lets just see if he will pray now! AND HE DID! It was so great to have him pray with us. Then we know that he knows how to pray correctly. I was SO happy.
Another one of our investigators, Luba COMMITTED TO BAPTISM! That was a miracle! We hoped, but I’m not going to lie, I had a little bit of doubt about her committing. She is very intelligent, a lawyer, she is divorced, and has a 10 year old daughter. It was so exciting to have her say yes! And she has been coming to church! So that is wonderful. Kind of a lesson to me. Even if at first they haven’t been following through with commitments, and then they start to follow through, one day they could (and may) be ready to be baptized.
Our last investigator, Darius, is great! He is currently working on living the Word of Wisdom, and the Law of Chastity. I know that he can do it! He is an awesome guy and one of his good friends is in the branch presidency, so he has that awesome support. I love it so much. I am so happy for him. He has already committed to baptism and so we are working towards him being worthy to make those covenants. I am so happy for him. He loves going to church, and his girlfriend also loves church. We are inviting him to attend a baptism soon and it will be so great! I know he will come and be even more excited about his own baptism!
I am so grateful for the gospel. I am so grateful for the life that I am able to live while living the standards of the gospel. I am grateful for how happy I am. I am grateful for the joy that it brings to my life, and the perspective that I am able to have with knowing the Plan of salvation, and who God is. I know that God is my Heavenly Father and truly loves me and wants me to be happy. I know more than ever that Jesus Christ died for me and that He atoned in the garden of Gethsemane for ME. He did that for every emotion that I feel, including frustration, and a broken heart. I know that my Savior loves me and I know that he truly wants me to be happy.
I love you all and cant wait to hear from everyone! Can’t believe that in three weeks I will be IN RUSSIA!