Monday, May 17, 2010
May 17, 2010
Thanks always for the updates. It is nice to hear about the experiences that you have. That's great how you got the pictures. President Paul is from Germany.He is the Area President, which means he presides over Russia and Eastern Europe I believe. He is really great, and positive, knowing we have a great potential. This week, I had some experience with a drunk man. We are not supposed to talk to drunk people, but I initially didn't know. He realized we looked different, so he started to talk to us, but he wasn't fully aware and alchohol was on his breath, so I found he was drunk. He was a nice man though. Often, we also get a lot of people that yell for us to come talk to them, I think because we look different and are interested that we are Americans. I understand more and more each day, but it is still fairly difficult to get what I want to say out in a way that makes sense. It is easier sometimes to speak and understand, while other times, I seem to start back from square one. It will come. I just need to trust in the Lord and exercise the faith that through time he will give me the ability to speak to people. I must not bury the talent though, so I have to remember to speak even if I can only speak little. The biggest challenge for the work right now for us is finding people to teach. We seem to be on the streets a lot looking for and talking to people who might be interested. Many people just walk past us quickly, not wanting to hear anything or having the time for it. Others listen, but are not interested because they believe everyone has their own faith which is in their hearts, or they already have their own religion. It is typically the Russian Orthodox Church. The last type of people we meet do truly seem interested, but they say time is low, and we lose contact with them. Yesterday we found a man who seemed really interested, but he lives 200 km away. He says he will call next time in town. I know there are people out there looking for the truth. We will find them, and they will be able to truly come unto Christ.
One way we have tried to find is through English club, which was held twice a week. Due to ineffectiveness (President Paul talked a little about this too. In Moscow, once they got rid of English, baptismal numbers went up) It has been cut to one time a week. People are really interested in learning English, and almost hanging out with us, but when the Spiritual thought comes, they just aren't interested. All of the people that come are great people. They are funny, smart, and some know English quite well. What we might try to do is do private English lessons with people, along with the agreement that it would be incorporated into the Gospel lesson so that they can learn the Gospel and not just English. After acting on Gospel principles, commitments, and feeling the Spirit, they may want to continue. That is just an idea we had, but we have not done it. Last P-day, we actually looked at a Russian Orthodox Church in the city of Kurgan. One companion was on the visa trip in Finland, but my other companion and I descided to look at it. It was very elaborate, with beautiful artwork of Saints, Mary, Christ, and Apostles. We also look at an oblast and monument commited to the people that fought in World War II. This week, we also visited with members to try to receive some contacts. They are very kind, and help me when I try and speak. They like the missionaries, and we want to strengthen them and help them get involved in the work. Originally, there were 4 missionaries in Kurgan, but now there are three, and maybe there will be two, so we shut down and moved out the other apartment this week. I am learning a lot here in Russia. We are all children of God, and we all have struggles, challenges, and temptations. Like you said, though, people can only change if they have the desire to. Maybe they do not realize they have a desire, maybe they don't have a desire, or maybe they need help with their desires. Let our hearts always be filled with righteous desires and help others accomplish their righteous desires too. With faith, and the Lord's help, you can always make a difference in people's lives, including you own. Love they neighbor as thyself. Rather than than picking at their weakness, work with their strengths and desires to add to those weaker points. I love you all. Thanks for all of your support and news. Let the Lord take part and support you in all your doings.-Elder Larson