Well, all the excitement is now over, but it sounds like you all had a good time with the wedding celebrations and everything. So, Erik is all moved out now and just living on his own? That is really strange to think about, and it will be stranger to see when I go home. Good ward news too over there. It sounds very exciting. It is good to hear that there are a lot of friendly people where Shane is at.
Here, it is raining right now, and it is probably 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. It is actually pretty cold. It hasn't rained like this here for around 3 months. Just last week, it was warm, but it did recently get cold. I don't have to buy a winter jacket, because previous missionaries left their jacket in my last apartment, so I will be using that, but I will have to get some warmer shoes soon. We had a zone conference this last weekend, and it answered all my questions. It is very cool to see that our church leaders are inspired for the benefit of us. If we listen to them, we really should be able to find answers to our questions. There will be a new program for teaching and following Preach My Gospel taught to the missionaries at the MTC next May, but we are learning about it now so all the missionaries in the field will be prepared when that change comes. Old missionaries will be on the same page as new missionaries. It will be established to help missionaries be more focused on the basic doctrines and following the Spirit in order to become better teachers. We will learn about this through our zone leaders. There will only be zone conferences quarterly. I think Shane heard about some of these changes earlier than we did, although discretion is still largely up to the Mission Presidents. My president went on a senior couple mission to Novosibirsk, but he tries to speak Russian, and he actually gets along alright, and he can understand a fair bit of Russian.
We met a man this week who also came to church. We found out though that he is not in our area, so we gave him to the sisters to teach. It felt good to see that we are all part of the same work, so we all must work very hard to make the good things happen with God's help. We also had splits this week. I taught English again here in Ufa (Dyoma does not have English), and I got to be with Elder Steiner. Also, something interesting is we met a man that had lived in Salt Lake and in Miami. He was very excited to see us, but he was not interested to hear or meet with us about the Church. We just had a small conversation in the park, but at the end of the conversation, he gave us his number so that if anyone gave us problems, we would be able to call him. Strange, but a very nice offering. He was a very nice man, and respected us highly. There is a man (out of town right now) who is American that lives in our ward. He went to Ukraine on his mission, but he married a russian woman (a woman from the ward I am in who is very nice) who went to BYU. She knows English well, and they have a wonderful family, but they decided to live here in Russia. We also had a fun service project while I was on splits to help take a woman who could not walk out of her home. It was probably on the fifth floor, and there was no elevator, so we literally carried her down on a chair. She had not been outside for 3 years, and she was very grateful we could help.
Maybe winter will come soon. I hear it is cold. I am having a good time here. Something that Elder Rasband told us when he was here is to find the good in everything that you do everyday. That way, you can know if you are having success in life. Do those good things, and realize the difference you make. I love you all. Bye.-Elder Larson