It sounds like everything is going well all over. Shane is exactly right when he says that you cannot teach without the Spirit. We had special training with the Mission President, and he went over planning and goal setting with us, but it had some interesting and helpful information. He said that you will not always accomplish your goal, even if the Holy Ghost confirmed that the goal was a good goal, and that you did all you could to achieve the goal. You should set reachable goals that you want to achieve, but sometimes we just do not reach them. Oftentimes the Holy Ghost has you reach for the goal so that you can learn something else which he knew was necessary for you to accomplish, or so that you can have various learning experiences. After the period of your goal is over, you reevaluate and establish goals once again according to the Spirit. Other people should not impose goals upon you, and sometimes you have to work up to greater goals. If you want to receive recognition in goals, you are not properly setting goals. Goals should be the means and not the ends. The devil wants to discourage people by telling them that since they are not achieving goals, or getting good numbers that they are failures as either missionaries or people. We must find the good in everything we do, and we know that we are doing good in everything if we are living obediently and trying our best. Do not let the devil discredit your divine nature, or the true place on which you stand. If you let him do that, the Spirit will also leave.
What is interesting, is after we had received that counsel, on our way home, a man asked us what church we were from and then he made a bad comment. Right after the meeting, and always, the devil tempts us by using others and trying to take away the Spirit. We must constantly fight to maintain the Spirit in all that we do. Once that happens, we are unstoppable. We must remember our divine nature, and just keep going. Christ suffered for us because we are imperfect. If we do all we can and follow the commandments, and repent, he will cover us. How joyful. How positive.
Well, mom, I forgot to tell you that we do use some good filters here because unfiltered water is not completely clean. If you send me a package, maybe you could include family pictures in a photo album so that I can show everyone how cool my family is. Well actually, people ask to see pictures a lot, it would be cool to see you too and show them to people. I already tell people how cool my family is. Sorry that is slightly hypocritical because I have not sent any pictures home or taken many. I will try to do better. Thanks for those emailed pictures from everyone. If it comes down to it, I can probably just print those pictures from the computer. I showed my companion, and he really liked them. In terms of candy? Maybe trail mix or nutty chocolates. twixes or reeses fast break. I like most nuts, except cashews. I don't really need anything. If you all would like something, I can buy it some P-day.
The weather here is starting to be fairly cold. It was freezing yesterday (-1 and 0 degrees celcius), and this morning it was 2 degrees celsius. I have all my snow clothing, but it is fairly cold, and a lot sooner than I thought. Most of the leaves have fallen of the trees, and it is getting darker earlier. Our heating is on in the apartment. There is no air conditioning here, and we get heat from hot water that runs through open pipes and radiator next to the walls. We have not already watched conference, but we will watch it next weekend. This weekend, there was a big change here though. There were 2 branches in Ufa, but it has now changed into 1 big branch. The branch's callings disintegrated and a new presidency was established. The new president is my old branch president, and he is a really cool guy and strong church member. He is really funny, has no young kids, and excited and ready to do things. The change will really help people get into the attitude of helping each other, and it will strengthen a lot of the members. President Alcott was here for that, and he gave us that special training as well.
During the fall, there are many fairs where they sell harvest items- meats, crops, honey, knittings, pastries, fruit, and many other things. We bought some honey, and there was meat everywhere. It was like a large market just on the street. Dad, you should take up bee keeping again as a hobby. There are some Russian words that seem to coincide with star wars characters. My companion and I have been thinking about it and trying to figure it out. I love you all. Thanks for the support. Have good times. Bye.-Elder Larson.