Monday, February 7, 2011

February 7, 2011

Hello family!
I am doing well, and I hope that you are doing well. That is fantastic mom that you are reading out of the Bible and have developed a habit out of it. Remember to read the Book of Mormon, and I am sure that you will have great insights between both of them about how they work together and teach us about truths of God. That is cool how Erik is getting into trucks, and I hope that Dad and grandma are also doing well. Thank you for the pictures and the CD. I really appreciate that, and it has been fun for others to see the family. People think that I look like mom. If you were to send me another package (but do not feel obligated), I would like reeses fast break candy, milk duds, peanuts, peanut brittle, sour worms. There is really a lot here in Russia.
I have a question: Does Justin Wright still live in our ward who served in my mission? The man that he baptized is in my ward. His name is Roman Radionov. There is another family that knows him. Their last name is Ustyuzhaninov. Anatoli and Tamara are the parents. Nikolai and alekcander are the sons. If he is in the ward, maybe you can talk to him, because he served in Perm and knows some of the families that are here that I know.
I did have another question. Could you email my MTC companion and see how he is doing? I think I gave you his email long ago.
This week has been a great week. Elder Sare and I have had some really good opportunities and we have been trying to change and improve our focus. We want to become more obedient and working on remembering and living according to our purpose. We recently had a zone leader conference, and president talked a lot about obedience and how there are no exceptions to the rules. We simply need to be 100% obedient and do what is asked of us. He also talked a lot about our motivations and about being properly motivated in the mission. It was a humbling conference, but very helpful, and some cool things have been happening. I personally want to have a better attitude of finding all the time. I feel like I have gotten better at teaching, but I have had struggles to consistently look for finding opportunities. Elder Sare and I are getting along well, but our ongoing goal is to really become equals and brothers in the work. There will be Zone conference this week with President, so that will also be a great time of learning as well, and things have just been really good.
One of the investigators in our area would not accept baptism because his mom is against the church, but this past week, she came to english club and really enjoyed it. We feel that if she comes regularly, she will become more comfortable with missionaries, desire to come to church, and then let женя be baptized and hopefully desire it for herself as well. женя is old enough to be baptized, but he promised her that he would not be baptized at this point, although he said that he is not against baptism and feels that it is a good thing to do. Another investigator we have given a baptismal date, but she is having some hard times in life, so we are hoping that she relies on Christ and the Book of Mormon to receive comfort and guidance. We have not recently gotten any referrals, but it seems as if church members are talking with their families, and we have been trying to work with a few families.
That was really cool to hear that Shane has recently had a baptism. It is weird that we have been on our missions about halfway now. It motivates me to work a lot harder and because it really did just fly by the first half. I know that this work is very important because through the Gospel we find true happiness. There is a man that we met with who was trying to tell us that we were wrong (I don't know where he was from because he had the claim to be looking for the truth, but he had a bunch of literature from different places and talked poorly about various churches). We knew he wasn't interested in hearing from us, but we had to give something back to the man, so he started talking. It was funny because he tried to say why we were wrong, but the more he said, he seemed to dig a hole for himself, and without us doing anything but testify, he really sounded goofy. I know that the church is true and that the Book of Mormon holds a lot of strength if we sincerely read it, pray about it, and apply it. I love you all. Bye. -Elder Larson