Tuesday, December 6, 2011

December 5, 2011

Dear Family, 
I had a great week this past week. We found 2 new investigators. There is the daughter of a recent convert (older woman), but she has come to church twice. Her mom and son are members, she is really friendly, so hopefully she can feel the Spirit and also go through the conversion process. As I have said before, with single woman, we often pass them on to the sisters, and the sisters were able to meet her at church. They set up a meeting with her, so hopefully we can smoothly transition her to the sisters. It also sometimes gives the people more opportunities to meet because we are sometimes out of town. Another man we met on the street was very interested in the Book of Mormon. We came to his house and have met with him twice. He is considerably tied to Orthodox religion, but he is really searching for truth. He says he needs time, so hopefully we can get back in with him and he will be ready to move on and apply some things. He is really a nice and inquisitive man. At the end of the week, we were at Church in Ufa with President. On Sunday was Russian election day, so we could not proselyte, but President and Sister Rust did some training and we also did some training. We did an activity where you related objects to principles of the Gospel, and it helps us during times when people ask a strange question or get distracted. We want to listen to, not ignore the people, but at the same time, we want the to learn, feel, and live the Gospel. It has been fun serving with Elder Parson for the past transfer. He has helped me push myself and become a little better as a missionary. 
In Ufa, it was snowy and pretty, but in Ekat, there is not a whole lot of snow, and it is kind of dirty. Today is a nice day though because the weather is not too cold. It sounds kind of cold there, more cold than usual. Make sure you don't freeze. I am just kidding, but after being here for a while and talking with people and seeing the weather, it is weird to imagine a place that just really doesn't get below freezing. It is very convenient, and a lot of people are kind of surprised that there is never snow when I tell them about where I am from. Thanks for the Birthday wishes. I hope it is a very great birthday. Mom, as you advised, I will buy myself a birthday/Christmas present. I intend to buy a new suit today. My old suits are getting worn down, and I think that would probably be a fairly good present. 
This past week, there was also a training for a half group of fairly new missionaries. After brand new missionaries come in, there is a training program that is 12 weeks, or the 1st 2 transfers of a missionary's mission. During that period of time, there are 2 trainings with President, and this is their last training that we help with. There will also be one tomorrow for that group because it was so big. there were 10 new missionaries from that group. next transfer, there will be 6 new missionaries, so our mission is now fairly young. There are role plays in many training opportunities, and I really enjoy role playing, and I think that it is quite helpful.
It is nice to hear that you are keeping up with basketball, Dad, and thanks for putting money on,  Mom. I received a nice birthday congrats from Madison, so that was cool too. I love you all. I hope you have a good next week. I sure will. On my mission, I have learned how (hopefully) to better recognize spiritual promptings. I have looked back and seen that a lot of them come form my thoughts, and a lot are somewhat random, and I almost just randomly follow some without any opposition. The large key is being worthy of those promptings and making sure not to drown them out. If we hear them at all, it is  likely that we act on them I think. Of course not always do we not act on them, but we miss 100% of the shots we don't take, meaning we cannot act on spiritual promptings that are non existent, which come from obedience. My companion and I have been talking about things like that recently. I know Christ loves us. I love you. Bye.-Elder Larson