How's it going everyone?! Another week down here at the MTC. This is probably going to be a shorter email, nothing really ever happens here so there's not all that much to talk about!
A few somewhat exciting things are happening though that let me know my time here at the MTC is starting to draw to a close! This past Thursday was our last in-person TRC! For those that don't know, TRC is basically where we practice teaching lessons to members of the church, so it's mostly just return missionaries that speak our mission language! It's been such a cool experience teaching those lessons, honestly some of the most spiritual experiences happen when we get to talking with those guys! We had one member that we somehow managed to teach 3 or 4 times, and it was super awesome getting to know him over the course of the past few weeks!
Even more exciting though is that we get to start Skyping with native Russian speakers! We had our first one this week, and it was so cool, she was a babooshka that lived in a small town just outside of Samara! Native's speak so much faster than our teacher's here at the MTC do, it's seriously insane. We were able to understand for the most part what she was saying, but it was still crazy difficult to focus and pick out the words that we knew. It also didn't help that there were about 5 other conversations going on in the room we were in at the same time! It was still super good though, they're super nice and super understanding of where we're at with the language! I'm so pumped to go back next week, it's seriously the best!
This Sunday was actually pretty awesome too, Jenny Oaks Baker came and performed for our Sunday night fire-side. She's a crazy-good violinist, and all of her kids are super talented as well. It was just all around a really uplifting experience, music brings the spirit so quickly!
Our investigators have been making so much progress up until this week. On Tuesday, Vika told us that her parents that our church was an American cult, and that if she gets baptized that she's basically going to be disowned. This would pretty much leave her without any support, and no money to pay for college. It's truly humbling to see her faith though. She wants to be baptized so badly, and has a testimony that all of this is true. It's just hard to see people struggle as a result of a message that you are sharing with them. She's still on track to be baptized as of right now, but it'll definitely be a trial for her and require a lot of trust that God will help her figure out the rest. That's pretty much been my week here, outside of the normal study routine. We still learn so much every day here, and I feel like the more I learn about the Russian language, the more I realize how horrible my grammar is when I speak.
I'll just leave you with a scripture that's meant a lot to me this week. There are a lot of times when I don't feel adequate to carry out this work, after all I'm only 18 years old, and have only been speaking Russian for about a month. I sometimes feel as Enoch felt after God called him to be a prophet. In Moses 6:31 it says, "And when Enoch had heard these words, he bowed himself to the earth, before the Lord, and spake before the Lord, saying: Why is it that I have found favor in the sight, and am but a lad, and all the people hate me; for I am slow of speech; wherefore am I thy servant? And the Lord said unto Enoch: Go forth and do as I have commanded thee, and no man shall pierce thee. Open thy mouth, and it shall be filled, and I will give the utterance, for all flesh is in my hands, and I will do as seemeth me good" So Enoch forgets himself and goes to work. He preaches unto the people with power beyond our comprehension.
In Moses 7 it goes on to say that "so great was the faith of Enoch that he led the people of God, and their enemies came to battle against them; and he spake the word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, and the mountains fled, even according to his command; and the rivers of water were turned out of their course; and the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness; and all nations feared greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch, and so great was the power of the language which God had given him." If we can have even a fraction of that faith as we go about doing the work of God, the Lord will give us power to perform miracles as Enoch performed miracles. We will be given power to do as those prophets in the Book of Mormon did, and astonish those that we teach, to bring to pass this work which we have called to perform. I love you all strongly, and hope all is well at home.
Until next time,
(Staryeshina (Elder) Kempton)
(Dustin says when you say 'I love you' in Russian you are saying 'I love you strongly' so that's how he is going to say it from now on!)
Elder Powell, TRC Golling & Elder Kempton