Wednesday, March 30, 2016

New Adventures

Hey everyone!
Another week has passed here in Russia, and I'm finding it hard to believe that it's already been a week since last Monday! Time is seriously going by so fast here, it's insane! This week has been full of really awesome experiences and conversations with all kinds of awesome people! I've been trying to get rid of my accent this week, so during our meal times I have all of the church movies on in Russian and try to imitate what they're doing. People have been asking me if I'm from Germany all week, so I'll go ahead and count that as progress, just because it's not American, haha! It's awesome though, being foreign makes starting conversations so much easier, because people always say, "You're a foreigner! Where are you from!?" And then when they find out we're from America they always try to introduce us to girls, take us to a club, or anything like that, which is another great opportunity to talk to them about the gospel, haha! It's fun stuff though, the people here really are so great. We've met some really awesome people on the streets this week that all seemed relatively interested in talking some more with us! 
We found 4 new investigators this week, and they're all super awesome! One of them, Дима, is from Ukraine, and had met with the missionaries there a couple of times. He ended up coming to church with us this week, and he was super involved in the Sunday School lesson. It's so awesome to see people progressing. One of the other new investigators is Ольга, and she's a little bit interesting, haha. We were just standing at the bus stop waiting for a Marshrutka, and she came and asked if we were missionaries. We smiled really big and said "Yeah! How'd you know?" She told us that we were wearing white shirts and ties, so we had to be missionaries, haha! We helped her with her groceries for a little bit and then set up an appointment to talk with her the next day! She corrected us pretty much every time we made a grammar mistake or pronounced something wrong, but we were able to teach her about the Restoration! I'll keep you all updated on how they're doing in the coming weeks! 
Блын! I completely forgot to mention this last week, but we moved apartments, which was a bit of an adventure! Our new apartment is on the 6th floor, and there's no elevator, so we spent most of last Saturday carrying all of our things up all of those stairs. We're still sort of settling in, but this apartment is wayyyyy nicer than our last one! We've got a pretty awesome view, and the kitchen is easily 3 times larger than our last one, which makes meal times easier and faster! It's great though, I'm just so humbled to be here as a part of this. Every time I look out my window and realize where I am, I can't help but think about how blessed and privileged I am. Sometimes it is a little bit hard to tell yourself to go back on the streets, but when I just take a step back and think about what I'm doing, and what my goal is here, it's not longer a trial. Our branch is bit by bit increasing church attendance! I think there were 13 people there last week, including missionaries, which is pretty good for us! The members are so strong, and they're all so funny! That's pretty much it for this week, I think, but I'm sure I'll have more next time! 
I'll just leave you with a spiritual thought for the week, like I usually do! In 2 Nephi Chapter 26, it talks a little bit Christ and his purpose here. In Verse 25 it says, "Come unto me all ye ends of the earth, buy milk and honey, without money and without price". The beauty of the Atonement is that the only cost it has for us, is to come unto him. If we do that, and just turn our will to him, we will receive the "milk and honey" that has already been bought for us. Christ has paid the price in full, and our reception of the fruits thereof is soley contingent on us simply coming unto him. We read a lot about miracles in the scriptures, and these great acts performed by God through his servants on the earth, and we sometimes ask where they are today. But the atonement of Jesus Christ is the greatest miracle that has ever been performed, or ever will be performed. I do not need to see mountains move, seas split in two, the dead return to life, or any other act of God, for the Atonement has wrought a greater change in me than anything else has or will. I leave you with my testimony of the truthfulness of this Gospel, and of this Church. Christ lives, and he is at the head of this church, guiding us by the mouth of His prophet in these latter days. We are never alone, and with God on our side we can do anything. I love you all strongly, and pray for you daily!
Until next time,
-Старейшина кэмптон
(Staryeshina Kempton)

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