November 21, 2016
This week has been nothing short of incredible! This week we have been blessed with a lot of tender mercies from the Lord. To start with, we were finally able to meet with Alexander, our old investigator from Stavropol. We asked him if he had been able to continue studying the gospel in the time that he had lost contact with the missionaries, and he told us "Of course!". He's read the book of Mormon in it's entirety, and began again. Right now he's in Alma 42, and shared a few of his insights from reading there this past week. We talked with him about baptism and asked him when he would be able to enter into that covenant with the Lord. Without hesitation he said "Right now. Let's do it tomorrow!" We told him we would be in Stavropol this weekend to bless the sacrament, and that we could organize a baptismal service then if everything works out, but he couldn't make the trip up on such a short notice. He committed to the 10th of December, and we're working with the members down there to get everything organized. We're really excited for him and the progress that he's making!
This Saturday before we left for Stavropol we were able to make it out to Tolik, who lives over in Bolshoi Log(just outside of Aksai) and meet with him and his sister Olga. We shared a few verses with them from Romans chapter 8, and focused on the phrase "suffer with Him". In the course of discussion, and after asking a few questions that clearly must have been from God, Olga broke down and told us that she feels she doesn't have a testimony of this church. We then asked her if she wanted a testimony, she paused and thought for a moment, and said she doesn't know if she does. I asked her then, what it would mean for her personally, if this church was true, what would come as a result of that. She thought for a moment and then listed a few of the blessings that would come as a direct result of this church being true, and that she does want to know. We committed her to kneel in prayer that night and ask for that knowledge. We'll stop by as soon as their work schedule permits to see how it went and continue working with her. If she returns to activity, it very well could mean the return of her entire family to activity, and we're both really excited to see the blessings they're going to see as they make their way back.
I'd just like to testify again that the Lord knows us, and He loves us. He is there for us no matter how far off we may have drifted, or how many mistakes we may have made. All that He asks of us is to walk with Him, to take up our cross and follow Him. It may be a difficult task in the beginning, but the beauty of it is that He will be with us every step of our journey, and that alone is enough for me. Overall I'm just glad to be here. I'm grateful for the fact that the Lord sent me to this particular part of Russia to work with these people. I feel such a strong love for every single one of them, and hope that I can play even a small role in their personal progression back to our Father in Heaven. I love you all! Hope all is well!
Until next time,