Monday, November 21, 2011

November 21, 2011

Привет всем!

This past week on one side has just flown by, and on the other it feels like it has been FOREVER. I think it's because I've just been really looking forward to Thanksgiving. :) Our district is going down to Moscow to eat dinner at the Gronning's, our senior couple's home. 

It started out with a great zone conference. It is always great to be in Moscow and to see the missionaries, especially the sisters, that I don't get to see very often. I even got to see Sister Mordwinow, even though she's not in our zone. I miss her a lot. But of course, zone conference was just great. It always amazes me how Zone Conferece (or General Conference, or other things like that) always touches on all of the main thoughts I've had in my head, all of the things I need help with. It was just such a great experience to receive revelation on how I can be a better missionary. We talked a lot about how often members think, "What can I do to help the missionaries?" but really, we as missionaries, especially here in Moscow right now with a still-new stake and a lot of inactives, need to be thinking, "What can we do to help the members?" 

And that's what we've done a lot of this week. This week we had a ton of service activities come up. First, we went to a smaller town about 15 minutes away to help a young couple in our ward (who are expecting a baby) clean up their new apartment and spent most of the morning sweeping and dusting and peeling off old wallpaper. We also have the great chance to help out with youth activities a lot, and we took the Elders over to an old woman in the ward's apartment because she needed their help taking some higher-up cabinets down. She was so grateful for their help. Serving the members really is so important, building relationships with them, and strengthening their faith and activity in the church.

We also had the opportunity to help an old investigator (old meaning both in age and in investigator status). She needed help cleaning out some stuff that was on her balcony. We didn't really get through most of it, but afterwards we were able to give her a great lesson on the first part of the Plan of Salvation. The spirit was very strong and she seemed especially interested in the sacrament and coming to church to partake of it, even if she said she wouldn't be able to for a while. Not to mention, she was so grateful for our help, and we'll be going back to help out some more and to continue teaching later on this week, although I will be in Moscow on an split with one of the AP Sisters.

Lastly, we miraculously were able to get 2 new investigators at the end of this week. Ksusha brought one of her friends to an activity and we were able to teach the 1st lesson with Ksusha there. Having members, especially recent converts who know the investigator, on a lesson is so helpful. Ksusha was just able to bear testimony about how the Book of Mormon and the gospel has changed her life, basically told her friend, "You know what I was like before. You can have this change too." And then yesterday at church, an awesome member (who if you look through our area book is all over the "member friend" box on teaching records) had brought a friend, who stayed for all 3 hours, seems really nice and interested and wants to meet with us later on this week. The Lord truly blesses us as missionarires, not necessarily by leading us to those who are interested, but by leading them to us.

Other than that, it's been a fairly uneventful week. Sister Martyanova is getting over a cold, and as she's the 3rd person in the district to have had one, I'm trying to not get sick either. Colds are the worst, because you're not sick enough to feel like you can stay home, but you also don't want to go out because you don't want to get more sick and you want to be running on full-speed and you're miserable. Anyway. Hopefully everyone is up to full health soon, because this week will be crazy, between Thanksgiving (and Mom's birthday!), and the split I mentioned earlier, and meetings should just be a fun, usual week here in Russia. :) Man, I will miss it when all this stuff isn't normal anymore. 

The Church is true! Have fun cutting the Christmas tree without me (if that's possible? ;) Send me pictures. I love you!

С любовью,
Сестра Ашби

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