Hey, hey, hey, Everyone!
MOM! I'm so glad you got the package! I was really worries for a while there. I'm glad you liked the candy. That stuff's my favorite food in the world. And good work on the Carp fishing, Dad! haha. Eek! I'm so glad you got it!
Anywho, this week was all about meeting people. All sorts of people.
First, there's Sergei. We knocked on his door in the middle of the day and he invited us right in. This has never happened to me on my mission before. Ever. We walked in and talked to him about the church, and he told us he was a Baptist pastor. He was an all around cool guy- he cracked a lot of jokes that he thought I didn't understand, but my Russian skills are deceiving :). We walked around his apartment and saw his collection of Bibles (he has 9! all different translations) and a million other books. When we asked him if we could read the Book of Mormon, he said he'd rather not, but we convinced him otherwise. After we read it, we could tell he was trying to look for evidence that it wasn't true, but he had nothing. Then he started bringing up verses about how no man could see God, blah blah blah. But thanks to A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, I was (sort of) able to combat them all, in my broken Russian. Thanks, LeGrand Richards! I owe you one!
Next was Andre. We were walking down the street and he flagged us down. He was handing out newspapers (drunk) and asked us to talk to him. When he found out we were American he got real excited. We told him we were missionaries and he started saying he was really glad he met us (which is pretty common from drunk people) and how he wanted to change his life. SO, we gave him a Book of Mormon after about 25 minutes of talking to him and told him to read it. We tried to walk away from him but he started following us. He finally left us alone after I told him we had an appointment, but now before he KISSED MY HAND. I felt so violated! haha.
That night he called us and told us that he'd started the book of Mormon and wanted to meet the next day. I didn't belive him, to tell the truth, but I wasn't gonna pass up a meeting. We met him the next day and he started pointing out verses in Alma and 3rd Nephi! I couldn't believe it. We talked a lot about his desire to change his life. He's 42, he's been married twice, he has a daughter he never sees, he lives with his mother, he drinks and smokes all the time, it's a mess. We told him he could change but he didn't believe us. I don't know what will happen with him in the next few days, but I think he's got potential. It all starts with the desire to change, right?
ALSO, during our meeting with Andre, he kept on inviting his drunk friends over and introducing them to his "new American friends." One of them bear hugged me from the side and KISSED me on my cheek/nose. My face smelled like vodka for the rest of the day. It was the worst.
And now, Dima! We were a little worried about him last week since he didn't answer our calls about coming to the baptism. We waited a few days to start calling him again, just to give him a break. When we finally called him again I was so nervous! I really didn't want to lose Dima-he's so ready for the gospel! When we called, he picked up and we started talking like usual, then he asked when we could meet again. Sister Moffatt and I were jumping up and down the entire call. Haha. We planned to meet at the branch building, but we ended up going for a walk in the forest instead while his wife went running with their running club. (Running club in the forest at night-I love Russia). We walked and talked for a while until Anna, another member from the club, caught up to us and asked to walk with us since she was afraid of the forest at night. So, Sister Moffatt taught Dima while I walked with Anna. Dima told Sister Moffatt that he believes the Book of Mormon is true and that he doesn't see why the church wouldn't be true. BUT he's still hung up on reincarnation. We'll explain that one later.
During our meeting with him, we also talked about missionary life. We told him about knocking on peoples' doors and he was shocked. He couldn't believe it. haha. We told him to come with us one time and he told us he'd be our bodyguard. He's the best. We're also going to have a yoga lesson with his wife next week. It's gonna be saweeet.
In other news, transfers are this week, but I'm about 18733% sure I'm staying here. I've found a bootleg movie store with Stardust, Inception, and Taken. I'm be making a stop there before I come home (awink!), Elder Holland gave a talk at the MTC about missionary work a week or two ago, saying that this is the height of missionary work in the history of the world. He said that all we were extremely blessed to be serving right now. Pretty cool stuff. I was told 3 times this week that I look like a Russian! Score! Also, we met a man named Zorro that works at a food stand this past week. ZORRO! He lives!
I think that's about all I got this week. It's been a great week for missionary work. I LOVE RUSSIA. I love this place with all of my heart. I can't wait to come home and see everyone, but I dread leaving. Please keep praying for missionaries. Everyne in Saratov says that this is the most potential they've seen here in a long time, and we're trying to keep that up :)
I love you all! Thanks for everything you do!