Things are just wonderful here at the MTC. Difficult, I mean...I am learning Russian, but the spirit that's here is great. Its been a good time adjusting to missionary life, going to bed and waking up at the right time, focusing on inviting and teaching with the spirit all of the time, and studying Russian in line for food, laying in bed, kneeling in prayer, and anywhere else that I ever go.
The days really do feel like weeks here, morning seems like so long ago by the time we get to dinner. The most difficult thing to adjust to though would probably be the no-shaking-hands rule. I haven't even shaken my companion's hand, and we've been together just about every minute for a week now. But we can't have sickness spreading, so we'll follow the rules.
I'm really learning to appreciate the small things, like Sundays, devotionals, and the tender mercies the Lord gives. I also am really beginning to appreciate the scriptures in a way that I never have before. I find so much comfort in the words of ancient prophets. When Ammon talks in Alma 26:27-30ish about the depression and
struggles of missionary work that he faced it helps me to realize that the difficult times I have ahead in Russia, and even now as I try to learn to speak that language, that missionary work has been this way forever. Paul faced so many difficult times on his missions, Alma and Amulek ended up in jail more than a time or two, but the Lord protects His servants. It's so great to know that.
Our purpose as missionaries are to invite others to come unto Christ. What could be a better thing to do than that? That was Nephi's purpose too, to invite others to come unto God, and find joy in being obedient to his commandments. Obedience always brings joy. Never forget that...if you want to be happy that is.
The one thing that I suppose could be a little better is if I heard more from my friends, family, and those who I love back home. Letters are great! ...But I haven't heard from anyone since the first day I was here. Don't forget that Dearelder.com is free, fast, and will make my day!
I hope that all is well at home, and that everyone is working hard to do the things that are pleasing to the Lord. My prayers are with you every day. Please pray for me too. I need all the help and strength from the Lord that I can get. It really is humbling to be doing something so difficult. My companions and those in my district are great, and I feel a lot of the time like I need to work harder than I do just to keep up with them. I love that! We all work and grow together.
My companion, Elder Kildew, is from Virginia. We're even facebook friends, haha. Don't worry though, I'm not facebooking on my mission...mom found him online and I added him before. Funny huh? But is anyone really surprised? There are only 3 missionaries that are going to Vladivostok at the same time as me. Elder Kildew, Elder Thelmann (from Joseph City, Arizona) and myself. Its neat to be part of such a small group doing such a great work. My mission was opened in 1999, the newwest mission in Russia, and the work is really starting to spread.
I love you all,