This week was just filled with "new" things. It's cool that new things happen every-day, but this was more of a time when I got new things. New shopka (super warm, and stylin'...and of course it matches very well with my coat [yeah, people comment on that all the time] I'm very proud of myself.), some cool new topachki (yeah, they're monsters and I'm planning to give them names at some point. I just have to find out at english club what legendary monsters Russia has, because I've never heard of any). We also have a new zone leader; he's my companion. With that came a cell phone. I honestly really don't like having a cell phone again. It means that people can get a hold of me whenever they want, or I have to feel bad for ignoring phone calls (but not that bad). The other part of that package of newness was a new companion. Elder Busico was transferred away from me to Khabarofsk. It's really cold there so I'm not to upset that I stayed in Vlad. But I just switched trainers with Elder Thellman, so my new companion came from the cold to be with me. I think he got a pretty good deal.
My new companion is Elder Hall. He's from this little town in Idaho called Blackfoot. Funny huh? I'm 5000 miles away from home and I end up serving with someone who lives 5 minutes away. He's a great missionary and I'm really excited to serve with him. It is going to be a great new transfer.
One thing that I learned in the scriptures this week was just how much people can change and how much good each of us can do, no matter where we've come from or what we've done in the past. The Lord has given each of us an endless potential for good. When Alma and Amulek started their mission they ended up having a big public lesson with a guy named Zeezrom. (The Russian chapter heading translates to say that "Amulek embarrasses Zeezrom. I love how the chapter headings translate. "White Lamanites" is one of my favorite sentences in a chapter heading so far.) Well we see how Zeezrom realizes the bad that he was doing and changes, then the people try to stone him and kick him out of town. The part of the story that I hadn't really noticed before, is that in Alma (31 probably) when they go on their mission to reclaim the Zoramites, Zeezrom is one of the people that Alma takes with him! He wasn't like the other anti-Christ who was trampled and killed, he actually had the opportunity of serving a mission, a really successful one too! The Lord's given each of us the opportunity to repent and start doing good. You don't need to have a great conversion experience like Alma the younger or Paul the Apostle. The Lord has work prepared for you to do now! So hurry up, repent, and do it!
The Lord really blesses us in so many ways. I have a totally new group of missionaries serving in Vlad with me now and each of them are just incredible and inspire and uplift me in so many ways. It's such a great opportunity to get acquainted with so many great people here in the Far East. I'm so blessed to be here!
Keep praying. Do it every day. Morning and night. Read the scriptures. They're little things, but they will change your life too; just like they've changed mine.
May the Lord bless each of you,
The other day we were on a minibus going to Boliyeva. There was crazy traffic and then the bus got stuck. It was crazy! In the end Elder Busico and I ended up having to get out and push the bus up the hill out of the ice. My leg got covered in mud! It was really great, but I have never been so embarrassed about being dirty before ever. We visited our Branch President after that and he was really understanding...but my pants still won't come clean. Good times!