This week has been really interesting. After much work and prayer President Pratt determined that it was necessary to combine the two Branches in Vladivostok. (A Branch is a small congregation in the Church.) We have known for a while that this would be happening, but it came really fast all the same. As of now we have a new Branch Presidency and they are reorganizing everything. We were afraid that there would be those who were opposed to it or embarrassed that weekly attendance at Church meetings has been shrinking, but everyone took it really well. It's going to be a great transition, and way more smooth than I thought it would be. Our new Branch President has served in the Mission Presidency for years. Now our Mission Presidency consists of President Pratt, so I guess we don't really have a Presidency. I know that President Zvigolfski is going to be a great Branch President and I really have felt the Spirit confirm that he is the one who the Lord has prepared and called to serve Him at this time. There are great days ahead for the saints in Vladivostok.
Well today is another holiday. One of the big ones too. I feel like I say that almost every week, but it's true. Today is Woman's Day. Business Centers and markets all over the city are closed today. (I even had to go to an internet cafe with a bunch of teenage boys playing computer games just to write home today. Usually I write at the Post Office, but this will have to do for today.) It's great that the Russian people really do have respect for women. On the "Day of the Defender of the Fatherland" not much happened. Nobody really celebrated and it was just mainly a normal day, but Woman's day is much more celebrated. It's kind of like the difference in America between Father's Day and Mother's Day I guess. Father's Day is a day to get a cheap necktie with fish on it and try to talk Dad into actually wearing it to Church. It's about the same idea here I guess.
I really don't have a lot to report this week. The work has been really hard lately. It seems like nobody wants to meet with us, it's been really rough for both my companion and me. But what's a mission with out some rough weeks? It wouldn't be nearly as worth it if we didn't have difficult times, (more than just trying to figure out what is going on in a language that you've barely studied and in a place that you know basically nothing about.) Really though I have developed a great love for the members of the Church here in Vladivostok. The strong members are getting even stronger and helping others to see the joy they have in their life through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that as we share the joy that we have we will see more success in all the things that we do.
Have a great Woman's Day and remember to tell the women in your life how important they are to you, they need to hear it.