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Monday, May 3, 2010

Spring Cleaning

Well this week in the Churkin area of Vladivostok was spring cleaning. We decided to do it a little different this year. Because our apartment has housed missionaries for somewhere between 6 and 10 years there has been quite a bit of clutter that has found a way to gather in a certain closet. It is really amazing the kinds of things that has ended up there. Old neckties, coats, sweat pants, an army helmet, and even a washing machine! Well it's all gone now. Actually, we're gone too. The apartment is getting old and has so many problems that we were finally able to convince President that it's time for a change. So Thursday morning during language study we got a phone call from the Assistants to the President saying "we found you a new place, you'll be signing documents today, we'll be at your apartment in ten minutes to pick you up." 36 hours later we had completely moved to our new apartment and were mostly settled in. It's crazy how fast things happen sometimes. Our landlord didn't understand what we meant when we said we were leaving, until we had already cleaned the apartment bare. Now we have a great place where we have warm water and I don't even sleep on the ground. You learn to appreciate the little things. Also, it's right next to a favorie cafe of mine, where a good member of the Church works...she likes to give us extra food...perks are good too.

We got the biggest new group of missionaries to our mission in years this week. Four Elders and two Russian Sisters flew in Saturday and are so filled with energy they make me feel like a slacker. Today Elder Zamora is with us, before he takes a bus to Ussirisk tomorrow. We were walking today and I had a conversation with a guy, but it didn't go anywhere and I didn't really give him anything or invite him to church. I was looking for an ATM and kind of let the frustration of not having one within a kilometer of our apartment get to me a little bit I guess. Afterwards this great new Elder said something that really hit me. First he asked "Why didn't you give him any information about the Church to take with him?" and then said this "If I could speak as well as you can, I would teach everyone we see." It was in that moment that I realized that, without noticing it, I have gotten past the "new missionary" stage, and that almost a third of the mission already is younger in the mission than I am. I think with time we grow a little lax in the things that we do, day to day actions become commonplace and routine. I am really grateful for the wake up call that I got from a missionary who has been in the country for only two days. I'm glad that the Lord finds all those around me to work through. I think I'll find it in me to give even a little bit more to the work now. It's good to get a reminder every now and again about just how important this work is. It's important both the the Lord and to those who's lives are blessed by being introduced to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and learning how it will help them to live happier, more consistant lives.

I hope that you each have a good week, and don't forget to prepare a little somethin'-somethin' for your mom's this week. Make it nice, because Mom's deserve it.

With Love,
Elder Fife

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