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Sunday, February 6, 2011

You can make the pathway bright

This week was really...unordinary.  I think that my entire life has been unordinary, and so I am more or less used to it, but Elder Miller still has culture shock living the Fife life.

We finally got the Rahis to Ussurisk.  They weren't super thrilled with the apartment that we got for them, but they say they'll make it work.  Sister Rahi has been through at least one bottle of bleach making everything meet her standards...I thought it was a fine place.
They've hired Nina as a translator, and that will be really fun for everyone.  Nina is one of the best members ever, but she has this silly goal to not let Elders hear her speak in naturally I have a goal to catch her speaking English.  Almost met that goal yesterday...but I got caught.  Oh well.  I have time.

We had 48 people at Sacrament Meeting yesterday, and it was a great meeting.  The testimonies were great, and only a few of them were really weird and impossible to translate, that's a lot better than normal!

We also had a baptism this week.  Anna, who is ten years old was baptized and it was just wonderful.  The Spirit was so strong.  After the baptism was over the chapel just felt like the Celestial Room of the Temple.  Most everyone just stayed in their seats, and there was an overwhelming calm silence for about ten minutes.  People trickled out a few at a time until the room was empty.  I have never seen
anything quite like that happen before.  It was really a powerful moment.  There were seven of non members in attendance too.  Friends of members or investigators, even friends of investigators.  I think everyone was really touched by the sacredness of a ten year old girl making an important covenant with her Heavenly Father.  What a great day.

I learned a cool lesson this week.  We went to stop by a potential investigator named Nickolai.  He's really old.  When we knocked on the door a younger man answered and we asked for Nickolai.  We saw him sitting in the kitchen with a few older women and didn't want to intrude (they were drinking a little.)  Then I hear the woman in the corner yell "I know you!!"  And she got up and started running towards us.  I wasn't sure whether she was going to chase us out and forbid us
from meeting with her friend anymore, or what was going to happen.  As
she came towards us she kept saying "I know you, you're from a Church!"  She said she recognized us immediately.  I had no idea who she was.  Then she began to tell us a story.

When she was walking down the street we came and offered to help her with a heavy bag.  She was walking with a cane because her health is bad and it is really hard for her to walk.  We said kind words to her, even when she refused our help, and taught her a really small lesson, and then we walked farther.

She told us that she was so touched that she had spent the next two days telling everyone she knows about us.  "There are kind people!  I met these kind young men and they wanted to help me with my bag!"

I remembered that occasion.  Elder Miller had gone up to her and offered our help as we were walking, waiting for time to pass a little for a lesson that we had arrived to a little early.  I think she even cried a little bit as we began to teach her.  We taught her that she is a daughter of God.

We weren't able to help Vasilyeva with her bag, but we helped her in a lot more real way.  The simple acts of kindness that we do touch people a lot more than we sometimes realize, even when we think they were a failure.  We're planning on meeting with her along with Nickolai tomorrow afternoon.  Nothing happens by chance.  That's a fact.

King Benjamin taught that "When ye are in the service of your fellow men ye are only in the service of your God."  Let's serve our Lord a little more by saying an extra kind word, doing the small acts of kindness that are unforgettable to the grateful recipients.  Let's do just a little more, sometimes it makes a big difference.  I know that the Lord will bless our paths and meet our needs if we do.

Elder Fife

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