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Monday, June 27, 2011

Elder Fife in Nakhodka

Well I'm in a big new area.  There were 20 people at church this week, pretty much all women.  The priesthood could use a lot of strengthening here.  Well, they could use priesthood here.  There were three men at church this week, who weren't missionaries.  There aren't even very many inactive men.  It's probably because most everyone from Nakhodka is a sailor.  If we could just figure out how to baptize more perspective priesthood holders.  We had church this week for the last time in the International Sailor's Club.  Ironic huh?  Priesthood is in the Captain's Room.  It was...interesting.  We have a new location, just down the street that we're moving into next week.  We will have it all the time, instead of just when we need it like we were at Interclub.  We're really excited about that. 

I love that the Lord gives me tender mercies every day.  For the last several evenings I've felt like I just can't do it anymore, I'm up against a wall, discouraged and alone, and then the something that comes that makes things just enough better that I know I can make it through another day.  Things like looking through my companion's pictures and seeing the familiar face of Bennett Briggs.  Little things like that, that become huge tender mercies for me.  The Lord works in all kinds of mysterious ways I guess. 

We are also serving with a senior couple, the Alicos.  They are so funny!  Just their whole relationship with each other cracks me up.  Sister Alico decided this week that Elder Lisevich shouldn't eat any more sugar, and challenged him to go all transfer.  He gets headaches a lot.  If I remember right she volunteered Elder Alico to help by going off sugar as well, and of course she would too.  Elder Alico spent probably a half hour thinking of reasons why it wouldn't work and things for Sister Alico to give up, but she was willing to do anything.  So none of us have had any sugar in the last 5 days.  I never agreed to anything, but I would feel bad eating in front of my companion, and I wouldn't want to tempt him.  The only thing we have is Tropicana orange juice, because it says "no sugar added" on the box.  I love orange juice. 

Yeah, this is a hard time for me, mainly trying to figure out how I'll be able to get along with my companion, but we are seeing cool things happen as well.  The other day we were in a park, waiting for our investigator to come to talk about some problems that had come up that would hurt her baptismal date, when a 15 year old girl came up to us and asked for any literature.  She said she has a Book of Mormon, and read the whole thing.  She said she'd been to church as well.  She also talked about how she knows its true and that she's really interested in knowing more.  Now we have to be careful, because she's a minor, but the Alicos gave her a "For the Strength of Youth" pamphlet, which she went to a bench and began reading with a friend.  After a few minutes the friend came and asked if she could have one too. 

Eventually our investigator showed up and we went to sit on a bench to talk.  The girl saw that we were going to teach, and couldn't help but inch closer to hear.  Within a few minutes both her and her friend were standing right next to us, and she was participating in the lesson, testifying that the Lord answers prayers and softens peoples' hearts.  The whole time I just looked at Elder Alico and mouthed "Who is she??"  He shrugged his shoulders.  Elder Winkler, who she said gave her the Book of Mormon doesn't remember her either.  Sister Alico thinks that she was an angel.  We invited her to church this week, but she didn't come.  Hopefully she'll find us soon. 

Thanks for your prayers in my behalf and for the love and support that you send me.  You have no idea how much of a difference it makes.  I know that it will just be a little while longer.  I can hold on to my faith a little longer.  Have a wonderful week! 

Elder Fife

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