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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

June 5, 2011

Lots of more crazy traveling this week.  We went to Ussurisk for district meeting Tuesday, but then had to be in Vladivostok for a baptismal interview Wednesday.  We weren't super excited or happy when the guy I was supposed to interview for baptism didn't show up.  His mom said that he had left his house 40 minutes before we were scheduled to meet, and didn't take a phone with him.  We waited about 3 hours and then gave up.  Turns out he accidentally got a job on the way, and got his clothes all wet and didn't have a change of clothes, something like that.  We went back to Vlad the next day and had a good interview.  He was baptized on Saturday.  I learned a little bit about patience and forgiveness as I had to make the choice whether or not to take a special trip and 2+ more hours on a bus so that he could meet his baptismal date for Saturday.  At first I wanted him to learn his lesson about standing us up when we had spent 4 hours on a bus to interview him, but then I did some repenting and we went back to Vlad.  I love that this work isn't about us, and that there is no sacrifice that is too great to help someone come to Christ.  Of course it's important that they're coming on their own, and not being dragged, but when they are willing we should always be there to help in whatever ways we can.  There are a lot of opportunities to be offended as a missionary, I think the Lord is trying to drive home a lesson for me.  It's not about me. 

It's still been crazy cold and raining all week, so it's been difficult to meet new people on the streets and things like that.  The gloominess has kind of gotten me down a little bit as well, but the sun's out again today, so that is good.  The other day we were walking in the park, and there was basically no one there, except for a mo-ped gang who came up and talked to us as we were trying to talk to a nice old lady with a cool dalmation.  As we were leaving to go home we must have walked off the sidewalk or something (there was a trail there so I still don't feel bad) and a police officer came and stopped us.  When I asked him the reason he was searching us and inspecting our documents he didn't have one to give, but I don't know how my Constitutional rights work here, so I didn't push it.  I'm pretty sure he was actually just looking for an excuse to talk to us, because he turned out to be pretty nice.  He had questions about what we were doing here, so I started telling him about things like the Book of Mormon.  Now it wasn't like Peter teaching the guard in prison, but it felt good that I had absolutely nothing to hide and no bushes that I felt like I needed to beat around when standing before an officer of the law.  It was a fun little experience I guess. 

Yesterday was fast and testimony meeting at Church, so obviously it was full of interesting moments.  I don't really feel like going into details, but it was one of my more crazy Sundays on my mission, and I've had lots of crazy Sundays.  The Sisters' law of chastity lesson for Sunday School was funny too.  Fun day at Church. 

After we got back to Artyom yesterday there were some crazy flash rain storms that came out of no where.  We were on the way to a meeting with a member and it started to rain as we left our apartment, and was pelting by the time we were on the bus, but when we got off across town it had stopped already and the sun was out.  We lucked out and only got a little wet.  Then when that meeting fell through and we started walking back to the bus stop another cloud rolled in or something and it started pouring rain again.  We got drenched waiting for the bus!  Should have listened to the dog lady in our building who told us to take an umbrella.  Teach me not to listen to the dog lady!  (She has like 18 dogs in her apartment.  They never go out on the street, just bark from inside.  Kinda weird.)  Then we decided to go home and have some dinner and make a plan for what we'll do the rest of the day, and somehow between the time that we were on the street, and the time we looked out the window of our 5th story apartment, the rain had stopped and the sun came back and was out the rest of the evening.  There was another bit of rain during the night, but it's all sunny and warm now. 

Well now that I've wasted all of your time talking about weather, have a great week! 

Elder Fife

Oh!  Just remembered.  My companion was astounded when my scouting skills paid off as I fixed the tube that connects our filter system to the faucet with a timber hitch and half hitch and a little bit of floss.  Who'd o' thunk?

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