This week was all kinds of fun. We went back to Nakhodka to do a baptismal interview with a guy named Sergei. It was a fun trip. We showed up just in time for high school graduation (well basically the same thing.) In Russia they have really weird traditions for graduation. Not super weird I guess, they just wear weird clothes. All of the graduating students wear old style uniforms that everyone wore in Soviet times, and there are really big lacy bows in all the girls pig-tailed hair. They looked to me kind of like maid outfits, only with massive lacy white bows ...really goofy looking, and the guys just wore suits. They all had sashes on, probably to show the honors that they graduated with or something. I don't know how I missed that last year, but I was super confused at first, before I figured out what was going on. Kind of a fun tradition I guess.
Church yesterday was a little, interesting. It seemed like things were going to be more normal, well at first. We had good talks at Sacrament Meeting. They kind of over planned it, so we didn't have time for the last speaker, but other than that it was great. Then at Sunday School a member who was baptised a year ago taught and did an excellent job, he is doing great. Then we got to the 3rd hour, which was combined because it was the 5th Sunday of the month. They decided to let a brother hold a class on things that he has spent the last 30 years researching or something, he's really passionate about it. He has compiled 13 steps to living to be 120. Cool huh? We only made it through the first 4 in the hour that we had. I was translating for Elder Bodell, so it was a good way to blow my vocabulary of scientific and health terms out of the water, but I learned a lot of good things. I now can understand when people tell you that you need to have a good alkaline level, balance your protein and carbohydrates, and how in China they use bio genetics to make peppers certain colors. Super interesting class huh? Ha ha. I also figured out the word for carbonic acid without a dictionary. Yep, not what I would have expected at your usual Sunday meeting.
I am reminded of the classes that I taught back in Ussurisk from the manual "Teaching, No Greater Call" that the Church has put out. One of the lessons was focused on teaching the doctrines of the Kingdom. Now I know just a little bit better why they would want us to do that. When we teach the doctrines of the Kingdom we are edified. It invites the Spirit, which can touch our hearts and teach us the things that we need in order to live better and find answers to the problematic situations that we find in our lives. When we base our teaching on the scriptures all can learn and be edified together. All should be able to participate and to share their personal insights in order to help everyone grow, learn, and become closer to the Lord. I say this realizing that most of the people who will read this won't be responsible for teaching classes in Church in the next week or two, but I think the principle applies a lot more than we realize.
Family Home Evening is a great place, where parents should teach their children the gospel of Christ and the doctrines of the Kingdom of God. That doesn't mean that parents should come with a thick book of prepared notes and lists of scripture references each week, you're much more creative than that. As we read, discuss, and apply the teachings of prophets with our families we will invite the Spirit of love and reverence into our homes, we'll grow closer to the Lord, and we will create memories that serve as a strong foundation for our lives. I love how gospel principles actually do apply to everything. Being a member of the Church isn't a place to be every now and then on Sundays, it's a way of life. Lots of people don't seem to get that.
Well that is a little of what has been on my mind lately. There's a lot more that I've been thinking about, but that's all I'll give you I guess. Have a great week!