Goodness, where do I even start to write about this week? I love my new companion. We have been hoping to get the opportunity to serve together for over a year now, and it worked out his very last transfer. We have a lot of love, and that helps a lot. It's just a lot of fun to be with someone that you really enjoy being around and can talk to about whatever needs to be talked about. Last transfer was a little rough.
Our mission is going through another big change. The First Presidency has approved the moving of two cities from the Novosibirsk Mission to ours, so as of June 1 our mission is going to be by far the biggest mission in the world, and will include the cities on either side of Lake Baikal, the largest lake in the world. So my mission just moved to envelop even more of Siberia. It's cool. President Pratt had to be really secretive about it and that has been stressful for me. He actually called me personally to tell me to stop trying to find more clues and figure things out...I guess I just really like to be in the know. It will be way cool to have that bonus to our mission. Especially since there are great branches in both Ulan Ude and Irkutsk. It'll be an interesting process.
Well sitting through pledge week on PBS each year as a child has finally paid off. We are going to do this thing in our Zone this transfer where each companionship will pledge to talk to so many people by the end of the transfer and then we'll all work to meet our goals. It's going to have to involve some kind of fund raising thermometer and possibly celebratory popping of balloons...we'll see how it all turns out. I'm way excited to have a fun goal that is a SMART goal. Too many times the goals that get set aren't really measurable. We are really good at talking about principles and thinking wanting to do good things, but so many times it's hard to tell how we're actually doing, and keep ourselves on track. Hopefully this will help.
Oh other news, my companion from last transfer, who went home on Wednesday...got engaged on Friday. Weird huh? It's super weird to think about, so I try to just not think about it.
So I've been reading some older General Conference talks from like the 70's and 80's. Elder Williams has a whole book of them that his family sent for Christmas. They're fantastic. This morning I read a talk from then Elder Monson called "The Road to Jericho" talking about how important it is to help others who are in need. That's super important. I don't have much time left to write, but if you have a minute look up that talk. I memorized the poem that he quoted, it's one that I used to hear a lot at scout camps and things. I like it a bunch.
Well have a great week and good luck with all the things that you're doing. I would try to say something profound, but I nothing's really coming out right now. Love you,
Samuel also sent me the following - I thought you might like to read it as well
So the good news is that I'm in Ussurisk for the day, I'll go back to Artyom tomorrow. The awkward part is that not more than five minutes after I got into town I ran into a member...the member that moved to my area when I got transferred that one time...she apparently has been talking to missionaries and the branch president here to figure out where I am...and is planning another move! I heard about that last night, but I was in absolute shock when I ran into her today. Maybe I'll get that emergency transfer after all...
Then another, really weird former investigator that I know stalked us and honked really loud behind us and then started yelling and calling President Obama unflattering names. It was funny that I knew him. None of the other missionaries I was with did. That was 2 minutes after the first incident. Then another minute later as we were walking, we crossed the street and someone honked from the car stopped at the intersection and then waved at us. I didn't see their face, but it was cool to be back in a place where people know and remember me....just weird