Holy moly. I've been living in russia for over a month now! I don't really feel like it went by quickly... but i'm not sure how that happened. I think when we changed our clocks we actually got a week off or something.... i'll have to look into that.
So this last week has been a pretty good one for the most part. the best part: Volva. Volva is a 22 yr old man we met on the streets one night. He said he wanted to meet, and HE ACTUALLY SHOWED up. we taught him a lesson at a members house about how he can feel God's love more in his life as he strives to follow Christ. It was a way good lesson and the spirit was quite strong. He said he wanted to meet again and HE commited US to the next day. so the next day came and HE called US in the morning to set up a time. but, when the time came he said that his girlfriend wouldn't let him leave without her... she thought we were a cult. so ofcourse we were happy to tell him to bring her along. so we went back to the same members house and his girlfriend was kinda scary. the members have a big ol' happy german shepherd that wanted to be pet by her... but she's deathly afraid of dogs. so that was kinda bad... a small child almost died... but anyway. so we sat down for a lesson and she interrogated us. We were both so afraid of her, i was about to crack and confess to murder! but somehow we got through her questions and were able to draw the spirit into the room and we were all able to learn. We invited them to come to the church building here in bezimonski for another lesson the next day and to learn more about what we do at church. they both agreed and seemed interested. well the next day came, and we waited, and waited, and finally volva showed up alone. we had a way good lesson about how Christ has restored his true church through the prophet Joseph Smith, and today we are guided by a prophet that recieves revalation from God and he said he wanted to get baptised when he recieves an answer on his prayers to find out if the Book of Mormon is true or not. we then walked him home (we're neighbors) and he told us that he was late because his girlfriend didnt want him to come and they got in a fight about it (she decided we were a cult again?) and she went to hit him and he ducked and then she pushed him into a mirror and it broke and in the confussion he ran out the door. She's scary. He has such a strong desire to follow Christ, despite all the stumbling blocks he has in his life that would prevent it. I'm learning a lot from him and his faith. The next time we met with a different member (yesterday) and talked about... well about everything. The member (the branch president here... who is pretty blunt) told him it was a sin to live with his girlfriend if they werent married and that he was in great need of repentance.... eeek... we were sure we lost him right there.. but he just looked at president jestkov and said... "i whole heartedly agree with that.... thank you" wow. Like i said... he has such a strong desire to follow christ... its amazing.
We're also seeing a lot of progress with 2 of other investigators. one has been listening to lessons with the missionaries since august, and the other is the daughter of a part member less active family. We have a baptismal date for the 4th with the first one, and we're setting a goal with the other one tonight when we got to help there family start holding family night each monday.
Fun things this week: each cycle we have a cultural night with president and and the zone. so on friday we went to a russian play about all these families that live in the russian dorms and share a huge kitchen. it was way cool to see a play in a different language, and it was a very well put together play. best i've seen (sorry all of the drama friends i have...) I learned quite a bit about some of the circumstances that MANY russians have to deal with living in these dorms. and i was surprised with how much i understood without understanding anything that was being said. I get acting now.... its intriguing.
the other neat thing we had was a sports night and exchanges with the zone leaders. i learned a lot from the zone leaders, and the sports night was cool because it was looking like it was going to be a huge failure... but we had some faith and it worked out! the branch here is already becoming so much stronger. I'm excited to see it grow more.
well, outta time
i love you all and hope all is well back in america / canada...