Well it was a pretty busy week filled with a few good stories. But I’m not sure how much time i really have to write about them.
I do want to talk about General Conference though.
Many of you probably assume I speak and understand Russian quite well now. Well... you know the phrase about assuming... and you're wrong. I don't understand Russian... Still!
This caused me a little concern with conference coming up. We watch it a week late here so that the branches can all receive the DVD with conference and the voice-over translations. Which means I was going to have to watch 10 hours of conference all in Russian. I was a little worried about that. Just 3 hours of Russian church makes my head explode and want to take a weeklong vacation. So I prayed quite a bit in preparation to hear prophets and apostles speak in behalf of Christ... in Russian. Later in the week our district leader asked if I would want to watch it in English. YES! that would be fantastic. So I was put a little at ease the day before we would listen. Well Saturday morning came and we waited for the members to show up. A few came. But not the member with the keys to the family history center where we had planned to watch conference! So... conference began... I tried intently to listen and understand while jotting down notes. And to my surprise, after the first talk I had a page of notes! I must have understood?! the first session went on and I continued to listen, understand (not perfectly) and learn. What helped me the most was the things that I learned for myself from the thoughts and the impressions that the Spirit gave me as I listened. Sure I didn't really understand the sentences spoken.. But I understood the concepts, and the Spirit was able to fill in the gaps. I listened and took notes for the first 3 sessions, and learned a good amount. Finally for the Sunday afternoon session the member with the keys showed up and we were able to watch some talks in English. This was much better. I am grateful that I was able to learn from listening in Russian, But i am also very grateful for the opportunity I had to hear what the Lord wanted me to learn in my own language. And well... That’s why I must learn this stinkin' tough language. I need to give those hear the opportunity to learn the Lord's teaching in THEIR own language so that the Spirit can more easily testify to them of its truth.
Anyway, I'm still getting used to the new area and companion. It’s a little hard to change, but I’m really glad for the change.
well I have to end now.
love you all.
love, Elder Ellis