We woke up this morning to a few inches of really wet snow! I guess winter has officially started here.
It has been quite a busy week. Here are a few highlights from each day:
On Monday, we met with a member from Ghana who was baptized a few years ago in Samara, Russia. One of the things I love about serving a mission is that you get to meet lots and lots of new members. Each of them just glows and truly reflects the light of Christ. When I asked her how she met the missionaries, she told me the story and said, “Yeah. And they saved my life. It’s amazing!” A nice reminder of why we are here — the Gospel saves lives!
We had a couple of good meetings on Tuesday. One of them was with our investigator from Japan. We met at her house and used her ipad to facetime with the sister missionaries in Japan. They also brought a member along with them. I think it was really helpful for our investigator to hear some of the answers to her questions in her native language. It was fun to see the sister missionaries teach a lesson in Japanese. It’s amazing to think about how the gift of tongues has blessed so many lives.
On Wednesday, we enjoyed an exchange with the sister missionaries in a city that is right outside of Moscow. It was fun to teach some lessons in Russian again. So far, I haven’t forgotten everything in Russian!
On Thursday, we got to teach a new investigator who is from the Philippines. It was probably one of my favorite lessons that I have taught on my mission. She is very open to reading the Book of Mormon and finding out if it is true. I am excited for our next lesson with her this week.
Friday was a busy day! I was with another sister in our area and we had a great day. I always learn so much from exchanges and this time was no different. She gave me lots of ideas for how to improve some teaching skills. One of the meetings we had was with a church member from the Philippines. I felt strongly that we should visit her that day, and it became more clear why when we were with her. She was so grateful that we had come to uplift her and help her feel the Holy Spirit. It is always reassuring when you receive confirmation that you are working with the Spirit.
Saturday’s highlight was our service project. One of the American members recruited us to volunteer at a craft fair at the Anglo-American school. The school is really beautiful and there were kids and parents from all over the world. The craft fair was pretty elaborate, and it was fun to make some connections with more international people.
In September, I sent you this:
“I was companions with Sister R. [Emma’s Missionary Training Center companion] again for one day and it was a lot of fun! We met with a young woman from the Ivory Coast who is studying here. She told us that she wanted to develop a closer relationship with God and make Him more of a priority in her life.”
Fast forward to October . . . That was the first lesson with her, and since then she came to church once (before I was here). After that, the sister missionaries lost contact with her for a few weeks. This week she texted us and told us that she was in the hospital and didn’t have her phone so she couldn’t reply. She said she wanted to meet and come to church. We were thrilled! On Sunday she came to church for the second time and absolutely loved it. Her husband is living here too. It seems like most of the Africans here are either not married or have a spouse living in Africa. She works in the Ivory Coast Embassy, so she is pretty solid. She said her husband wants to come to church next week too! She loves reading the Book of Mormon and said that she knows it is the word of God. We will meet later this week, so I am excited to see her continue to learn.
Another investigator from Malaysia came to church too. She is a student here studying to be a heart surgeon and speaks many languages. She is of Indian ethnicity, and used to be Catholic but hasn’t found a church here in Moscow.
This week should be great! I am headed to Riga, Latvia [where Jason served his mission], to renew my visa tomorrow and Yaroslavl later in the week. There is a lot to handle with traveling and keeping up our area, but hopefully we can do it.
This week I was able to spend some time reviewing the General Conference talks [see conference.lds.org] (So grateful for our ipod touch!). I felt like there was a lot of instruction about the Sacrament, so this week, I tried to apply some of the principles I learned. It was a powerful experience as I really tried to understand the significance of the Sacrament and think about it more throughout the week.
It sounds like you all enjoyed Elder Klebingat’s talk [see https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/10/approaching-the-throne-of-god-with-confidence?lang=eng]. It was also one of my favorites! He is in my ward technically [Elder Klebingat, the former mission president of the Ukraine Kyiv Mission currently serves in the East European Area Presidency which is headquartered in Moscow]. So far, I have only seen Sister Klebingat, but maybe I’ll have a chance to meet him while I am here.
President and Sister Borders held training for the Relief Society, Primary, and Young Women’s presidents this weekend. All of these auxiliary leaders traveled to Moscow. I got to see some of my favorite members from Lipetsk! The training was all day long and everyone learned so much. I translated for President and Sister Borders for the second half, and it was exhausting. I think it went okay though, and I hope I got all of the ideas across that they had hoped for. I loved meeting all of the leaders from each of the outer cities. There are some amazing members in Russia! They all have that special glow about them and work so hard to fulfill their callings.
Sister Grover is serving from the Summit View Ward.