Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Beady Eyes from the Crack of the Cupboard

Dear all,
This week we met with a slightly older couple. She is a member and he is not, so we were thinking maybe a new investigator...not quite. We had an excellent meeting with here and we sang an all was great, but he did not want to join in. As we were at the door saying goodbye, he was standing in the cupboard with the door open a crack, watching us. I waved and said goodbye to him. the air settled. No reply. In the background the din of the television- "if i were a rich man" from fiddler on the roof- growing steadily louder and louder. My stone cold smile never faded that day. As we left all i could remember was the old mans wrinkled brow and beady eyes glaring me down from the crack of the cupboard door.
So the work is going great! its harder than ever, but great things are happening. We have met with many members with the purpose to gain their trust and eventually meet with an investigator in their house. all who we have asked have thus far agreed! this is truly a miracle in Russia-many people are uncomfortable with having people in their home, so we are grateful...all we need now are some investigators. Vitaly is getting stoked about serving a mission, and the other vitaly (investigator) has been under the weather, but we hope to meet with him soon. I had a contact on the metro who we will be meeting with on saturday-total stud guy, so we will see what happens.
We have been stoked about contacting, and the landlady loved our banana bread to death, so im going to have to translate the recipe for her.

The weather has been nice, i can see the sun today, so thats pretty special. the days are gradually getting longer.

Tea is the best thing in the world.

Stay warm, i hear its pretty cold over there...

Oh yeah, i gave my training on Love and Members...It was well, everyone was stoked about working with the members and meeting in members houses with investigators (thanks to papas email awhile back)

Thanks for your love and support.

Love and Support, Elder Paul

Monday, January 24, 2011

Not to Worry - Mitch is Safe!

Some of you may have heard of the bombing in Moscow. We recieved word from Mitchell's mission president that all of the elders in the mission are safe. Not to worry!

- Dee, Jean, Katrina, Zanna & Delaney

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A shared passion for Back to the Future!

Well, Thanks for the letter. Lets just say this week has probably been one of the most tiring brain-busting weeks of my mission@!and probably life
The first or second day that me and Elder Ablett were together i contacted a man on the metro. We met with him a couple days or even a day later and pretty much gave him the first and second lesson combined and he is so awesome. he is probably 47 years old. he is happily married and has a nineteen year old daughter. He believes that the russian orthodox chuch is incorrect because in ways they support smoking and drinking, and they dont help to strengthen the family. and best of all, he LOVES back to the Future! he speaks little english, but understands a lot. We taught him all in Russian though cuz thats better. He his coming with his daughter to english club tonight and we are going to meet an hour early and get to know him better. Pretty much im stoked for this guy-names Vitaly. Keep him in your prayers.
So that was probably the highlight of the week. Aside from that, we had district meeting and that went well, i gave the training on obedience, and Elder Ablett and I taught the gospel principles class on sunday.
I sat next to crazy sash in priesthood and after asking me to help him publish his book or something he started clipping his nails with scissors!
We made banana bread and gave it to some members and investigators. The ladies at the flower stand by the metro love us and they gave us a free rose. A man walked up to us and after looking at our badges for a second, he called us a cult and walked away. We met with a man and his business partner who tried to get us to join his business, after we specifically told him we did not want to talk about business, but we invited them to english club and church and they should be there tonight.
Today i got some Armenian music that should be allowed-we will see.
Well so thats my first week with elder ablett, we are stoked out of our minds!
Enjoy the picturs and enjoy a week
Also Vitaly is awesome and im sure hes gonna get baptized as well as his daughter and wife, so keep him in your prayers!
I love you all and I Love my calling and am doing the hardest work that i can.
Love Elder Paul

Mitch and companion Elder Ablett on the Metro

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Holidays are over, and it's about to get crazy!


Well last day of the transfer and we finally have our tags back on as of yesterday, it makes it a lot easier to contact because people pretty much start the conversation by staring at your tag.
This past few days has been way warm, like 1 degree cels (33.8 degrees F), and the ice on the top of the buildings yesterday was all melting and falling off in huge chunks. Im sure some cars got smashed. and it woke me up in the morning cuz it fell on our balcony roof thing. but yeah, nice weather.

The district is going to be 50 percent different. every companionship is changing. Elder Nielson is leaving Lobnia and going out to Z-grad out in the middle of nowhere. But I know all the missionaries coming in because pretty much everyone knows each other in the mission. A new elder and two new sisters come in today. So that’s kinda cool, I will no longer be the youngest Elder in the mission-already more than a quarter of the way through my mission.

The other morning after my shower, we heard banging on our door. A drunk girl was out in our padezd kicking on doors and sitting down talking, screaming and then just crying. It was kinda nuts, but no big deal I guess.

Lots of big stuff coming up cuz the holidays are over, so we are finally going to get to meet with and baptize people, it’s about time!

Oh so I bought something from a Babushka the other day, and she gave me a free pair of ski shoes that are ancient, probably used in soviet times. they aren’t ski boots but ski shoes.

We have during the holidays met with a lot of Inactives and that will be nice to activate some of these people.

Other than that, it’s been kinda slow over the holidays as far as investigators go, but it’s about to get crazy with me and Elder Ablett goin crazy.

Thanks for everything. Reading and studying has brought me to a more personal relationship with Jesus Christ. That is key, is our testimony of the Savior, in particular his atonement.

Elder Paul

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Reuniting with the MTC companion and DL!

Dear Family,

I have some pretty big news this week. Hopefully i can make this email a little longer than some of my last ones because i know how much you love to hear from me. So as you know, the holidays have been a little crazy. Very few meetings and we still have our tags off, even thought the whole stani thing is pretty much over and done with. President scheduled a lot of the meetings for this first week because its a hard time to get meetings, so we had a training already and zone conference. At zone conference we finished up our Book of Mormon reading with the questions: How can i become a better Missionary? and How can i strengthen Faith in Christ? It was an awesome experience. I dont think i will ever read the book of Mormon without a purpose or question in mind again.
So at the training that i had at presidents house (about 20 missionaries there) he pulled people aside to talk to them about transfers. Its nice because in our mission transfers isn’t really a secret or a huge surprise. I think that is the right way to do it...but anyway, i found out my transfer!
Oh before i forget, next tuesday will be p-day because transfers will be on wednesday the 12th!
...I will be serving with ELDER ABLETT!!! I am staying in my area and elder Ablett will be coming up to me! Is that crazy or what? And it seems that I will be serving as District Leader as well, so we will see how that goes, seeing as I can hardly speak the language. I’m super excited to serve with elder Ablett- we are going to be the youngest companionship in the mission and it will be a great growing opportunity for both of us. Aside from Learning the Language at an accelerated rate, I’m sure that we will learn how to be leaders in the mission field. It’s a great opportunity and I couldn’t hope for it to be any other way. I always hoped to serve with Elder Ablett again, I just didn’t think it would be this soon! I am going to be his second companion in the mission field and he will be my third! haha so nuts, anyways...everything is going great, i set a bunch of new years goals, one of which is to read Jesus the Christ. I have never read it before and i hear that its a great testimony builder. Oh i also plan on doing push ups every day, i didnt specify how many, so i suppose thats a good thing I made some other goals, ranging from spiritual, mission related, physical, and Language goals...This will be the one year in my life that i will be dedicated to nothing but the Lord and doing his work. So i figured it is important for me to set some goals that will help me to become a more effective tool for the Lord.

Not too many crazy experiences this week, like i said its mostly just been meetings and stuff. Oh, Happy Christmas by the way! the 7th is the Russian Orthodox Christmas here, so yeah, Happy Christmas

Tell the family that I love them and tell yourselfs that you love yourselves, because without love, all we have is hatred and awful dark secret combinations. So let your light so shine. I will end this letter by testifying of Faith. Faith is like a meter of power. The more we exercise it by reading the scriptures and praying and such, the higher the meter goes. And much like on Tony Hawks Pro Skater, when the meter is flashing you can do special moves and get a lot of points. so yeah, get your faith meter flashing and then you can do some wicked awesome moves and make all the other gamers jealous.
I love this work and i love my mission!

Love elder paul!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Moscow is Beautiful, My life is Beautiful!

so transfers are the 12th. New years has been so really cant do too much missionary work. I have been indoors for the past two days. we watched shrek foreveer and how to train your dragon. loved them.
Almost couldnt write home today all the stores are closed, but we came to the packards house, so that was nice of them.
I havent taken too many pictures as of late so please excuse me for my laziness.
I have never actually made new years resolutions...any that you can think of?
Moscow is beautiful, My life is beautiful.
thanks for everything you do, im afraid i dont have too much time today to write home we have to be in by six tonight.
I love you all and i love the work!
Love Elder Paul

Mitchell on Christmas with his presents, including the shirt and tie - Happy Elder : )