Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pray for the work to move forward in Russia!

Dear all,
today was a nutso P-day we went rollerblading with the district. and went to the souvenir renik. in one of the pictures i am jumping a four step staircase.
So we had this one investigator katia who is 50 and works at a dome, helped her carry her groceries and gave her a book a couple weeks ago. we met with her and she is way interested. she called the other day saying the director of the place she works yelled at her for talking to foreigners and he swore at her and stuff. basixcallyy she sayes that she will call in two months when she leaves that work. promising? we a have a coulple other weak sauce investigators but the fact of the matter is we need to find a lot of new investigators this transfer for this area to get rolling. the mission is really focusing on new investigators right now and its way megga hard. it basically comes doun to raw contacting, cuz the refferal pool is not filling up any time soon. a lot of work here is planting seeds.
Ways we contact might be handing out liahonas (ensigns) around a fountain and sitting and talking with people, occasionally sharing lessons on the spot. proven to be somewhat effective. chalk drawing is apparently the bees knees and we are gonna be doing that friday with the district hopefully. getting rejected so many times a day cant be healthy, but who ever said the mission is healthy? not me. so heres the deal what the heck is a creative contacting idea that isnt way awkward and might be illegal/legal depending on where you are? i dont know, but we all know that the real way is the Spirit. I suppose i just answered my own question and called myself to repentance at the same time.
Im running low on time.
Love you guys,
Eldr Paul

Hope you all enjoy Elder Paul's grammar as much as we do! Thank you for all of your love and support for Elder Paul!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Letter to the Boys at Scout Camp

This weeks e-mail is a message to the boys in our stake who will be attending scout camp. The stake president requested that the stake Young Men's president collect letters from missionaries currently serving to insire the younger boys in the stake to want to serve missions. Here is what Elder Paul had to say to them:

Dear scouts under the authority of President Ivie,

I am currently sitting in the middle of Moscow Russia in an internet club where a bunch of russian teenagers are playing computer games and cussing their heads off. How cool is that? I have made so many lifelong friends, both missionaries and russian people. I have grown spiritually in a way that I could never imagine. Right now more than any other time in my life I realize what is really most important to me, I have a clear idea of what I will do in my future, I am learning and speaking the coolest language in the world, but most of all, I know who Jesus Christ is and what he wants me to do. The blessings that come from serving a mission are more than you can ever imagine. My family is blessed, as well as my friends. Serving a mission is the greatest fun in the world. More fun than hanging out with friends back home, more fun than dumb girls, I would even go so far as to say that it is more fun than scout camp.
In the first are where I served in north Moscow in one of the biggest branches in Russia, I had the opportunity to get to know and to help activate a 23 year old kid named Vitaly. Coolest kid ever! We got him stoked about serving a mission and we got him back to church. Right now he has put in his papers and he is waiting for his mission call! The other week I saw his mom in the church building and she thanked me for helping her son come back to church and decide to serve a mission. That was one moment on my mission that I will never forget, a mother's thanks for helping her son do what the Lord called him to do-that is, save lives in the kingdom of our father. No greater joy will you receive than reuniting in heaven with those you helped towards Christ while you served on your mission.
Cherish the time you have now to prepare to go on your missions. If there is one thing I wish I could have done better, it would be to study more before my mission and prepare myself better through reading my scriptures daily, reading preach my gospel, and talking to my nonmember friends about the Doctrine of Christ.
It is my wish and my prayer that you will prepare yourselves, and be worthy to go on the greatest adventure of your life, and unite in the army of god for the salvation of souls. Have a nice camp.

Elder Paul

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

An Ode to the FIRST YEAR!

We had culture night last night and it was PHENOMENAL! it was the national dance show and boy was it good! and you can get a glimpse. absolutely amazing you have no idea, and we met all of the cast afterwards up close and personal. super great show. also you might have to have dayne confirm this, but the new cool fraze for aussies to say if their parents ask them to do something or something, they say "too easy" obviosly the cool thing to say so maybe you can hook the US up with some dross lingo. who knows.
ALso this transfer i have come to a whole new realization of what missionary work is. I cant quite explain it, but i think because of this realization i will be a more effective missionary. we had speciallized training the other yesterday ands alls i was like is like "too easy" cuz it just clicked, ye know? i dunno, just way psycho stuff is comin up soon. tommory i will have been on my mission for a year so here is an ode to a year on my mission:

One year ago i WOULD be caught dead in an american baggy suit,
I WOULD be picky when i ate,
I would speak one language well,
I was all about driving cars,
i slept like a dog,
and my spiritual level was at a 5%

Today, I wouldnt e caught dead in a baggy american suit,
I WILL eat meat jello, kvas and cucumber/tomato salad-and LOVE it
I Speak two languages badly,
I can stand my ground on the metro,
i sleep like a BRICK,
and my spiritual level is between a 10and a 15%

As you can see, I have changed probably for the better, but other than those things, im the exact same ive decided. well not really. but whatever.

You guys are awesome, the importance of families is more than you can imagine. and not just families but eternal families.

I love you guys,

Elder Paul

It is crazy how fast time flies! Thank you to all of those who have supported Mitchell through the first HALF of his mission! One year of humor filled weekly e-mails down and one to go!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Perhaps the Largest Ward in Russia

(Notice the short sleeves and sunshine in these pictures! It's about time!)

so some of these pictures are from last weeks adventure to a contacts daughter's birthday party. Great fun it was and the cutest little 2 year old girl kept feeding me and elder nielson leaves. we had shashleek and it was fantastic, we met with them again and gave them a book of mormon and he said he would read, so we will see what happens with that! Also our golden investigator is awesome! he will be done with the book of mormon in a week (thats two weeks total) and he will then begin the doctrine and covenants. he is a great, normal person and we will be passing him on saturday because he actually lives in my old area.
we are still working on finding new investigators, that is our biggest challenge right now.
bust this is really the greatest work ever! i am so tired but i keep gettig pumped up. crazy stuff is happening right now in the mission now that we have a stake!
Conference and everything was fantastic. our branch is now a ward, perhaps the largest ward in russia, and our last branch president is now the second councellor in the stake presidency. We have a patriarch and so many elders are becoming high priests. the future of the church in moscow is going to be insane, but its crazy how right now the church is only just beginning here. a lot of our work involves planting seeds for the future of the church here.
today we got a vacuum for our appartment because it hasnt been vacuumed in years...well, at least months, but its clean now. just gettin stuff done.
Thank you for all your prayers.
hmm. well I guess thats it...if there is any advice i could give you its that stuff happens in the Lord's time.
Have a wonderful week!
Love, Elder Paul

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Stoked about the work, and tie shopping!

So this past week has been really crazy, im working harder than i ever have before. the language is no longer a concern, but there is much to be improved.
We met a guy from english club who was interested in religion on saturday morning with a member who got off a mission 2 years ago. the investigators name is sergey and he is 34 years old has glasses, a mustache, and he is 6'3" he is a great guy. the meeting we had with him was the first lesson and it was probably the best meeting with an investigator that I have yet had. He didn’t argue with anything. He accepted a book of Mormon and agreed to come to an event that we had that night that was a Book of Mormon Fireside with the Moscow lds choir. PERFECT! He, after walking around the city and reading the book of mormon all day, came to the fireside and LOVED it. He has questions about the plan of salvation, which we agreed to discuss in detail in the next meeting. He will be at English club today, but he couldn’t make it to church Sunday cuz he has a business trip. But anyways, the guy is golden! And we just met another guy yesterday named Giorgie who has two young daughters and one of them has a birthday today and he asked us to come to his place. Way nice guy who is stoked about learning about religion. coincidence? I think not.

So yeah great stuff goin on right now, we went contacting yesterday and talked to three punk kids who hate America, so that was fun. We are all so stoked about the stake and we have a meeting for all missionaries on Monday with elder Nelson. so yeah everything is fantastic here, except I have never been more exhausted in my life! And there will be three baptisms from our branch on Friday and Saturday, so that’s awesome, none from us yet, but soon enough.

I have to get going, we are going tie shopping at the market with elder Nielson and Breedlove today, so we are stoked!

Love, Elder Paul

* The first stake in Russia will be formed this upcoming Sunday June 5th and Elder Paul is in Russia to be a part of it! What an incredible time to be a part of the work!