Monday, October 24, 2011

Member Missionaries

Dear Family and Friends,
So in the past five days we have been working hard, one think we tried doing the other day for a few hours with our district members was singing hymns outside the metro. i cant sing very well, so i just contacted. Pretty much everyone was friendly except for a matushka, a nun lady from the russian orthodox church, i started to walk up to her ans she said, you better not walk here. and then she flipped out on me and said that i was jehovas witness. i told her that we werent and then she said that we dont have a patriarch and then i told her that we did and then she went on again about how we were jehovas witness and how she hated our guts. but its all good, cuz i talked to this family who was way loving it, and although i didnt get their number, they have a bunch of information about the church. seed has been planted.
So singing might be happening more often, cuz we have some good singers in our district.
When we were on our way to singing, we bumped into someone who i had met 4 transfers ago in arbatski. his name is diego and he is from italy and he has a russian wife. we bumped into him and his wife, whom i had never met, and they are the happiest couple in the world. He had known the missionaries in italy since he was 19 but never got baptised, was caught up on a few things, but he loved the activities of the church and he always went to sports day and stuff. we will hopefully meet with them in the coming week and maybe even make italian pizza with them!
President Sorenson's Daughter and her family are in town and on saturday their grandson was baptised and we went to the baptism with maxim and he enjoyed it. Yesterday we had 4 investigators at church, so that was really good. One of them is kinda muslim and he is the captain of a ship. he enjoyed church and said he would come again. The ward is doing a really good job at bringing their friends to church and doing missionary work, its nuts, ive never seen it so good. Two sundays in a row now there have been two or three nonmember friends in attendance. If we are ever going to get a temple here, member missionary work is going to have to explode, and from what i can tell it is doing just that.
This week we helped a member take all of her possessions to a train station across town. there were three of us and 6 of the heaviest bags you can imagine, it was exhausting and i am still sore.
I am at 72 push ups right now, and i have been really hungry lately.
So the reason for the money spending is i got Michael and Sterling and Michaels Mom, and you guys some little christmas presents, the only thing im worried about is the cost to send it out. we will see what happens, but i think i getting better at budgeting my money..well im working on it.
Still dont know about transfers in a week and a half, and i still dont know about my release date, im trying not to think about it, but as the late Elder Nielson warned me, It really does end. Its really all about taking it day by day and giving each day your all, and the same applies for life, because it really does end, and we have such a limited time. Our charge is to help as many people as we can feel and act upon the love of Christ and recieve the blessings that our Father is so willing to give us.
I love you guys way mega a lot and think about and pray for you daily.
Love, Elder Paul

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A video clip of Mitch that found! Enjoy!

A Russian Shapka for Elder Paul

And before i forget, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to mom and delaney! how old are you anyway, like 50? and delaney is what now, 13?
happyiest of birthdays from russia. buy yourself a bag of jet puffed marshmallows from me.
love you bye
BIG NEWS Pday is now on monday so i will be writing you again in a few days. I made a necessary purchase today, i got a real russian shapka. also this morning i did 70 push-ups without stopping. If im not mistaken, those are the two requsites to being a man.
Twosday we went on a split and i was in my old area with elder hamp, my district leader. we had a wonderful time. in the meantime, elder white and the Elder Roberts met with Maxim and he has been praying and accepted to follow the WOW for some time to see how it works. Its nice to have a progressing investigator.
Sister Sorenson had a birthday yesterday and we had a mission conference. She is a wonderful woman and President Sorenson is just as kind and loving. I am so glad to have them as my Mission President for my whole mission.
In other news, i recieved you package with my jeans thank you much, and i got a package from the wonderful Sister Watterson! she is the nicest lady in the world, and she sure knows how to send a package. I got her i little something special today that i will hopefully send to her on monday. I love the Mike and Mitch play list, its fantastic! Tell her how much i love her and how grateful i am to her and her son who is my best friend.
I got some stuff for you too, i will try to send it next week.
The work i9s going on here, and allthough it is difficult, miracles do not cease. You guys are the greatest. I dont feel as inclined to write as much this week becouse i will write on monday, but enjoy these pictures for now. This is the hat i got, and the elder next to me is elder michael Roberts and he is a true saint. sorry the pictures blurry some random guy took it.
Love you all. Elder Paul

Monday, October 17, 2011

Another Week in Russia!

First of all, Happy Birthday Katrina! and second, thank you for the last package i got with the wart remover, it has proved to be a nasty business, but its about time i end it. As far as the family picture, i usually carry around a regular size but wallet size would be nice too.
My favorite thing about being a missionary is seeing people that you grow to love accept the Gospel and in doing so, change their lives. One great thing that happened this week is Maxim prayed for the first time. He is probably the most progressing investigator i have ever had and i love that guy. He has a great optimism and I can see him being a fantastic member. We met with him with the Walkers, a senior couple here, thay are wonderful, and talked about prayer and commitments. he came to general conference and enjoyed it. General Conference was fantastic! i took heaps of notes and keep referring back to them. I think my favorites were, the very first talk in the first session, Devn Cornish, and President Monsons in the saturday morning sessioon. yesterday we went on a split with the aps elder breedlove and elder Lex. I went with elder breedlove and we had a meeting with the stake president and his sister in law and her husband and the husband prayed for the first time, way awesome. Prayer, i would say, is a really really good thing.
so lots of birthdays coming up and i would send you all some gobstoppers as a gift, but they dont have those here, so pick yourselves up some gobstoppers, on me.
the weather is cooling and its getting hard to find new investigators, but so far this week we have found one. Im about to freak out on people nobody wants to change! we talked to some people on the split yesterday and they litterally said that because everyne is a sinner, we cant do anything about it, so in that case, its OKI to sin a little bit. Its OK TO SIN!! what the heck are they thinking?! it is so NOT okay to sin! geez wake up people!
I got a small package from elder sterling the other day that i really liked. at christmas tim last year i sent him a package and within was a russian daily planner. the other day he sent it back to me all filled out, it was pretty awesome. he also sent me a blank planner of the spanish language that i am responsible to use next transfer and send to him. i thought that was a good idea, it will cause me to be more responsibe for filling out my planner because i have to account to Sterling Gregory Adams the Elder.
Tonite at english club we are gonna talk about family and stuff we do with our families, so im excited about that. One thing i will tell them about is when me and Dad went to the amazon, thatd be cool;.
well i love you guys, and mom you're really good at picking out ties.
Love Elder Paul

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Watch out Mama!

Nice skirts! I got the first package with the shoes and candy (which i am bringing to english club tonight!) and i wish i would have told you but i forgot, i actually bought shoes two weeks ago, ones with fur inside and they are like half boots, they were not very expensive, but good quality and should last, but now i have a nice shoe collection to choose from, so its all good. Mike Watterson is the greatest guy ever, thanks for relaying that message that he wrote. Its crazy how similar our missions are, so we know what each of us are experiencing to some extent. what i would give to serve with him on the mission! tell his mom that winter is coming, and she knows what that means!
So really funny story i need to tell you first. We met our neighbor the other day and he is from armenia. we decided to go by his place one night with some fresh brownies and hopefully share a lesson with him. he is currently doing a remont and we knocked on his door and he invited us in, he seemed drunk. the land lady was there and she was quite nice and they asked us to sit down at the table (which was covered with vodka and cigarettes) they offered us to drink and we declined but of course they dont take no for an answer. water sufficed. out of another room comes another lady. sort of heavy middleage woman. we get talking and she is really drunk. she was nuts. we immediately got on the topic of religion as they asked why we were here and what may or may not be considered an argument arised on the topic as to why The Virgin Mary is called the (Богородица) meaning literally the birther of God, when she gave birth to Jesus Christ and not God. We explained it several times in many different ways, but they didnt catch. We found out that the second lady was an FSB agent and i showed her my family pictures. she freaked out when she saw dad! she thinks he is the most beautiful man in the world, and she went on about how incredible he is. It was hilarious. So watch out Mom for the Russian women.
so the most delicious thing that i ate this week must have been the bacon burger i made for lunch the other day, boy did that hit the spot. Also, we had a really good meeting with maxim who is progressing. we talked about the law of chastity and of course we joked around in parts of the lesson but in the end he understood the importance and although he did not commit to follow it, he agreed that if God does actually exist, then he would understand why it is so important. He is now attending institute regularly. We met with Roman and set a new baptisimal date and i really hope that works out. Hopefully we will get lots of people to church, as it is General conf. this weekend. I am feeling great, i havent been sick my whole mission, so i consider that a great blessing. I finished the Book in Russian and Im starting again, catching up with the mission. I love the scriptures, they give me strength. I can do 60 push-ups now non-stop, me and elder White are having a bit of a competition, so that helps to do morning exercise.
I love you guys. I love my mission. Every day is a spiritual experience. Every day i grow and further towards my potential. Maybe you could send me an updated family picture of you all together sometime when you get a chance, that would be nice to have in small size...the one at park city was great!
Thanks for everything you do! Love you,
Elder Oaul