Elder Western and I spent a lot of time at the beginning of the week cleaning the baptismal font from top to bottom. It looks great and is better than ever. We were preparing for our Baptism that weekend.
I went up to Kiev to drop him off and received my new son, Elder Glade! Elder Glade is great and full of energy. He is from Washington State and ran track in High school. He did a summer semester at BYU and is 18. We had a great meeting in Kiev with President and his wife and then we headed back down to good old Odessa.
Me & Elder Glade
The next morning we had a World-Wide missionary training video that we watched where some of the apostles and missionary directors talked and gave out great advice. Elder Klebingat (of the Seventy) was in the area this week so he visited the mission and he and the Packers came to my branch for Church on Sunday. I found out the night before that he would interview me personally. Wow it was a stressful stretch until Sunday at times. In the end it all went very smoothly and we had a great turnout at church. Elder Glade was able to give his testimony and I was called up to the stand last second to bless the sacrament which was a great experience. I remembered back when I read over it 100 times before I blessed it in the MTC in Russian and it was great to see the difference. All three hours of Church were great and then we were able to have a fireside that night where there was a Q&A and all of the surrounding wards piled in for that.
The next day we had a zone conference with Elder Klebingat and the Packers. We were taught a lot and honestly this week I have learned more than I think I can retain. Lot's of great stuff. In the meanwhile I can't imagine what my companion was thinking about his first week in Ukraine. Quite the eventful week with visiting authorities and the Mission President.
Odessa Zone with E. Klebingat in the center with Pres & Sis Packer and Bro & Sis Mikkelson on the ends
We had P-day changed to today this week because of the zone conference yesterday. The baptism that we had scheduled did not occur because of some family emergencies, but I am positive it will happen. Perhaps the rest of his family will now be more open to the gospel and more open to our message. Everything is a blessing, just depends on your vision.
One thing that stuck out to me this week is how important Repentance really is. We have been stressed as missionaries to not just check that principle off but "Teach repentance, and baptize converts." We were given a lot of information on this principle in zone conference. We then had the opportunity to have someone come in with the desire to repent and become better and we were able to teach him exactly what we had learned throughout the week and apply everything. Great week. Too much to re-tell.
Good deeds and our actions are multiplied 100x in Heaven and no effort goes wasted. Every day something happens whether we know of it or not depending on our example, words, or deeds. Try to always be the light that God can see on the earth and help raise the warning voice.