Tons of great stuff this week. I have been able to give a lot of blessings in English here, but on Monday night I was able to give my first full blessing in Russian and it was awesome. I know for a fact it was not all correct, I also know for a fact the grammar and enunciation didn't matter to the big man upstairs either. It was a cool experience.
We had an exchange with the Elders that live with us for half of the week and then they headed off to their area for the other half. I lost Elder Western and picked up Elder Simmons for a couple days. One of the main points of exchanges is to help a missionary become better and it is a good time for correction/support. Before giving any sort of advice, this time I decided to go the scriptures and give it a day of prayer also, it helped out immensely so that I could know exactly what to say and how to say it.
At English Class this week we talked about New Years Resolutions and some things really stuck out to me. A quote that was mentioned by someone was, "Best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago... when is the next best day?" I really liked the thought of that and then someone used the analogy of a new computer and how over time it just gets slower and slower and finally you just need to clear everything off and start new and then related it to the Atonement. One of our investigators who is near baptism said, "I don't think that we need to necessarily clear everything off, we just need to avoid all of that junk in the first place." To hear that from an investigator was awesome! Through reading chapters in Alma I picked up a few things that can help with Resolutions.
Alma 48:5 Satan knows our strengths, places of resort, and weaknesses...
9 - we must put all of our "numbers" in the weakest places to resist
Alma 49: 3 Satan will attack the previously weak points over and over with confidence
4 - how great will be his disappointment be if we make these weak areas strong.
New Years Eve... wow. We had to be indoors by 5 and we hit up McDonald's for lunch to celebrate. We then bought a whole lot of cookies (Super Conteek)
and then a whole lot of potatoes, cheese, salsa and chicken. It was a good night. I had as many cheese fries as one man can possible eat!
And then we slammed (what we call when we drink the milk through the cookies).
Besides all of the food, at around 12:10am I woke up to the noise of fireworks and was even able to see a few outside the window. I got up and yelled and woke everyone else up and then it took a while to try and get back asleep.
The coolest part of New Years Eve though was a phone call I received from a past investigator whose friend we are currently teaching. Our previous investigator was sincerely worried about the decision making that the 22 year old (Edward) would be making that night and called to tell us to pray for him, call him, and possibly meet with him for the night to try to help him stay out of trouble. At this point it was past 5 but we were able to call him and share some scriptures and tell him to choose the right and so on. He asked if he could come hang out at our apartment and I had to say no but that would have been kinda fun. I was impressed about the sincerity this person had that he went out of his way to call us to ask us for our help in helping this 22 year old out. It was impressive and made me see the perspective of a Parent/good friend /God.
Great week here in Central Odessa. It got REALLY cold here this last week.