First off, I will be staying in Voskresensky for another transfer but I will receive a missionary that is going to be in his 3rd transfer. Elder Reese is going to Nikolaiev, which is near Odessa. Loved my time with Elder Reese! We had a great District!
There is a less-active that is bedridden. He can't really do much and sometimes that leads to smoking... I have gone over to his apartment almost weekly for 6 months and finally I just really sat down and gave it some deep thought on how to help him. I then remembered a member from Center Odessa that has a leg problem and more or less is home all the time. I then remembered that he has done nearly 80,000 names for Family History work. We set up a call between them on skype and it was great. Our member really got interested and hopefully that is how he can do the work and also get a great hobby. We found out on the call that the other member in Odessa is now up to 104,000 names... crazy.
Our Bishop had his 50th Birthday celebration and we were invited. It seems that every thing I "miss" back home is always made up here! (I missed my dad's 50th birthday last fall) It was fun to be at and a bummer because we had to leave before it finished to get home on time, but in all reality we were probably invited for set-up and clean up crew ;) fun time though.
50th Birthday Party - I arranged those cups!
Pizza & Sardine Sandwiches...
Hard to explain, but I was again really just thinking about where we could tract to find a family / person. In my head we were riding the 28 tramvai and I saw a couple of buildings out of the window to the left. The next day we stopped by that very place and magically we got in. Usually there is the first outer door that is locked, then a person that guards the building, and then separately locked doors on each level of the building. This building we got in when a couple of people came out, there was no person to stop us, the elevator was already open for us, and on each floor the outer door was also unlocked. 14 floors and 7 doors on each floor and we started from the top. On the 12th floor I could honestly say that I felt the love for the people behind the doors and knew we were in the right place and then on the 11th a woman opened and started to bawl. Her husband had recently passed away and she had the feeling that God had left her. We were able to give her a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and then went back 3 days later and she had read it a number of times and asked for more so we then gave her a Book of Mormon and now have her contact. Hope that all goes well! From the Building we were able to give out 3 Books of Mormon and that was a pretty good ratio for the number of doors there.
We had a night that had absolutely no plan and we started thinking what we could do to use our time wisely. The idea came to our heads that there was seminary. We have been trying to connect with a couple of the Priest aged young men in the ward and we set up a ping-pong night with refreshments after Seminary. It all went great and while being there we had a walk-in that we were able to teach. The activity went great and us sitting in on Seminary helped the teacher too.
We had a less-active open up to us this last week. I always mix up the names Sergei and Andrei and we wanted to meet with a Sergei but accidentally got in touch with the Andrei but it was for the better, luckily. He hasn't been to Church for 7 years, has a 4 year old kid and wife that left him about a year ago and he has zero direction in his life at this point. We pointed him to the temple and we are now starting to emphasize that with everyone we meet that isn't endowed/doesn't attend. That is the ultimate goal and all steps lead to it.
I sat back and observed an instance on a trolleybus this last week: 2 men got on that seemed to know each other. One was obviously an overall happy person and you could see in his countenance/eyes that he was such. The other seemed really like he had years of hardship that had taken their toll on him and not happy at all. It was also visible in his eyes. Guess who payed for the bus ride and who didn't? Guess who said, "Hi" to the ticket lady and guess who acted like he was going to pay but put the money back in his pocket when she didn't notice him. The difference was obvious. It is a promise that as we on a consistent basis make right decisions, the Holy Ghost will be with us and we will have a light about us. Choices will be as clear as "daylight and the dark of night." I had no right to judge those two men on the bus, but I saw the difference.
For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night.
I hope that you all have a great week!
We had an awesome District! Here are a couple of great photos...
Yes, I am in focus because I know how to jump and hold "still" :)
Can you guess what I am doing here???