At one point it involved going to a mental hospital that was run by the Eastern Orthodox Church, wandering around the grounds, and then finally finding the member we were supposed to meet. We read the Book of Mormon with him through the bars of a window, and then gave him a blessing also through the bars. Stuff you can't replace.
We had a couple of experiences this last week where we were able to give some of our time to service. Going into service, we must always have an open mind and try to be joyful and do it willingly. If not, absolutely no one benefits from it. 1. The person does not feel the genuine love and they feel like a burden. 2 We are "wasting our time" 3. We are not open to feel the Spirit in an activity that we could very easily feel the presence of the Holy Ghost if we just soften our hearts 4. If not done willingly or sincerely (Just like praying) it counts for nothing, and can in reverse be held against us. We must change the word "burden" to "blessing".
This last week there was a situation where Elder Durtschi and I saw 2 different things, but were looking at the same exact thing. A couple came onto the bus with a stroller and twins inside. We helped them on and the bus got going. Everyone on the bus was completely dead looking and not a smile was to be seen. It was the end of a long work day for many and the bus was completely silent. The moment these twins were on the bus, smiles started appearing on all of the faces of those that saw them. People started having conversations between themselves, complementing the parents on how cute the twins were, and the light of the trolleybus was brighter. We were also coming back after a long day of doing a book table in another area with other Elders and I did not notice this at all. Only until after when Elder Durtschi mentioned it, did I realize that is was 100% true and gained a small testimony of the Christlike light of two little 1 year olds. Without Elder Durtschi sharing with me what he saw, I would have never known or even thought of it. God gives us moments of understanding and happiness and then expects us to share them with others. We all see the world differently at times, help others see how God's hand is in your life and help them recognize His hand in their's.
Elder Durtschi was asked to speak at church and he chose a subject. On Friday, we were at the ward and a member walked in and asked what topic he would speak about. She said, "My husband is talking on that subject and using that exact same talk, you have to change or he will have a heart attack." This was not a coincidence and he had to start over on his talk with a day to go. He was distraught, but we brainstormed and his talk was even better than the first and it helped a lot of people. It was all grammatically correct, he had a great story, great verses, but the best part of the talk was when in his broken Russian he shared his testimony. The Spirit was the strongest when he was not grammatically correct or elegant of speech. The spirit is the most important part and we invite the Spirit when we testify with a sincere heart.
Read through Mosiah 21: 6-13 and discuss the characters in the story and what role they all play. Assign the King the role of God and see how it can apply to you. Then continue with 14-16 and consider to yourself what level of trust is between you and God at this very moment and pray to ask God how you can strengthen it.
We went to Maidon (the Main City Center of Kyiv), the Chernobyl museum, and bought a pig head from the market. What fun that created! Just trying to "take it apart" and cook it was a fascinating adventure.
Have a great week!
Here is a photo from the Chornobyl Museum
Those are mannequins there by me.
Here are a couple of photos from Maidon - the City Center in Kyiv