Had some great experiences. We had a meeting at the Packer's home and really focused on preparing to pray. Really taking a moment before the prayer and focusing your thoughts. Getting up in the morning, splashing your face with some water and collecting your thoughts before you pray. I cannot tell you the amount of times that I have rolled out of bed in the morning and then not known whether I started or even finished or what had happened or if I was even still dreaming. I have really taken my prayers a lot more seriously this last week and have seen a huge difference in contacting and seeing God's hand more in my life.
My new companion is Elder Tolman who is from Utah. He wrestled and went to Mountain View High School. I have a lot to learn from him and a lot of great habits that I can pick up that will help me throughout life. He is a top notch missionary. He is the one in the Waffle Love shirt in the photo below.
Had an interesting experience this week. We went to a park to meet with an investigator that the previous Elders together had met. He had his wife there and even brought a friend. At one point it honestly felt like the Sermon on the Mount. There was a younger man sitting close by that wasn't opening up, some older man that was really pondering the message but wouldn't get over some points of doctrine, a person that just walked into the lesson and wanted to know more, an invalid person was sitting near and asking very thought provoking questions, people were sitting on the benches nearby and you could tell that they were listening, and even one grandpa came by the nearest bench and sat and listened and even started to pray while we were teaching. Our investigator's wife came down with a disease over the last few years that has left all of her limbs crippled and slow of speech. Her husband was treating her like a million bucks. It was a great example to me. She is wheelchair bound and very slow of speech now. I then saw how he treated his small boy when he ran up to them and was pretty impressed. How hard it must have been for all of them. For the husband seeing his wife go through all of the trials, the wife seeing her son and knowing that she can't interact with him as a normal mom would, and for the child that will grow up more or less without a mother. One thing was obvious though, they were all genuine happy people. It was a reality check for me. Where did it all come from? We have every reason to be happy. We need to find our source and always be grateful. I have seen a huge difference of people on the mission that take happiness from temporal items, and those that rejoice in God.
I was able to send Artur off on his mission and be at his setting apart right when I left the area and that was a huge blessing. I will just paste what he wrote about it.
Кстати я хочу рассказать историю как я поехал на миссию. Был конец трансфера, у моего лучшего друга был трансфер, я незнал когда я еду на миссию. Я был очень подавлен и расстроен. Я вечером шел домой и думал Что мне дальше делать? Когда я пришел домой мне было очень грустно. И я начал очень сильно молиться. Как действительно сильно. На 100 процентов веря, что Бог ответит. Я молился о том чтобы знать когда и куда я уеду на миссию. Я молился, чтобы знать, что делать дальше. Я помолился и лег спать знаю что утром я буду знать когда я еду. И Днем мне звонит пр.Кравченко и говорит: " Артур, ты где? Тебе сегодня встречали во Львовской миссии. Сколько тебе нужно времени, чтобы собраться?" И вот это был ответ на молитву. Просто, Бог всегда отвечает на молитвы. Всегда! В этот же день меня рукоположили и на следующий день я отправился на миссию. Просто если мы действительно просим с верой, то мы получим это.
Hope you all have a great week and that you shower Travis and Cassie with love!!!
Here is what google translate said was written in Russian above - note Derek is the friend he is talking about.