Email from James - August 22, 2011

Before I forget, you asked about which small scripture I was talking about. There are some kind that I really like that a lot of missionaries have. They look just like the small hymnbooks, like the one I took with me on my mission and they are the same size as them. The pages have the gold on the side and the leather cover is black. The Bible and the Triple aren't conectted which I like. If you could get those kind that would be really nice to have. The big quad is big to cary around to zone conferences and district meetings. Plus those are easier to read while traveling. :D Just let me know what you think. Transfers aren't until the 20th sometime of September so there's still plenty of time. The MTC had a mix up or something so they are getting all the missions aligned so this transfer is an extra week long.

I can't wait to have those fun nights where the family all get together again. I can't wait to see them all again. I miss good ol american BBQ's. Especially big grills and some nice steak with A1 sauce. Man, i'm making my mouth water. But for now, I really like Šalti Baršai and Cepeliniai with a nice cold can of Gira. Yum :D Hahah grandpa and his swap meets. I think he would go crazy here with the Turgus' here. You can find anything at a really cheap price. They are a lot of fun to go to because you never know what you are going to find. 

I hope the buying of a van works out and that you can find a way to sell the Mazda. It always makes me smile whenever I see a mazda like yours drive by. I can say that I am so tired of seeing European cars. They all look the same. It literally is like looking down the road and seeing: Audi Audi Audi Audi Audi BMW Bmw Audi Audi Honda, Audi Audi , crapy Ford small car you would never see in America, Audi Audi Audi. Haha :D We go crazy if we see some big car like a truck or something cause you never see big suped up trucks or really trucks at all. 

We had a pretty hard week this past week in finding. We have been really working with the all of the members. That literally means everyone. Active, less active, inactive, whatever. We are meeting with everyone. We set a goal at zone conference to meet all the members of each missionary's area by Oct. I'm excited. We meet with about ten members who haven't been to church in a while, including the old Branch President who hasn't come to church in a long time. That was a pretty intense lesson, well it was more just nerve racking before we got there, but once we came in and started talking it was really good. It was a bit of a strange leson. Not sure what to say about it, but I can tell you more after the mission. Him and his wife were really nice to us and said that their door is always open to us. We only found one new investigator this past week and that was yesterday. She had met with missionaries a long time ago and had an older translation of the book of mormon. She was really nice and we talked about Bapism, cause the good missionaries who found her invited her to baptism in the first lesson, and she says she does't want to change but she said it would be interesting to find out what we say is true. 

One member here, who is one of my greatest friends here, came back from his work trip in Norway. He left my first transfer here so I already knew him pretty well. He was baptized when he was younger and is now wondering if the church is true or not. He has been struggling with his testimony for a while and wants to get an answer. He is such a cool guy and I love him a ton. He loves meeting with us and just talking and having us help him find his answer and his testimony. He is a very deep thinker and I think he just thinks to much. I know how he feels cause it was hard to get my testimony back and to keep it strong. I bore my testimony and told him about how you told me one day. It was that day when I was having a hard time finding my testimony and I was talking to you about it. You told me simply, " I think you have a testimony". I thought about that for a long time after and it made me just stop and look at where i'm at. Why am I going to church? Why do I read the Book of Mormon? Why did I go on a mission? Why do I want to keep changing every day? 
I had to have that reminder this past week to stop and look at myself and see how I could change. I could feel my spirit and my testimony was weeking this past week. It was a pretty hard week to keep going and my studies were loosing their meaning. One of my weaknesses is putting down my pride and realizing I knew God's help at all times and simply put his turst in him. It is something I am constantly working on. It took up til Sunday night to really talk to God. I had to really stop and look at myself and say, " God, what do I need to do for you to become what I need to be". Then he answers when we lower our pride and show Him, that we truly need his Help. The thought came to my head that one of my comps said a while back that is now a quote in my Preach My Gospel. It is, " Never be comfortable where you are at, always be improving". I knew I hadn't been studying the best I could that past week and that I can be better than how I was. One quote that is from me that I had come to my head last winter, which is also in my Preach My Gospel, is " God gives us trials to help us become our full potential, it's how we use those trials that determine what we will become".  I am so grateful that God has such great patience with me. It's hard to change, but it is possible. I am so excited for this week and i'm really going to try to make this week a great one and work as hard as I can. It is so true what you said. We are constantly becoming desciples of Christ as we change ourselves and then help others change. It's such a great blessing and a great responsibility. 

As always, thank you so much for all you do for me. I don't think I day goes by when I don't think how blessed I am to have the family that I have. You are my greatest joy and I love you all so much. We are tuly blessed for all that we have. We have so many great blessings and I see them more and more as I serve here among peole who have nothing. These people have been through some of the hardest things that none of us could ever imagine going through. This culture is the true russian culture, every man for himself. It breaks my heart to ask someone how they are doing and constantly hear,  " terrible". They look at what's bad in life, but not about the good. It's a great joy to be able to smile and tell people that they can find happiness. We get a lot of no's  or that we don't know what we are talking about. But I can look them in the eye and say that I know. I'm not perfect but I know God loves me and he loves you. It's a great blessing to have the knowledge that we have. Don't overlook the small blessings that we have. :D 

Makes this week a great week.
            Love always,

No comments:

Post a Comment