Happy Birthday, Dad!
С днём рождения!
I miss you so much, dad. Thanks for everything you’ve done for me. I was talking with my companion the other night and I told him a childhood memory that came to mind– when we were all sitting around the table eating alphabet soup. You started violently choking and coughing and Mom got really worried and asked if you were ok. You managed a “I just swallowed a Bee!” There was a little more panic before Mom realized that you were just messing with us (and referring to the alphabet letter) and you had to apologize for the havoc by explaining that you didn’t really swallow a bee and that “you were just choking (joking).” I’m so happy to have a Dad with such a far-fetched sense of humor. Thanks, Dad. (Not to mention that my companion enjoyed the story).
So we got transfer calls on friday! drumrolllll…………….
We’re all staying in Tomsk, except for Sister Degtyaryova (who we already miss a ton!) who will be replaced by Sister Tanadadaichuk (who I’m already excited to get to know).
A change, however, is that we moved apartments on monday. We switched to the apartment in the south of the city that used to be the ZL apartment (It’s nicer, closer to the bus station, has other ZL documents in it, etc) and the Elders Eborn and Hansen who have been there the past transfer are now up in the Kashtak apartment.
So, while I’m not changing cities, I am changing areas and apartments, so this transfer should be pretty interesting.
(there were not many changes this transfer throughout the mission)
And my big news for this email is what I just got back from in Novosibirsk. We left on Tuesday for Novo to attend two meetings where we could see an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. Elder Scott came on Tuesday to speak to the members and non members of the Church in Siberia, and then on Wednesday to speak specifically to the missionaries. We had 21 members in Tomsk who rented a special bus to make the 5 hour trip there and back for the meeting. We were all very excited to see Elder Scott walk in. When he started speaking to audience (with help of a translator) he started off with some great jokes to get us all feeling more comfortable and happy to be there. He then turned all of the time over to the audience for questions. It was great to see members of the church here in Siberia stand up and introduce themselves and ask great questions such as “what can we do, those of us who are about to serve a mission, to prepare and be ready to serve the Lord?” “I left another church to join this one– how do I handle the relationship with my friends from that other church, since they now treat me differently after I got baptized?” and “how can I help repair relationships in my family so that there is a greater feeling of love and support?”
It was an amazing experience to hear an apostle answer such important personal questions on the spot. He gave great, inspired advice, and what’s more, the Spirit was so strong that I was able to receive my own personal inspirations to problems in life that I’m currently facing. But the most intense moment of seeing Elder Scott was hearing his testimony. For those of you who read this who aren’t members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we believe that the Church has been perfectly restored– including the presence of 12 Apostles. An apostle is a special witness of Christ. To qualify to be an apostle you must have a sacred, special experience, giving you personal knowledge about the reality of the Savior. Watching and listening to this man testify of the reality of the savior, and just hearing the way that he spoke about the Savior was so spiritually intense. His testimony of the Savior is not one that is abstract that we sometimes tend to hear. He bore testimony that the Savior is. He is present at times on the Earth. He was resurrected. He loves us. It gave me a good opportunity to think about absolutes and what things in this life are absolute. Sometimes trials and problems seem absolute, but we also must remember that blessings and impressions and happiness are absolute.
Also what is absolute is my time on this email.
I’ve got to go
I love you all,
thanks for your emails this week!
still trying to solve the “who will look after my facebook” problem.