Monday, February 27, 2012

Pure Joy

Well this was really a crazy week.
Even yesterday was a crazy day.  Yesterday was V's baptism, I finished the book of Mormon in Russian and President called and told me next transfer.
This week was really stressful because after V's interview the next day he told us that he didn't think he was ready to be baptized. (Which was ridiculous because we talked it out with him and he was absolutely ready.)  I think what happened is that after like 5 months of waiting, permission was finally given and it just hit him, like whoa, its actually going to happen now.  So we met with him and talked it out, but he still wasn't confident.  Then the next day was awesome because his friend (the South Park guy who was baptized a little while ago) called us and said, "Hey, I set up a meeting with V tonight at six can you come? Haha it was great, we got the branch president to come too. We actually had another investigator meeting at 6, so I grabbed a member and taught that lesson, while Elder V, the friend and President Savin met with V. After that meeting V decided that he was ready and he was going to be baptized on Sunday.  So that morning came and everything went awesome! Everyone got there on time, a bunch of members came, the talks were great, everything was perfect.  Probably best of all is that his family came and they seemed to really enjoy it.  No, but for sure best of all was the look on his face after Elder Vargin pulled him out of the water.  It was like a physical change had already occurred in his countenance.  And there was just this smile of pure joy on his face, I'll remember that for a long time. 
Well after that, there was kind of an awkward hour between the baptism and sacrament meeting. So I was just sitting there talking to his babooshka, and I kinda ran out of stuff to talk about so I asked if she could help me read.  I happened to be already on the last chapter of the Book of Mormon, so I read out loud to her Moroni 10 and she corrected my mistakes, it was really cool, and I think she liked it too.  And that was how I finished the Book of Mormon in Russian, I started it all the way back in the MTC.  Next time around will be much faster.
So then after the church meetings we went with a member to give a blessing to a sick lady at her home.  As we were there President Gibbons called and told me my transfer.  It's really crazy. Actually I don't even know where to start.  Well... I'm going back to Novosibirsk, already.  That's right one and done in Tomsk.  I'm actually pretty sad about that, I really like it here.  I think people are overall friendlier here.  The building is amazing, and it's much easier to teach investigators in, the branch here is really receptive and helpful, so I'll miss it for sure.  And this has been my most fruitful area.  Well anyway, those are my thoughts about leaving, and here is what I'm heading into.  I was very surprised when President told me that I was going to Novosibirsk to be Assistant to the President with Elder Anderson.  In fact, I still don't even quite know what to think about that.  He said, "I knew I would have you here as an assistant but I didn't think it would be this soon."  It's a good thing that I strongly believe that President is an inspired man or else I would think he is crazy.  Well anyway, we'll see how it goes. Hopefully, language won't hold me back, like if I have to translate hard things for him or something.  I don't even really know what the AP's do now, so we'll see.  I am really excited to be with Elder Anderson, he seems awesome.  Well that's it. It's a lot to take in. It took me along time to get to sleep last night. But it's all good now.

To answer some questions:  Well, I think its pretty common to go to a barber shop, and the most common in the big city to go to the senior couples and have them do it (haircut).  But I bought a thing first transfer and I like my hair better like this anyway (especially when always wearing a hat so it doesn't get messed up.)  So as far as anything I'm craving -   I'm in no rush so take your time.  But peanut butter, Lawrey's season salt, and some taco seasoning would be really nice.  (No need to rush, I already have some of each of the seasonings, and peanut butter can be found).

Oh yeah, and about P-days. Last week the sisters cooked us a meal for "defenders of the fatherland day" its basically like a holiday for all men here in Russia.  Today we are having a birthday party for me because the sisters are being transfered early and won't be here next week.  I chose to have a Mexican themed party, in other words a "fiesta". We will eat burritos.
Elder Topham

This is about 20 minutes or so outside of the city, where we have a couple kinda investigators. It's very beautiful.