Monday, March 5, 2012

Can't Deny the Spirit

Hey, how's it going?  Thanks for all the Happy Birthday Emails.  I got a bunch this week, it was really cool.  Looks like a bunch of random friends noticed on Facebook that its my birthday and decided to email me, so that's really cool.
Well we had a really solid last week in Tomsk. A few investigators really came around this week and started to make progress.
First Yusup, he's a really sweet investigator, we called him from the area book, missionaries had just contacted him on the street a few years earlier.  He's a professor at one of the universities here and has a family.  He's awesome to teach because he listens really well and just soaks everything in.  Also, he really has a desire to change his life.  We've already taught him the first three lessons and he came to church yesterday (more on that below).
We also met this younger guy, Sergei who we've only been able to teach the first lesson, but we dropped by him at work, he also came to church.
Then there is Yegor.  He's a little older than me. He's from out in the countryside and he's an awesome investigator too because he really wants to change his life, and he already has, just from the time that we started meeting with him.  We can't go to his apartment to teach him, and he says he doesn't have enough money to go to the branch on the bus, so we have been meeting him outside and teaching him.  It's good it's not too cold out any more.  It's funny the last three lessons we've had with him have been in the evening when the sun is setting in romantic locations like along the river bank, and up on the hill that overlooks the city.  But they have been really beautiful spiritual settings.  He wants to be baptized and we set a goal with him for the 31 of March.
Also, Yuri.  He's a baptist and he really likes us.  On our second meeting at the beginning he said, "I really like you guys, but I read a book that my preacher gave me about you guys and I don't think I believe the same way you do."  The title of the book was "Deceivers" and Mormons were the first chapter, then like 20 other religions.  Elder Vargin asked if we could borrow it, and we read through it.  Elder V went through with a pencil and corrected things. The good thing is that Yuri can't deny the spirit that he feels in our lessons, and that will help him find out truth.
So at church yesterday we had two brand new first time investigators come, which is awesome. But it was fast and testimony meeting and there were 2 awkward "testimonies"...  I think Yusup might have gotten turned off by that.  But as long as he felt the spirit during the sacrament and the other testimonies we'll get him back there.
Yesterday I went to the polls with Elder Vargin.  The wouldn't let him vote because he didn't have the right paperwork for someone outside of Tomsk, even though he called last week and asked and made sure everything was good for him to vote.. The system here isn't very clean.  But it was cool to see what voting is like in Russia.
Well that's pretty much it. I'm really sad to be leaving all of those awesome people here, and we'll see what next week will be like.