Monday, June 25, 2012

A Good Day Even Better

This week has been really fun and really crazy.

Monday afternoon most of the missionaries went on a river cruise down the Ob. That was pretty sweet to see some different parts of the city from the river. It was a nice little one hour round trip and we had some good time just to chat.

Tuesday, we spent the majority of the day with President. We had some meetings with the office staff and a conference call with the church lawyer over this area, and some other business. That was also our culture night. We went to the big opera theater again. This time it was a big concert from all of the students who just graduated from the "conservatory" here in Novo, I guess that's like the main musical academy. My favorite performances were the two guys that did an accordian duet and the girl that sang the "Queen of the Nights" aria from the Magic Flute. We had to run home after the concert because two Barnaul elders had just come in to do exchanges with us for the next day.

Wednesday was sweet because Elder's Smith and Rich were with us the whole day. I went with Elder Rich, and Elders Anderson and Smith were together. We stacked that day with as many meetings as we possibly could because there were 2 companionships in the area. We had a good day planned for both of us but it turned out to be even better. In all we taught 9 lessons, and got 7 new investigators (that's probably more than I've ever got in a week). It was crazy because we had 4 first meetings scheduled and were expecting 4 new investigators. One of them fell through, but one of our first meetings brought a friend. One of Anderson and Smith's brought 2 friends. And Elder Smith found a guy on the bus and set up a meeting for that afternoon. Then when they were at the park teaching that guy on a bench someone came up and asked if he could listen too. So they kinda split up and each taught one of them. It was just really crazy because stuff like that never happens. We had an awesome day, we had country breakfast in the morning, pizza and fruit salad for lunch and sharuma for dinner, we really tried to do it right for them.

Thursday we had a meeting with President. Then a couple lessons at the branch and a big planning session.

Friday we had district meeting at the Webb's and they made some awesome burgers. We then went to the airport with Elder Gushin to pick up the three Moscow West elders. We spent the evening and the night with them at the mission home eating dinner and doing a little mission orientation.

Saturday morning we moved Elders Mitchell and Hansen into our apartment. We've been running two companionships in our area for the last few days and will be until Thursday when we will give them over to the north Zone leaders. The other elder is with the South Zone leaders.

Sunday was pretty normal. We went to church and had a good day but had to be home at 7 because it was Novosibirsk day and everyone was getting drunk out on the streets already.

Both Aleksei's are doing well but unfortunately neither made it to church. We are trying to get some of these new investigators to become good serious investigators. One investigator had kept the Word of Wisdom for 2 weeks but peer pressure got to him at a wedding and he got wasted so we are going to call him to repentance tonight (with love of course).

Ok to answer questions:

Piano is good, I can almost play Come Follow Me but I need a lot of practice to get it up to the correct tempo and consistant. But don't worry, if you would have signed me up for lessons when I was a kid I would have hated them.

Elder Balashov is Russian from Saint Petes. There are only 3 Russian Elders right now and also one from Latvia, who is a native Russian speaker. They all go home pretty soon.

It's been around 30 degrees celsius usually. But the problem is that it is pretty humid and nobody has air conditioning, so rather than being like Vegas where it's hot outside but then you go inside and it's fine, it's just always pretty hot.

Kiev is in a couple of weeks. There is a mission tour in early September with a general authority. I should be going on most of that which would include some of the cities here and Kazy.

I think these missionaries who have been recently sent to Kazy have had thier papers in to go there forever and should have gone a few months ago, and are just now making it there. I don't think it was the intended plan to transfer them all now during the switch. For example, Elder Mitchell said they started his paperwork 8 months ago or something like that. I think he is the extreme case.

Elder Topham