Monday, October 15, 2012

The Spirit is Real, Revelation is Real


So I double checked and the release date is June 12. So I think it would be a good idea to move the Idaho trip a week back, and I can still decide what I want to do, whether I push it to get into summer term or if I find something else to do for the summer, I can worry about that later.

Kazakhstan is pretty good. We Got into Astana yesterday and went to church, then spent the evening out on the streets. It was pretty cool to be able to walk around Astana, but I can imagine that would get very old, to walk around for hours on end just to see if people want to come to English and to have them help us learn Kazakh. We are going to Almaty tomorrow where Elder Anderson is serving. The really unfortunate thing is that Elder Anderson is still having visa problems and he was only down here on a 1 month visa so he had to go back to Russia at the exact time when we were coming down, so it's a bummer that we won't be able to see him, but he's living in our apartment in Novo right now and he's working with a few of our investigators from before. We'll see what we will be doing in Almaty, but last trip it seemed that the Almaty missionaries were much busier with various things, service, stuff with members, and other stuff. I don't think the rules are going to change any time soon, its just frustrating and seemingly random who gets the permissions to preach and when they come. So hopefully that just smooths out in the next little while as the church gets registered here.

I definitely remember doing that project that Danica is doing. How it was centered on the "Cultural Diffusion" between all of the different cultures at that time. And we definitely made a nice poster board but I forgot where we did it. Maybe Jake's house.

Well, not much happened at the beginning of the week, just pretty much all of the regular stuff. On Tuesday I had Elder Marcy in my area to do an exchange and Elder Davis went to that area. On Thursday we were at the mission home for a while because after our regular stuff there (calling the zone leaders, discussion transfer scenarios, etc) President had us stay and do our regular interviews. I love those interviews, it's like 30 minutes of pure inspiration directed right at me. It's amazing how he just kind of starts by chatting then after a few minutes he knows exactly what council to give. And I walk out of there thinking, "How did he know I needed to hear that? Nothing I said even pointed to that." That is one of my biggest testimony builders that the spirit is real and revelation is real. We talked a little about my future in the next few transfers which now seems to be a little different than originally planned. He gave me some really good advice about discovering what the will of the Lord for me is in my life and trying to follow that. He also complemented my natural ability to be able to uplift others and challenged me to stretch that even more to find more opportunities to uplift others. It gave me a bunch of good things to think about, especially as I listened to some of General Conference this weekend.

Thursday night we took off for Omsk. Friday we did all of our Visa business at the consulate, and had some time to work with Elder Newman. Then on Saturday we watched the 3 Saturday sessions of conference with the Omsk missionaries and took the train out to Astana that night. It was pretty nice crossing the border on the train. At about midnight the train was stopped and a Russian border agent opened up the kupet and flipped the lights on and checked our documents with the usual questions. Then about 1:30 the train was still moving and a Kazakh border agent came through and did the same thing. I was hoping it would be a little more intense for the story. Like they would come in yelling with AK47s, but it was pretty mild. And actually way more convenient than the airport, because you don't have to stand in a line, you just sit in your bed while they check your documents. At church yesterday we watched the Sunday morning session with the members. Well, that is the Kazakh members. There were about 20 American members who did a sacrament meeting in the other room, and the missionaries and maybe 5-6 Kazakh members watched Conference in Russian.

Ok, that's it. Love you Mom.

Elder Topham