Monday, March 25, 2013

Grateful for The Guidance of the Holy Ghost

Well this week was pretty good. Elder J and I finished up our last couple days together, we were able to get a lot of meetings on Monday and Tuesday with the "Elder J is leaving so we need to meet" line. We got on a train Tuesday night and we were in Novosibirsk on Wednesday. Wednesday night was pretty cool because we went to English there in Novo and someone Elder Anderson and I had taught, with whom we hadn't made much progress, was there. And Elder Smith has been teaching him and he has changed a lot and come along way since then. Elder Smith and I were able to teach him together after English.

Thursday morning I got my new companion at the mission home. His name is Elder Batson. He is from San Diego. He's a really cool guy. He is also really big, about 6'3'', football player and fighter. Everyone has been commenting about how I always get big companions and it is true, I've gotten all the big ones. We did the orientation in the morning then went to lunch with the assistants. We had a train back to Krasno that night.

Since then it has been the usual stuff. This week was district conference, so the meeting was held in Novosibirsk and was broadcast to Omsk and Krasnoyarsk, so we just watched it.

We had an interesting experience this week with a new investigator. It was Friday night and this was the third person that Elder Batson talked to, he stopped the guy and once he answered, just looked at me hoping I understood what he was saying. We had a good conversation with the guy. He said that he was having a really hard time and that day had prayed for someone to help him. He told us all of his problems, which were many, and the one he was most concerned about was his financial problem. We set up a lesson for Saturday, and he doesn't have a phone, so we weren't very confident that he would come. But Saturday came around and he did. The lesson went well, but at the end it seemed like he was mostly interested that the church could help him financially. So he came on Sunday and talked to the branch president. He came out of the meeting looking a little disappointed. Told us that the branch president gave him some advice about where he could go for help first and some things to do before the church could help him. He told us he would like to learn more but only after he sorted everything out. So he left and we expected to never see him again. That night our lesson fell through and we took off contacting, but we decided to go the other way on the main street than we normally go. We walked for about 15 minutes and we ran right into this guy. He seemed even more surprised than us. He told us that after he left the first place he went he got a job and that he would be going to work the next day at a car wash. He had a whole change of countenance and was really shocked about how this had all worked out. He gave us his address and set up a meeting for later in the week and now he seems much more interested than he was before. So I'm very grateful for the guidance of the Holy Ghost, which helped the branch president know what to do to help this man and that led us to the place where we needed to be at the right time to find him, twice.

Oh, I forgot to tell a funny story from last week. Last week at sacrament meeting the branch president came up to me and Elder J and asked if we could conduct because the chorister didn't show up or anyone else that usually does it, I guess. I said sure why not. It's weird, I would have been much more hesitant at home, but I think on a mission you are used to trying new things and used to being embarrassed, so I thought it was no big deal I know how to do the 4/4 and the 3/4 so why not. I did have a slight problem because in the Russian hymn book there is one hymn that they didn't split right on the pages so you have to turn the page while you are singing. So I was holding the book in one hand and waving the other so I lost the beat when I had to turn the page. But other than that it was good. The sacrament hymn was easy. But then the closing hymn was 6/8 I heard you could simplify it, but I wasn't exactly sure how at the time, so I just did it like it said in the back of the book in 6/8. I got all kinds of comments from people after sacrament meeting about how that was the first time anyone has ever done it like that, and if I went to a music school or something to learn how to do that. One lady said that my arms were so long that it gave people more energy when they were singing. So anyway that was fun and interesting. I bet you never thought I would do that mom.

Well, I don't think anything is going on for Easter. I think there will be a branch Easter activity but that will be at the end of April closer to the Russian Easter.

Ok, I think that's it. Have a good week. Love you Mom.

Elder Topham