I'm sorry for last week's email being so short and lame and it appears this week may not be a whole lot better because the post office we usually go to is closed, so we only have one computer to share to write home today. I'll try to be quick and get as much in as possible...
I was on a 3 day split with Elder Stewart in my new area (that I knew/know very little about). Needless to say, I learned a lot about being a senior companion and how much responsibility it has with it. It was hard but rewarding in the fact that it taught me a lot about how to do things the right way but mostly how not to do things. I am far from perfect. But the members here in Usserisk are the best! I have come to absolutely love the members here. And I know now how much work Brother Boyer (one of my teachers in the MTC) really did while here in Usserisk. He is all over the area book and the fruits of his labor are still very obvious. The strongest members that he helped bring into the church are still strong and help anchor the church here in Usserisk. Sister Slava is amazing just like you said, Brother Boyer! I'm going to try to write Brother Boyer someday soon.
It's been interesting adjusting to the new city but I'm doing better than last week. Thank you for your prayers and words of comfort, everyone. Honestly, the best remedy has been work. Just get to work and you forget how hard it is.
I'm speaking in Church on Sunday so I wouldn't mind some prayers that I'll at least be understandable to the branch. ;) Honestly, I just want to deliver the message the Lord desires and actually help the members and investigators that will attend.
Well, the mission sure is making me grow. A lot. I never thought I'd be able to do all the things I have seen other older missionaries do, but this last week especially has shown me how the Lord works through His servants and helps them grow and do so much more than they could have without His help.
Elder Williams is great! And I'm excited for Zone Conference in Vlad this week. And the Kiev, Ukraine Temple dedication that will be in a few weeks. Should be awesome!
I love you all so much!
Oh! And there's a grocery store called +5 here in Usserisk. I've never felt so much like I was in America but still being in Russia! It's weird.
Keep doing what's right. Read your scriptures. Pray night and day. Be wise. What need I say more? Love you all!
Dad asked: How many missionaries serve in each of the cities in your mission? Will you give us a breakdown of each city and how many missionaries serve in each? Also, do you know how many active members attend in each branch in your mission?
Elder Bush: In Vlad: 3 sets of elders, on average 50 members
In Usserisk: 3 sets of elders, on average 30-40ish, I think
In Nakhodka: 2 sets of elders, it's smaller than Usserisk, but I have no idea how many active members
On Sakhalin: three some of sisters, and 2 sets of missionaries, probably the same as Usserisk
Khabarovsk: 2 sets of elders, 1 set of sisters - I've heard the branch is really small.
I think these numbers are correct, but I’m not positive, and I’m just estimating the active members.