Hey there Fam!
How are you all? This last week was a good one. Fallon... HAPPY 20th BIRTHDAY!!! I hope it was a great one!!! :) Thanks mom for the encouragement and advice. I needed it. Real quick, I wanted to say thank you for all you have taught me mom and dad. This may be a little thing but it was a big thing to me. Yesterday, in Priesthood, Elder Козодоев was teaching and mentioned a story about President Grant. It was about him wanting to be an accountant, but he had horrible handwriting. So he worked on it and worked on it and eventually had the best handwriting of any accountant around. I remembered the story from a video we had watched, and it hit me that something as simple as watching films about the prophets on Sunday night is a teaching opportunity, and I learned those stories then and can still recall bits and pieces of them now, even in Russian. So thank you for all the opportunities you both took to teach me and raise me. I've made lots of mistakes and am most assuredly far from perfect, but I'm trying to do better each day.
So yesterday, I sat in on a lesson with an investigator in the Center area who is a friend of the Relief Society President in the branch. The investigator’s name is Tatiana, and she was just awesome! She was a testimony to me that the Lord is preparing people for His message to come closer to Him. It was just amazing! She soaked up the information and was so eager and interested in learning more. I guess sister Rumantseva (the Relief Society President) had talked with her about blessings and she asked if we could give her one. So Elder Fife explained to her what a blessing is and how we do it. He told her that she could choose who would anoint and give the blessing. She asked Elder Fife to anoint and me to bless. I knew even before she asked that I would be giving the blessing. I was so nervous starting out since it was the first blessing I had ever given. I wanted so badly to say what the Lord would have me say. It was a simple blessing, but I felt impressed to say some specific things and while my Russian was far from perfect, afterward, she said she felt something wonderful she had never felt before. It was a strong testament to me that I am doing the Lord's work and I am His instrument.
On Saturday, we did some service. We harvested Russian potatoes! And boy does my back ache! and my legs. The branch mission leader has a small plot of land where he grows potatoes, so we had an elders' quorum activity digging up potatoes and delivering them to the members. One of the investigators in the branch, Павел, has a machine plow that made the work much easier and yet was still very hard and tiring. He let me use it, and I was grateful to pass it on back to him. It certainly wasn't easy. All in all, it was a great day. The potatoes were delicious but I certainly don't want to pick up another one or dig through the dirt to find one for a while. Oh and before that, we took some chairs from the church and donated them to a school here in Usserisk. We all wore Mormon's Helping Hands shirt things, and it was fun. I forgot my camera but Elder K got some pictures so I'll get them from him and send them to you soon.
Well, all in all, I'm doing well and learning a lot. I love my area, and I'm glad to still be in Usserisk. I have been learning a lot of Russian, so much that it seems to be exploding out of my head. I'm starting to forget other things I learned earlier, so I just have to keep studying. Thank you for all your prayers on my behalf. I know the Lord is answering them because I feel His help always. The atonement is a beautiful thing that we can all take advantage of and draw closer to Christ. I love you all! Hope you have a great week. :)
P.S. CONGRATS, NATE! I hope you had a wonderful wedding and I wish you and your bride all the best! :)