Another hello from Khabarovsk! Thanks Mom and Dad for your letters and updates on the family and the rest of the world. Because it's a holiday in Russia today (May Day I think it's called; not really sure what we're celebrating) it was a little tricky to find an internet place, but thankfully, we did. It took a little bit of a bus ride, but isn't it awesome that I can be on the other side of the globe and write to you and you have my words in light speed? A ginormous blessing I consider it. (A perfect example of me wanting to use Russian sentence structuring) I must add, that was one thing, of many, that is part of the Russian language that I never thought I would understand. I still don't necessarily use it 100% correctly but there are some things in Russian that only come through time and living here. I thank the Lord each day for how richly he has blessed me with this language. When President Pratt (my Stake President back home) set me apart, I had tons of emotions running through my head and honestly, I don't remember all the blessings that he pronounced upon me, but I do remember him blessing me that if I would be faithful and obedient, the Lord would bless me to master this language. I certainly am not there yet, but I can see how much the Lord has blessed me to be well on the way to having a good grip on this language.
About my companion, they just don't come much better than him. If I could meet his parents, and I sure plan on doing that someday if I ever make it up to Idaho, I would thank them for raising such an awesome son who has become a wonderful missionary. His Russian has improved a lot these last two transfers. It's been hard because I haven't really known how to best help him improve. I learn differently than he does and there are some things that he struggles with that I'm not really sure how to help him overcome. But I pray for him daily and do all I can to help him and it really has helped to strengthen our relationship. We work really well together and it has been a great experience working with him, learning so much from him, and realizing all the things I can do to improve as a senior companion.
Oddly enough, I think brothers are somehow connected because I was showing the same symptoms this past week as Trev (a little fever, chills, really really achy, sore throat, cough, and runny nose). Wednesday was my first sick day on the mission. Thankfully, I only had to rest for part of the day so we could teach institute in the evening and got back to work the next day. That was actually a little rough on my body, but I hate taking it easy, especially when very little is happening in our area. We did a lot of contacting this past week and saw a little success. We'll see if we can't reap a little fruit from this area and find those who know not God who are interested and willing to come closer to Christ.
It's been getting a little warmer here lately, which is weird because I've been so used to it being cold/cool and needing a coat on. Soon, we'll be back to hitting the streets in white shirts. I'm going to try really hard to come up with some good things to share with you all during our phone call in a week. Think of Questions!!! I'd love to answer questions. I'll also think of some funny things to share and maybe even some funny sounding Russian words.
To end, I'll share an interesting experience I had yesterday. A member asked us to give her a blessing and I acted as voice. It is an awe inspiring and a bit intimidating experience to pronounce blessings from our Heavenly Father upon his children. Since she's in my area and I know a lot about her and her present situation, I knew she has been searching for some answers to big questions for a long part of her life. I don't know the questions or the answers, but I knew she has been searching and was probably fasting receive such answers. As we laid our hands upon her head, I felt strong promptings to say some specific things, not in answer to her questions but on the contrary, that she must wait a little longer. I shared other things with her throughout the blessing as they came to the forefront of my mind, and I've never felt so many strong impressions before when giving a blessing. As the blessing of comfort came to a close, she was in tears and I could tell she was a little disappointed that she was told she must wait a little longer for answers to her questions. I spent much of sacrament meeting pouring through my mind and heart, at first questioning myself, "Was what I said inspired of the Lord? Was it what I was supposed to say?" I felt confirmation that it was, but it was hard for me because I've really come to love this particular Sister, this stalwart saint here in Khabarovsk, and it was hard to see her upset deep down. Yet, as we spoke afterward, we both were able to rejoice together in the things we do know and that we know the Lord will answer our needs in His due time. The Priesthood is a powerful tool. Use it worthily. It can do miracles.
I love you all and look very much forward to hearing from you all!! :) May Heavenly Father watch and look over you this next week! Good luck with everything!