Monday, February 6, 2012

Visit to Nakhodka

Dear fam,

Well, I finally got the splendid chance to see the wonderful city of Nakhodka! Guess that means I've finally made it to every city in the mission where there are currently missionaries. It was a really neat weekend. Well, to be honest, it was a very interesting, stressful, productive, and all around awesome weekend. It was slightly frustrating because President and Elder Steed had to work with some members who have been apostatizing and don't want to change/remain in the church. So in light of that, it was a little bit of a depressing trip to Nakhodka. But, on a positive note, I got the chance to work with some awesome missionaries there! It really was a super good experience to work with some missionaries who are tremendously younger than I and yet, I learned so much from seeing their examples. We had a great lesson with a member and later with 2 different investigators. One of them was really really interesting. And slightly paranoid. He thinks everyone and  his neighbors are after him and have been for several years. I'll tell you more about him later. :) Anyways, the more I'm involved in the Lord's work, the more I realize and am continually convinced that He leads the work. It's His work, His kingdom, His Spirit that directs us to bring about His will.

The city itself was uniquely beautiful. It's certainly a port city and from what I saw, it seems that a lot of the people there already know who we are. A lot of them immediately told us to keep on walking and that they were fine. Yet some of them were interested in hearing more from us or at the very least, they were willing to talk. The ride to and from Nakhodka was fun. We got the chance to learn from President Pratt what it was like for him to sing in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir years and years ago. It's fun to get to know people better. I've really loved making new friends here while I've been in Russia.

I'm not really sure what else to share with you all. I've had some great studies lately in the New Testament and the Book of Mormon. I love the verses in John 15 (specifically verse 2 and 5 I think) that tell about how the Lord purges us when we do what he wants so that we can bring forth more fruit as well as the fact that we must rely upon the Lord if we really desire to bring forth any kind of fruit. I know that the scriptures are from God. They're for us. Plain and simple.

Lately, I've been a little worried about my ability to love others. Let me explain why I say this... Charity, or the pure love of Christ, is what we're all striving to develop. There have been times when I've recognized in myself the beginnings and slow development of charity within me. Yet, at other times, I worry because I feel I'm losing charity. Because sometimes, it's hard to love everybody. It's difficult to feel that true love of Christ inside of you always. I'm simply grateful that I have the rest of my life to continue to develop attributes inherent in Christ.

I love you all! Just heard the Giants won the super bowl. Go Giants! Glad to hear Eli Manning is rocking it in the football world. I hope you all have a wonderful week this upcoming week. Sounds like things are clicking with the business, Dad. You're still in my prayers!

Elder Bush

p.s. the weather outside isn't so frightful. In fact it's warming up a bit. In case you were wondering. :)