Monday, November 24, 2014

Russian Approved Jacket

New Dolls
New Jacket
This week was a pretty good week, I guess.  I spent about 3,500 rubles on a big fluffy jacket. There are about 50 rubles in a dollar now, so it seemed pretty cheap to me. All the Russians say it is a really, really good jacket. Way fuzzy and fluffy. I got the Russian stamp of approval:)

We had a ton of lessons fall through, like usual. We planned to meet with a guy named Roman.  He said okay I will see you at 7. It was 6:40 and we called him just to make sure he was on his way and he said he was leaving the house. We thought “oh great! This should be a great lesson.”  7 o’clock rolls around and nothing. We call him and he says he is only 5 minutes away. We wait 5 minutes. Nothing. 10 minutes. Nothing. 20 minutes and still nothing. At 7:30 we just left. We can't be waiting all day for him, and we have souls we’ve gotta save! Elder Sayers felt bad that we just left but if Roman wanted to meet with us, he would have been there. We can't be at his mercy the rest of the night just waiting for him. It was hard to just go, but it was necessary.  

Elder Sayers getting in on the Kitty Love
The guy with whom we had a baptismal date, a 70 year old man, met with us this week. We started with a prayer and he cut us off before we could start the lesson. He turned to us and said,  "Look here little boys. You are great, all the stuff you are doing is great, I know you want to preach to me but I don’t need that. I don't need anything from you guys right now. I just need a passport."  He needed a stamp or something in his passport so he could find better work in a different country. So everything we have taught him, the baptismal date he agreed to, the time we spent together, all of it was useless. I was speechless. I was thinking... you have the key to happiness in this life and the life to come; it is right in front of your face. I just wanted to yell at him and say "Open your eyes! You have such a great opportunity in front of you! What do you mean you only need a passport?!" But everybody has freedom to choose and that is hard for us. We can't make them accept it even though we know it is only going to help them.

 A man walking by asked us in English "Hey are you guys CIA?" We laughed and said "No." But then he asked if we were FBI... Of course if we were CIA or FBI then we would say no, so either way he wasn't going to believe us. 
CIA?  FBI?  I don't think so. 
We met a lady this week named Raiciya. I don't know how to spell it in English.   Раися. Imagine you are saying the word "Rice" but put a "Ya" at the end of it.  Anyway, she asked us where the bus stop was so we told her.  But she was a little old lady and we wanted to be nice so we walked with her to the bus stop. She was walking slow and was carefully placing each step she took. We thought she might be a little drunk but we didn't know for sure so we just kept walking. We got to a part in the sidewalk where the sidewalk steeply angled down for a foot or two and then leveled off again. She didn't see it and we didn't realize it would be a problem until she took a normal step and her foot landed a foot lower than she expected. She tumbled and totally ate it. It turns out She was very drunk!  Inside we were laughing but trying to be sensitive. Aww:( We kept walking and we were keeping a super close eye on her. She didn't fall again.   But we walked her within 10 feet of the bus stop. We told her "Alright, there it is. Just go straight on up, sit down and wait for your bus." She said "Thank you my sweets!" As she started walking away towards the bus stop we were watching. It was literally a straight line to the bus stop and then she could sit down.  But, she got about 5 or so feet away, started looking at a tree on the right, started leaning and walking to the right... then she tripped over the curb and belly-flopped flat in the grass again. We picked her up and picked up some of the stuff that fell out of her jacket... like a mason jar full of big orange wet chunks... it was the weirdest thing to see.  We sent her off on a bus, still not too sure she could make it home safely... poor lady. 
Russian Bible

We had an intense lesson with a man of another faith last night. He was trying as hard as he could to prove to us that we were wrong. We were talking and then he just threw scripture after scripture in our face about this that and the other. Pretty intense.. It was like he was trying to convince us using only the Bible and his knowledge/interpretation of it. We had the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and our testimonies. He was cool and all but he only knew the bible in their heads. He didn't have a personal testimony. We were preaching to him and it was the best feeling:) We asked him "So if the world ended tomorrow, would you be able to confidently say "' Yes I know that my church is true 100%'"? and he couldn't even give a simple 'yeah I know its true'. He beat around the bush, started quoting more scriptures from the Bible and even changed the subject to politics. Like dude... youre trying to tell us that we are crazy when we know 100% In our minds and in our hearts that this is true? Haha its so hard to explain but it was a way great experience:) Don't get me wrong, I love these people that believe in God! They are way dedicated to their faith, they read the Bible and study better than most people I have met, they are not afraid to talk to people about religion, but it is rough seeing how close they are to the truth... but yet so far! 
Cool Pot!
All in all, I am having a great time:) This whole mission thing isn't really hard. I mean yeah, we talk to people on the street 24/7 and most of the time they think we are silly little American boys (which truthfully, we are). But this is a great experience!  I am so grateful for this church and the blessing it is in our lives. 

 The Church is True and I Love You

Стареишина Гарднер
Elder Gardner

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