O January, where art thou?

We had zone conference this week. It was amazing, simply put. We had a great emphasis on using the scriptures, and getting more member lessons. That is something that is needed more of throughout the world. So if you have some free time, get your butt out with the missionaries and help them! Missionaries come and go, but members are a lot more stable. Investigators need friends, people! We also had a wonderful talk from Sister Nielsen about English grammar. Particularly Early Modern English Grammar (the use of thou, thee, thy, and thine) and praying. It was really, really good. Interesting note from it: In Primary they always told me it was more respectful and formal to talk to Heavenly Father that way.

LIIIEEESSSS!!!!!!!!!!!

In Russian, there are two second person pronouns: Ты & Вы. The first being the singular/informal, and the second being the plural/formal singular. Basically the same as Tu vs. Usted in Spanish. Okay. So Thou, etc. are the singular informal in English. As people became for polite in speech, the formal singular/plural just phased it completely out of the language, thus we only have you, your, etc. today. In Russian, when we pray, we speak to God informally, because he is considered a person with whom we have a deeply close relationship with, and it is rude to speak to him using the formal singular, which is used when talking to strangers who are older and than you, out of respect.

Very interesting I thought, that the reason we pray using Thou, Thee, Thy, and Thine, is because we are showing Heavenly Father the reality of our understanding that we are his sons and daughters, and he is literally our Loving Heavenly Father.

Elder Hammon and I have been practicing up on our Biblical language because we think it is quite humorous to speak that way, and also because it just sounds so classy and sophisticated.

Nerd time over 🙂

Things are going great in the Rabocha area. Elder Hammon and I are getting along great. Our new apartment is working out extremely well living in a foursome, and we have a very good pool of investigators. The closest to being to baptism is Nina Fisenko. We met with her on Friday night, and I’d say it was the lesson I have taught that has had the strongest spirit of any to date that I have taught. She is reading for an hour and a half every morning, and says that she is not only reading, but looking for ways to apply it to her life. She says that she knows that any time she has a bad day, she just needs to pick up the Book of Mormon, and read a few verses and it will turn her day around. We talked extensively about baptism as well. She is very open to baptism, and she is just waiting to receive a solid answer about the Book of Mormon. Tomorrow we are meeting with her to talk about prayer and receiving answers.

She also told us a wonderful story. Two weeks ago, we met with her while on exchanges with Elder Jessen, just before FHE at the Hardy’s. She stayed for FHE, and seemed to enjoy herself. Elder Hardy spoke about President Uchtdorf’s talk from the last conference. The theme of Elder Hardy’s message was "Slow down and focus on the things that matter most". Now here is the background information. Nina has a university degree in English, so there is here English education. Her father was a pilot in the Soviet Air Force, and she grew up in Germany, so she speaks German as well. She was offered a job to work as a translator for the Football Association of Ukraine in Kyiv. After the lesson, she said she felt something tell her that she shouldn’t take the offer. She went home, and told Nick, her husband, that she needed to slow down, and focus on the things that matter most. She told us that right now, those are 1. Her Family. 2. Reading the Book of Mormon and 3. Meeting with us to discuss the Book of Mormon.

After telling us this story, she bore a powerful testimony of how she has seen her life change and the joy and happiness she finds in the pages of the Book of Mormon. It was a wonderful lesson. Tomorrow when we meet with her, we are hoping to put her on date, I am very excited.

Our other investigator who is showing the most progress is Maksim. He is a young married man and has a baby. I feel really bad for him, because he is constantly working, just to make ends meet. He is reading, and using his breaks from work to meet with us. It is going slow, but he is doing very well. We are still trying to meet with him and his family together, but he said that he hast so little time with them, that he just wants to be able to relax and enjoy their company; which is very understandable.

We also have Michail, an investigator we picked up yesterday. We met him on the street, and he said he would like to meet, but that he was very busy because his mother just passed away. We talked to him about the Plan of Salvation a little bit, and said we would get in touch with him. He came to church yesterday, and seemed to enjoy it. He is a devout 7th Day Adventist, and when Elder Piccolo and Hammon began teaching him after the 3rd hour it kind of became a Bible Bash, but they found the root of it. He has had a lot of meetings with people from other churches, and he said everyone just tells him that his beliefs are wrong, and he needs to change, so he had a defensive guard up from the get go. Once that was rooted out, they taught him a good first lesson, and he said he would like to meet again. I was on Pobeda with Elder Belnap for church, so I wasn’t on the lesson, but it sounded like it went very well.

I have been reading the New Testament, and trying to finish it up this week. As I read through I have noticed so many different topics or doctrinal blips that are talked about, that as far as I know, we are the only church that supports. As I reflected more upon it, I realized that taking away the Restoration, our church would still be the only church with the same organization as Christ’s church. Down to every minor detail, there is a spot for every doctrine taught in the Restore Gospel. Very interesting.

Zone conference was great, I loved being able to see everyone and now I have officially met every missionary in the mission at least once. I feel so popular! 4 of the 7 Elders from my group were there, and it was great to be together. There is a special bond you get after being stuck in the same room with each other 10+ hours a day for 11 weeks 🙂

There was a baptism on Saturday. One of the office Elders’ investigators Arthur was baptized, there is a picture of that. His older brother is a member who lives in the Donetsk mission (Elder Hazen, he said he knew you!), that was really great to have him be able to be there. Right now we are a 4 out of 60 for a goal of baptisms this year. The work has really taken off since the first of the year. We have 16 more baptisms scheduled already for the rest of February so we are doing work.

I guess I should explain the pictures I sent last week! The one with the money was when I had $1000+ dollars put on my account to pay for our first and last months rent, etc. for our new apartment. So far this transfer, Elder Hammon and I have had about 10,400 greevin work funded from the office.

Yes, that is a mission record.

The one with all of us was celebrating Elder Hammon’s birthday. The ZLs were over on splits, and they have a 3rd companion (Elder Davis has bad asthma and had an attack and almost died, so he was released early this transfer because it was his last one, so Elder Knight is with them for the rest of this transfer) which made for 7 people in one apartment for a day. That was really fun. haha.

And then the tie burning. No explination needed.

Here is a picture of the baptism, as well was Elder Mills, Myself, Elder Hansen and Elder Rhodes at zone conference together.

Thank you for all the support, and please keep the love coming!

Elder McClintock

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