Victory is Mine!

Well, sort of.

Well, yes, it is.

I am getting transferred again! Elder Hammon is training next transfer. I’d like to tell myself that I prepared for it, but that would be a funny joke. I am going to be serving with Elder Adams on Pobyeda this upcoming transfer. These last 6 weeks have absolutely flown by, I cannot believe it. We have seen a lot of success, and had a lot of good things going. I will be sad that tomorrow will probably be our last lesson with Nina that I am there, but I am excited to serve on Pobyeda. It is a great branch, full of families and returned missionaries. The rest of my district will be Elder Merkley, Elder Hagee and Elder and Sister Roach, the CES couple. It will be wonderful, because every Thursday after district meeting, and every Sunday after church, we get fed a home cooked meal made with love. There is just nothing like it 🙂

Oh, and the reason I say victory is mine, is because Pobyeda means victory. I have joked I wanted to "die" (your final area) there, because of the symbolic nature of the name. Maybe I will settle for Russian fluency instead. One of the members in the branch, Vladik, served in St. Petersburg with Tyler Whitezell. So even 6,000 miles away, the church is still a small place.

Other great news…..HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY! I hope that made your day special. If not, well, there is nothing I can do, so you’re gonna have to figure something out on your own. Maybe go by yourself a cheesecake and some Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and watch a Lifetime movie. That just might take the pain away. I know that always worked for me whenever I was depressed about something. (Except for the fact I have never down that….well all three of those things at the same time that is.)

Also, Happy Birthday to Elder Travis Selland! I know you are in Texas, and I am in Ukraine, but I didn’t forget!

So our week was a pretty exciting one. We got dogged on a lot of lessons, that was pretty lame. Nina was the only one we met with this week. She took a step back, which is sad. She read a magazine about religions coexisting, and that brought back her "All churches are get you back to where you need to be" stance. After reading that, she decided to restart the Book of Mormon, and read more into it. This led to her having a problem with Nephi killing Laban. We talked about it, and answered her question and she understands the reasoning, however it is apparent how Satan is trying to keep her from get where she needs to be. We are meeting with her again tomorrow before English, and are possibly going to put her on date then. She also went to the Relief Society activity at the Hardy’s and liked it a lot.

I was able to go on splits with Elder Belnap, one of the APs for a day. He is a stud. It was a really good day, we went tracting in an area with some actual houses and got three contacts. One sad thing though, was when we were tracting a dome (apartment building). This guy invited us in, and then his sister came and started yelling at us. Basically, it was like this: We are always supposed to ask people if they need help if we see them doing something. She had been asked by the missionaries before, but always just said no because she didn’t really need it. The one time she saw them, and asked them if they could help her with some boxes, they pretended they didn’t speak Russian and started laughing and walked away.

Elder Hammon and I baked her cookies the next day, and left them on her porch.

The snickerdoodles were good enough to whisk away anyones sour feelings.

The Dnepr District (not big enough to be a stake district…not a missionary district) is starting a 40 day fast today. The next 40 days have been divied up between members all over the city, to make 40 days of continuous fasting for the people in the city to find the missionaries. We had an amazing fireside last night to kick it off. It was one of those "not a dry eye in the room" sort of deals. President Kavrilov, the District President spoke, as well as a member and Elder Bayles (his is the ZL here, and also serving in the District Presidency). President Kavrilov’s talk was like something straight out of General Conference. He spoke about the need to bring ourselves as a whole together, so the powers of heaven can be poured out more abundantly upon us.

The Europe East Area has a theme scripture for the year. It is Alma 6:6 –

6Nevertheless the children of God were commanded that they should gather themselves together oft, and join in afasting and mighty prayer in behalf of the welfare of the souls of those who knew not God.

The Area Presidency has asked that every prayer said this year include these people. It is amazing how all of Eastern Europe is taking off with success, and how our mission is changing. It is a miracle, and I am so grateful to be a part of it.

I am really learning to value how much a companionship inventory can do for your companionship. Of course we have been doing them every week, but we had a long one this week. We had been having our tension here and there, and we both couldn’t really figure out why. We just talked and ended up having a 45 minute or so inventory that really made everything so simple, and outlined exactly what we needed to change. It is amazing how much the Lord just nudges you the right way enough to get what needs to be done, done. One thing I have really learned on my mission, is that I don’t really do anything on my own, it is just that the Lord pushes me here or there in the right direction, and I don’t realize it. I am grateful that I have been able to recognize this and give the Lord the proper thanks he deserves for his effort in my life.

Once again, happy Valentine’s Day. I love you all, and wish you the best.

С Днём Святого Валентина!!!

Старейшина Маклиньток

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