You fool, ForEx isn’t a game!

Or at least that is what crazy Alexander told Leonid yesterday during Sunday School.

We found Alexander in the Area Book, and he lives in an area that President Nielsen has asked us to focus on. All it said was "he didn’t come to church, so we decided to stop by". Thank you former Elders for keeping a good area book. We stopped by, he let us in, but didn’t remember us at all. He talked a lot about money, you could tell he sure likes it a lot. After we got over that, we taught him a normal 1st lesson, nothing special, he didn’t seem too interested.

Yesterday, we get a phone call asking what time we would be at the church. We thought he was going to come to church and it was a pleasant surprise. He no-showed for sacrament meeting, and then 20 minutes into Sunday school, Leonid walks in and pulls us out of class because Alexander came and asked for us. As soon as we walked out, I could tell something was a little odd about him. He pulled out two matching folders with this packets of information in them. When I read the first page, I saw mine and Elder Adams’s names type and listed as Project Managers. After a quick flip through and reading, I fell upon the last page: a contract to start a business with him. He wants to start a business teaching people how to do ForEx trading so they can make money from home. Obviously, missionaries are not allowed to have any kind of job or business, so we had an easy escape chute. Our "no" wasn’t good enough and he wanted to talk to a leader of some sort. President Nielsen was also sitting in the room, but he wasn’t part of the conversation, but I thought it would be better to have someone from the branch presidency talk to him (even though President Nielsen does speak Russian very well. He is literally one of the smartest people in the world) so I grabbed Leonid (see the last email) and had him come out. Leonid was in the branch president’s office doing some business with President Gelmeev.

He came out, and Alexander gave the same schpeal to him, and Leonid was trying hard not to laugh. There were a total of 9 people in the room watching all of this happen: Leonid, Elder Adams and Alexander were near the sacrament table. President Nielsen was in the first row of chairs. I was near the people next to President Gelmeev (our branch president), and Vadim and Ksysha, two branch members in their 20’s were standing behind us trying not to laugh at what was going on. Leonid told Alexander that we wouldn’t officially support anything like that, and people needed to choose for themselves what they wanted to do for work, and we weren’t going to tell people to work for somebody. He also told him that ForEx trading was basically a game, and unless you were rich it was extremely stupid to do. To which Alexander just about yelled:

You Fool! ForEx isn’t a game!

The rest of us were trying so hard not to laugh. Leonid started smiling and apologized for laughing after Alexander was going off about him being a coward and a fool for laughing at the true way to make millions. Note: Alexander’s apartment? Not that nice. Finally he said that "You Mormons are fools just like the Adventists, they didn’t want to do this either!" and Leonid said that he would sign a paper saying he received the packet, and that was it. After he signed it, Alexander turned around and started talking to President Nielsen, who also fighting back a chuckle just said "Thank you, good bye" and had me show him the door. I told Alexander we would be in touch, and then locked the branch door behind him as he left.

When I walked back into the sacrament hall, we all started busted up laughing, and the branch president said "Who are you meeting with!? Can’t you find anyone normal?" while laughing. It was hysterical. Leonid put his fingers to his head like a gun and shot himself, as if to say "kill me". I started laughing at that, and the branch president didn’t understand that. People don’t joke around with death here, but a few of the younger people in the branch know what that means. All of the people near my age who have been members for a very long time have very American senses of humor and all speak English very well because they have essentially grown up around the missionaries.

Other than that, Elena got really sick this week, so she couldn’t come to church or meet with us, but she called us yesterday and set up an appointment so that was good.

We taught a lesson to Alexander Boboshko, an inactive member. His son is one of the most active members of the church here and just turned in his mission papers. Alexander had something happen and got offended a few years ago and slipped into activity, but he said that it is time for him to come back. We are going to set a plan with him to have him get the Melchezidek Priesthood from his son before he leaves on his mission. It was a very good lesson, and he is a way cool guy. He was a mechanic and a navigator in the USSR Air Force and showed us pictures of all of the places that took him back in the day.

We also taught a lesson to an old lady who didn’t have any clue who we were even though she was on date to be baptized at one point 6 years ago, and her daughter is a member somewhere. We realized she has the memory of a goldfish and was reading the Book of Mormon out loud and then repeatedly asking us if it was printed in Russian or not.

We tried to stop by a few former investigators yesterday, and after we tried them, a man just stopped us and asked if we were preachers. He asked if we could sit down and talk for a few minutes, and we said of course. He had just talked to missionaries of some sort from another church, and was very interested in "being saved" as he described it. He has a huge desire, but it was very difficult to teach him because he wanted to know everything all at once. He has a very minute religious background, if any at all. He didn’t know who Adam and Eve were, and had never heard of Gethsemane or Eden. I guess that is a plus, because his mind is free for molding. At the end of the lesson, he asked if he could throw the paper the born-again preachers gave him away, and we politely told him that he could do as he wished, but to know that it wasn’t entirely correct.

This week we helped a man change his tire when we saw him on the side of the road. It kind of took him by surprise that we were young guys who wanted to actually help him, but afterwards he gave us his info. He was a nice guy and we had a good chat, but it goes to show that service is they way to go!

We also went "chalkboarding" this week. The APs came down to our area, and we went to a park and drew the Plan of Salvation in chalk on the sidewalk, and talked to people as they went by. It drew a lot of attention, and we had a lot of good conversations with people. It got really windy, so we didn’t have an extreme amount of people, but it was way fun. I took pictures, but I don’t have my camera with me, so I will send them next week.

I hope everyone is having a good time, and I’m glad that my Cougars are in the Sweet 16!

I love you all,

Elder McClintock

PS: I sent letters off this week to Alex Hoeft and Alison Jones, so be on the look out for those you two!

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