It's week...um I'm going tosay 8 (it's really 7) in Tuapse, Russia and I'm going to say 65 degrees! That's nuts. I swear if we took a picture of where I tracted my first week here, you would think I was in Brazil. Anyway, on with the news.
The bad news is that my beloved traner and good friend, "Elder Porter" is gone. Also, they put me with a Russian companion, who doesn't speak English at all, Elder Busov. I don't know how to explain Elder Busov. At home, he's cool and relaxed and likes to eat weird Russian things with a ridiculous amount of mayonaisse. But on the street, it's like serving with as rude robot. But on the street if anyone, maning pretty much everyone shows disinterest or has conflicted feelings about the church, he talks to them like they're an idiot or shurgs his shoulders like it's their loss. Dang man, at least be kind. Idk.
There is an upside to this companion transfer. I am no longer a greenie. And my Russian is improving like crazy. In our bathroom, there are a bunch of signs with instructions about what to do with the water heater and toilet...and etc. When I got here, I was like man I might as well be reading Elfish. None of this makes sense. Well, today a miracle happened. As I was "doing my thing," I was reading the signs and was like holy poop! I understand every word on here. It was definitely a great moment. I haven't spoken Englsih in five days, so to write in English is a great relief.
Also the other night I was laying in bed looking out the window, and I see this Russian guy walk out of his house and straight up pee off his third floor balcony apartment, and it didn't even faze me. Russian pee anywhere whenever. All toilets except home toilet you have to pay to use. So kids are taught from an early age that if you have to pee or "do your thing," just find a nice quiet spot outside and go for it. Anyway, enough about peeing. And toilets.
Last transfer we worked hard and ended up with one progressing investigator, Lera. She is the 18 year old girl, who came to English Club. Well, we finally got her to come to chuech, and she brought her mother, who was visiting frou out of town. They had a blast. No doubt they felt the spirit, and acutally the mother left telling Lera that she needed to come to our church every Sunday. We gave the Mom a Book of Mormon and a bunch of Liahonas and sent them off on their way. Excited about her Sunday, the mom went to her batushka (Russian Pravoslavniy Priest) the mother showed he all the stuff she got and told him about her wonderful experience she had at church. The batushka immediately told her she had committed the worst sin she could and that she needs to pay "X" amount to the Pravoslavniy Church for "X" amount of time, say the prayer "Our Father" 40 times for a month, and come to the true church every Sunday for a year for Lera and her to be forgiven.
So...pretty much Lera is no longer an investigator, and the Tuapse missionaries are back at square 1. Nothing :(. We are teaching, but it seems that no one wants to pray about the Book of Mormon.
The other day, this Protestant group of young adults, probably about 23 or 24 years old, came to talk to us outside. And we taught them the first lesson. They were like there is no need for a prophet or a Book of Mormon and you just need to read the Bible, pray to God, and he will tell you everything to do. I was like why do you read the Bible if you see no need for prophets. The whole book was written by prophets and is their counsel. After that, I committed them to read 3rd Nephi 11 and pray if the Book of Mormon was true. They said they would and would call me. They didn't call me. Not surprised.
Anyway same old same old. Endless knocking. Lots of doors slamming. People calling us devil worshipers. yelling at us and calling me the N word. But hey. The Church is still true :). It really is and a testimony of that is the only thing keeping me out here. Cause, to keep it real, Tuapse is not a pleasant place.
I'd like to give a challenge to all of you to read 3rd Nephi chapter 11 in th eBook of Mormon and pray in your own words to God, your Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, your Savior to know if the Book of Mormon is true. If you already have a testimony, strengthen it. If you don't, I promise you that youcan receive, if your desire to know is sincere.
Well, I'm signing off.