Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Starting to Understand Russian!!!!

Hey Everybody!!!! This has been one awesome week here at the MTC!!!! So here is how my week has gone!

Wednesday: So it my very first P- day and I have come to learn that they are awesome!!!! We started the day off by going to the temple which was super fun and then we got to eat in the Temple Cafeteria for the first time! Afterwards, got to come back and relax and read all of my emails and talk to some of you guys. I miss you all and I hope everything is going well on the outside. Later that night we had our final meeting with Casha (our investigator) and got him to commit to Baptism!

Thursday: We started off the day with a bit off a bumpy start. The alarm clock that elder Hess brought ( the SONIC BOMB....evil) would not stop going off. When we tried it just got angry and turned to a higher pitch! We had to unplug it and it still took a minute for it to stop! After that we meet with our new teacher, BRAT GILL!!!!! He is super smart and will only speak Russian, not even hinting English to us. I was able to talk with him some what but I was still pretty lost at what he was saying. Needless to say we got very good at charades. We also learned that we would have THREE new investigators!!!!! I'm super excited to start working to bring them the gospel.

Left to Right: My companion Elder Manning, Elder Nielson, and Elder Hess

Friday: So we learned that we were gonna be teaching Ola today. She is a fairly young investigator from Russia but has very little education. We found out that she cant read very well, but has a strong desire to learn about the gospel. It was hard at first because we normally had the investigator read the scriptures and some of the pamphlets to get a better understanding of what we were trying to say. It was hard and the lesson didn't go so well. That was really hard because I was the one who was leading the lesson! But I prayed about it and I'm making plans so that next time, I can be fully prepared to help her and get her to understand.

Saturday: I'M STARTING TO UNDERSTAND RUSSIAN!!!! Today while in class, we had a little "bus stop" training where we tried to get an invitation to teach in between a bus stops time ( usually 3 - 5 minutes) During the demonstration, I got called to be the example and I got carried away and started having a full on conversation with Brat Frolick about the gospel and what it was!!!! I was so happy 'cause I understood what was being said and what to respond with.

Sunday: It was a pretty chill day. Elder Manning wants me to let you guys know he says hi. I finally got to see MEET THE MORMONS and it was really good and super funny. I think that its kinda of funny what some people think about Mormons. The devotional tonight was also hilarious because the speaker kept making a few jokes but also left some great lessons. He said that we made a choice to go on our mission and that we all left stuff behind whether it be family, a girlfriend, or just the general chance to feel warm again! But truly I am happy to be here and I know my Father in Heaven will bless me. my family, and my friends when we do "what is expedient of us".

Our Branch Photo!

Monday: We met with our second investigator, Edward, and it went super great!!! We just talked about how we are the children of heavenly father and he loves us individually. He had a little hard time with that because he grew up in poverty and a really bad section of Russia. Well I decided to share 2nd Peter Chapter 5 I think where it reads about how through our struggle, if we endure to the end, our trials will be become our strength and Edward was really moved by it. We got him to pray about!

Tuesday: We had our devotional tonight and it was given by Elder Katcher of the Seventy and it was about how our missions can be either good or bad, but it's our decision, our choices that can make them so. So instead of writing the usual daily update I want to bear my testimony as I did that night. I may not be the strongest, I may not be the most compassionate or most in tuned with the spirit. I make so many mistakes and feel doubts and anger at so many. But I know in my heart, that this choice to serve a mission and, more importantly, serve the Lord was the right choice. I know that Christ, The Savior of the world did walk on this earth and that he did take on all of our sins and iniquities. He endured through our pain and sadness. Every aspect of our fear and doubts,he understand and he is there for us. There is a God, and he is our Heavenly Father. We are all of his children and he loves all of us. Every Single One of US. We have the chance to follow the Lord, thing is It HAS to be our decisions, our choice to follow. I know , my choice and I'm never going back. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

First MTC Blog Post!

Hey everyone and greetings from the MTC! So much has happened here already and its a lot to take in!

Wednesday: So I entered the MTC and already I met someone going to the same mission as me! It was during admittance that I found out that the missionary in front of me was going on the same mission as me. When we got to the classroom, we found out that we were going to be companions!!!! His name is Elder Manning and he is pretty awesome. He comes from Idaho with a family of 14 kids, him being the youngest!!!!!! We met the rest of the district which consists of three sisters and two elders. Right away we got thrown into learning Russian with our teacher and it was so random! All the words seem to change constantly and at any moment depending who is saying it and what they are saying! The food is delicious and very filling. I think I'm gonna like it here!

Thursday: So today I woke up at about 6:30 thanks to Elder Hess's (roommate and in our district) evil alarm clock which can literally wake up the entire floor. It threw his companion, Elder Nielson, out of bed and onto the floor! We then went and meet with the rest of the zone which includes the leaders Elders Crabb and Brown and Sisters Martin and Hansen. I also ran into Hemana Prows today! They're very great and super funny. I can feel the spirit at work when they speak whole sentences in Russian! Speaking of which, Today we learned how to pray in Russian and were told we we're gonna start  teaching an investigator on Friday!  His name is Cesha and he speaks only Russian!!! Lets just say I was freaking out!!

Friday: Today was super stressful! Elder Manning and I started prepping to teach Cesha today, but the words were just not coming to us! We decided to teach him how to pray (since that's all we knew haha) and find out more about him. He isn't a member of the church but he seems very interested about the doctrine, but just has some questions about the holy ghost and praying. When we got in the conversation just started flowing and you could feel the spirit working to bridge the language barrier.

Saturday: It has been by far the most spiritual day I've had today and I have to thank my entire zone. I've gotten praying down in Russain and I feel like I can do it confidently. Tonight is where the big stuff happened because Sister Robb ask for a blessing from the elders in the zone! We all got together during the end of the day and I got to participate in the blessing. Right after that, the rest of the sisters stared asking for blessings one by one. At the end, Sister Martin stood up and asked if I would give her a blessing as well!!!! My first ever blessing!!! I was freaking out, but I said yes and let me tell you now, one of the most humbling and spiritual moments of my life. I felt the spirit leading me what to say and I started tearing up a bit. Sister Martin started tearing up as well and when I finished shook my hand saying it was on of the best blessings she has ever felt and it just made me so happy inside. After that we decided to watch a mission episode of the Kiev Temple dedication and the youth culture show they had for it. All the youths spoke about how happy they were to have a Temple close by finally and I could really just feel the pure joy in all their hearts. Afterwards we started bearing our testimonies and finally went to bed.

Sunday: Today was pretty relaxed and just learned how Sundays are done. I saw the Joseph Smith Movie for the first time and I just gotta say that I know that Joseph smith was a true prophet of god and he did restore the gospel to the this earth. In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

Tuesday: On Tuesday we had a devotional be Elder Russel M. Ballard! And I got a second row seat. He quite literally would look at me sometimes!!! His spirit and testimony were strong and inviting. The talk he gave reminded me that while I am on my mission I am here, not to serve myself, but to serve God and my fellow men. He said that if we ever feel down or over worked, we should try writing letters to Joseph Smith as he was in Liberty Jail, trying to cheer him up!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Elder Preston Shaw's Mission Blog

Elder Preston Jay Shaw has begun his missionary service.  Feel free to follow this blog by submitting your e-mail address to the "Follow by Email" option to the right >>>.