Date: June 11, 2014
Elder Cook gave the devotional Tuesday and it was great. Things that he said that stood out to me.
"Don't be afraid to teach in your new language. God isn't going to let one of his precious children miss out on blessings because you didn't conjugate a verb correctly. Do your best and he will help you. Who the Lord calls, he also qualifies."
"Bear your testimony. One elder I served with was very shy but when I asked those we baptized when they knew it was true, each share a time when that shy elders simply words of testimony or truth brought the spirit."
I have seen my patriarchal blessing fulfilled while here. Mom and Dad, you will remember the stuff it says about bearing testimony...I have seen those promises fulfilled here many times!
OK, here's something exciting. I spoke with a sister from Idaho who accompanied a vocalist at a fireside and she told me that they need accompanists. I went to put my name on the list and they asked me to play for them. When I finished, they asked me to be in charge of the musical number for the big 4th of July MTC meeting! Ya, I'm supposed to find music, put together a group, and perform for the whole MTC in July. Oh, and since it isn't a devo, I get to pick fun, patriotic, music!
I have done a ton with piano since here. I have played for church every week and accompanied or sang in every sacrament meeting since getting here. Keep up your music because it will be used. Mom, thanks for the hymn arrangement book, it is being WELL used!
We had a bunch of missionaries leave Monday and so there are only about 18 Russian speaking elders here now but we have 24-32 showing up in our zone alone next Wednesday! Yep, the place will be packed! 500 new missionaries came today!
I was reading D&C 109:22-23 when I went to the temple last week and something stood out to me, those verses apply to all church member but especially to missionaries. Leaving the temple endowed with power to teach the world is an amazing promise.
I teach in Russian most days of the week and I am getting better at saying things. Look up a recent article about missionaries learning a new language in 9 weeks. It was written by a non-member for some magazine and they said that they only comparable system is used by the military and it takes 64 weeks. They interviewed an elder and asked how he could learn in 9 weeks what takes everyone else 64. He told them it was because we learn by the spirit. The article closed by saying, "whether you believe this or not, the results speak for themselves." I know that we learn by the spirit and it is OH so powerful!
Quick thing that might make you smile. All of the Russian speakers sit in an alcove on the side with iron pillars separating that alcove from the rest of the dining hall. We call those pillars the "iron curtain" and joke that the Russian speakers sit behind the iron curtain.\
I know that they Lord blesses and helps us as we work our hardest. Russian is so hard but I still have that feeling of peace that I entered the MTC with about going to the Baltics. I could go now and not feel stressed. What a blessing the peace of God is!
All my love,