Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Cucumber & Mayo Sandwich...testimony strengthened...

D & C 76:22

And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!

Привет Каждый, (Hello Everyone)

Wow! It’s been an eventful week. My companion was gone on his visa renewal trip to Prague, so I spent Monday thru Wednesday with Elder’s M and A. in Chemikofka. They are awesome missionaries. It was great to go somewhere different and see another area of the mission. Chemikofka’s architect is different than in the center of Ufa where I serve. The building designs are much more European looking and painted in bright colors...very Cool. I had a great time. While I was there we went to the outskirts of Ufa to a small town (village) called Shaksha. My first impression of Shaksha was that it was very small and very dirty. I noticed a building with a spray painted mural of two gangsters representing Russia and Bashkortistan ...written in English next to the mural read... “Together Forever”. It was an awesome mural. I wanted to take a picture, but there were too many drunks, that we felt we needed to leave. It was a great experience and a lot of fun serving with these two great Elders.
On Wednesday, I went to the ZL’s area with Elder L. It was a great time. I noticed the dom’s (apartment buildings) that are being constructed look a lot like what we have back in the states, a little more modern than all the others I have seen.
Okay, so one of my awkward or kind of "had to be there"...moments for this week was when Elder L and I got on the bus and sat across from a couple of devchucks ( girls ). For some odd reason they kept looking at us funny and talking about us...kinda weird/funny. They continued talking, obviously thinking that we couldn't understand anything they were saying about us, this unfortunately would be true of me,( understanding small fragments) but not of Elder L. We pretended not to pay any attention and let them talk away, then just as the bus was near our stop, Elder L started talking to them in Russian...You should've seen the surprise look on their was pretty funny and awkward at the same time. I'm hoping some day very SOON I will be comfortable speaking Russian freely, with out hesitation. I am still hitting the books hard and beating my head with them, hoping that something will sink in sometime soon!! haha. It's coming, I'm understanding more everyday, and I pick up a lot by the way of conversation, but it's certainly not the easiest language to learn. It can definitely wear a person down...if you let it.
So, I have made a new discovery Russian yogurt. It’s great !! Now, for breakfast I enjoy something other than that dang grain junk that horses eat. I have also discovered... if a person is hungry enough you will eat just about anythingincluding (another new favorite find of mine)…cucumber sandwiches. I’m sure mom is not believing any of this, but I can tell you that my ability to adapt to a different culture and way of living is excellent!!! You do what you need to in order to surviveSo if there is nothing in the fridge besides cucumbers and is cucumber & mayo sandwiches we will be feasting on! Some of you asked me what food or restaurant I miss most, I guess I would probably say Arby’s, but now that I have my new favorite finds of Russian yogurt and cucumber & Mayo sandwiches, the thought of an Arby's "Big Beef and Cheddar" never enters my you believe that one?...haha! I’m really catching on to this Russian culture and food thing..I'm lovin Russia!

Okay... I know a few of you asked me if we really play DUCK, DUCK GOOSE in FHE. YES...we really play... DUCK, DUCK GOOSE!!! I know...I will never live it down. It's almost as competitive as "FOUR SQUARE" was back in the MTC. I don't know what is with these primary school games...first, a BIG RED RUBBER BALL and now, a DUCK and a GOOSE! But BELIEVE it or not, it's not such a childish game the way we play it. In fact, it can get pretty intense, running fast on a slippery floor ...people ALWAYS FALLING. I worry that someday someone is going to get hurt, but no serious injuries as of yet, so until then ...we continue on with our primary school games! haha! I love the youth here in Ufa, they are amazing people and a ton of fun!o be around!!

A few of you asked about our form of tracting. We actually call it “finding”. We do most of our ‘finding” on the street. We try and talk with people as they are passing by. It's interesting, to say the least. However, I've been told that in bad weather it’s a bit difficult, because people are in a hurry to get where they are going and to get out of the cold as fast as they can...not that I blame them. I haven’t experienced real cold -50 below weather yet, I can only imagine ... I am in for a ride! When the time comes, and I find myself standing like a frozen icicle on a snow covered street corner somewhere here in Russia, I will have to try hard to keep my mind off the memories of the warm winter weather back home in AZ. I will try and convince myself of how great a white Christmas with real snow will be... AND…while all of you back at home are outside with out jackets in the middle of December, enjoying the mild winter weather with plenty of sunshine, I hope you think of me... here in Russia on my lonely frozen street corner trying desperately to find someone who will stop long enough to let me share the Gospel with them in -50 below weather... (that sounds so crazy) I am actually looking forward to this craziness!...did I really just say that??? Anyway,, when this thought pops into your head, I ask that you might whisper up a small prayer on my behalf to the Big Guy upstairs. I’m sure by then I will need all the prayers I can get ... that time of year is soon approaching...Haha!
favorite part of being a missionary is having the opportunity to bear my testimony to others. This past week, while teaching a family I had a great experience which allowed me to bear my testimony and testify of the truthfulness of the message that was taught that night. This family would like to get baptized, all except the father, who is not the least bit interested, and is making it difficult for the other family members. It’s sad to see others get in the way of one’s eternal happiness.
Anyway, while we were there I bore my testimony in a way that is difficult to explain, except to say, that I was lead and directed by the spirit in what to say and in the manner of which to say it. I bore my testimony in the most sincere way, the spirit was incredibly strong. I could see they were really listening and could feel the spirit as well. I will never forget the feelings I experienced that night. I am grateful for moments like this, when I can truly feel the spirit within me, directing my thoughts and actions. My Russian was even decent, and delivered with a fair amount of ease. It was a great testimony building experience for me, one that I will always remember.
I would like to encourage all of you to bear your testimony more often. Not just in sacrament meetings, but with your non-member friends, neighbors and with people you work with. You will find your testimony will be sstrengthened with each opportunity. You will be helping others see and feel the light of Christ. I am grateful for the testimony I have and for each opportunity I’m given to share it others. It’s truly the most real and sincere part of me...It comes straight from my heart and the core of my soul…It's a gift from my Father in Heaven …a gift I can give to another…a gift that keeps on giving…my testimony is what I cherish most in this life, and I wish to share it with those that are willing to listen and receive it.

спокойствие покой, (Peace)
Elder Dewey

P.S. from Elder Dewey's mom...correction from the last post...a car did not run into Elder Dewey...Elder Dewey ran into a PARKED car! It was a little late and a little dark... His email was a little apology.

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