Monday, August 4, 2008

Ufa Zone Conference...Cold Cucumber Soup...Russian Ties...It's a Small World After All...

My favorite scripture for this week...D&C 18: 15 - 19 - 15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
16 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the
kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!
17 Behold, you have my gospel before you, and my rock, and my
Ask the Father in my name, in faith believing that you shall receive, and you shall have the Holy Ghost, which manifesteth all things which are expedient unto the children of men.
19 And if you have not
faith, hope, and charity, you can do nothing.

Привет Каждый,
Россия говорит, привет тоже,

Well, let’s see what’s happened in my part of the world this past week…I kept notes in my planner, so let me get it and start this email off good. I will begin with last Tuesday, which was last p-day. Towards the end of the day I went on splits with Elder M. to Dioma. It was a way cool change of scenery from Ufa with it’s tall buildings that I am used to seeing. Dioma is a smaller town on the outskirts of Ufa. There are a lot private small homes, which was a nice change of pace.
On Wednesday, we went to Avdon, which a small town outside of Ufa’s city limits of a population of 8,000 people. I was the tenth missionary who has ever been there. It is the furthest south area in the mission. We met with the nicest member there. She fed us huge portions of cold cucumber soup, (which I will get to in a minute) Macaroni, potatoes, and hot chocolate. Everything was so good except the cold cucumber soup, it was so hard for me to eat it, but I managed. She fed us a ton!! I normally don’t eat that much but she was determined for us to clean our plates and so we did. After we finished we had a thirty minute bus ride back. The buses here are just so crazy. It was a great day!
This past Wednesday was Zone Conference. President and Sister Allen both gave great talks as well as the AP’s. I and the other newer missionaries had to each speak for five minutes. After the talks we ate and had interviews. We had sub sandwiches, but unlike the usual sub with the Russian sausage, colbassa, these subs actually had real meat like we have back home. The conference was great. It was very spiritual and great to sit back and relax and just talk about the different aspects of missionary work.
~~side note – I spilt mayo on my new favorite tie that I got here in Russia especially to wear to zone conference. I was so bummed, but when I got home I filled the tub with cold water and soaked the whole tie and it is like new again!! The Russian ties here really are the best ever and so dang cheap. $150 ties in the states only costs $10 here. So yeah, anyone who would like me to pick them up some wonderful good looking ties just let me know.
One more side note...Sister Allen told me that my great grandmother Beus was her Sunday School teacher!! Pretty AWESOME!!! It's a Small World After All!!
After Zone Conference, I went on splits with one of the AP’s, Elder Johnson who is totally cool. He is a great Elder. He gave me some really great pointers on contacting people on the streets. He gave me some great advise on how to improve my language skills as well, so that was a great help.
Okay…just so everyone knows… the language barrier can play havoc when telling a good joke. No one here ever gets my jokes. I was informed by Gulnza (the member that always calls us) that the Russian members don’t like my jokes. UGH!!! They don’t understand or get when I am trying to tell my jokes…so yeah, not too funny. I tried to explain my jokes to Gulnza and she finally caught on after a very long time. She said because my language is still a little rough that I may not be using the properly vocabulary…OUCH!! I guess I have a long way to go with this dang language, but I still really LOVE IT!! I really am lovin the Russian people here. I honestly do. They may seem hard to get to know at first, but once you break the ice and get to know them they are the nicest and most loving people of all. The members are so strong and extremely humble, they are amazing and I feel grateful for being able to serve in such a great area.
The greatest part of the work for me is to be able to witness these people who have been struggling with their lives be able to turn it all around. You can feel their love and gratitude for the Gospel. In speaking with the members here, it makes me realize how lucky I had it growing up amongst all Mormons. It was the norm for me and I never realized what I really had and how fortunate I have been. Living here and working with the people truly is an eye opener. I love to see the youth here and witness their remarkable strength. Many of the youth are the only members of their families. They have so many temptations here; the members have to stay strong in order to survive. It's remarkable to see how they love their scriptures, if you look through you will see how marked up they are on every page. I love to see their faith at work. What an amazing people.
There was a baptism on Sunday. It was a great experience to be able to attend. I hope I can help people be baptized and help them be as happy as the members of the church are here.
Okay...well, this past Sunday was a fast Sunday so we had testimony meeting and this woman got up and chastised everyone because they were not talking loud enough. It was funny because she's a bob (meaning old woman) haha but she is very nice. It was just funny. I'm sure she is hard of hearing because of her age.
Well, I am running out of time and I need to respond to as many emails as I possibly can. Please don't feel bad if I don't respond to your email...the little time we get here makes it difficult, but please know how much I appreciate every single email I get.
A BIG SHOUT OUT GOES TO - Chanel, Ashley, Elder BJ Dewey, (my Bro in Idaho) Brother Whimpey, Colleen Dewey, (grandpa Dewey's new wife) Mom and Dad!!!!! Thank you for all your WONDERFUL EMAILS!!! IT MAKES MY WEEK!!!

I love you all and always remember the importance of doing the right gives you peace and happiness. Stay Solid!! I love this work with all my heart and I'm giving it all I can because I know without a doubt that the lessons we are teaching and the things we are testifying of are true. I love the gospel, I love the Lord, I love the people of Russia and I love all you back home. I miss you, but I know I am where I am suppose to be...doing the Lord's work. Believe me, it's HARD and it gets to your core! But as long as I am doing my Best I know the Lord will take care of the rest. I know the Gospel is true...what great happiness it brings!!

Мир Out, (Peace out)
Старший Дьюи в России (Elder Dewey in Russia)

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