Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Back from Spain...All About Endurance...

Alma 26: 29 And we have entered into their houses and taught them, and we have taught them in their streets; yea, and we have taught them upon their hills; and we have also entered into their temples and their synagogues and taught them; and we have been cast out, and mocked, and spit upon, and smote upon our cheeks; and we have been stoned, and taken and bound with strong cords, and cast into prison; and through the power and wisdom of God we have been delivered again.

Чили привет из Сибири, ( A Chilly Hello From Siberia )

Amazing Race missionary style,…our visa renewal trip to Madrid was wild, fast, and just crazy! What a wonderful opportunity we all had to travel to Spain. Although it was a fast trip and the Temple was closed, we still had a great time! I will have pictures next week. After obtaining our visa’s we went sight seeing to the SOL, which is the older part of Madrid. It was beautiful. I especially loved the European architecture of the buildings. After sight seeing we went back to the MTC to shower then left to catch our flight back. Once we arrived to Moscow, we had a five-hour layover where we just sat on the ground in the ghetto airport and had a great time talking, catching up and sharing our missionary experiences. When we arrived to Ekat we hung out at the mission office for a while and stayed at the AP’s that evening. Elder D and I left the following day for a six-hour train ride for Tyuman to deliver a special letter to the branch president. After our delivery and spending about an hour in Tyuman, we hopped a bus for another four-hour ride to Kurgan.
WHEW…what a trip! So, here is the crazy part…next Monday my comp, Elder D, leaves for his visa renewal to Stockholm Sweden and will be gone for TEN days. During this time, I will either stay with the AP's or ZL’s. You can see how disruptive these visa renewal trips are. However, in the near future there may be a loop hole where we can get two visa’s and send one in advance to the country we will be traveling to renew. This will hopefully eliminate the ten days that is required to be in another country while waiting for the paperwork to be processed. The kinks are in the process of being worked out.
The missions here in Russia certainly have their challenges, but well worth all the hardships and struggles the church and missionaries have to endure for the sake of these great Russian people. I truly love the Russian people and their culture. It’s difficult to get them to listen to what you have to share with them, but those few that are able to grasp onto our messages and you see the new hope in their eye it is nothing but miraculous! To watch the change that occurs within them is amazing! For myself, I just wish the language wasn’t such a barrier. My Russian is coming along. It sure tries my patience, I would love nothing more than to have the freedom to share exactly what I am thinking and feeling, but I often feel handicapped by the language. I constantly feel the Lords help and it is getting easier. It just would be great to speak on the same level. I’ve always known that I need work on my patience and I am most definitely getting the opportunity!
Spain was a nice break from the cold, but upon arriving in Kurgan it quickly reminded me that winter is certainly here. It was bitter cold when we arrived back to our stomping grounds. On Thursday Elder D and I quickly got back into the swing of things. We had planning, English club, and then a meeting with Artyom and Zhenya (new investigators). Something kind of funny...when we met with Artyom and Zhenya, Elder D gave most of the lesson and I talked very little, so after the lesson was over, Zhenya said she wanted to meet again on Friday, but this time she wanted me to give the entire lesson and talk the whole time. So I made a deal with them, I told her I would give the lesson if they would read a chapter in the Book of Mormon. Zhenya agreed. I gave both of them a book and marked a chapter for them to read. On Friday I studied my butt off and planned an amazing lesson, it was going to be the SUPERBOWL of all lessons. I was well prepared and excited. We arrived to our appointment on time, but were disappointed when Artyom showed up twenty minutes late and Zhenya didn’t show up at all. We were suppose to meet at Zhenya’s apartment but had to end up talking to Artyom outside, so it was difficult to give the lesson. I was crushed... I had studied, planned and prayed so hard in preparing an amazing lesson for them. Later in the evening Artyom called us back to schedule a meeting for Sunday, so I regained hope only to be disappointed once again. When Sunday rolled around Artyom was all of a sudden too busy. I won’t give up on them! I hope they will meet with us again soon. They are great people and I know they can use the Gospel in their lives and they NEED it!!! I would do anything if we could just meet with them again!!
Friday was the first day of SNOW here in Siberia…burrrrrrrr!!! I went out without my hat and some babushka (older lady) yelled at me and told me to go home and get my hat to put over my ears! Hahahha!
Well, that's it for this week. I wish I had more to report. Thank you all for your emails and your support. I sure appreciate you all thinking of me. I love you . Keep smiling and just be happy! Life is great, even here in COLD SIBERIA!

Peace Out,
Elder Dewey

P.S. I’m bummed that cucumber season is over.

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