Okay...so, I know I need to send pictures of the baptism. The internet here is not the greatest. I will some how try and get a few sent sometime this week.
I am going to begin this week’s email with a thought that I’ve had stuck in my mind for a while now as I have been reading the New Testament. I came across a verse that never made much sense to me until recently, or maybe I should say I never gave it too much thought until now. It is found in Matthew 16:24-25. It talks about whoever is looking for his life will lose it and whoever loses his life for the Lord will find it. For some reason this verse has been lingering in my mind for a while until something clicked. This is the thought that followed. –
I thought about the experiences I’ve had thus far into my mission and how it is all about losing your self completely in doing the Lord’s work. While I have been out now for a year and half, I can honestly say that I am not the same person I was when I first arrived here in Russia. I feel as if most everything about me has changed. While serving a mission everything changes, we don’t do the same things we did at home, we don’t act the same way, and we don’t dress the same way, we basically give up our whole selves. I am convinced that the life I once knew back home in Mesa will be completely different to the one that I will return home to. Honestly, I am looking forward to the change. Much of the “the not so good” stuff in my life has disappeared, some of it right away, and some of it over time. I would be lying if I said it was easy letting go. I knew that many of my friends will have moved on with their lives, and the life I knew before I left will no longer exist. And, the best part is...I am okay with that. Deep down, I was aware that these two years would bring about the changes necessary for me to progress and move forward in this life. And, I recognize the Lord's involment with the changes that have occured. I have been emotionaly and spiritualy challenged on a level I never knew before exsisted and from this I learned a lot about myself. I have learned a great deal while serving a mission here in Russia. I believe the biggest lesson I have learned is that of humility, which can be difficult and tricky at times. I have also learned to practice faith as I have come to rely on the Lord when faced with uncertain moments. Those lessons helped build character and strengthen my testimony! It has become much easier now that I am no longer looking back… only forward. I am excited to what is ahead. I look forward in making the last seven months of my mission count as I have done through out my mission. I look forward with excitement for the bright future that’s a head. I know for certain that I will never fall back into the same boring pattern of premission life, but will continue to serve others well, work hard to get through school, and find joy in the journey. My mission has taught me many important and valuable lessons that I will never forget. I love my mission here in Russia and the wonderful people that I have had the opportunity to serve and get to know. I can’t imagine serving any where else. I know this is where I am suppose to be. My mission has been the best part of my life thus far and I am grateful for this experience.
Okay, on to the happenings of this past week. There was a lot that took place, but I am running short on time so I will just give a brief outline.
On Monday we went bowling for a p-day activity with a bunch of the youth, which was a great time. I didn’t do that great though. I am getting a little rusty on my bowling skills… my highest score was 150ish, I think.
Tuesday, we went to Avdon to visit our amazing member Valentine. She fed us as usual, but we did remember to bring juice, which seemed to make her happy. After our visit with Valentine, we took a bus to Ufa to meet with Tanya. The meeting with Tanya went really good, she is a really great new member. We talked about Missionary work and more about the structure of the church. It was a good lesson. Wednesday, okay now this I am sure wouldn’t seem too exciting to some of you, but the most exciting thing that happened that day was... no…we didn’t find a new investigator, but we did find the most amazing cake I have ever tasted in my life!!! It’s called Honey cake. It’s kind of a honey flavored cake with a billion really thin layers, it’s the most an amazing thing I have ever tasted in my life!! Friday, at zone conference, I found out that my greenie that I have been training will be graduating and moving on to Perm and I will be training another new elder. We will be living in a foursome with elder Shreeve and Holden. It should be a great time. We will need to stay focused on helping the branch here in Dyoma continue to grow. My new greenie was supposed to arrive today, however he is having a few visa problems. I guess he is Norwegian/American or something like that. I am really excited to train again. It’s important to get these new guys trained because many missionaries have gone home and we are now in need of fresh blood.
Saturday, we played sport, and got news from Elder Shreeve that he wants us to find a new apartment for our foursome to live in that isn’t falling apart. haha! So, that’s my side project for today. Elder Shreeve and Holden get in this Wednesday so I don’t have a whole lot of time to find a place. My new comp hopefully will get here in the next few days and I will most likely go to Ekat to pick him up. Yeah, more travel for Elder Dewey. Haha.
Well, that’s all for now. Thanks for all the support and love.