Saturday, August 16, 2014

A Discussion, Uninterrupted

     Hey Family!  Things are really going great.  When I first got into this area, I came with a brand new greenie, and we had nothing.  This is the end of my second transfer here in Lipetsk, and I just had my most successful week in my entire mission last week!!  It's on FIRE here!!!  We just set a baptismal date with someone, we have another guy with whom we also want to set a baptismal date with, the members love us, and we are just really doing well.
      Well, we were in a lesson on a park bench with our investigator A, teaching the word of wisdom, with a great member on the lesson.  Then our member gets a call in the middle of the lesson, and tells me that it's our friend M, and that he was going to go get him and come back.  Uh oh.  M is one of our dropped investigators, (with whom we've still been in contact with now and again to be his friend), who only likes to argue with us when we talked about the gospel.  The member and M had become pretty good friends fairly quickly, but now he was coming back with M to participate in our lesson!   We tried to do what we could do wrap up the lesson quick, but A had a lot of questions and concerns that we had to address.  Then comes M with our member friend.  And then, A and M shake hands and start talking like they're old buddies!!  Turns out that they had worked together for a long time a while ago.  Then M says he doesn't want to bother our discussion and leaves!!  We finish our lesson, and commit A to being baptized.  We were sure M would come over and just want to start arguing with us during our lesson, and really create a bad impression with our investigator there.  But it worked out just absolutely perfectly.
Love you!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

I would not be here if it weren't for my parents

Mom, I just want to let you know how much I appreciate all your doing for me.  I'm talking about all that you've done for me growing up.  I've already told you and Dad this, but I wouldn't be here in Russia right now if I didn't have the parents that I do.  I love you Mom, and I'm grateful for the love that you've shown us growing up.  I didn't write this, but a missionary who just went home did and I think it's pretty cool.  It's about the man who built his house upon a rock; and Mom, you really helped me build mine upon that good foundation.

Be not as the foolish man
Who built his house upon the sand
He built it to his own demise
And mocked the man he thought unwise

He thought himself above the rest
Perched upon his lofty nest
He gazed upon the unlucky lot
Who went without or so he thought

He laughed and scorned, so was his talk
"Why have you built upon a rock?"
"Out here the breeze runs wafting by"
"My courts are open to the sky"
"Come, build out here where life is grand"
"Come join me upon the sand"
Many heeded his haughty speech
And built alongside him on the beach
All except one humble man
He would not build upon the sand

He knowingly watched the sand-side block
As he stood alone upon the rock
The people mocked, but he hearkened not
For he knew the fate of that devil's plot

Time went on, years passed away
Until arrived that fateful day
A quake, a shutter, the earth was rent
The time to prepare was now far spent

The people fled before the waves
And now lay inside their seaside graves
Others ran and tried to hide
They came up to the rockman's side
They yelled to him "run you fool!"
"See ye not this deadly pool?"

He responded with solemn word
That stirred the hearts of all who heard
"I've lived my life a humble man"
"I did not build upon the sand"
"I fear not, I've got a plan"
"I built on Christ, my house will stand"