Monday, November 9, 2015

Week 22 - November 9, 2015 Get Ready to Go Camping, Cause There's Gonna be a Stake!

           My Dearest Readers, 

Yup, you heard me. The 3rd stake in Russia will be in Saratov!!!! 
HURRAY!!!! My mission president came to Balakovo this past weekend 
to visit with the members and bring the great news! 
The stake will be made official this Sunday when we are in District Meeting. 
The Balakovo branch will be going to one of the meetinghouses in Solnitchny (Sunny). 
It's pretty exciting stuff! They are even getting their own Patriarch. 
This is a HUGE deal because all the members had to wait once a year 
for the other Patriarch to come in order to get their Patriarchal blessings. 
What a treat that is! I will never forget the sacrament meeting 
when our branch president announced the stake. 
Gasps of joy and astonishment filled the room, along with a powerful Spirit. 
These people truly deserve the blessings of a stake. 
They and every person in the area, will be greatly blessed because of this huge step. 
Next on the agenda is a temple!!! I hope and pray they announce a temple in Saratov, 
Russia in one of the following conferences!!!! They are ready and deserving!!! 
So say lots of prayers! 

It was so great to have President Schwab with us for a little bit in Balakovo. 
We've been having a pretty rough time. None of our investigators are progressing, 
we contact on the streets for hours on end, and we just don't feel like 
we were accomplishing anything. He gave Sister Hansen and me really great counsel. 
I know that he was called of God to serve our mission! 
I also know that the Prophet Thomas S. Monson and the First Presidency 
are inspired men of God and absolutely CANNOT say anything contrary to the will of the Lord. 
Jesus Christ leads this church through these men. This is Christ's church. 
I know and testify of this truth in his name. 

The most beautiful part of the message I share every day is 
that you don't have to take my word for it, 
or your bishop's or some random professor at Oxford. 
You can know for yourself these divine truths through prayer. I know that prayer works. 
I also know that you will not receive an answer to your prayer 
if you don't do the things the Lord asks of us. 
BUT If you do what He has taught the children of men for centuries now, 
then you will receive an answer. God lives. 
I know this as much as I know that I live. He loves us. 

I am super short on time so I'll just do highlights, 
or copy and paste from family emails lol:

              -We gave out 7 copies of the Book of Mormon this week.  
                That's a record of my whole three months in Russia. 
              -I totally threw it down, like Abinadi status, at our first institute on Friday. 
              -I translated for President Schwab's daughter. 
                Shout out to my homegirl Sister Foote for translating a few weeks ago!! 
                You da tru MVP! Love ya! 
              -I am slowly figuring out what I want to do for the rest of my life. . .. . very slowly. 
              -Read Alma 36, 37, and 38. Great chapters. 
                Chapter 38 is really great for return missionaries.

I know that everything I am going through is to help me be a stronger person. 
Have hope! Believe in Christ! The blessings will come. 

Much love, 
Cectpa Graham

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