My dearest readers,
I am probably the worst missionary every since I forgot it was Easter yesterday.
In Russia, Easter is May 1st. I always associate Easter with General Conference,
so I assumed I still had a week or so. бывает. "It happens."
Russia is just becoming a part of me. Pretty soon I'll be hitting the mark
of when I got my mission call. It's crazy how much my life has changed in the past year.
I must admit there was a bit of a fear when I realized I had 9 months left on the mission.
Now slowing approaching 8 months. I'm serving with an elder who is a part of
this big group of elders that are going home with me. Every once and a while it hits us.
President Schwab, my mission president, sent me a really simple,
but sweet message this week: "You have had a great first half of your mission
and now have a WONDERFUL second half to look forward to.
Yes, there will be challenges, but much more growth and much happiness"
I am so excited to see what challenges, miracles, and experiences I'll have.
I know that the Lord is ever so aware of each one of us.
We had an incredible lesson with a member this week.
Natasha watches over her 96 year old grandmother.
Natasha was planning on going to the temple for the first time on Saturday to Kiev.
Natasha had spent the last few months finding family names to take to the temple.
She had her ticket and bags all packed, only to find her grandmother's health worsening.
With no one else willing to watch the ailing woman,
Natasha had to forego her long anticipated trip to the House of the Lord.
We stopped by trying to give her support and love. After reading "Yielding Our Hearts to God,"
from last general conference, Natasha shared that she had had a dream. In that dream,
she was at he grandma's old country home. When we walked in,
she saw all her ancestors whose names she had found and prepared,
with one of her grandmas in the center. Natasha remembered saying
"They are all here! Wonderful!"
Then her deceased grandmother said, "No they are not.
You forgot (list of specific family names). You need to find them." In tears,
Natasha finished telling us her dream. She said she had in fact forgotten those family members.
She took this as her answer as to why she wasn't able to go this past Saturday.
Then she said, "My bags are still packed. I know I'm going to go to the temple this year.
I just know it." I have never felt my testimony strengthened so much about the temple
and family history. Natasha had enough trust in the Lord to recognize this incredible answer.
I finished this past Sunday feeling so refreshed and blessed. God has all wisdom.
He knows what He is doing. Even when it seems like everything is falling apart,
it actually means things are falling into place.
I'd like to end with a scripture that perfectly explains to me
why Jesus Christ took upon so much pain, suffering, and anguish on our behalf.
1 Nephi 19:9 And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it.
Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness
and long-suffering towards the children of men.
I know this to be true. I love Him with all my heart, might, mind and strength. He lives!