Dear Family and friends,
wow, general conference was awesome! i watched half of it in Russian because we had a few investigators there (and its also my companions' native language, so its only fair), and half in english. this week we had a few 'sick days' but we still saw some really neat things...
oh, first, happy Easter! right?...here Easter will be celebrated next week.
this week we had an awesome lesson with our one progressing investigator, Katya, who is about 45, and even though she does a lot of what we ask her to do...she gets lost a little bit in the reason why we are meeting with her. we've been teaching her long enough to kinda see her 'learning style' and adapt to it. we decided to cut out the couple columns from the 'teaching records' that we keep as missionaries which has the list of lessons and the different points of the lessons with a check box next to it so we can record what we teach people and see what else they need to be taught to prepare for baptism. we cut out a blank one, in Russian, and gave it to her and explained to her that she can keep track herself of the things she understands and things she doesn't so she can be more prepared for baptism. i think if she doesn't randomly fall off the face of the planet (which happens pretty often with investigators), she can really come to KNOW that god does love her and has a plan for her and has provided a way for her to come back to him-through baptism. she came to a session on general conference and really liked it.
also, a pretty neat 'miracle' of the week related to conference is that we met elena. she was sitting in the back of the hall as the first session on Saturday was over. we walked by as one member was talking to her and all i heard the member say was, "you should meet the missionaries!"....as a missionary, i feel like my ears have been trained to hear that phrase from a mile away, so me and my companion jump right into their conversation. elena is from Kazakhstan, and is here in Odessa for a year to work but has a desire to really 'find god' (1 point for lena)here. she is living with her super orthodox aunt who told her she needs to go to the orthodox church, to which she told her aunt, "i don't believe god is in icons, i don't want to pray to icons" (2 points for lena). she said she has visited Odessa before and had heard that there was some kind of church in this neighborhood, that she's seen sweet grandmas coming here before (1 point for sweet grandmas), but couldn't remember exactly where it was. she looked on the Internet, but couldn't find anything. she decided to just go out and 'follow the spirit' (3 points for lena). and she found it! and she walked in right as general conference was starting! sat down and loved it(4 points for lena)! so, here is the score- 1 pt for lena for having a desire, another for not wanting to pray to icons (its a problem here), another for knowing she can be guided by the spirit, and another for listening to a modern prophet and liking it! and one point for the sweet grandmas here who so faithfully come to church and by that example, in this very case, fulfilled their missionary work. we're really exited to teach her this week. the youth did a really good job of befriending her, which was awesome. she came to sundays' sessions too. she's about 20 i'd say, speaks Russian, so it will be neat to teach her.
i love you all! thank you for all your prayers and thoughts!
oh yeah,....funny moment of conference. we were sitting with the elders watching the sat PM session where they had the mtc choir. we have a couple of elders who just came to the field a couple weeks ago from there, so they were pointing out everyone they knew, which ones are coming to our mission soon, etc...well, every time they were singing they would all say "where's David?" "where's David" "" is that him"....like over and over. i thought, that's weird, how do all these elders know this David kid, by his first name even. so i finally got the guts to just throw it out there, "who is this David kid you are talking about?!" they ALL turn around to me and say in unison ,"DAVID ARCHILETTO, DUHH!!" my jaw dropped to the floor. i had no idea. i don't really care, but i had no idea he was going to serve a mission or that he was already in the mtc...it was just a funny moment where i really felt out of the loop because of the mission. but....im glad i didn't know. family, thank you for not mentioning that kind of stuff to me. you maybe wanted to help keep me focused, but probably just knew i wouldn't care. thank you :)