January 28, 2018




Elder George

Staying in Tomsk, With Reinforcements!

On Sun, Jan 28, 2018 at 7:54 PM, Lawrence Gavin wrote: Hey all! This week has been grand!! And transfers are in!
Quick update on our investigators:
We had a great lesson with Hoang and Sho this week, talked about the plan of salvation. They had a ton of great questions. They've been keeping strong, following the word of wisdom, and they're reading. The biggest problem right now is getting them to church! Sho hasn't been yet and Hoang has only been once. Sunday sleeping in is a hard habit to break. They're starting to really light up, though, and as we keep going I know they'll get more and more excited about the gospel. Keep them in your prayers, they're so close to giving it their all, they just need a little push.
Zhenya, an area book contact who we met with a couple of times last transfer, just got back from working in the north for a month! We met up with him before our lesson with Hoang and Sho, and invited him to stay. To our HUGE surprise, he agreed! He showed an interest in what we were teaching much greater than anything I've seen from him before. We're really excited to keep that momentum going, he is a great guy and already has a good relationship with a lot of the members.
Aleksandr is doing good! We had a meeting with him with a member present that went pretty well. I realized that we haven't been taking the right approach with him; more trying to prove doctrine than to teach doctrine and testify. There's such a huge difference between those two things. Going forward, I'm really hopeful that we can get him off the "trying to prove the church is true" and onto the "praying to know the church is true." There's plenty of evidence that this really is Christ's church, but without the witness of the Spirit that doesn't mean anything. We're so lucky as volunteers; we don't have to have our Bibles decked out for war and be scholars ready to prove every point of doctrine in the Church; we just have to be vessels through which the Spirit can act on people! That's a whole lot more fun :) Alekcandr came to church on Sunday again and had a lot of good questions about the creation (topic of the gospel doctrine class) and our belief that the fall wasn't a mistake. So interesting to think about that; Obviously the fall wasn't a mistake! God is perfect. But we have the Book of Mormon to thank for that knowledge, and without it there's just so much room for interpretation in the Bible. I'm thankful every day that we have the Book of Mormon and modern revelation to serve as interpreters in every situation. It's such a huge blessing.
I got a chance to speak this Sunday, and since by the time I was up to speak we were almost out of time, I just decided to give a 5 minute version of the Plan of Salvation over the pulpit. The system of members giving talks and bearing testimony is so obviously inspired and made for our benefit, it's incredible. I was almost in tears as I talked about the Atonement. You'd think after a year and a half I'd be able to talk about these things without devolving into a baby.
Transfer calls happened this week; I lucked out this transfer, I get to stay here in Tomsk with Elder George! But president threw us a curveball; we've got two new elders coming and opening up a new area here! Elders Spillett and Collins. We're gonna have a month together in a four-man apartment, after which they'll move out and open up a new apartment. Elder Collins is 6 months in, and Elder Spillett is 4 1/2 months. From what I've heard, they both are super solid and their Russian is coming along super fast. I'll be honest; I'm PUMPED for this next transfer :) We're gonna do some work here in Tomsk, aiming for getting a full stake here in the city in the next 6 weeks :)
Thanks for everything!! Love you all!!!
Elder Lawrence
- I don't want to talk about it. The batter was so good. I got distracted playing the guitar. - The APs came up for splits, us cooking Vietnamese soup with Hoang, Sho, and Lam - The walk home from the church is SUPER PRETTY sometimes. - Results of not driving all winter


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