Date

May 6, 2018

Area

Novosibirsk

Companion

Elder Creer

No Unhallowed Hand

On Sun, May 6, 2018 at 9:04 PM, Lawrence Gavin wrote: We started out the week with a lot of worries; we had lost our most promising investigators number, one of the recent converts, Henry, had been absent and hadn't the priesthood on Sunday, and a few other things. But we got right to work and we were fully rewarded!
We had a great young men's activity on Wednesday, it was awesome to get to know them better, as well as their leaders. Such an awesome group of guys, super excited to continue strengthening that relationship in the future.

Thursday I had an awesome opportunity to do splits with Elder Atkins. He's from Alaska, super solid and a ton of fun to be around. I love splits, I always learn something new from every person I get to serve with!
We had a zone conference on Friday, and it was one of the greatest that I've been to!The great thing about a room full of people who want to be edified is that God almost always fulfills that desire and allows us to have a great experience regardless of circumstances. We had some great doctrinal discussions and, of course, the testimony meeting at the end was incredible. We heard departing testimonies from 4 super solid volunteers, which is always a tender moment. Definitely is going to be rough seeing Elders Sine, Palmer, Peterson, and Sister Sokolova leaving.
On Saturday we actually had a chance to see my MTC teacher here in Novo, Sister Stockwell (Now Sister Wendelboe)! She came with her husband, who served here about 2 years ago. It was a great experience to be able to sit and speak with her in Russian and actually understand what she was saying!
Sunday was definitely a close contender with Zone Conference as the highlight of this week. A mission president who served in Saint Petersburg over 20 years ago said it best: In a Russian mission, everything seems to fall apart on a weekly basis and somehow come back together again by the end of the week. We definitely saw the Lord's hand this week, as literally everything came together perfectly on Sunday! I went on splits up to Berdsk, where we had a great turnout (including two investigators and a really promising potential brought by one of the investigators) and a very spiritual testimony meeting. Back in the Novo branch, Nikolai's entire family (wife, 14 year old son, and 5-6 year old daughter) came to church! We were able to reestablish contact and we'll be meeting with them asap. Henry also came and received the priesthood. It was incredible!

Thought I'd write a little summary of our duties here in Novo as APs, since apparently it's a little different from standard APs in other missions. We're way lucky, actually! We get a ton of interaction with President, as well as with new and departing volunteers and the mission as a whole. We're actually hardly in the office at all; because of the immense travel requirements of the mission, there are a pair of office elders that serve here in Novo (Elders Fife and Parrott). Which means we're free to do all the normal volunteer work we love so much!! Really the best of both worlds, if you ask me. Our AP duties include Zone Leader exchanges, participating in departing/arriving devotionals, discussing transfers with President, overseeing the city of Berdsk (a city about 45 minutes away from Novo with a group but no volunteers), gathering key indicator numbers throughout the mission, and a lot of other little things. We still have plenty of time to spend working with members and investigators, which is great because the members here are amazing and the area is absolutely on fire right now!
I'm loving life! I just got flight plans back home, which is a little weird. It still definitely doesn't seem real. I don't think I'll really come to terms with the fact that my mission is ending until I step off the plane. Definitely about 1000 times more scared to go home than I was to come out, I'm so thoroughly immersed here that it's scary to think it has to end at some point. I love the mission and the people more than I can even describe!!
Thanks for everything! Love you all!!!
Pictures- Writing home with the Left Bank Novo elders- Fusion of the Shopka and Matryoshka collection- Old wooden Russian stuff is so cool- Sister Stockwell!!




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