August 11, 2016

Sent By

Kyla Lawrence

Week 4: Zone Leaders, Swaturday, and the Russian Religion Law

On Thu, Aug 11, 2016 at 10:48 AM, Gavin Lawrence wrote: Hey everyone! Lots to talk about this week, so I'll just jump right into it.
-Elder Neuffer and I just got called as the new Zone Leaders for our branch! We're the first companionship in a long time to get called (normally there's one zone leader from 2 different companionships in our branch), which is a little weird, but also really convenient. It's been a ton of fun so far, and we're both super grateful that we get to serve our branch. We got to interview the Elders in the two new districts this week, which was a ton of fun. We can already tell they're all going to be awesome!​

-Some of the Elders in the other district put on sweaters on Saturday morning, and everyone just decided to follow suit. Here's some pictures from the first official Swaturday!​

-We finally remembered to take some pictures of everyone singing during the temple walk! We have literally the coolest zone ever (With some pretty attractive {and humble} Zone Leaders)

-So in Russian, A marker is called a Flowmaster (More like Flomastr since Russian is phonetic, but whatever) anyway, we made a body for our Flowmaster and gave him some friends. (Brat Oxbox is our nickname for Brother Oxborrow)​

In other news, we taught some amazing lessons with our new investigators, Oleg and Zina (They're two of our teachers, if I didn't mention that last week) Elder Neuffer and I have hit the point with the language that we can go in to a lesson with just scriptures and a rough outline in English of what we want to talk about. Giving lessons is one of my favorite parts of the MTC now that we can really teach by the spirit and not just work off a script. We went into our last lesson with Zina planning to talk about the importance of reading the Book of Mormon every day, but she started the lesson by asking what the Liahona was. We were a little thrown, but we ended up teaching a whole lesson about the Holy Ghost without any lesson plan! It was an amazing experience and we had to use all the Russian we know.
So these last two pictures won't attach in the right order for some reason, so I'll just describe them here. The first one is the AMAZING care package I just got from my fam (I LOVE MY FAM. AND FOOD. AND ESPECIALLY ANYTHING COMBINING THE TWO) It's got more candy than I could possibly eat, so we're going to basically buy some zone unity. With candy. I'm excited :)The next picture is a really zoomed in picture of the house right next to where Elder Neuffer lives. He lives so close to the MTC that he can literally see his next door neighbors. It's a little crazy.
So the last thing I want to talk about is a bunch of new stuff we just found out about the Russian Religion Law. Elder Neuffer had some emails forwarded to him from a missionary serving in Vladivostok, and there's some interesting stuff in it. Basically what it says is that if we meet someone on the street, we are allowed to recite a memorized script telling them that we can't talk with them there, but that they can go to our church building to learn more. Here's the crazy thing, though; once they're there, we're not allowed to teach them at all. A member who's a citizen of Russia is the only person allowed to talk to investigators. We can sit in on lessons, but we aren't allowed to speak. Also the church building needs to have someone in it at all times during the day, so apparently we spend a lot of time waiting at the church building. Now that probably sounds pretty bleak, but here's the thing; We're all SO EXCITED. The Lord always finds ways for his work to go forward, and these new restrictions mean that we'll get to be right at the front of that. I can't wait to get out in the field and see how the Lord helps us overcome this law. I'm pumped!
Anyways. That's about it. Have a great week!
Elder Lawrence


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