October 3, 2016




Elder Gee

Week 12: D(name withheld) is Getting Baptized!!!!!

Show original message On Sunday, October 2, 2016 11:29 PM, Gavin Lawrence wrote:

Hey everyone!!!I have a ton of stuff to talk about and not a lot of time! This has been a crazy week.So first off, we have a baptismal date!!!!!! His name is D, and he is INCREDIBLE. I talked about him in my email last week. He's preparing to be baptized on October 29th. He is honestly one of the most incredible people I've ever met. he's learning English and we're helping him, and he is insanely smart. He is just such a great guy. I have some of my most spiritual experiences during his lessons and my Russian always feels like it comes out better when I'm teaching him. Before every lesson, he reads two chapters of the Book of Mormon in Russian and thoroughly studies the words. Then we start every lesson by reading the 2 chapters of the Book of Mormon that he read to him in English. It's always incredibly spiritual and I can see him just light up when he recognizes passages. He really does love this book and it's one of the most incredible things I've ever witnessed to see it change him and see him become more and more happy every week. In our last lesson, when we committed him to baptism, we did a quick overview of all of the things he'd need to do to be ready to be baptized. We went over all of the commandments, and he literally said "I already am doing all of those, except I drink a little beer every once in a while. But I can give that up no problem!" He is incredible and it's amazing how the Lord prepares people to hear his words and accept his gospel.
In other news, we've been doing a TON of service this last week. We got to help clear off paths at the Khabarovsk Zoo, and then we went to a couple of dachas (country houses that everyone has) and did a bunch of gardening. One of the babushkas who we helped, when she called to make sure that we were still coming, asked Elder Gee "who are you bringing with you?" and he told her that it was just him and me. She then said (basically) "Just the hoodinky? (худенкий) We won't be able to do anything!" Hoodinky literally means "thin one" in Russian. It was very funny. I proved her wrong, though! We got a ton of work done. We planted just a ridiculous amount of mustard. Why does this old lady need so much mustard? I have NO CLUE. But it was way fun :)
We've just had a lot of tender mercies this week. We had an old woman call us and say that she has attended many churches and she doesn't feel like any of them are true. She said that she had gone to an LDS church years and years ago and had remembered it when she was thinking about what church she should go to. She says that she has just a huge love for the savior and she just wants to find a church that shares the same love for Jesus. She's really sick right now but as soon as she gets better she's planning on coming to church and meeting with us. The Lord just knows that we can't find people how we normally would, and it's amazing how he just puts people into our path.
I was under the impression that we couldn't send any pictures of Russian natives whatsoever, so I don't have a whole ton of pictures. Apparently the rule is actually just that pictures I send with Russians in them can't be posted to social media. So as long as that doesn't happen I can send way more pictures! I'll try and have some pictures of the people we're working with next week. For now I just have some random stuff I took around the apartment, including;
A bowl of literally the best grapes I have EVER HAD. They were SO good! We made homemade grape juice and it was amazing.

The one thing I didn't think I'd find in Russia; hairspray that is like 10 times better than any other hairspray I've ever used. It's literally magic.

The gross water that came out of our bathroom sink for a couple hours a few days ago. It's not Russia without a gross water story!

Russian money!! Again, I was sort of struggling to think of things to send. Now that I know the rules on pictures aren't as strict as I thought, I'll be able to send a lot more.

Have a great week!
Elder Lawrence


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