October 25, 2016




Elder Gee

Week 15: A Miracle, the Shower, and a Wedding

On Sunday, October 23, 2016 11:10 PM, Gavin Lawrence wrote:

Hey everyone! Starting these emails with "I don't have a lot of time, so I'll have to be quick" has basically become tradition at this point, and I'd hate to break tradition. Just a few quick stories and then some copy-pasted questions this week.
Miracle of the week: We showed up to help our branch president clear out his house (he's getting married and moving to Moscow) and we realized we forgot our phone. We had no way to contact him to let us in and it was right in the middle of the workday, so the chances of someone coming by and opening the door to his apartment complex were slim. We were looking at either walking an hour to go home and back or wait for too long hoping for someone to open the door. Neither of those were good options, so we decided to say a quick prayer. After, Elder Gee started to call each of the 12 other rooms on the domaphone (the little phone outside the apartment to call people to let them know you've arrived; our branch presidents doesn't work). We went through 11 with no luck, either being turned down or not getting an answer. But on the very last one, we called and the person opened the door without even asking who we were. Which apparently NEVER happens here. It was an amazing testimony builder on the power of prayer and the fact that the Lord values time spent in his service.
Fun language thing we discovered this week: There is a verb that means To Google: гуглить. It sounds like this: "Google-eet." We were very excited to find that out, and have since used it in abundance. Russian is my fav.
Also a story I forgot to tell about a month ago; I had a language slip that people still make fun of me for. It's great. We were playing mafia for family home evening (we do family home evening together as a branch because most people in the branch are the only members in their families) and I totally missed the "wake up" command cause I didn't know the word in Russian. So everyone started laughing and I was like "oops" and then they were like "did you not understand?" and I was like "yeah... But it's ok. I don't understand Russian but I understand SOULS." At least that's what I tried to say. Words change in different ways based on whether or not they are alive, and I assumed that a soul (душа) was alive. So I said "Я понимаю душ!" Well, apparently souls aren't animate (doctrinal point? Who knows. Frickin' Russian.) and what I loudly said in the middle of FHE was "I understand the shower (душ)!" So everyone starting busting up, and the miming of me confusedly holding a shower head while it sprays me in the face has not yet stopped. It's grand. It's been like a month. It will be my legacy in this area. I will be remembered immortally.
Also Elder Sumner just got transferred to Irkutsk, and he'll be companions with Elder Taylor from St. George! We're sad to see him go, but he'll do great there. He'll be replaced by Elder Ingram, who I met in the MTC, and who's getting trained by Elder Perry. He'll be here on Saturday and we're all excited to meet him!

- Starting to get cold?
-Ya! It is. It has yet to snow, but that'll happen soon. Elder Sumner gave me one of his old cheap shopkas, so that's what I'm gonna wear until I can find a nice one. I have most of my winter gear now, so next week I'll send a picture wearing everything.

-What gospel principle have you been studying lately that has left an impression?
-I've started doing a lot of scripture memorization, actually. That's been one of my biggest focuses. I read Grandpa's talk about light in the Liahona and I realized that I wasn't doing enough scripture memorization and that it is one of the most helpful things I can do. The rest of my personal time is usually spent reading the chapters we assign to investigators so I know them better and can see what they're likely going to have questions about and things like that.

- What have you learned from Elder Gee about how to be a good senior companion?
-A lot! Some great and super helpful things. He is really good about correcting my language when I say things wrong, which has been really helpful. He also pushes me to keep improving; it's been nice to have him there to stop me from settling in to habits or anything. Overall he's been an awesome trainer!

- Have you had a zone conference yet?
-No zone conference yet; supposedly at the end of the transfer that just started (side note, I just finished my first infield transfer!) we are having either a zone conference or possibly (according to rumors) a full mission conference! So that should be fun.

Also President Babushkov (our branch president) got married this week! We're all super happy for him. I'll attach some pictures of the reception at the church and the happy couple. His wife, Olga Sokolova, worked with my Grandma and Grandpa when they were in the area seventy! Kind of a crazy coincidence.
I think that's everything! Have a great week!
Elder Lawrence


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