Date

January 30, 2017

Area

Sakhalin

Companion

Elder Wilding

Not Your Typical Mission Experience

On Sun, Jan 29, 2017 at 7:35 PM, Gavin Lawrence wrote: Hello everyone! This week has been incredible. It's also been a week where I've really noticed some of the big differences between a Russian mission and a standard mission (In a good way!)
Because we can't tract on the street, we have to be a little creative to find people to teach. A HUGE part of that process is service. We try to do as much service as we can, and we spend time almost every week going around to places in town and looking for new opportunities to serve. This week, we had a couple really great experiences.
First off, we did something pretty atypical of missionaries (but par for the course for volunteers) this week; we put on mascot costumes and helped out at a big fair here in town! I'll attach a picture below, I still don't really believe that it happened. We came expecting to just help with some basic service stuff, but they ushered us into a room and had us all put on these big costumes. We weren't sure about it at first, but by the end we had made friends with a ton of other volunteers and especially with the directors of the volunteers we work with, who were going to work hard to keep building relationships with. I definitely didn't think that this sort of thing would be part of my mission experience, but if I haven't mentioned it before, I LOVE being a Russian volunteer!!
Another awesome opportunity to serve happened when we agreed with the local zoo here to start helping them out on a weekly basis. We met with an incredibly nice woman who is the director of the zoo, and she was ecstatic that we were willing to help. We haven't yet been there to serve, but we should be going soon!
This week was a busy one, for sure! We had more lessons this week than any other week on my mission, and we did a ton of service both inside and oustide the branch. Accordingly, this week just flew by! I still can't wrap my head around the fact that I've almost been out for 7 months; it feels like just yesterday that I left.
In other news, Nikolai is doing great! We've been meeting with him as much as we can, he's really growing in his gospel knowledge. He's getting the Priesthood next week! It's awesome to see him at church, he tries to talk to everyone he can and is just making such a big effort to start building relationships with members of the branch. They're all welcoming him with open arms and it's just great!
I love you all! Thanks for all the love and support!!
Elder Lawrence

From left to right: Sister Khabalova, Elder Wilding (His head wasn't removable), Me, Sister Kapralova, a girl who lives here and does service with this organization.

Second picture, me and Elder Wilding




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