March 5, 2017




Elder Staiger

Korea, the Temple, and There's a German in My House!

On Sunday, March 5, 2017 5:52 PM, Gavin Lawrence wrote:

Hey all! Stellar week this week. Have I mentioned that I love the mission? There's nowhere else I'd rather be!

So this week has been pretty atypical, to say the least. Tuesday we had a great lesson with Rustam and the President Loskutov, and then dinner at the Maltsevs, one of the super solid families in our branch. We ate super good food and then had a jam sesh (We sing at a lot of the members houses, they all love American music and I love to sing, it's a good combo).

After that we got ready early Wednesday morning, had a quick lesson with a girl named Leila who had found our number all on her own and called us (She's awesome!) and then got on a plane and flew to Artyom, a city right outside of Vladivostok where our AP/Zone Leaders live. We then made a quick run down to Vlad to try and find the guy I met on the airplane when I was first flying into country, but he wasn't at work. We'll catch him next time! After that we went back up to Artyom, and stayed there for the night. Elder Gee, my trainer, just got called as an AP, so he was there and it was awesome to see him again!

Thursday morning we went straight to the airport and flew down to KOREAAAAAAA! I love Korea trips so much. We got in pretty early, checked into the Seoul Temple (that's where we stay when we're down there) and got to do an endowment sessions and baptisms!! I forget how much I miss the temple until I get to go, and then I always remember that I LOVE THE TEMPLE. We're so lucky to get to go down there every three months :) For dinner, we went to an American buffet called Ashley's and stuffed ourselves until we could barely walk, TOTALLY WORTH IT. Then we went back to the temple, did another endowment session, and crashed for the night (but not until after staying up pretty late talking, it's pretty hard to get to sleep in a room with 10 Elders).

Friday morning there were no sessions going at the temple, so we went out on the town! We don't speak Korean, but we found a good way to work around that; Music! Right outside of a Mcdonald's we ate at was a piano just sitting on the street, so we all took turns playing what we knew and singing along. It didn't take long for a group of Koreans to gather around trying to figure out what was up with the group of American boys jamming out on the street! Elder Barr, one of the APs, had some info cards for the Seoul Temple (the only stuff we had in Korean) and he started giving them out to anyone who would take them. It felt weird being able to hand stuff out (that's super not ok in Russia), but it was great! There's opportunities to do the Lord's work all around, all the time, and we just need to be looking!
We got back to Sakhalin, new companion (Elder Staiger) in tow, at 1030 at night.

Elder Staiger (Pronounced Shtaiger, cause he's German) IS SO COOL. I've gotten along super great with all my companions, but so far we get along just like insanely well. He's got great Russian and he's already had a ton of great ideas for progressing the work here on Sakhalin. I'm super excited to keep serving with him, he's a stud!

Anyways, Saturday was grand! We got chess lessons from Sergei, our investigator, which was way fun. A member from Vlad who's in charge of Institute and Seminary for the East side of the mission was in town to check out our institute and seminary program, and he brought this super cool game called Floorball (basically indoor hockey with a wiffle ball) with him. We got a bunch of people together and played that night, and it was a blast!

To top off an already great week, we had a big hike in attendance on Sunday and almost 70 people came to church! I love this area, it's going to be hard to leave Sakhalin. Basically, the mission is just the greatest!!

Love you all, and have a great week!

Elder Lawrence


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