We had a member return from Saint Petersburg. He doesn't have a job right now. He told us to call him every time we have a lesson so that he can help us. We of course decided to take him up on his offer. I called him and asked him to set up a meeting with an inactive member who doesn't ever pick up our calls. He agreed and told us to call back in 5 minutes to find out what happened. I called back 30 minutes later. He said "I said to call me back in 5 minutes and you call me back 30 minutes later. What the heck?" Then he says one of the only lines he could think of in English- "I will kill you". I started laughing so hard. He finally said that the member didn't pick up -bummer. And then he hung up after saying the other English line that he knows "Elder Kramer, I love you!" Good laugh, crazy guy.
The ward is great. We visited an inactive member who never comes to church. We usually can't get a meeting with him at his house. We lucked out and got one and made sure to take a strong member (the one who returned from Petersburg) with us. Our lesson plan was to teach the Restoration. We start with God is our loving Heavenly Father... I asked our member what it meant to him. He said I believe in nature and instinct. He said joined the church because of how the missionaries acted. He explained that you can't know of things like that unless it is given to you by a miracle. We brought up the story of Alma and how he saw an angel and had to fast and pray for knowledge. Alma still had to come to know for himself. The member just has a hard time believing it. I am glad that we had another Russian present because he could relate to him more than we could. We don't know what to do next exactly but we will reteach the lessons for sure.
We had a really good lesson with our investigator, Mina. We read another scripture about the Godhead. He had tons of questions about it. We decided to read Moroni 10: 4-5 and told him to pray about it and desire an answer, show God you want it. We also asked him to fast and we would join him. I am confident that the spirit will testify to him about the truth that Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are separate from God. He feels like there is a reason he came to Russia and wants to figure that out (He is planning in going back to Egypt soon because Russia is too hard for him.) He said there are 3 possible reasons he could have been sent to Russia: to get married, to study (but he hasn't gone to half of his classes this semester) or to join this Church. His good friend, Ahmed (who has also met and formed a friendship with some other church volunteers but he kindly rejected the lessons) moved here to Penza 6 months before Mina did. Mina received a visa for a different location in Russia that later didn't work out so they sent him to Penza. When he realized that Ahmed was here he was very happy. They decided to attend our game night together.
I had a super interesting conversation on the bus. I asked this 25 year old how to say pole in Russian and he asked "Are you not Russian?" I told him no, I'm American. He perked up, wide eyed and said "My name is Sergei, nice to meet you. I have never met an American before." He asked what I am doing here in Russia. I told him I am a church volunteer. He gave me his phone number and said "Call me and I will meet with you sometime." I told him about the activities we have on Fridays and he said "Ok, call me. I love church activities." I was stoked about this.