January 1, 2018




Elder George

Hello from 2018!

On Sun, Dec 31, 2017 at 7:55 PM, Lawrence Gavin wrote:
Hey all!! This week has been grand! Also, since most of you are in the US, I'm currently in a different year than all of you. It's pretty cool here in 2018. Really cool, actually. It was like -12 F this morning. Brr.Christmas came and went; definitely a bit of a different experience while you're on your mission. But I definitely got the best present I could ask for, seeing the fam on Skype :)On Tuesday we set off for Novosibirsk to go to Mission Leadership Conference! This was our second week in a row in Novo, and we're going again tomorrow for Zone Conference. It's about a 4 hour bus ride there and back every time, which means lots of traveling for us :)MLC was amazing! I love the spiritual boost that comes from conferences. President Lamb and the office elders and senior couple go through a whole ton of trouble to get every gathered for conferences, but they're always worth the effort!We focused primarily on two things; how to become a better teacher, and how to more effectively work an area. It was exactly what I needed, given that Elder George and I have a lot on our plate here in Tomsk! You definitely don't appreciate all the work that sister missionaries do until they're gone.We got back from MLC on Thursday, and got right back to work! We started out by calling through the sister's area book, which proved very effective! We had three people agree to meet. I always underestimate the power of the Area Book; It really is a divinely inspired part of volunteer work. On Friday we had a pretty... Interesting meeting. We got a call on the branch landline (Which NEVER happens), and talked to a guy who wanted to stay in the church on New Year's night, since he felt that his home was unsafe. We told him that that wasn't allowed, but invited him to come to the church and we could try and find some way to help him. He came, and seemed fairly normal for a while... Until he started opening up a little to us. We were trying to tell him a little about the history of the Church when he barged in with "also, I have gender dysphoria. My plans for the future are to become a girl! I'm growing out my hair, that's the first step." Well, needless to say, it got a little awkward after that. The white handbook says that to meet with women, we should have at least three men with us; does that count for wanna-be women?Regardless, we ended the meeting. On the bright side, we've got a fun story to tell later. And who knows, everyone can change! Maybe some time down the road he'll have a change of heart. Everything's possible.The work is moving forward slowly but surely here in Tomsk! It's been a bit hard since we've been out of the area so much, but we'll finally have a few solid weeks without travel after zone conference.Thanks for everything! Love you all!!Elder LawrencePictures: - Skyping the fam! - On the way to Novo - Sushi, a time-honored tradition - In the back of a moving truck


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