So we got our transfer calls this past Saturday and we found out that I will be leaving and heading down to Odessa (Одеса) to the Suvorovsky area. It is right abouve Center Odessa where everyone speaks Russian and the Wards and Branches are run in Russian. And also my area has a beach right on the Black Sea. My comanion will be Elder Merrell and things should be pretty cool. Except for the fact that I will be far away from everything. Exiting times. But getting down there is going to be a bit of a pain from what I can tell. And in April when Elder Holland will come to our Mission, all of the missionaries in Odessa will have to wake up super early and hop on a bus to get to the mission office in time. And now that includes me. Hurray!
One of our investigators who we have met with several times is named Anton. I don't know what to say about him other than he is "mysterious". He is a Freemason and practices "Martinism" which is a branch off of Freemasonry. He invited us to check out one of his meetings. For the sake of showing that we are intereted in him and what he does in the hopes of helping him become more interested in the Gospel, we went. We took a long metro ride followed by a long marshrutka ride to get to a town called Irpin (Ирпин). It was very strange. Nothing bad or blasphomous. Just Strange. They talked about things in the Bible and briefly talked about God and the Holy Ghost, but not Jesus Christ. Just another testimony that what we have is straight from God.
I made a hat for Elder Western, one of the Zone leaders, but I forgot to take a opicture of it before I gave it to him. So hopefuly soon he will send a picture of it to me.
This last week we had an exchange with Elder Isom and Roylance again but this time we just switched.
We were able to make Elder Konstantynov's idea of having a "movie night" happen. It was kind of short notice but we had some investigators come and we watched "Meet the Mormons" and had some snacks. It went pretty well.
It was kind of tough this week because it seemed that every one in Ukraine had their phones turned off and didn't want to meet. But maybe it was just because "Pi day" was this last week. We'll see what this week holds.
The wheather has been pretty nice here except for the past couple of days where it was rainy and cold. I actually had to start using my big coat again and wool socks. It would have been fine if we just sat inside and enjoy the gloominess, but that's not what we do.
Church was great. And we had a great Ward Council where we discussed the needs of those whom we work with. Looks like things are going to be picking up more here. But I won't be here to see it.
Things have been very interesting this transfer. Consistancy has flown out the window and has made me reavaluate things. But one thing I have always kept is my Gospel Study. You can't go a day without it. As part of prepering for when Elder Holland comes, we have been asked to read or re-read the four gospels in the New Testiment and four selected talks by Elder Holland to study. It has been truly amazing this time aroud re-reading the gospels and finding out so many new things that I haven't seen before. Especially as I pay close attention to the footnotes and the Joseph Smith Translations.
If you are strugeling with your testimony or lack a desire to go to church or whatever, just read the scriptures. Especially the Book of Mormon. As it is stated in the Introduction to the Book of Mormon:
Concerning this record the Prophet Joseph Smith said: “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”
Thank you all for you support!
Старейшина Класон / Elder Clawson