Hey everyone! I hope you're all doing well!
Another week here in Ivano. Another chance to work hard, and to find those miracles that the Lord is preparing. Another great week on the way!
As you probably know already, our mission has gone under the policy of tracting not being effective and therefore a discontinued practice over all in our area. We do not knock doors here, as it has been found to have a more negative impact on peoples' impressions of the Church than positive in our area. That being said, that requires us to be better at stopping and talking to people on the streets, using our area books, and working with our members. The real miracle of our area right now is that the members are very excited to get things rolling here in Ivano. Our area hasn't had a baptism yet this year. The last baptism in Ivano-Frankivsk... well, he's gone inactive because of having to work every single day to make ends meet. I'll talk a little more about him in a bit. Basically, everyone here understands that the work is suffering. NOBODY is ready to quit though.
With a new, excited branch president, we're about to see a lot of great things getting in motion here.
We had to be at the church at 9:00am on sunday to talk with him. He talked to us about all of our investigators, expressed his concern for the lack of progressing investigators that we have, and offered the help of the branch. It was awesome. I already am loving President Bantsov.
Our investigator, Serhiy (The big bus driver with the steel cross around his neck), is finally making some progress. We watched the 20 minute Joseph Smith clip with him, and the spirit was so powerful in the room. He was touched by the film. He has a problem right now with mistrusting the idea that there can even be one true church, which is a common problem here. He has accepted more full-heartedly to read the Book of Mormon and pray about Joseph Smith. Keep him in your prayers. It can be difficult for us to find someone as willing as him to listen to us, and to learn about the Gospel.
We finally met with Brother Norchenko! He was the member who was last baptized, about a year ago. He has got a rough deal going for him... and essentially is looking for work and taking odd jobs just to make ends meet. This requires him to be constantly working... which means he never comes to church. I've met with him only once before this because of how much he works. This is my 3rd transfer in this area! He's a busy guy.
Keep him and his daughters in your prayers as well!
Overall, we've just been working very hard to try and find new investigators (like always). You can't find enough people who are interested in the Gospel! There will never be enough time in the day for finding! Gotta help people find Christ!
The Bantsov family has nick-named me "Elder Carey" after Jim Carey. I don't see it still.
My companion has opened my eyes to how many times I actually get sworn at each day. I find that hilarious.
"HELLO :D! May I talk to you for a second, sir?"
"!@#$! I'm in a !@# hurry !@#! #!"
"Okay, well, you have a nice day then! :)"
Elder Rubliuk - "Did you understand that?"
Don't fear them, or their looks people. We've got a work to do. Set your face like a flint, and mercifully destroy them with kindness :)
I love you all!
Have a great week, and share your testimony with someone this week!
They could use it, I'm sure!