Michael K. is having a pretty rough time right now with his family, we saw him with his girlfriend and his deaf son the other day and for whatever reason we just haven't been able to meet with him.
Kevin, however, has been reading the Book of Mormon now and coming to Church for the last two weeks and has admitted to his friend that he's felt the Spirit while he's been at the lessons. He accepted the invitation to be baptized with some hesitancy on the 21st, but we're confident that with his friends at Church will help out as well.
We had an incredible time with Galyena and Yuri, it was one of the most incredible Russian cultural experiences I've ever had. I promised them that I'd sing again and so I sang "The Spirit of God", we then sang some of the most beautiful Russian Christmas hymns I'd ever heard, "Я духом обнавления" was one of them. However that took up most of our time and then we went 20 minutes over - - it was so hard to really get to the bottom of why they weren't reading and praying about the Book of Mormon, but the prayer that he offered at the end was the most incredible and passionate prayer I'd ever heard. These people are so good, truly the fields "are white already to harvest." (John 4:35) They seem to be waiting for a vision of God to confirm to them the truth of the Book of Mormon, and they've had some truly thunderous spiritual experiences in their lives. I saw during that lesson partly why the Book of Mormon defines, "his glory, or the welfare of the ancient and long dispersed covenant people of the Lord" (Mormon 8:15) - - these being the Jews, Lamanites, and the Lost Tribes of the House of Israel.
The Lord will gather Israel,
10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth." Isaiah 11:10-12
Further, Jehovah gave to Joseph Smith this promise:
9 Yea the hearts of thousands and tens of thousands shall greatly rejoice in consequence of the blessings which shall be poured out, and the endowment with which my servants have been endowed in this house.10 And the fame of this house shall spread to foreign lands; and this is the beginning of the blessing which shall be poured out upon the heads of my people. Even so. Amen.11 After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north.12 After this, Elias appeared, and committed the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham, saying that in us and our seed all generations after us should be blessed.
We've gone about serving the people this last week and we had several miracles while doing it. We've known about the Grandparents of a family in the ward for a while that haven't been interested in the Church, but while we were shoveling their driveway they opened their garage to behold us. We then offered additional service and they said that in mid-March they would have a lot to do in the yard. We're not here to convince people of the truth our message or change their interest level ourselves, but service can open doors that otherwise would remain tightly shut. We also saw a man that we met on the golf course, we had the same tee time (just kidding), but it was super cold and we went and said hello the first time. We then saw him shoveling his driveway last month, and then when we shoveled his driveway on Thursday he drove into his driveway, let us in, showed us all of his artwork (he is a clay sculptor/teacher by trade) and gave us Lasagna for dinner. He was one of the first people we tried to contact and all we got from a small crack in the door was, "I'm not a member." His wife is suffering a lot due to her joints, and our service helps.
There's a huge push right now for Family History in the area. We're having a ward challenge for everyone to bring a name to the temple, add two photos or stories of ancestors to familysearch.org and index three batches of records. It's all one work, and all three missions of the Church will deeply intermingle, I hear now that missionaries at the MTC are learning to teach about Family History. The veil is thin as we embrace the work of Salvation, I've had several experiences as a missionary of feeling the presence of angelic messengers with us as we've ministered to God's children, and experiences with those of whom I've done temple ordinances for. It truly is a sacred opportunity that is ours.
In a recent survey, if it is representative of the American population, 9,000,000 people would consider joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I don't have the source though.
I love the Lord, I'm so incredibly weak, but he fills me with His love and covers all of my many weaknesses when I do what he has commanded:
10 repent of your sins and forsake them, and humble yourselves before God; and ask in sincerity of heart that he would forgive you; and now, if you believe all these things see that ye do them.11 And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have tasted of his love, and have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel.12 And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true. (Mosiah 4:10-12)
I add my name to the thousands, even millions that I know by the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost that this work is true and that the Church of Jesus Christ is God's Kingdom again established on the Earth, with all the restored doctrines, principles and ordinances necessary for us to return God's presence and receive eternal life.