Shalom! I think that's hello or goodbye in Jewish, maybe not.. Our first week in Eagle has gone very well, we've met most of the members and have been doing a lot of service.
Dang, there has been some serious trials this last week. I spent 2 days in the wringer for some reason, the cumulative effects of stress just snuck up on me and after District Meeting I conked out on the couch in the Stake Center. Luckily our zone leaders were still in the building and I got one of the most beautiful blessings I've ever received in my life. Through faith I received the strength to move on.
It's incredible to see the growth and clarity that has come into my life since that experience when it seemed like life was coming apart at the seams. It was pretty bad for about 2 days. The principle of deliverance is incredible (1 Nephi 1:20)
The Lord reaches out in love to our busy lives with complex problems by giving us trials, callings, weaknesses (Ether 12:27) or whatever else. The trials I experienced can be likened to the load of Elder Bednar's recent talk that will allow me to gain the traction to continue on my journey. (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/04/bear-up-their-burdens-with-ease?lang=eng)And now my son, Shiblon, I would that ye should remember, that as much as ye shall put your trust in God even so much ye shall be delivered out of your trials, and your troubles, and your afflictions, and ye shall be lifted up at the last day. (Alma 38:5)
We got to finally go to Rendezvous, a Russian restaurant here in Eagle (who would have thought). Some members wanted to feed us but had to cancel and so we asked them if they could pay for us to go there. I got some $16 of pelmeni's (ridiculous isn't it?), dumplings with decent sized chunks of beef in them served in soup and dipped in sour cream (or perhaps some other kind of sauce). We had a very interesting conversation with a man that unfortunately was slightly drunk, he came up to us and asked how I knew Russian, and that moved on to a conversation about Ukraine and Russia. He evidently spent a few months in Ukraine about a year ago, and was robbed on his third day there. He's supporting so many people there, since the corruption is so bad and it can be impossible.
They're evacuating Donetsk right now, there happens to be 40000 Russian troops on the eastern border, and I heard from a missionary in Dnepropretrovsk that that mission will soon be evacuated as well. It looks like war, but I cannot. I was so confused when I was called to Boise, since I had had several times when the Spirit was poured out when I thought of the Kiev temple and of the work of Salvation in that land. They're still baptizing though, and they'll hate to be evacuated.
We have someone working with Vladimir, he'll give him a pamphlet of the Joseph Smith account in Russian and will stay close on him. He's still super interested but super super busy. We have several other Russians that we know of in Eagle that we'll be contacting here shortly.
The work is going well here in the 4th ward, it truly is hastening, through service and the youth. We're going to start playing basketball on Tuesday's and Thursday's, and will invite active Priests to come. They're down with inviting their friends, so we'll see how that goes.
Thanks for all the support and prayers, I've felt such an incredible help to get through difficult times because of them. Take care, I'll see you shortly via skype!