December 24, 2012

Our Christmas Eve was spent with our favorite investigator Suzy, her fiance, and his family. We meet with them each week and teach the principles of the gospel with the help of the younger missionaries. The family is always so great to bear their testimonies of the principles we teach. We also helped the zone leaders with two of their contacts this week whom they found while knocking at apartment buildings. This is a finding technique that the mission is wanting to increase using. It can be a challenge because you have to be able to get into the building first by calling up one of the apartments and asking them to let you in. Then you knock on a big metal door to try and get the tenant to open their individual metal door in order to come and open the other metal door you're standing in front of. The reason we are wanting to concentrate on this effort is because in the winter people don't want to stop and talk to you when it's cold. Also, families are together in their apartments, and we are really hoping to find families to teach.

We also visited some of the babushkas in our branch. We brought our laptop with us to show them President Monson's Christmas Devotional message, which they loved!!! If you remember, he talked about visiting his former Primary President when she was in a convalescent home and how she miraculously recognized him. I think the babushkas really related to President Monson's love and caring for people like them. We also had them watch the Tabernacle Choir's closing hymn, "Silent Night." Our sweet Sister Svetlana babushka thanked us for bringing her the Spirit of Christmas. These sweet ladies are unable to leave their homes for the most part, do not spend time on a computer, and would not have the opportunity of seeing things like the Christmas Devotional. We were grateful to be able to share this experience with them.

One of the branches had a Relief Society meeting this week where we made candy Christmas trees. I brought candy but missed the part where you were supposed to bring the tinsel garland to wrap around it, as well as the part to bring a treat to share. That's what I get for not having everything translated I guess. But the sisters were generous in sharing with me, and we had a good time.

In our Branch Council Meeting on Sunday, Elder Peterson made a suggestion that we have a special branch fast on Fast Sunday in January. The branch struggles with members harboring hard feelings, not loving each other, not supporting branch leadership. So all of the members have been asked to fast together in order to forgive and love each other. We will break the fast together after church and have lunch. We are hopeful that we can each humble ourselves and that the Lord will bless and strengthen the branch.

We are so grateful to family and friends who have shared Christmas greetings with us! We love you all and are looking forward to a Christmas Day of speaking with our families! Merry Christmas!!

Komsomolski Relief Society Meeting
Me, Rada, Elena, Oksana, Tamara, Elena

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