Monday, May 27, 2013

First week in Volzhsky (Volgograd)

Hey! So transfers this week was an interesting experience. I had a mission conference with Elder Bennett, a member of the quorum of the Seventy and the East Europe Presidency which was pretty cool and really helpful, I set a lot of goals and got some good insights, then a visa trip, my last one, to the Ukraine with some of my best friends here on the mission. Then the next morning I took a 8.5 hour bus ride to Volgograd with Elder Sandoval, and then an hour and a half taxi ride through Volgograd and then across the bridge to Volzhsky. I saw the big statue and some interesting stuff on the way including of course the Volga river, all of which were cool to see. I expect to probably finish my mission here, having only 2 transfers left after this one is done, especially with the policy of wanting someone to remain in the branch who knows the members and all like if my comp left and someone new came, but either way we'll just see what happens in these next 17-18 weeks. The branch is cool and my comp works hard. We have talked to like everyone we see and have made a lot of plans for the work we are going to do here. I have realized a lot of things lately as I study and continue the work, I was thinking about how often we all play the role of the prodigal sun in our lives, how often we ask for forgiveness, especially when sometimes others may be really good at what we struggle at, and then we can understand how they feel when we see someone else have a weakness with something we consider to be easy. Christ overcame it all, suffered it all for us, he and our Heavenly Father truly are the Father in the parable who accept us if we repent. The branch here is cool, about 1/3-1/2 of the about 15 active members are youth, and they're way cool. I consider it a blessing to to be able to meet everyone and work here. Our landlady is awesome too, she lives right next to us and is way nice, she makes us food and helps us out with stuff like water refills or anything else that we need. So we'll just have to see how things play out here but there is a lot of potential for success branch growth/reactivation, and I'm excited to be a part of it. We're working hard and playing by the rules. I miss you guys but I gotta run, have a great week and be safe. I love you!

-Elder Skene

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