Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hidden Treasures in the Ukraine

Welcome to Elder Alexander Larsen, a cousin in the long reach of our extended family.  We currently have none of immediate descent serving missions, but we want to continue sharing to joy found in serving the Lord and spreading His Gospel.


Happy Fall All!
It is a great time of year.  It has gotten cooler sometimes even a bit chilly, and today is quite rainy but we are supposed to just have good fall weather until November, at least that is what all my Ukrainian friends tell me.  The work continues to go very well here.  We had an absolutely stellar week and we were just constantly busy, which is the greatest feeling ever as a missionary.  Today even we are super busy with a lesson and baptism prep, so much for Pday but then again who really needs a Pday when there is work to be done. 
Last Thursday was zone conference and it was fantastic.  We journeyed out to Lviv and I'm even getting used to the night trains (except we almost weren't allowed on, but that is another story).  Lviv is just beautiful and we had a great zone conference.  It was all focused on the new Preach My Gospel training and so we focused on teaching the doctrine of Christ.  There isn't anything better to teach and it is just so much fun!  I have also changed my study because I want to have a greater focus.  I had just started the Old Testament which I planned to read before the years end and so I would have completed all the standard works (some multiple times) and Jesus the Christ in one year.  But I came to the reallization that I need to be focussing on what I'm teaching and I just need to learn it more and more so that I can teach it better and better.  I need to be able to open the scriptures and teach from them, knowing them so well.  So that is my new goal.  I think it is a better less selfish one too.
This week started slow with lessons but we worked hard to make them happen and they were all great!  I love being able to teach.  We had some really great lessons with both Chidi and Serhi.  I have been blessed to see time and time again the Lords hand in this work.  I quote chidi who said this week "It is like the Lord sent you to me knowing what I needed to hear and the words you are speaking are not your words."  Another great thing to hear came from Serhi "I would love to live the law of Chastity."  Also another one from Serhi "I want as many people as possible to hear about the church in Ukraine."  And thus we are meeting with him and his friend on Wednesday.  Serhi is abosultely amazing but sadly I don't think he'll be getting baptized this week because he thinks he isn't ready as he has a complete understanding of what it means to be a member of the church and even created a personal goal to go to the temple.  He is ready and we just need to help him reallize that so that is where much of our energy is going now.  Chidi is doing just great and ready to jump in that font on Saturday as he won't let anything stand in his way from his decision to be baptized.  It is amazing to see how he is effected by the spirit in our meetings and how he just loves being happy.
We taught both of them the Word of Wisdom as well last week which they both immediately accepted.  Serhi commented on how hard it would be to not start the morning with a cup of tea but he was so willing to do and we brought him some herbal tea to enjoy the next day to help him.  It is amazing how you can come to love people through the gospel.  I think that is really truly the only way we can love someone is according to the principles that we learn in the Gospel.  The first commandment is to Love thy God, which I think is easier to do when we reallize that God is Love and therefore we are simply gaining more love by loving God and those around us.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is just so beautiful and perfect.  I want people to understand it the same way I understand it because it has made my life everything that it is.
Well there is probably more I could say but I'll just end by sharing my love with you and telling you that the Church of Jesus Christ is on the Earth today and only true happiness can be found by living the Gospel taught therein.  Jesus Christ lives and is our Saviour! I love you all!
Elder Alexander Larsen