Elder Lebaron and I went to Rivne this week for exchanges with the zone leaders for two days. It was a little hard to be out of our area for two days because we have so much work to do here. But it was productive. I met a guy on the street who was wearing straight baseball get up. He had on the hat, coach nike shoes, and a rivne baseball shirt, so I stopped him and talked with him. Found out they were getting ready for a game that Sunday, so I offered some service, we were able to go down to the field on Friday and help clean it up, and get it ready for their game. It took me back to my baseball days. Some of their players were there helping too, so we were able to chat it up with them. I had a blast! In Rivne I also was able to be on a lesson with a guy who had his baptism in three days and with the second counselor in the mission presidency. We talked about tithing. Quote form Elder Bednar "Tithing is not paid with money, it is paid with faith." When you think about it, it is true.
On Saturday at 10 am we were able to tune into a live priesthood broadcast from the Baltics for all priesthood leaders and brothers in Ukraine, Russia, the Baltics, Turkey, Armenia, and a few other countries I can't remember. Elder Bednar, The Bishop of the church, President Razband, and President Lawrence (our area President) were all there, along with a few other local 70's. The broadcast lasted for four hours. Elder Bednar started off with a parable shared by Boyd K packer a long time ago. "The parable: A merchant man seeking precious jewels found at last the perfect pearl. He had the finest craftsman carve a superb jewel box and line it with blue velvet. He put his pearl of great price on display so others could share his treasure. He watched as people came to see it. Soon he turned away in sorrow. It was the box they admired, not the pearl." He related that to the church and the gospel. The gospel is the pearl. On a live broadcast Elder Bednar had people from all across the area send in questions and he did a great job on the spot of addressing the concerns that people had, and showing a great example of how to teach. The spirit was very strong and all who were there were edified and uplifted. He sais that as priesthood leaders, we are not managers (box) but we are ministers (pearl). He also talked about sharing the gospel. When Lehi tasted of the fruit of the tree the first thing he wanted to do was to share it. The way to help people do missionary work is not to talk about missionary work. That does not help. We must halp them taste the fruit of the atonement and gospel in their own life. People don't share the gospel because 1. they haven't tasted the fruit, and 2. they have forgotten what it tastes like. I know I learned a lot that will help me be a better person and teacher.
On Sunday our two investigators came to church. They are both very serious about investigating and are looking for answers in their lives. It was fast Sunday and a bother who I am really close to bore his testimony. He wasn't feeling real well, but he said he came to church because he needed the blessings of the sacrament in his life. His wife had recently passed away. I sent you that story and last week we were able to go to the grave sight and dedicate the grave of his wife. He asked me if I would say the prayer and I felt honored. He has been helping us with a lot of our lessons.
President Lattin came down to Lutsk this week. We were able to have him on a lesson along with the mission driver for one of our investigators. It really helps to have natives on lessons. President Lattin also interviewed each of us while he was here. It was nice.
My companion is really cool. I think we are going to stay together one more transfer, I would really like to finish off with him! He is very faithful and has a solid testimony and backs it up with hard work and obedience. He is from Utah bust since he has been out his dad moved to Arizona with his brother (his mom died when he was 14). We get along really well and are a good team.
Have a great week.
Elder Mitchell Hadfield