Elder Buxton at the Kyiv Temple while on a visa trip

Monday, February 6, 2012

February 6, 2011

Surgut Snow:)

So this week was a great week like always. We found a great new investigator named V~. He is a young man studying here at a university from time to time. He lives way outside of the city which is a little unfortunate. He is solid however. Just a young man, 19 years old and interested in religion. He took the commitment to be baptized and we are excited to be working with him. He did go back to his city but we have been keeping connected with him over the phone and looking into getting permission to teach him over skype or something. He is so sincere and really wants to find out if it's true for himself. One little story I will share is that when we showed him how to pray Elder P was explaining it and he said "well first we fold our arms, close our eyes and bow our heads. Then we start by addressing our Heavenly Father, thanking him for the things we have and ask questions that we want to know, Then we close in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen," Then we showed him an example and asked "will you do that everyday?" He answered "Yeah, just I'm worried that I won't fold my arms right. Will you show me how to do it again?" Of course we explained to him that that's not the important part. The important part is the words. It's a simple story but it really showed how sincere he was and how he wanted to do things that were right. We are really excited about him.
Then Elder Painter and I took off to Surgut and it was a great time. It actually is a nice city and the people there seemed very accepting. We were able to have a lot of great conversations on the street and place a lot of Book of Mormons. We were able to meet with a few less actives and help them get the desire to come to church again. There were 20 people at sacrament meeting which was great to see. The city just got shut down not too long ago. They are now meeting in a members apartment on Sundays. They usually don't have any priesthood on the meeting but this time a less active brother of an active member came and brought his 17 year old son so there will be 2 brethren that hold the priesthood. There is also this little deacon E~ who is such a little stud. He goes every week and passes the sacrament if they have someone to bless it. Elder Painter and I met with him and went over Duty to God. It was a great experience. I felt kind of like a Dad haha. It's really humbling and sad to see a branch struggle like that when we have such strong wards in America. But then I remind myself that this is how the church started, really small. Satan will try to do all that he can to stop it but we are stronger and will prevail. I don't know if I have already shared with you the plan that President Rust has put forward. It is that this mission will have a stake in it in 5 years! Its so exciting to think about! We will just have a few cities in the stake Ufa, Ekat, Perm and Chelyabinsk. It's so cool to think about. It will be a pretty big territory but it won't even be the biggest stake in the world so it's possible. It's great to see the members get excited about it here.
Everything really is going so well. You're so right when you say that nothing is a coincidence. It was great for Elder Parson and I to give each other comfort when both of our grandpas died and it really did lighten the burden to mourn with those who mourn. I really have felt the prayers of so many family and friends. I love you all take care!
Elder Buxton
p.s to answer your question, we do travel a lot on Sundays to different branches. In fact we are going to Ufa this Sunday to have a branch conference. It will be great to return back to my mother land. haha;) But we do also go to church in Ekat a lot. Did that answer your question? I love you lots.

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