I'm emailing you from glorious Irkutsk, sitting here with my old companion Sister Isaac! She was just barely transferred to Irkutsk and is serving here with Sister Stevenson. We're chilling here today (we flew in at about 8:00 this morning), and tonight I leave to go on a visa trip. We're not going to be back in Ulan-Ude until Friday.
We had a good branch council yesterday. The branch has a talent show planned for September 11th, and the open house is still being planned. The branch president printed out papers with information of all the less-active members of the church, and he's giving five people to each member so that they can find these people and update their information. They want everyone to be finished in two weeks. This is such a huge help. We missionaries can't handle the reactivation work all on our own, and it's better that the members are getting involved. Also, choir started up again. The choir director isn't sure where to find music. We have some instrumental only music, but she doesn't know where to find music that is made for choirs.
Flip is making great progress. She came to the branch picnic on Saturday (that was really fun with lots of people there) and got to know some of the young women better. She didn't come to church, but she said that she will next week, and she also wants to participate in choir. She read from the Book of Mormon and has great understanding. We still would like to meet her parents.
Another investigator (I don't remember if I gave her a nickname, but she lived in China, was baptized Russian Orthodox in May, and is studying religions like crazy) is still studying from lots of different churches. She met the Jehovah's Witnesses this week. She's spending lots of time reading the Bible, which is good, but we want her to read the Book of Mormon in addition. She's just really busy trying to open her new business. She's opening a hair salon, and on Thursday, we helped her paint the second coat of her new aquamarine walls.
We met a really nice woman on the street, and she was talking about God, and we were agreeing with each other, and we ended up getting her number. As we were finishing our conversation, we asked what faith she has, and she's a Jehovah's Witness. I don't know how teaching her will be, but if she's interested, I'm down for it. Miracles all the time.
We had a meeting with the Ukrainian family and did FHE. They are all so solid! They love the Gospel, and the dad blessed the sacrament yesterday. They are all so wonderful. They told us about how they always turn off the TV when they study the scriptures. They are really so spiritual.
Name Tag Family didn't come to church. We saw two of the kids shopping while we were heading to church. They're having a hard time. Our drunk investigator, however, came to church again (drunk). Only one more time before he can get baptized! Well, there's that, and he needs to be taught all the lessons and quit drinking and start keeping commitments. But then he can be baptized!
Another fun meeting we had was with the branch president and his family. We had a short spiritual thought, and then we had tea and looked at pictures of Elder Springer on Facebook. I think he looks a little bit like my Uncle Dan mixed with my dad. He's still remembered here! They also gave Sister Wilson one of their old Bibles.
Everything's still great over here in good ol' Siberia. Have a great week all!