We have been on our mission for four months now, and we decided it was time to reflect a little on the things we have learned, the ups and downs, and maybe refocus a little on the reasons we are here. We came on a mission because we feel we have been so blessed to have the truths of the gospel in our lives, and we wanted to share that with others. Little did we know we would be coming to Russia, where it is very hard for us to share our feelings about anything, because of the language, and because people here are not very excited about hearing about Christ and His restored gospel. Nevertheless, in spite of these obstacles, we feel that we are being of help and service here. The missionaries here, who do speak the language, are finding and teaching people, and we are helping them in whatever ways we can. It might be going with them to teach a lesson, and sharing an experience in that lesson that they translate to the investigator. It might be helping them at the office to find teaching materials, or finding a conference talk on the Internet, or it might simply be helping by giving them a haircut, or fixing them a meal to eat. Whatever it might be, we love the missionaries and love helping them. So for right now, that seems to be our biggest role and that is okay. We were called to work in the office and even though it seems a bit temporal at times, it is a necessary part of running a mission, and we are thankful we have the skills to take care of the paper work, financial affairs, and everyday problems that pop up. We love the Russians who work with us in the office, they are great people and we wouldn't be able to function there without them. We love the two office elders that help us with all of the computer work. They are amazing, helpful, smart, organized, responsible, and cheerful. Even though we know they would rather be out teaching the gospel, they come in every day and do their jobs.
We also offer support to the branch we are in by attending church, activities, and helping out however or whenever we can. We support the missionaries by attending baptisms, bringing food, attending and helping at their activities. Sometimes all of these things seem like small and insignificant ways to be serving a mission, but we know these small things are the things that we are needed to do, in this place and at this time, and we hope they will produce at some time a stronger mission, branch and stake.
This New Year gives each of us the opportunity to refocus focus on doing what is needed now. We pray each day for the energy needed to do all we can to help others, whether it is the Mission President, the missionaries, the branch members, or the people in this great city of Novosibirsk. We know that as we do this, we are serving Christ and are trying to be like Him. This is all each of us has been asked to do, and we know that our Savior will bless each of us in all of our efforts efforts as we seek to do His will.
It seems to that the most important work that we can do, or have done here, is to help strengthen the young missionaries. They are wonderful, with firm testimonies, but we can encourage and build them up, and help them. And that is what we love to do whenever we are around them. So if we work to improve ourselves, we can better strengthen them.
Sometimes it is not easy to be here, we miss our family, and it seems everything here is harder to do, especially in the winter. We feel aches and pains occasionally, and are definitely tired at the end of each day. But we love the people who surround us here each day, and know this is our time to forget ourselves and give what we can to others. We look forward to this New Year with anticipation of great things to come, and new opportunities for growth.
Our prayers are for each of you that you will find this year filled with joy, happiness, and peace; and above all may you feel the love of family, friends and a caring Father in Heaven as you travel through 2012. We love you all. RANDY N SUE (Elder and Sister Webb).