Sorry I wasn't very clear in my last letter. We didn't go to Russia. And the temple is actually in Kiev, Ukraine. The sessions were transmitted to our branches through satellite since the saints here will now be attending that temple. Before they had to go to Sweden. Romanian saints will also be attending the Kiev temple as well. The only ones who went were about twenty youth who performed in the cultural event. One of the girls, Zara, who is from our branch had to stay longer for some reason, but was able to do baptisms for the dead there after it was opened. She and another girl should be getting their mission calls back very soon. What I said about President Monson was just from what I noticed in the broadcasts. I also talked about the power that comes from the temple, and I could feel that, even though we weren't actually there. I can't wait to get home and be able to continue to learn and grow while visiting the temple often. Most of the saints here have only been once, if at all.
This week was a little different. Elder Grigoryan had a hard time getting over his sickness and had a fever on and off for five days. The transfer was supposed to happen on Friday so we arranged for his parents to come pick him up. However, when President Carter went to pick up the new missionaries, they didn't show and they found out there were flight problems, so the transfer was delayed until today. So I have been serving with Elder King and Lusk in their area, which has been great except that I haven't seen my investigators for about a week now. I hope it doesn't put too much of a damper on the work. It was great with Elder Lusk and King, though. Their new apartment is beautiful and probably one of the best in the mission. We even dedicated it this morning.
To answer your other question, yes, we are also learning the new focused corriculum. Actually, missionaries in the whole world should be learning it. Bryce said he already flew to Jeauneu (however you spell that) to receive the training. I like it a lot. They did it by filming missionaries in California who learned the principles and applied it. They want us to basically be better teachers and more Christlike. To love people and really try to help them instead of just reciting to them everything we know. I'm excited to begin applying it. I've been thinking about that lately and really want to become a better, more reliable and helpful friend. It makes all the difference.
I'm excited about my new companion. His name is Elder Thylin (Tihl-in). He is from Sweden. He speaks great english, fairly tall, darker skin, and Armenian's love him. He's had it pretty rough I hear, both on his mission and at home, but he tries very hard to love people and wants them to love him. He's a pretty happy guy in general. I think we'll have a good companionship. He also likes to work hard and wants to serve well. I'll let you know how it goes.
Some more nice things about President Carter is his devotion to the work and the Lord. At least for now, he is trying to get into the middle of everything and even tries to go to meetings with missionaries. He is always ready to sacrifice his time for others. He won't make a decision until he knows it is the Lord's will, for example with transfers and callings, etc. He is a man full of love and has given me many special compliments that I don't know I deserved. I'm honored to have such a humble, obedient, and honest man as a Mission President, as well as his humble and loving wife. They are a great couple.
Well that was my week. The interview didn't work out with Yasha. The interview is for us to make sure we will not be doing anything to endanger the life of anyone. They pretty much have to have citizenship in a Christian country and plan not to return to Iran. We have a few other Iranian friends who are also beginning to ask questions. Just so you know, the underground Christians I was talking about in Iran were not members of this church, but still Christian.
I'm sorry you got sick and were stressed about your lesson. I feel the same way sometimes, that I could have given a lot better of a lesson. I think that's true, but I also think the imperfect ones are alright as well. As long as we learn from them. I miss you and love you. I try and think of you too, and remember how blessed of a man I am. It's interesting that our difficulties are necessary for our growth. Brigham Young said that Joseph Smith would not have been able to become as perfect of a man as he did if he had not had so much persecution, trials, and infirmities as he did in his life. I hope that I can make the best out of my trials, even though I don't feel like I have had a ton of very hard things to do. Maybe I just need to open my eyes a little more to see the opportunites God gives me to grow. I love you. I'm doing alright.
Elder Bruce Wainwright
P.S.- Thanks for the story from Lisa's friend. It was great