Have I ever mentioned how much Khabarovsk is like Seattle? It is exceedingly Seattle, by any measure.
For one, it’s all rather green. Khabarovsk is about as forested a city as I’ve seen in Russia. Trees are ever-present, and create some rather beautiful forests, pierced by enormously tall doms.
For twos (can I say that? does English work like that?) there’s a large body of water right next to the city, shaping both the geography and the attitude of the people. The city is so big, mostly because it spreads out along the river for miles, but never really spreads away from the river. This makes reaching some peoples homes an adventure in busing.
For threeses (that sounds right.) the city rains a lot. What with all the strange, weather-influencing landmarks nearby, including the Amur river, the Sea of Okhotsk to the north-east, and the Great Russian plains to the west, weather changes here faster than we can tract a dom. I as of yet have not bought a dedicated raincoat, so I’ve been wearing a winter coat that another Elder left in the apartment until I have time to go to the chinese market and get some cheap Goretex. As such, I’ve had a lot of opportunity to think about this one talk by Dieter F. Uchtdorf, where he compares Heaven’s blessing to a constant rainfall, and faith and repentance are the methods by which we close the umbrella of sin that separates us from receiving those blessings. Those thoughts came to my mind often as I wandered about stubbornly without an umbrella, and I consider that a great blessing. I have always been grateful for General Conference, and I have only grown in that appreciation on my mission. Those two weekends in April and October are some of my favorite weekends of the year.
I don’t have much else to report on this week, except for a split with Elder S of Highland, Utah. I love Elder S. He is a man after my own heart, full of love for the Scriptures, and fire of the Spirit. We had a great time contacting, and actually had to turn around and return to the Church to pick up more copies of the Book of Mormon, having handed out all of ours to interested people we talked to.
I love the Lord. I love His work. I am eternally grateful that that work is “to bring to pass the Immortality and Eternal Life of Man,” and that I can have a part in it.