Nastya Ugrumnaya joined the church about 7 years ago and loves nothing more than helping young single adults in Russia learn more about the Gospel and strengthen their testimonies. Nastya has cerebral palsy, and though her wheelchair may limit her ability to travel, it doesn’t stop her from influencing people who live far away. In fact, one of her great joys is teaching The Distant Learning institute class for young single adults in Russia via the web.
Despite Nastya’s physical challenges, she takes time to plan Gospel lessons each week for her students, teach effectively, individually email and respond to them and care for their spiritual well being. Her class sizes range from one to eight students at any time and she believes that her greatest reward is seeing her students grow spiritually.
One spiritual experience Nastya remembers came when she had the opportunity to teach a sister who lived in Moscow, but whose family refused to let her attend church. For a long time, Nastya was the Moscow sister’s only contact with anything related to the church. As they studied together and learned basic doctrines of the Gospel, this sister’s faith grew and her testimony was strengthened enough to help her go back to church, despite the disapproval of her family.
As Nastya served diligently in her calling as a teacher, she also noticed that the relationship between her and her mother began to improve. They took time to study gospel topics together while they planned Nastya’s lessons. As they did this, they noticed their testimonies strengthen and their understanding of Gospel principles deepen.
As Nastya continues to study the Gospel and teach the Distant Learning Class in Russia, she has seen her own faith grow just as much as her students’. When we strengthen our testimonies of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, we too will feel the desire that Nastya had to share this wonderful message with the world and help members strengthen their testimonies.
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