Monday, September 26, 2011

Week 2 in Cold Mountain

Hello Family!

I've had my first official full week and I've got lots to say as usual haha.
I'll start with some miracles that happened this past week. So last Sunday
after we met with Valera we were waiting for our marshrytka (a small bus
that is everywhere) at the end of the street. It was like 9 at night I
think. Anyway, this guy in a Mazda RX8 pulls up to us and he's like "Hey are
you guys Mormons?" so we started to talk to him about the church and his
beliefs and stuff and as we were talking to him our marshytka drove by which
was one of the last ones for the night. So we told him that we just missed
our ride and he's like "Well just hop in. I'll give you a ride to your
apartment." So he drove us home in his nice Mazda haha and we got his
contact information. His name is Aleksei. We called him and he was
interested in meeting with us so we were able to meet with him yesterday. He
picked us up in his car again haha and we went to a cafe. He bought us some
apple juice and we met for like an hour and a half. I don't understand a lot
yet but I learned from Elder Schoen that he was saying that he doesn't
understand the need to repent and that he thinks that there was a man that
did good a long time ago but that it wasn't Jesus and that Jesus has just
evolved over time. But we showed him the Book of Mormon and I had him read
the intro and the promise. He wants to meet again with us and he said that
he'd be willing to read the Book of Mormon. So we have our first
investigator! I think if we can resolve his concerns that he will be an
awesome guy to work with. The other miracle happened on Tuesday. During our
Zone Conference someone snuck in and stole the purse of a senior couple
lady, Sister Hatch. We had a group prayer that everything would be found.
She had her passport, credit cards, money and other stuff stolen. Within
half an hour, they received a call from a lady name Victoria saying that she
had found her stuff! So they went to meet her and gave her a Book of Mormon.
She lives in our area so we called her and she wants to meet with us as
well. She wanted to come to church yesterday but she didn't make it. But
we're going to meet with her sometime this week. Hopefully she turns into a
good investigator for us. I believe that these two people we have come in
contact with were truly prepared to meet us. It has really shown me that the
Lord is preparing people everyday to hear the gospel and that we need to be
ready to meet and find them.

So also this past week we went to Barabashova. This place is where all the
shopping is done. It was crazy, there are tons of shops outside and people
everywhere. It's easy to get lost in there haha. I bought myself seven ties
haha and I was able to get a good deal on a coat. Ties here are way cheap.
They are 20-35 grieven and 8 grieven is $1. Most of mine were 20 grieven so
that's like $2.50 a tie or something like that. Ties are basically the main
thing that missionaries buy in Barabashova haha. They get new shipments in
every month so I'm sure I will go there often. And my coat is very nice. It
was originally 950 grieven but the lady sold it to me for 700, so it was
around $88. I still need to get gloves but we're going back soon for those
so I should be set. In answer to your question, yes we helped the lady move
this past weekend... It was the most insane moving project I've ever done
haha. It was only Elder Schoen and I, another companionship, and one guy
from the Elders Quorum. We were moving her to a new apartment that was a few
blocks down from where she lived. Basically we moved everything in her
apartment and you name it, we moved it. I think that some of it was from the
Soviet Union! Not even kidding. We moved like 8 trees worth of wood
paneling/cabinets, several mattresses, her huge bed that runs on a motor,
tons of food that I'm pretty sure was spoiled in glass jars, tons of bags
full of who knows what, her kitchen sink and her toilet :) her couch with
moist cushions.. and three huge bags of sugar that were in a wall in her
bathroom. They smelled of urine and were sticky sackcloth bags. The sugar
had gone bad I'm pretty sure. It was disgusting. So we moved all of this
stuff into a moving truck that was more of a huge garbage truck, then walked
to her new apartment, had to load all of it out, then get it up to the third
floor. Her new apartment is still being renovated so we left it all in one
room. I'm not sure how they will get to anything they need but we finished
after 7 1/2 hours. It was quite the long day!! There are two pictures I sent
in this email that show everything. Elder Rallison congratulated me on
having my first Ukraine experience haha. He said that I'll be surprised at
the stuff that I do here everyday. And then on Saturday Elder Schoen and I
did another service project with a lady in our branch. Her name is Katya
Nadenenko. She works at a kindergarten and we helped put up wallpaper. It
was a lot better than the moving project haha.

Yesterday all of the missionaries spoke in church, including me. We
basically just shared a little bit about ourselves and bore our testimonies.
I felt like I did terrible in speaking but all of the missionaries said that
I did way better than they ever did in their first times speaking so this is
good. In time I will be able to speak I just need to keep working and going
out of my comfort zone. We did some contacting this past week as well. It
was frustrating because I couldn't get out what I wanted to in time and if I
did then the person would just reject us. We did find a kid named David
though. He said that we can come by anytime at night to visit him and his
family. So we'll be doing that this week. Something I've noticed here is
that everyone stares at the missionaries haha. It doesn't matter where we
are and sometimes they stare at our tags for like five minutes. It's hard to
have a conversation with them because usually it's on the bus and they don't
want to listen or it's just really awkward to talk to them. So we're just
trying to go out of our comfort zones and talk to people everywhere. You
never know what could happen, right? Also, people enjoy taking pictures of
us walking haha. I guess that's a pretty normal thing that happens.

And now to answer questions in your email. We get 1600 grieven each for the whole month which is $150. So we live on little money but we're able to make do with it. Pretty soon we'll be
getting more because the other missions get more than us because prices have
gone up. Stores have basically the same things as back home but not
everything. There is no peanut butter and taco seasoning so those would be
great to get in a package. We buy juice and milk often because we go through
it quickly. We live next to a senior couple so they make us food and give us
leftover food and stuff. It's a sweet set up. But for the most part we can
buy everything at the store. My bed is seriously on a piece of wood, there
are no springs under the mattress haha. I wake up during the night because
it's hard to sleep on it and I'm too tall for the bed so I have to sleep in
weird positions haha. But I'm getting used to it. I don't have any pictures
yet but I'll send some. And as far as General Conference goes we will be
watching it on October 8-9 on DVD. They give us the broadcast after it is
translated and stuff. And the Liahona with the messages doesn't come out for
like four months so I hope I can understand and remember what I hear. Thanks
for the suggestions from President Uchtdorf. I will do those. It sounds like
things are good back home.

I love you all and hope that your doing well. Tell everyone that I love
them. Have a good week!

с любовью,
старейшина каун
украинская донецкая миссия

MTC District

Off to Donetsk

Elders Rallison and Keown

First Service Project - Helping a Babushka Move...They Even Moved the Toilet!

First Service Project - Helping a Babushka Move

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