Monday, October 10, 2011

Week 4 in Cold Mountain

Hello Family!

Can't believe it's been another week! We had a cool experience this week contacting. Aleksei dogged us last Monday which means he didn't show up, so I was thinking about something I've heard when this happens. And this is that Heavenly Father puts us in places for a reason. So we decided to start contacting people even though it wasn't our area. The branch building is in Center Kharkov and is the ZL's area (Elder Rallison) So anyway we started contacting people and we were talking about how we have a prophet on the earth today and that we would hear him speak to us this weekend. Some people were interested, but mostly everyone just rejects us. We had gone awhile not talking to anybody and we saw a guy coming up. Elder Schoen told me he was mine, so I somehow started talking to him (you never know how your going to start) and he was really interested. His name was Vladislov. He spoke some English and so I was able to do a lot of it in English. He said that my Russian was really good haha. But we invited to come to conference and he said he really wanted to. This was on last Monday. Then on Saturday, the day of conference, we called the people we contacted and he was the only one to pick up. He said he would probably come. I prayed that he would come and that we would be able to talk to him. We got off of our bus and started walking towards the branch building and we ended up walking right in front of him! It was crazy! So we were able to talk to him more as we walked to conference and get to know him better. He had a lot of questions once we got to the branch building so I did my best to explain some things, like temples and service projects. He took some Liahonas as well. He stayed for Priesthood Session and sat next to me. Afterward we asked him what he thought and he said he understood most of it but he had some concerns. But he thanked us for inviting him to come. He had to leave to go back home to his family but we are really hoping that he has a desire now to meet with the other missionaries. This experience showed me that Heavenly Father has people prepared to hear the gospel everywhere around Ukraine, but we need to have the faith to find them. It is so hard to find new people to teach and people that will listen on the street! And it is very hard to get referrals! But we're doing our best. I feel often that we're not very successful because we've only taught like 1 or 2 lessons a week since I've got here and we can't find anyone. But we're working to find people and that's what counts.

I really enjoyed conference this past weekend. I learned something from every talk. I can't decide which one is my favorite though. I really enjoyed Priesthood session. Elder Holland, W. Christopher Waddell, President Eyring, and President Monson all said some awesome things. I also enjoyed President Eyring's talk about how missionaries can be blessed for reading the Book of Mormon everyday. That is one of my goals now. Mostly what I learned from conference is that Heavenly Father really knows each of us. W. Christopher Waddell's talk in Priesthood was really helpful to me. Heavenly Father knows exactly what will happen for me on my mission. He knows which companions I need to be with, which areas I need to be in, and what I need to experience in order to grow. If I have faith and look forward to the missionary that Heavenly Father can make me then it will happen and I will be happy. That is what I am really going to try and do for the next six months until the next conference. It's such a blessing to know that Heavenly Father cares about us each individually and understands perfectly what we are going through. He is always there to help.

I had my first split this week with Elder Rallison's companion Elder Mironchenko. He was born in Russia but moved to the US when he was 7. So he is fluent in the language. We had a great split. But anyway, we ended the split with the Bailey's (the senior couple) and we had borsh. I really like borsh now! It's great stuff! So one of the picturess I sent is from their house at that dinner. We did two service projects this week. The first one was helping a partially deaf guy in the branch pour cement at his house he's working on in a city called Alekseevka. It went good, we'll probably keep helping him in the future. And the other one was after the dinner with the Baileys. We helped another guy in the branch move his fridge out of his apartment. He lived 9 flights of stairs up and the fridge was 50 years old haha so it was pretty heavy. After we got it down we had to wheel it like a mile through the streets of Kharkov to another apartment. It was insane! So there's a picture of that as well.  

I love you all and hope that you're doing well! I pray for you and I know that Heavenly Father watches over us and knows us each individually. Have a good week!

с любовью,
старейшина каун
украинская донецкая миссия

Here's some more pictures. The temple is in Center Kharkov. It is called the
candy cane temple by missionaries haha. The other email I sent today had a
picture of our house. The store next to us is Valera's store. The picture
with locks on it is a bridge near Center as well. When people get married
they put a lock on the bridge and throw the key into the water. Pretty cool.
And the Euro Cup is coming to Ukraine and Poland next summer so that's what
that picture is. There's graffiti everywhere here haha, some of its pretty
cool. So there was graffiti in that picture. I'll send more next week. I
love you all! Have a good week!

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