Hello Again Family!
As usual, I can't believe another week has gone by. Thanks for your emails, it's always great to hear from you. To get started for this week, I had my first tracting experience! I sent a picture of that. Basically for tracting you find a dome (an apartment building) that doesn't have a call in phone on the outside and then you start at the top and knock your way to the bottom. The dome that we found we had to crack the lock to open the door and then go in. It's hard to tract here and anywhere in Russia for this reason because you can't get into the buildings! But anyway, we got in and every door we knocked we got the same response. "Go away! We don't need Americans around here!" And basically you ring the doorbell or knock and then if they come to do door they shout through the door to see who it is. And then you have to shout through the door back at them. It's pretty fun haha. Elder Schoen says we don't do a lot of tracting because it's not very effective, but they do it in the winter though a lot cause it's cold outside. Speaking of cold, we got our first snow this week. It was pretty cold, and it turned to rain. But then the rest of the week wasn't that bad of weather. It is crazy because after it rains pretty much everything turns into mud haha. But its all good. Let's see, this past week we had a youth broadcast that was broadcasted from Donetsk. The area presidency came and spoke to the youth, which are considered 18-30 years old. Its like young adults in US. But anyway, they mostly talked about marriage and each one gave crazy stories about how they got married. For example, one of the guy's fathers was his Patriarch and while he was on his mission his future wife got her blessing from his dad. His dad knew that she would soon be his daughter-in-law and that his son would marry her. Just crazy stories like that. But I learned some good things from the meeting though. They stressed that if we will put the Lord first in our lives in everything that He will guide our footsteps and allow us to accomplish our desires with our future spouses and families. And also that Satan will do everything to blurr our vision so we need to keep gospel living, a temple marriage, and having a family in our vision. It was a good conference, even though I will not be getting married for a while haha.
We taught three lessons this week, which is the most we've done so far! We taught this old babushka who is like a gypsy basically haha. She has been having missionaries come over for like two years now. We taught about the doctrine of Christ (2 Nephi 31) and she understands a lot of it, but she believes in her religion. So if we meet with her again we will talk about baptism and the Book of Mormon more with her. And we also met with this guy named Sasha (that is Alexander in Russian) He met with the other elders a while ago and has been busy with school so we were able to meet with him. He has taught himself English and is pretty good, so we were able to do most of it in English. He is studying to be an engineer and he is extremely busy with school. He is in his last year of school. But he has a strong desire to read the Book of Mormon and to know if its true. We read 1 Nephi 2 with him because he just wanted to read. He really likes what he reads but he can't commit to reading everyday because he doesn't have time. But he wants to keep meeting with us, only he can't meet again until mid-November which sucks. So I asked him if we could call him every week and check up on him and he said that he would like that so we're going to do it. And I also had the idea to just give him a single verse to read that would help him because it wouldn't take that much time to read it. So we'll see how he progresses. I totally spaced that we could've given him a Liahona for this month because it's all about the Book of Mormon. So this week we're going to try and get one to him. And last P-day we went to a bunch of music stores in downtown Kharkov. I played on a drum set that wasn't very good but it was still fun haha. But anyway, we met a guy that is from Nigeria and he is here for school. He is a pastor in his church and he writes Christian music and he needs a drummer, guitarist and keyboardist. He said we could go to a studio with him and play if we were allowed. And he's really interested in why we're here and he has a strong belief in Jesus Christ so it would be an awesome opportunity to teach him. So we asked the Zone Leaders and they asked the AP's who said no, so then Elder Schoen asked President Campero and he thought it was an awesome idea and told us to convert his whole church haha. So we were supposed to go today but he's busy so hopefully we'll go next week. More to come on this.
I had another crazy day at church yesterday haha. This crazy Jewish guy walked in off the street and barged into Sunday school holding a copy of the Liahona. He started going off on the church and was screaming about how we don't believe in Jesus Christ, only Joseph Smith, and how the church is just a bunch of rubbish. And then he started doing this like spitting thing with his mouth which I guess is really offensive here. And then all the members started going to town on him haha it was insane. They were all yelling "We believe in Jesus Christ too! Get outta here!" And then the guy got really upset and he tore the Liahona in half and threw it on the ground haha. (threw it on the ground reference) and he's like "I BELIEVE IN CHRIST!" and then someone was like "molodets" lol which in Russian means "aww, you little goodie good" and then some guys escorted him out it was insane! And then someone in class said a prayer to get class going again and the lesson proceeded like nothing happened. Only in Ukraine! I am finding that there is never a dull moment here haha.
My pictures I sent this week are my first tracting experience, a picture of my room, the grocery store where we shop (it is called Villa) and what happens when your water filter should've been changed on September 1st and is changed on October 23! The sisters before us were supposed to do it but couldn't get the filter off. Pretty nasty looking, huh? The pictures are being slow right now so look for them in a separate email. I love you all very much! I hope you are doing good and are happy. It sounds like you are. Thanks for everything. Have a good week!