Monday, December 19, 2011

Week 13 - Back at Home in Cold Mountain

Hello family! It's been a good week here. I'm back in Cold Mountain and have a new companion. His name is Elder Robison and is pretty sweet. He's from Provo, went to Timpview, is 6'4 and plays basketball for UVU. He is 1 transfer in front of me (6 weeks) so we are a very young companionship but it's going to be awesome. We have a very young district, probably the youngest in the mission. It is me, Elder Robison, Elder Fish (who is training and is in his 5th transfer) and Elder Warner who is a greenie. Cold Mountain is really young but I just know that we're going to get some serious work done here. I hope I can stay for 2 more transfers here. Today is the first day of my third transfer. Usually greenies stay in their areas for three but it's not uncommon to stay four. We'll see. But anyway, Elder Robison is ready to work hard. He has an awesome attitude and I really feel that we are going to do some good things here. I'm excited. This past week I was in Saltivka until Thursday and then everyone met their new companions Thursday night. Friday and Saturday there was an open house at the Center Kharkov branch. Several areas have been having open houses in the mission like Donetsk but they haven't had hardly any success, like one or two people came through total. So basically we spent Friday and Saturday contacting people on the streets about the open house and passing out little invites. Apparently 3,000 invites were printed and we passed out almost all of them throughout Kharkov. Out of those, 22 people came to the open house and some people came right off the street. So it was very successful I think. And as far as I know the center ZLs got some serious contacts out of it so it's good. For the open house some members were there and they would walk around with them and explain things in the church. So they came in, watched a 5 min. video about Christmas that had the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing, the nativity scene, and a short talk by Elder Andersen about families, then went and saw the baptismal font, primary room, classrooms, and then it ended upstairs in a room with cookies, juice, and two missionaries to further talk and answer questions. I was wondering what would happen back home if a Church had an open house. The temple open houses bring tons of people through so I bet it would be about the same maybe. But yeah, the open house here was good. And it was really great having members there because they need to learn how to talk to people about the church and be missionaries.

So yesterday at church they had their Primary program. It was awesome! I really felt the Spirit throughout the whole meeting. Two kids gave talks, one about prophets, the other about Moroni, and then they just sang some songs like The wise man built his house upon a rock haha. It was pretty cool to hear it in Russian and see the hand actions. And then they also sang I am a Child of God and would hold up a picture every new line. At the end of the line this kid named Akim (we meet with his family now and then. he is this awesome little 4 year old with red hair and a mullet!) had that picture of Jesus coming out of the clouds with angels on the sides and he held it up for the end of the song but it was upside down haha so everyone just laughed. But it was awesome though. I'd take that Primary program over any American one I've seen. At church now President Campero wants us to mingle with members a lot more and split up for sacrament and classes and stuff. I'm getting to know members and youth more here in Center. It's hard to talk to youth because I can never understand what they say but it's good though. Center branch has a lot of strong members. It's great to get to go there and to be in this area.

So as far as Skype goes, I don't know why the APs only said the 26th is allowed because all the Zone Leaders said that we can do Christmas Eve or the 26th. So we are planning on doing Christmas Eve. I am going to do my Christmas on Christmas Eve and open all my gifts in the morning so that when I talk to you I will have already opened everything and whatnot. So Elder Robison and I have decided to do it at 6:00 PM here which will make it 9:00 AM your time on Christmas Eve. Hopefully this will work for all of you. It's very last minute notice which is frustrating because the next time I do internet will be after Christmas. So I hope that that time works for you. Send me back an email saying if that works or not and then I'll ask the Zone Leaders if I can come to internet tomorrow and just see what you say. I'm sure they will let me. I think that's kinda what everyone's doing. I'm really looking forward to seeing and talking with you guys! I can't believe it's Christmas next week. Time has gone by really fast.

Now to comment a little on your email. It sounds like the Christmas party was good. I want to see some pictures. Brynn says she'll send them next week or something like that. And yes, I got my journals back. Our landlord's little kid stole them haha. I guess he wanted some paper to write in and our landlord found them on the floor. Fortunately they weren't written in and everything is good. And again, thanks for the package. It got tossed around a lot haha but everything is still in tact. I'm excited to open everything up soon! Roxolana is the best way to send packages for sure. Elder Robison's package got Ukrained (the postal people open packages here and steal things because there's no law) and he had some gloves and candy missing from his. So keep sending them through Roxolana!

I love you all very much and I'm glad that things are going well back home. Have a good week! I am excited to Skype you on Christmas Eve! See you in 5 days!

с любовью,
старейшина каун
украинская донецкая миссия

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