So one night this past week we decided to do some tracting in our threesome which we have started to do more of now because it's so cold on the street. Basically we find an apartment building (dome) and figure out the code to get in and then start from the top and make our way back down knocking all the doors. We try to give people Liahonas but no one ever wants them. But anyway, we were doing this and in one dome a man came up the stairs and asked us what we were doing. We explained what was going on and then he demanded to see our passports. We said that wasn't necessary because it's not against the law to do what we were doing but he wouldn't let us leave unless we showed him. So Elder Fish and I showed him ours but Elder Frandsen didn't have his with him, it was in his other bag back at the apartment. So then the guy who was like some government official or something wouldn't let Elder Frandsen leave with us because he didn't believe that he was with us. He thought that we were bandits just doing some scam. It was ridiculous. So then he called the police on us and we had to wait for them to show up. They looked at our passports and then basically said "You probably shouldn't be doing this at this hour. People are trying to sleep" haha. So the police didn't care and the guy told us to never come back again. But then we clarified this with the main guy in the office who deals with legal issues and whatnot and he said that there's no law against that. And it was only 7:30 pm haha. So it was fun to have an experience with the police! At the end of the week Elder Fish got a new companion, something that is called a mini missionary here. President Campero asks mission-aged youth (18-30) if they can serve mini missions with the missionaries and then they serve. It's pretty cool because you get to have a native and show them the ropes of being a missionary here. Elder Fish's mini missionary is actually not that mini, he's 28 and was serving in the branch presidency at Saltivka Branch. So he's now in our district until the end of this transfer. His name is Vitali. He's pretty cool and understands a lot of English as well. I'm going on a split with him this week so it should be cool to be with him.
We also had a new type of district meeting this past week that President Campero has started to do. It's like a normal district meeting but 100X better because President is in charge! It was a great meeting, he and the APs talked about how we need to focus on helping our investigators to feel the Spirit instead of just trying to teach them the gospel. We had a testimony meeting afterwards and President asked only a few people to share their testimonies. I was one of those chosen. I don't remember everything I said, just that the Spirit was very strong as everyone bore testimony, but after I bore mine President said that he has heard many testimonies in his life but will always remember the one he just heard from me. He then said "You are AWESOME!" President Campero is the man haha, I don't know how else to describe him. He is one of the most loving, spiritual people that I know. We are so blessed to have him as our mission president. We also attended the world-wide leadership training meeting on Saturday night. I'm not sure if you went to this or not. They had it set up with two speakers speaking at once and one would ask questions and the other would answer them. I think it was Elder Scott and Elder Christofferson going back and forth? Anyway, I came all ready to take notes and to learn a ton but then we all found out that it was in Russian haha and so basically I didn't really understand anything from it. Every time that something is translated in Russian they always use huge words that no one understands except for the members of course. I understood a little bit here and there but to be honest after a while it just gets difficult to stay focused haha. If you attended it you probably learned more than me.
And now for comments/tidbits - I don't know exactly what the temperature has been here, just bitter cold haha. I heard like -20 or something but I don't really know. Yes I was disappointed that Dima and Vova lost interest, but I am faithful that several years down the road they will remember the Church or come in contact again with it and get baptized. It's a small world that you know Elder Frandsen's mom! She emailed Elder Frandsen as well and remembers you. She just wants your phone number so I gave it to him to send to her. And this is her number so that you can just call her: 801-414-6385. So I have a few more requets for my package that I thought of. There is a book called "The Missionary's Little Book of Answers" by Gilbert Scharffs. Elder Fish has it and it's a great little book. I am also wondering if you can send me a bunch of pictures of me when I was younger or just any pictures you can find that you think are good. I'm just looking for pictures to put in my photo album that I show to everyone. Send me a lot if you can! And it would be cool to just get a mini English Book of Mormon that I can have with me. And also a can of chocolate frosting would be wonderful haha. If I think of anything else I'll tell you.
I love you all very much and hope that you are doing well. I pray for you and I just know that Heavenly Father loves all of us very much. Thank you for your testimony Mom. The Church is true. I know it with all my heart. Have a good week and I'll talk to you soon!
украинская донецкая миссия
ps- pics for this week are 1 - our district before Elder Warner left (from left to right is Elder Fish, Elder Warner, myself, Elder Frandsen) 2 - myself and Elder Warner right before he left 3 - our burgers we made this past week and 4 - just a different time of day at the view of Kharkov. Enjoy!