This week has been crazy, lots of changes have been made around the mission and as you can see I am in a new area- Center Donetsk! I'll be serving as an Office Elder and my new companion is named Elder Harrison. He is one transfer ahead of me and is from Orem, UT. He looks EXACTLY like Harry Potter, not even joking haha. And he has like perfect Russian so I'm sure I'll learn a lot from him in the Russian speaking area. He is great so far, we're getting along just fine. So I noticed in your email that you think I went AP haha. I need to clear this up that I most definitely did not go AP, only to the office haha. I don't ever want to serve as AP because you don't have any time to be a missionary, just travel around the mission with President. Tons of work. However, being in the office now I will spend lots of time around the APs and President so it will be cool. I am going to be over the Records this transfer and then probably switch over to Finances and inventory next transfer. So this is basically my schedule now. Mondays- PDay. Tuesday- Work in the office from 11-5. Wednesday- Work in the office from 9-5. Thursday- Normal day. Friday- Normal day with weekly planning. Saturday- Normal day with district meeting and missionary correlation meeting. Sunday. So my schedule is all planned out for me for the next two transfers. It's nice to know what's going on everyday :) I haven't worked in the office yet but my responsibilities will be with recording numbers of the mission- lessons taught by all missionaries during the week, baptisms, referrals, etc. and then I send it to Salt Lake every week. I also deal with baptismal records and ordering stuff for the mission. And there's probably more but I don't know everything yet haha so if I remember then I'll tell you next week. The office used to be an everyday thing when the old mission president was here. Elders worked Monday-Friday and had Pday on Saturday but it's gotten much better now and things are under control so we only have to work two days a week, maybe three sometimes if things get crazy. And this is really cool, a lady from another branch in Donetsk cooks all of our meals except breakfast! So we eat breakfast on our own but then all other meals we eat at the office. Her name is Sister Lydia and she is a saint. I met her on Friday. She comes in Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and cooks enough food to last until the next cooking day and we just eat it. We pay her for the groceries and then 10 grieven each for each meal which turns out to be $1.50. So I won't be doing too much cooking myself for the next 3 months haha but that's alright. The food I've had already has been very tasty so I'm excited. There is also a lady who works in the office named Sister Irina. She was supposed to be a missionary at the Kiev Temple but things didn't work out so she works in the office three days a week. She's a crazy old lady haha but she is great.
So my area like I already mentioned is Center Donetsk. It's an awesome area! Very beautiful, lots of people to talk to on the streets. We are near the soccer stadium in Donetsk so when the Euro Cup starts in a few weeks there will be tons of people everywhere. And we have a few investigators to meet with so things are good. We need to find more but this is always the case haha. Something new this transfer is that the APs no longer have a proselyting area because they are going to be traveling to all parts of the mission and working with all the missionaries. So we split their old area with our Zpne Leaders and now have lots more ground to cover than there used to be. And also this transfer instead of having several Zone Leaders in Kharkov and Donetsk, President decided to just have two Zone Leaders for Kharkov and Donetsk both, and to call one Zone Leader in all the other cities who also acts as a district leader. So my ZLs in Donetsk are Elder Robison (you remember him!) and Elder Bolingbrook, who is one transfer ahead of me as well. They're awesome. And also this transfer President called like 6 or 7 mini missionaries to serve. Mini missionaries are natives who he asks to serve short term missions. So at transfer meeting they all got assigned companions from the mission to serve with. It's pretty cool. Lots of changes mission wide!
This past weekend we've had some elders from the Rostov Russia Mission staying with us because they came in for visas but haven't received them yet. Hopefully they get them today and can go back to their mission tomorrow. They're pretty cool, very young, still getting trained but they have to leave Russia every 90 days for new visas and stuff. The Church pays a lot of money to keep missionaries in Russia. It's crazy. So we've been talking with them and seeing how they do missionary work in their mission. There are differences of course but in the end it's all the same. The Ukraine Donetsk Mission has come a long way since I arrived here. We are more unified and everyone has a great desire to serve to their best ability and find the Lord's elect. President Campero truly is an inspired man. He has changed this mission with his love. The mission just keeps getting better everyday, it's awesome!
Well that's about it for this week. It was really weird to leave Saltovka and Elder Lambert. He is probably my favorite companion so far. I've been blessed with great companions my whole mission and I learn so much from all of them, but Lambert is my favorite, besides Elder Moss in the MTC. Just so you know what happened in Saltovka after I left, Elder Lambert is now the District Leader there and Sister Turnbull the sister who was finishing getting trained by a native in my district is now training TWO SISTERS! It's crazy! One is from Russia and the other is from US. So Saltovka district is even more crazy now than it was when I was there haha. The branch here is awesome, there is a good spirit here. I'm sure I will like this area a lot, I already do!
Now for comments/tidbits. I still can't believe that Brynn graduated! Where did the time go? Thanks for the pictures, they were great. I'm looking forward to the video in the future. Tell everyone hello back home, ward and family, and that I love them. I love you all very much and I'm so grateful for your love and prayers to me. The Church is true, I know it with all my heart. I love this gospel and my Savior, Jesus Christ. Have an amazing week and keep on keepin' on!
украинская донецкая миссия