Hey family, how is everything going? Thanks for sending me letters, I'm always happy to hear from you and see how the Lord continually blesses your lives. It's awesome!
I also can't believe it's already August. We're already in week four of the transfer, next week transfer calls will come out again. Time is just cruising. This week went by pretty fast, every day is just packed with stuff, whether it's finding, teaching, or working in the office. I need to start off this email by giving you an update about Vladimir. Elder Harrison and I felt like dropping by his house last Tuesday to see how he was doing because he wasn't able to make it to church. We got there and he was outside with his wife. He had us come in and meet her. We've been trying to meet her ever since we first started to teach him but it's never worked out until now. So we met her and she was curious as to how we could help her. I don't know if I've told you this but they have a daughter with autism and they both take care of her even though they're old. Vladimir's wife is in charge of an organization that gives help to those with disabilities so she wanted to know how we could possibly give help to them. She said lots of stuff we didn't understand but we both basically said that we don't really know a lot about this subject but that the branch can help out and we just bore our testimonies to her. She is not very religious at all but after we prayed she said she feels a power behind her so that's a start. We're trying to get the Relief Society president over there to meet her now. Vladimir was able to meet with us on Wednesday. I wasn't on the lesson (I was on a split) but the lesson went good and then Saturday Vladimir had his baptismal interview and passed with flying colors!!! So this Saturday the 11th at 12:00 will be his baptism! Vladimir came to church again yesterday, they announced his baptism, and several members congratulated him it was awesome. And he has chosen a member we've had on our lessons with us to baptize him so pretty much everything's in order for Saturday! I'm so happy for him, he is an amazing man. Teaching him has been very humbling. His example has taught me more than what we've taught him. I have learned from him that worldly materials have very small importance in the grand scheme of things. Money is needed of course but what's important in life is family and growing together in the gospel. He is truly one of the Lord's elect here in Ukraine.
Elder Harrison and I have been doing lots of finding on the streets this week and have been blessed with some good contacts. We are hopeful that this week we can meet with them and get some new investigators, we really need some of those! Basically Vladimir has been our only investigator going anywhere. It's kind of strange, the same thing that happened in Saltovka happened here. We had a good pool of investigators and then one by one they just stopped meeting with us until we were just left with Akbar. So we are in search of more investigators now (but we're always looking for new ones though). We have been meeting with some awesome members in the area and helping them become missionaries. You might remember the My Zion idea that President thought of. Well he has now come up with a Personal Missionary Plan for the members to do missionary work and share the gospel with their friends to be used with My Zion. We are hopeful that in the upcoming weeks the members can give us some referrals from this. The members we've met with in our area so far are the Grebnev family (mom, less-active dad, 16 yr old son, 12 yr old daughter) They're a really cool family, we're working with the dad right now to get him back to church. the Bailey family- their names are Wendell and Tanya. So Wendell is an older guy from America who got a divorce and came here to teach English. He met this lady in the branch (Tanya) who also teaches English and was divorced and they just got married a few weeks ago. They now teach an addiction recovery program after church and actually, a guy that Wendell teaches English to who has been coming to English practice is now meeting with missionaries and is probably going to get baptized! So Wendell is doing some good member missionary work! And the last family is Olya and Vitali Kooshnerova. They are probably my favorite family here. They both know fluent English and are translators and have two young daughters. She also teaches an English Book of Mormon class every week. So we're currently working with these families. I sent you a copy of the personal missionary plan and challenge you all to do it!
Also this past week I went on a split with Elder Moss. I've been blessed to serve around him a lot on my mission so far. We've changed a lot since the MTC and we had a great split. We met a kid who was 18 on the street Wednesday and got his number then taught him the first lesson the next day which usually doesn't happen. It was a good lesson and now he's a new investigator for the other elders so it was a miracle! Also this week we went on a tour of the Donbass Arena which is where the Euro Cup games were played and where the Donetsk soccer team plays. It was a pretty cool experience, I got lots of pictures and am sending a few today. It's like a once in a lifetime experience to do a tour there especially since we can't go there to see games or anything. And this week we celebrated Elder Harrison, Robison, and Bolingbroke's year in Ukraine mark! They are all just a transfer ahead of me so next month will by one year mark here. Crazy stuff!
Now for some comments/tidbits. The weather here has been very hot and humid. Saturday was 100 degrees plus humidity and this week we heard it's going to be like 115 or something. It's basically like being in Hawaii, no joke. I feel like I'm on some island! I don't know how else to explain it. And our air conditioner doesn't work in our apartment so we just have fans but they don't do much haha. So it is a blessing to be in the office during this time of the year - AC and cold water to drink! Now for some other crazy stuff that happened this week. Our fridge stopped working lol. So we called our landlord and he sent some people to come today. They came and after a while said that the part we need isn't made anymore so we probably have to buy a new fridge or something, not sure yet. It's ridiculous. AND yesterday we found out from the APs and Senior Couples that all of the water in Donetsk isn't safe to drink, even from a filter because some radiation/sketchy stuff leaked in the water lol so now we have to buy water to use for brushing teeth, drinking, cooking. But being in the office we have our meals cooked for us so this is a huge blessing. So be thankful you have clean water this week!! I heard this stuff is in the news but we don't watch it obviously so maybe you can look it up and learn more than what I know. I'm glad to hear that all is well at home with you. Tell everyone hello for me. And I'm glad to hear the package made it home safely. I'm excited for your package! This upcoming week is going to be pretty busy but I'll tell you all about it next week, I don't have time to explain now.
I love you all and am thankful for all that you do for me! Have a great week and remember to choose the right!
украинская донецкая миссия
ps- pics this week are me at the Donbass Arena, some food that Sister Lydia made (that is a purple cabbage and sweet onion salad) and a sign that says "Socialism - the way to a worthy life" Welcome to Ukraine!