So as you can see from the title, this week turned out pretty opposite of last week. Almost every single lesson we set up fell through, even though we called them the night before and day of. We don't really know how to avoid this happening other than calling them often. All missionaries have a problem with this, lots of people here say they'll meet and then just don't and flake out. We had lots of good goals at the beginning of the week and had a great beginning but nothing turned out. For example, Monday we met with a referral from a former investigator. This kid called us Saturday night and said that he wanted his mom to meet with us. He's probably like 25 or 26 and he had great English. He had our number because several years ago he met with missionaries. So anyway, we met with her (her name is Ella) and had a great lesson. She said that she wants her baptism to mean something and be real instead of just going to a priest and saying "I want to be baptized." And she agreed to come to Church and possibly Artour's baptism. So we set up for the day after and even had a member picked out to be with us and then she stopped answering her phone! She still hasn't picked up and we're not sure what happened. Perhaps this upcoming week we can get in touch with her again.
Tuesday we set up a lesson with another contact named Anton. He knows great English and works as a chemical engineer with metal. We taught the first lesson but he had trouble understanding the Apostasy and how the authority was lost from the earth. He wanted scriptural evidence showing how each Apostle died basically, which we couldn't give because there isn't any, so he said he'd like to meet with President Campero on the lesson next time. He has also stopped picking up his phone now so it's pretty frustrating. And as far as our 17 contacts, most of them haven't turned into anything. No time to meet or no desire. So as a result Elder Nuzman and I are going to be pretty upfront with people on the street from now on and just explain it how it is. "Look, we're going to call you to meet with you and help you be more happy in life. If you don't want this then tell us now because you're wasting the Lord's time." Perhaps we'll get less numbers, perhaps more, but I'll tell you how it works out next week! And here's an update on Nadezhda. Unfortunately we weren't able to meet with her at all because she was busy working or taking care of her grandkid (who is the daughter's by the way). She didn't make it to the baptism or Church, we were pretty bummed. But she says tonight will work so we're having Sister Albina take her to an FHE and we'll also be there so hopefully it works out. We might be moving the baptismal date back now, not sure yet. She's ready, she just needs to come to Church! And to answer your question, she lives in a hostile because a normal apartment is too expensive.
As we read in the scriptures, there must be an opposition in all things so here are the miracles of the week. Saturday was awesome! The highlight of the day and week was definitely Artour's baptism. He was basically a dry Mormon already so now he's official haha. He was so happy and we were all way happy for him, it was a great service. And President Campero came and told him to start reading the scriptures, preparing for the Priesthood and mission, and then going to the temple. He has already expressed a desire to serve a mission and so in a year he can do that. He's a great kid. We were talking as a district afterward and thinking about what it would be like to be 19 and be baptized, really understanding everything- remission of sins, feeling difference of HG in life, etc. and we all came to the conclusion, It's easy to see how we'd be, just look at Artour! And then yesterday at Church he received the Holy Ghost. He was promised great blessings and I know that he's going to do a lot of good for the Church here, he'll probably be branch president someday or something. And a side note, he showed up in a suit looking like a missionary, it was awesome! So back to Saturday, we had a district meeting after the baptism and it was great as usual. But this time we went to the Coleman's apartment and Sister Coleman made us an amazing dinner, baked potatoes and pudding cake with ice cream, it was a taste of home! Our topic in district meeting was how our mission is literally a covenant with God and how there is a difference between power and authority. We all have the authority but power comes from keeping your covenants. It was just a great lesson and fit perfectly with the day right after the baptism. And after district meeting our lesson fell through which put us on the streets finding BUT we found a way cool guy named Vladimir who works as a security guard. He wasn't able to make it to church but we met with him last night in a park and he is very sincere and wants us to come teach his family this week so hopefully all works out with that. Something that I'm kind of now just realizing although maybe I have done it earlier in my mission but just not noticed is that seriously everything is about ATTITUDE. There are miracles all around us but it is our job to pray for them, pray to recognize them. 2 Nephi 27:23- "I am a God of miracles" and Alma 41:15- "What ye send out will return unto you again" Everything is just how we make it. I know that as we pray to see small miracles in our lives that Heavenly Father will bless us with the opportunity of seeing them. Of course things don't always work out as we have in mind but prayers are always answered, we're just along for the ride!
Now for some comments/tidbits. Elder Nuzman and I haven't moved yet. We know we'll be moving but to where is still unknown. And yes I eat manna for breakfast almost everyday, but I'm grateful for the oatmeal, that's definitely a blessing. And I almost forgot this but Friday was my ONE YEAR MARK in Ukraine! It honestly seems like yesterday I got here. We celebrated and got some pizza as a district because Elder Moss and Hodgson are in my district as well. It's really weird that now when I think "1 year ago" I was here in country and not in America. The time is just flying by. I'm glad I have almost a full year left though, there's still a lot I'd like to accomplish here.
Well, that's about it for this week. Know that I love you all very much and you are in my prayers. Have a great week and I'll hear from you again soon!
Украинская Донецкая Миссия
ps- pics this week are a few of me on my year mark, Elder Moss Artour and me, and Elder Nuzman and I