Thanks for your email this week, I'm sorry to hear that all the snow melted (although it's already super cold here without snow so maybe you'll think twice haha) This past week was good, we received two new investigators and continued meeting with our current ones. Here is an update everyone:
Clavik and Valeria- They are doing alright. Clavik doesn't really understand a lot of what we teach him we're finding so we taught him how to study scriptures and ask questions to receive answers. We gave him Mosiah 18 for next time and told him to write down questions or concerns he has. It's a hard situation because the mom is super in-active and so trying to teach the dad and daughter with her example doesn't help. And she can't come to church because she works so things are slow with them. Somehow we'll get them to church and understanding better.
Yura- We taught him a full first lesson this week while I was on a split with Elder Groothuyzen. He pretty much accepted everything and said he'll start reading the Book of Mormon. He hasn't had time to start yet because of work. His obstacles will mainly be quitting smoking, drinking, law of chastity problems, and icon worshiping. I'm not sure if I've told you this or not but lots of people here still worship icons even though in the commandments it says "No other Gods before me." So yeah, this is Yura. However, he said that if he receives an answer that he will get baptized! So perhaps when he gets his answer this will motivate him to quit everything else. And he hasn't been to Church either because of work and he was in the hospital yesterday because of a tooth ache. Basically we need to get all of our investigators to church because none of them have come. But it's super hard though because going to church means a 30 minute ride after getting to the bus station in Center Makeevka to Donetsk and then paying for yourself back home. This Saturday is an open house so hopefully we can get some investigators to it or else there won't be any baptisms soon.
Susanna and Veronica- So these are the two new investigators we found. I was going through the area book looking at former investigators and found her record. She's been investigating on and off for several years. I called and there was no answer so we dropped by and talked with her. She wanted to meet so we set up for the next day. We came by, met her and her daughter and taught the first lesson. Suzanna's only question was about gift of the holy ghost and why some people can do miracles regardless of proper priesthood/ why do miracles happen with magic. We did our best to explain that, it's kind of a tricky question, but both she and Veronica accepted the invitation to be baptized if they get an answer! She is in her 40s and Veronica is 17 or 18. We'll be meeting with them this week with a sister from the branch and then of course need to get them to Church.
Ruslan- He's super busy right now with work and school. He goes to Gorlovka on the weekends for studying so can't come to church and can't go to Church in Gorlovka because he's studying all day. We met with him before English and had a great 20 min lesson with him about the Book of Mormon. It was probably our best one yet with him. He says he will try to make 5 min a day to read so hopefully he can do that.
Heyleak family- So unfortunately Vera is still sick so we only met with them last Sunday. I called Sergei a few times though this week and he's doing good. Reading a little bit in the Book of Mormon. They're just super busy so it's hard. He works all day, Yaroslav goes to university all day, Vera is sick, and Dima is training again for the deaf olympics coming up. We're not losing hope with them though!!! Sergei said we can come this week so this is the plan. We feel if somehow they can come to Church then they will love it and the members.
Now for some comments/tidbits. I always run out of time at internet and have to cut my emails shorter than usual. Sorry about that. So here's some things I failed to talk about last week and for this week. I forgot to say that for my bday a member in the branch that we do service for invited all the missionaries over for dinner and made us an awesome Ukrainian meal. She made some really spicy soup and some salads, pickled cabbage, potatoes, and beef. Good stuff! And also earlier last week at her house after service she prepared some little things that looked like fishsticks but bigger, kind of like chicken breasts cut in half with bread crumbs. So we prayed, started eating, and she came out and said "tasty huh?" yeah, these are... interesting. What are they? And then she just started laughing and was like "you really want to know?" yeah, tell us! "OK. It's PIG BRAIN!" oh..... he he.. yeah, tasty.. So I ate some pig brain. It wasn't terrible, it was like soggy chicken, kind of slimy. I wouldn't recommend it though :) Also for my birthday the branch gave me a birthday card with everyone's face on it and yesterday I got a little package from Sister Irina in the office and she bought me a Skazki book. Skazki are Russian fairytales. They're super hard to understand though. I understand the Book of Mormon better than children's fairytale stories haha. She told me I can practice my Russian with it so it's a great gift from her. After my mission I plan on being an awesome home teacher and getting less-actives back to church because that seems to be a lot of what we do here. Did you know that only 20% of the members in this mission are active? Not good! I don't want to do less-active work after my mission, just finding, teaching, and baptizing. But it is part of missionary work though, just shouldn't be in my opinion. OK moving on. Tanya is also sick (the lady we met at the bus stop) so hopefully this week we can meet with her.
Украинская Донецкая Миссия