It was so great to see and talk with you all last week! This was definitely the highlight of Christmas for me, it is a huge blessing that we get to use modern technology in our missionary work. I honestly cannot believe that it's New Year's Eve again, those memories you reminded me about seriously seem like they were a few weeks ago. This final week of the year has been interesting to say the least haha. I don't know, there's just so much that goes on I don't know where to begin. Basically most of our contacts and investigators can't meet right now because they're all getting ready for the new year (this isn't just us though it's a mission wide thing) so we did lots of tracting and finding on the streets. We were able to meet with two investigators though. Here's their progress-
Suzanna- We met and talked about the Sabbath day with Sister Yana on the lesson. She basically understands what we tell her but she doesn't have a desire to act on any of it. We explained the Sabbath day, invited her to come to church with us because she hasn't been yet and she said no because all of the things we talked about didn't happen last time she attended church, about 4 years ago when they met in a hotel in Makeevka. She said she didn't feel welcome and has attended several other churches (word of life, J Dubs, baptists) and doesn't feel any difference between these and ours. It's a pretty tough concern because the only way to get over it is coming again. So we'll see what we can do. She's now heard all the lessons except for the main commandments (word of wisdom, chastity, tithing) so we're at an interesting point with her.
Valentina- We reviewed the gospel of Jesus Christ with her and invited her to be baptized January 19th. She said no and wants to pray about her date. She knows everything is true but there's something deeper, she's hard to figure out. We decided that next lesson we will watch Finding Faith in Christ and maybe review some of the baptismal questions. She came to church again yesterday and is making friends with more of the women in the branch which is good. She'll make it, hopefully soon.
So we're really hoping that after the new year we can meet with the rest of our investigators and get some progress going again. It's a difficult time of year trying to keep in touch because people are just busy and don't want to meet or do anything. We got 10 contacts this week, six more than last week so we're just hoping we can keep finding people ready to listen and set up with them. Our district is doing good, we were allowed to have a district dinner for Christmas so we all gathered at our apartment and made borsch, cake, ice cream, and root beer. We all get along well even though we are all diverse (ages, interests, cultures) I went on a split with Elder Groothuyzen on Saturday and we mainly searched for former investigators/ tracted. We found one person who said we could come back so hopefully that works out for the other elders. They only have one investigator right now so I was hoping on our split to find them a ton. They were finally able to move back to their apartment in center so we're back to normal again. I haven't known Groothuyzen that well until this point on my mission. He's a good missionary and we have a lot of the same opinions and interests. It was really weird being together for our 18 month mark, it's going by quick! And this upcoming week Elders Efoshkin and Carley are going to put Sage (Bonaventure's friend who only speaks French) on date so this will be exciting.
Now for some comments/tidbits. First off, I forgot to say on Skype that Sergei Heyleak says hello to you all from Daky. He was very surprised when I told him that we only talk like that twice a year. He said he'd quit the mission if he served because the rules are too strict haha. Yesterday we had the Primary program in Makeevka and 84 at church. The program was great, there are some cute kids in the branch. The rumor is that the church will start building the new meetinghouse soon and have it done sometime next year. I hope that gets started, lots of members are less active because theyr'e waiting for the new building. Count your blessings that you have running water. Last night our water got shut off and only a few hours ago got turned on again. We already got permission to celebrate New Years with Groothuyzen and Newey but we'll just be in Daky for tonight. We have to be in at 4:00 so we'll be studying then watching a movie or something probably then calling it a year. Nothing too crazy haha.
I love you all so much! The Church is true and is being led by a living Prophet today. The Book of Mormon is true. Our Savior lives. Have a great New Year's Eve and a Happy New Year! Talk to you next week!
Украинская Донецкая Миссия