Privet family! Cnovim godom 2013!
I hope that your new year was all that you could imagine it being and more! We went finding for three hours to make up for coming in early and got one contact, did shopping, wrote our families, went bowling and got charged an arm and a leg 170 grieven, then came in at 4:00, did our studies, made some mac and cheese (thanks for that by the way) then watched Legacy and went to bed. We were planning on getting up at 12:00 and having some Zhivchik (Ukrainian soda thats basically like Martinelli's) but we didn't hear the alarm so I just had some by myself on New Year's since Elder Harrison has decided to give up sugar completely from his diet. New Year's Day we had to go to the office and grab some supplies/more copies of the Book of Mormon but they didn't even have any so it was kind of a worthless trip. And we came in at 6:00 New Year's Day and had planned to do a few things but Elder Harrison has a habit of falling asleep really easily and was out until 6:30 the next morning haha. So I finalized some goals for the new year, did some studies, and that's about it. That'd be cool to go see a play for New Year's, sounds like that was fun. And it's too bad the family parties have stopped, but I guess life goes on, right?
Elder Harrison and I are continuing to work with our current investigators. We taught several of them this past week, not all of them though. Here's some progress.
Valentina- Elder Harrison and Efoshkin taught her because I was on a split with Elder Carley. They watched Finding Faith in Christ and had Sister Yana the Relief Society Pres on the lesson. I know I've said this already probably but she knows everything is true, just needs to make the decision for herself to be baptized and quit smoking. From this point on we've decided to just teach good spiritual lessons and ask at the end of each one how prayers are going about the decision to be baptized. She's progressing and reads the Bible and BOM everyday for more than an hour. She'll get there.
Suzanna- Harrison and Efoshkin also taught her. Elder Efoshkin was able to answer all of her questions since he's Russian haha and from what I hear she really wants to come to church this week, which is great progress since last time we talked about church she had no desire to go. Cross your fingers for next Sunday.
Ruslan- We taught him the plan of salvation with Sister Yana on the lesson. She knows good English and bore a great testimony. It was a very spiritual lesson and we're pretty sure that it was the first time Ruslan's ever felt the spirit like that. He had several questions about the next life and we were able to answer them with the scriptures and testimony. We gave him a soft baptismal commitment (If you find out that this is true will you be baptized) and he said maybe, he needs to think about it. He's making progress though! He likes practicing English but is starting to become more open. The only problem is that he goes to Gorlovka every weekend so can't come to church. We told him that there's a church in Gorlovka but he doesn't have time because he studies the whole time. He's a great kid though, he's only 22.
Now for lots of comments/tidbits. Elder Efoshkin and Carley put Sage on date for January 26! Sage knows very basic English (my name is, I'm 24, etc) and little Russian, French is his native language. So they teach him with Bonaventure and have it all translated. He bore his testimony yesterday in Sacrament so he talked, then Bonaventure translated into English then Elder Carley translated into Russian. It's pretty cool stuff. As district leader normally I would interview him but President Campero will be doing the interview and it will be the same set-up probably with translating since no one speaks French in Donetsk. The district is doing good, and now we have Elder and Sister Southam in our district. They were in Gorlovka but now live in Donetsk because Elder Southam's the only one who has been a stake president and is doing some training with the district presidency or something. Basically sometime soon in President Campero's time there will be a stake here, no doubt. I've been blessed to get to know most of the senior couples in our mission. The Southams are from Colorado and already served a mission in Novosibirsk. He worked as an attorney and is very knowledgable with the scriptures. It will be awesome to have them in Makeevka. FYI last year in our mission we had 62 baptisms! And this year we already have 3, with 10 on date for January. This is a record because the last two Januarys there haven't been baptisms. The mission just keeps getting better and better.
I love you all and will talk to you next week!
Украинская Донецкая Миссия
And one more thing. We did tons of caroling this past week and got some members to come last night. There's a huge Christmas tree in center Makeevka and we gave out like 200 calendars that Pres. Campero made and got one new contact from it. It's not a very popular thing to go caroling but it's been rewarding and successful. Love you all!