What a crazy week, as they all are! I don't even know where to begin, I think that my brain is definately taking in the fact that it is P-day and enjoying a day off a little. I will just start from the beginning. Tuesday was a day, that is for sure! We had our last District Meeting as our little Uzzhorod District, my first in country district, it was so sad! They are all such amazing missionaries and I didn't want to have to say goodbye to any of them. We spent the day doing final things before we all left. That night after english we had a testimony meeting with Pavlo, Yeva and Sasha. That was a killer. It was so hard, but their testimonies are just so great! They are amazing members, and they know that missionaries have to come and go, but they love the ones that they have.
We watered our garden for the last time, with Elder Ward being the garder. Then hopped in our taxis home to finish packing. We took a night train into L'viv, the Elders were nice enough to carry our stuff onto the train for us, apparently the Sisters in Elder Tribetts district never carry their own bags, and he is very strict on it. Totally normal with me. We got in early Wednesday morning and pretty much were the first sisters in L'viv.
We went to the extra apartment that they have, got ready, did some studies and then helped the L'viv Sisters clean their apartment because they are moving out of it. Right now in L'viv missionaries are not allowed to actively proselyte, we can't wear tags or carry Books of Mormon, so there was not much else that we could do. That night we got to go to a mexican food restaurant! Yes, they have mexican food in Ukriane, the elders told us about it, and I had to try it out! Not bad. I was stoked, they were playing country music in the backround, that was a killer. Sister Echols kept telling me to stop singing along, but it was so hard! It was home, mexican food and country music, if that doesn't sum up my mother and sisters, I don't know what does.
Tuesday night, funny story! So we bought some kontiks to slam and left them at the Sister's apartment in L'viv, so we went to go grab them. Well, they are on the 8th floor and in Ukraine elevators are a rare occurance, and we didn't want to walk up there and they didn't want to walk down. So they lowered the kontiks by dental floss from their floor. It was so funny! Turns out, that they lowered the wrong bag, they gave us their toilet paper! So we started laughing so hard, and yelled up to them to send the right bag and we will send up the toilet paper. Well, so they send the kontiks down... and they werent tied on very tight and totally fall from the 8th floor, exploding the water bottle that was in the bag as well. It was hysterical! They felt so bad and coming running down to us, and Sister Echols and I were just laughing so hard! It was SO funny!
Needless to say, we didn't slam that night. Sister Elwanger and Sister Lewis came in though and spent the night with us at the extra apartment, it was great fun! I got to talk to Sister Lewis, she was in the MTC with me. Ah, I just love all the missionaries I get to serve with!
Thursday we woke up, got ready and had a training meeting before meeting our new little trainees. I suprisingly was totally calm with the whole thing. It was fun to see Elder Millard in action as the assistant, teaching us all about training. Then we met our trainees!!!
My new companion's name is Sister Garret, dont' worry she isn't from Utah! She is from Oregon, Portland Oregon. Funny, huh?! She is 19 years old, so crazy! She is really great though, very willing to just jump into everything.
After training meeting we went and got lost in L'viv, good thing she has a sense of direction and got us back to the church before dark. We couldn't do too much, so we did some weekly planning, most of the sisters had left to go to their areas, but Uzhgorod has weird trains and as Sisters we can't take night trains without Elders, so we had an additional night in L'viv.
We got up Friday morning, Elder Ward and Elder Porter helped us onto the train. That was a hard one. A) it was so sad that Elder Ward wasn't coming back to Uzhgorod! B) I was officially the one in charge, she had never been on a train before in Ukraine, so it was up to me. I was legitametly panicked as Elder Ward and Elder Porter walked away from the train. All I could do was pray.
We had 7 hours on a train, so we did some studies and she slept, the poor thing was probably just so tired! When we got into Uzh Elder Tribett and Elder Johansson were there waiting for us to help us with our bags, thankfully they took them all the way up to our apartment. Then we just jumped right into it!
I took her to center, then to the church to grab her a Book of Mormon and do some contacting. It was great! We bought some food to get us through the week, then went home. I talked to people though when we were contacting, and I knew what they were saying! The gift of tongues is so real! I was even asked if I was native, that made me feel good, I am definately grateful for that. It is so scary being the one being relied on, it is me and my language ability, and if it wasn't for the Lord we couldn't do it. We couldn't. Literally, He is what is giving me the strength and the confidence to do this. The power of the Atonement and the gift of tongues are so real and tangable, it is amazing to me! I thank Heavenly Father a million times a day for it!
When we got home that night, hoping to unpack a little bit after planning, and the lights are out and the water is off! Welcome to Ukraine Sister Garret, that sometimes happens. So we planned with flashlights, and went to bed.
Saturday was Ukrainian Independance Day so we had to home by 6, we didn't get to do much, just plan for english and cleaning the church.
Sunday, that was a day and a half! Wow! So, we have church, I get to lead the music, thankfully Sister Garret helped with that! Then we have Relief Society with all native Russian Speakers, but we did it. Heavenly Father did it, I just got to be a witness. Then we had our first lesson, with Silvia. Luckily Sasha was on the lesson, but it went really well. I am speaking Ukrainian to these people and they understand me and I understand them, and I love them and we are teaching them the Gospel! It works!
Then, Elder Tribett found out that I had never been in a Ukrainian elevator, and obviosley Sister Garret hadn't either, so he calls us and is like "Hey come tract these ladies, we have tracted them before, but we think the sisters should. P.S. this building also has the worste elevator I have ever seen in Ukraine." Okay, so we meet them and this elevator... let us just talk about it here for a second. It is SO small, disgusting, the buttons barely work, and you have to hold the doors closed in order to use it! So they go up first, because 2 people can barely fit at a time, and we go to the top floor, 8 floors. They get us to the top then head back down and leave us to tract these ladies... I have never been tracting, but hey can't be that hard. Knock on the doors and only one answers and she only wants to talk to the Elders, so we will let the Elders go back there.
Anyway so we need to get home, so we get back in the elevator and couldn't get it to start, so we were going to walk, and I was like no way. We are riding this thing down. So we get it to go down like 2 feet then it stops! and Sister Garret is like no way, I am not doing this, and we go to try to climb out and the outside door is locked! We were stuck in this elevator for like 5 minutes and I so didn't want to have to call the elders! Anyway, we figured it out and made it home! It was SO funny though! Poor Sister Garret, she probably thinks that I am crazy, but it is all good! We are going to have fun!
So it has just been another crazy week! I am so grateful for the power of prayer and atonement in my life!