Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Church is growing

WOW! This has been a week! I don't know where to even begin! I cannot
believe that it is September, first of all! On the 27th of this month
I have been out for 6 months, my mission will be 1\3 of the way over!!
WHAT THE HECK?!! Time is going to fast, I don't want that to happen,
I love you all at home, but just come visit me in Ukraine. You need to
meet all these people that have blessed my life!
Well, this week, what have we done this week.... First of all, the
light burnt out in our kitchen, so we have spent the last week trying
to cook dinner with a flashlight and then eating in our living room,
Sister Garrett, yet again, probably thinks that I am crazy, but I am
just having fun. There is nothing we can do about it, but I am pretty
sure that today a lightbulb will be bought.
This week was very rainy and we spent a lot of time on foot out
contacting our little hearts out. I am grateful for the rainboots that
I brought with me, the rain here is like Teresa's wedding. I think
that all of my companions have heard that story a time or two. I feel
like my language ability has increased a lot, because I have no choice
but to speak and to understand these people and it works. The Lord is
blessing me every second of everyday and I am able to say what needs
to be said. It truely is the gift of tongues. We had a great day on
Tuesday when we found out that Silvia had kicked her man friend out,
that way she could get baptized with the boys. Wednesday she had her
interview and passed! However Wednesday night she had let him move
back in again. That was a heartbreaker. She knows it is true, but just
can't get rid of that guy, he is the only thing standing in her way.
We will continue to meet and work with her. Anna, she has been
avoiding us. It has been really hard to meet with her. I talked with
Sasha about it a bit and he says that he doesn't know what we can do
other than love her. She gave up her job and her friends for the
gospel, she knows it is true, she is just struggling right now. Good
old Sasha, he is just the best. Hopefully we can meet with her soon
and get her going again.
On Saturday, let us just talk about saturday for a moment! Marion and
Ivan were baptized! Sasha's little brothers were baptized! How cool is
that?! It was so exciting! They are 11 and 14 and I love them! Elder
Tribett and Elder Millard started teaching them, and Elder Johanson
and Elder Tribett continued after Elder Millard left. It was so great
though, Sasha was just beaming!
On Friday we met Elder Tribett and Elder Johanson and they took us to
a tie store so that we could buy the boys a tie for their baptism to
give them along with a triple, some airheads from Sister Echols and
some other little candies. Then Friday night Sister Garrett and I
spent some time unpicking and resewing them to be the right sizes for
the boys, Marion is just SO little! We also started our baking
adventure in the dark with a flashlight, and of course the Elders have
to call at that moment and ask what we are doing, "Just baking in the
dark for the baptism, it is normal."
We also spent all Saturday morning baking for the baptism, the new
favorite around here is cream puffs filled with nutella. Funny story,
so Saturday we have english planning, we get to the church a little
before because we wanted to fill the cream puffs, so we start filling
them, get them all done and then it was perfectly on time to start
english planning and the Elders are still not there, we get this text
saying that they are going to be late. Well, I get this idea, it is
sunny outside, let us go set the nutella outside, have it melt a bit,
then we can fling some chocolate on top of the cream puffs to make
them look pretty, right?! And while we are waiting for it to melt I
would make some phonecalls to members/ investigators. Well, I have my
spoon and the nutella, and we walk outside to set it on the bench, and
Sister Garrett follows me because we can't be alone, right? Well the
door closes on us. It locks. So we are then stranded outside the
church, all we have with us is Nutella and spoons. Naturally what do
you do?! So we sat on the bench and had to wait for the Elders... and
we did have spoons, so we may have had a spoonful or 9 of some
nutella. It was quite funny! Sister Garrett felt so bad, I just
laughed. We ate ourselves sick with that nutella though.
Saturday night was the baptism, it was so great! I was so sad though,
Silvia and Anna both didn't come, just Sasha. Brat Roman from L'viv
came, he is our techinical "Leader" as branch president in L'viv, and
we are still just a group, not even officially recognized by the
church. So we had a great night, the baptisms went so well, then we
went to the church for talks. Sasha gave a talk, as did Yeva, it was
really good. Sasha was just beaming that his brothers were baptized.
We then ate some treats! I made Elder Tribett give the boys the gifts,
he didn't want to, but he had taught them from the begining, Mr. I
don't like kids, whatever. He loves those boys, you can tell, and who
wouldn't love them!? Marian LOVED his tie! Loved it, he even learned
how to tie it and kept untying and tying it over and over again,
showing everyone! It was the cutest thing ever! He even tied it,
grabbed his bag and walked around the corner yelling that he was going
to work. He is just he best kid ever, I love him!
During our little after party Brat Roman was having interviews with
members and missionaries, giving them callings to be sustained in
Sacrement the next day. I am now the official first counselor in the
Relief Society and Yeva is president. We don't really have a relief
society right now we just meet and read a talk together, but we want
to start getting one up and running, so I am now working with Yeva to
get that going, she has no idea what relief society even truely is, so
we have some work to do to get it all up and running.
It will be so good though to finally start getting things handed over
to the members and have it not be the missionaries branch anymore. We
are getting it on track to becoming a branch, hopefully soon. Elder
Terry took over "The Ward" (if you think about it, it is punny) as
group leader, Yeva is Relief Society President, I am first Counselor,
Pavlo is teaching Sunday School, Viktor is teaching priesthood, and
Elder Nauman is the Missionary Coordinating leader, Sasha is his first
counselor, and Elder Tribett is teaching Institute. All this was
sustained yesterday! With Brat Roman present.
We also had fast Sunday, little Ivan bore his testimony, let us just
cry out of cuteness! I was dying, it was the cutest thing ever. He
just gets up there and bears his testimony and it was so good and just
a simple cute one. I look back and Elder Tribett has this HUGE smile
on his face! AH! It is just so great here!
Uzhgorod is such a special place!

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