Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Three weeks, Who is counting?

Okay, wow! I literally do not even know where to start this week! It was pretty much incredible. First of all, I had exchanges, my last exchanges ever, at the beginning of this week. They were with Sister Garrett, my little trainey, who is not so little anymore! It was SO. MUCH. FUN! First of all, we were together, which I just love being with her. Second we set some pretty awesome goals, and third... so many things just fell into place or came full circle it was almost commical. 
So, we are together we set a goal to SYL all day, or speak your language, as in speak ukrainian from 10-5. I kind of do it all the time anyway because I have had native companions for a while, but I really do enjoy talking to another American in a foreign language, but whatever. We did it! We were laughing because I read in my journal about what we were doing a year earlier on that day when we were both new and I was "training" here, and it was the day that the SYL from 10-5 rule first came out. We did it then, but it was terrible. I am sure the Ukrainian that we said on that day was just.... yeah, we won't go there. This time however, we totally did it, without a problem, told stories, laughed and joked the entire time, in Ukrainian.
Also, we went home for lunch and the power was out. The power was out the first day she and I were in Uzh together. So we had to cook lunch in a dark kitchen, which is what we did the first month we lived together because we didn't know where to buy a light bulb in Ukraine and we thought we would get in trouble for buying something not on a P-day. Yeah, so we cooked in our dark kitchen and had a picnic in the bedroom to eat in the light. It was great, we were laughing and just remembering all the good times.
We saw some really awesome little miracles and got a few numbers of some potentials that we will be working with. 
After Sister Crane and Sister Garrett left for L'viv it was just Sister Bandja and I. And as usual things are just crazy! A couple of random high lights, we had a great lesson with a J.W. Those are always fun! We were so excited to get a lesson from the area book with this lady and teach her all about the Restoration and it just.... she was J.W. She was still super nice, but when people don't listen you can't really do much.
My favorite random part of the week... so for weeks now we have had our street completely torn up. Sister Bandja and I always joke that it looks like there is war going on where we live. Holes everywhere, muddy, piles of dirt just everywhere... it is kind of just a joke. One day this week, Friday, it was raining and just kind of a muddy day, we are on our way home for a late lunch/dinner and walk around the corner and low and behold they are filming a movie about WWII on our street! There were people dressed up in military uniform, normal civilians all dressed up, there was even a horse, some tanks, old army vehicles and cameras everywhere! We were in shock! It was kind of really funny, they were using our street to film a war video, we had always said that it looks like a war could have happened.
So, we were only allowed to walk to our apartment in between scenes, so we would walk, have to stop, they would film a quick scene, then we would walk, be pulled somewhere else, wait for another scene. It took us a while to get in and out of our apartment. It was kind of so much fun though! We had to text the Elders and tell them that we would be late for english because we were only allowed to go so far so often. We had picture evidence that they were filming a movie about the World Wars outside our apartment. The Russians even tried to kidnap my companion! It was so much fun! We were able to talk to a lot of the people as well, they wanted to know why we were carrying around these books and why in the world an American would come to Ukraine and live here for over a year. Never an ordinary day on the mission.
This is my embarrassing moment for the week. Sister Bandja and I went to the store really quick for something and ran into a member. Katya, she was on her way to teach Spanish at the church. She invited a lot of people to come to the church and learn Spanish, she said that she invited a lot of non-members so it might be nice if we came. We didn't have any pressing plans, so why not? See if we could find some people maybe interested in more than just Spanish. So, I am sitting in this class having them teach me in Ukrainian and Russian, which is my second language (Russian is like my "I pretend to know it but don't really language"), how to speak spanish. Let us talk about kasha in your head. It was a mess, I had 4 languages going through my head, I didn't know what was going on. So my companion and I start speaking to each other in "Spanish" to practice. These two girls, one speaks english natively, the other Russian, we communicate usually in Ukrainian, are now learning how to speak spanish. Did you follow that? It confuses me too and I lived it.
The practice was going, everyone was quite impressed with my great "spanish accent!" I must not have that good of one in Ukrainian....? And we are going along great, I can count to ten no problem (only known that since I was 5), then we got into some other stuff, like asking how old a person is, I was asked to ask a couple of other people in the class how old they are, I say it and everyone just starts laughing! I have no idea why, I am just sitting there wondering what I said, what happened that was so funny, Sister Bandja finally calms down enough to tell me that I said something in spanish wrong which made it sound like I swore in Russian. Awkward... Moral of the story, stick with your mission language.
We also had the opportunity to go over to the Hawkins this week. We had waffles, I wanted to cry! I forgot how much I loved waffles; actually I forgot about their existance as a whole, then to have them... There may or may not have been actual tears. It was such a wonderful time. I am loving it!
This week I was sitting in sacrament and I just looked at all the members there, Sister Snyder, one of my former companions that I absolutely adore, was speaking. She rocked her talk, her language is just amazing now, and as she was speaking, I was looking at everyone. All the members and missionaries and wow... I was just overcome with this love for these people. They are all so amazing and such examples to me, I am grateful for every single one of them. In some way they have all changed me and helped me become better. This gospel in so amazing and I love it! I love these people and in the end, it all goes back to love!

Sister Shaughnessy

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