Derek opens his mission call

Monday, November 22, 2010

Great week

hey hey hey

what a week. we have been in a threesome, as Richardson went home, so we are working two of the biggest areas in the mission together, it has been pretty tiring. we have had quite a successful week, we have had a lot of fun, and we had the best lesson i can possibly imagine. like i can't possibly imagine a lesson going better than that lesson. both my companions who have been here in Ukraine for over a year said that that lesson was the coolest lesson, with the most legit person, they have seen on their missions. I'll tell you about it if you explain the silly band thing. (The kids keep mentioning silly bands in their emails but won't tell Derek what they are)

anyways, did i tell you that transfer calls happened? i can't remember when that was. well elder prince is leaving petrovski, and I'm staying. elder clarkstone is also staying. I'm really excited to stay because of the new awesome investigator. though he can't meet for the next month as he is very busy- well he said we can try to meet, but after the new year he definitely can. so i almost want to stay a fourth transfer if we really don't meet during December.

i have big plans for my area. I'm trying to convince president to let me move to this other area in petrovskii that will make the work a lot easier. I'll take a picture of my area map and show you, it is huge. i want to move closer to ploshad pabedy, there are way more people, and it is too far away from my apartment, so that side of my area never gets worked, it just takes too long to get over there. also, my apartment is just awful, so it would be cool to move out of the rats nest. I'm trying to get everyone to sneakily convince president- i talked to him about how that area never gets worked, prince talked about how he is happy to get out of the awful apartment, clarkstone said he was going to change the area boundaries, so the apartment is badly placed. we shall see.

we went tracting this one day, and we were looking on the map, deciding where to go, and we see a little village out in the middle of nowhere called "red farm", and we couldn't not go. we find this magical wonderland. well it was really just an enormous green field. like, we couldn't see the end of it. it was the prettiest thing I've seen in a long time. the village was cool too, though everyone was communist. surprise! we met this one old guy and he was, well, very Russian. very communist looking. always a good time. i love little villages like that.

we had a heckler at our English class on Tuesday. he was one of those annoying intellectual guys. he asked a question about English grammar, which we can't really answer. we don't know our own grammar. plus it was a hard question anyways. when we said we didn't know, he was like, yeah, in America you don't really value education. people are all illiterate there and everyone hates learning. we were like, Ukrainians believe you get sick if there is a breeze. he also accused us of being hypocrites because we didn't pray before our English class, to which we responded, that is because your government doesn't let us.

speaking of English, here is the story. in Russia, someone like went to an English class and during the English portion, asked a religious question. the elders answered it, and then there was a huge lawsuit about mixing religion and learning, or something. well, the church nearly lost its charter to be in Russia. we don't have the right to teach English, so it is very complicated to have English "conversational practice". anyways, the Brethren asked us to stop, in case someone is "placed" in one of our classes like that, they are just being careful. it is sad, but whatever. Samara apparently has been doing it for the past year, and they are in the lead for baptisms in the Europe east area this year. more blessings, yay!!

OK. fine. i have to tell this. we got a contact several weeks ago, a guy named maxim. we have been trying to meet with him, because he seemed nice. it finally worked out Saturday night. we got there, started talking, had a good "get to know you" time. we realized that he wasn't like most Ukrainians, he was a family man, really loves his wife, loves showing pictures of his kids. he was really smart, likes history and other interesting stuff. but i figured, yeah, he is a nice guy, but like every other Ukrainian, he hasn't really thought about religion, or he just isn't interested. he just likes to talk to nice American guys. we get into the lesson. we ask the first question: how do you relate to God? he then proceeded to teach US the first lesson. he talked about the need for prophets, how they tell us the will of God. he said that Christ was like a prophet, but also the son of God. he taught us about the atonement. he said that there is a need for modern prophets, because times have changed, there are new ways to sin, there need to be new commandments. he taught us about the great apostasy (he is very smart), comparing it to like medicine, and how germs mutate and stuff. he said he was searching for truth, and that what we taught was exactly what he has been looking for. he was an embodiment of that verse in d and c that says there are people out there looking for our message, who are kept from it only because they don't know where to look. we went out of that lesson and were giddy like little girls. oh man that was awesome.

oh man i have to go. answering questions: sometimes members have TV's on, but it is often in Ukrainian so i especially don't understand. newspapers i don't see. there isn't too much fast food. apparently it will get cold this week, they say it is going to snow. all.

send grandma my love and a hug and kiss. i wish i could be there.

OK i really gotta go. love you!

elder brimley

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