Derek opens his mission call

Monday, January 17, 2011

Heading to Kiev

Dear family and friends,


what up y'all?

doings at me good. we had a good week, well it was OK. this area has come a long way. it is a brand new area, just opened earlier last year, and there was like nothing here. like three members. last transfer they started with an average of six lessons a week, and we had twelve this last week. things have doubled, it is so nuts. lots of really cool, sincere investigators (who feed). but i think I've already talked about that.

had to waste a bit of time figuring out the whole, 'i don't have a passport in eastern Europe' thing. its all figured out. I'm leaving for Kiev tonight at seven! and i have a meeting at the embassy at like eight in the morning there, and that should take about an hour, then we are going to a session in the Kiev temple at like ten thirty. after that, we have the rest of the day to do whatever we want until our train home that night. we are going to go see the sights, it is going to be tight. we are there Tuesday, and Wednesday is a big holiday called 'kreshenia', baptism. so it will probably be a fun time to be there.

so sadly, several of our investigators couldn't meet with us or come to church this week, so not too much of newness there. i met this guy named Jamal, he is originally from Georgia, the country. he is a way tight guy, very friendly and feeds us a lot. as an investigator he is really difficult, won't accept anything we say really. he knows that the provaslavnee church is evil, he knows there are wrong churches, but he can't accept one church being 'right.' but he says he really likes our church, and his family has also shown some interest, so we keep working with them.

we are also working with this guy named valodia. his wife was an inactive member who recently came back to church, and says she wants to be active. he is an awesome guy. he has been in rehab for a while, and only recently got out. he was a big alcoholic and smoked like twenty a day. since they started meeting with him, he stopped drinking, and has cut smoking to either a few a day, or none at all sometimes. he has come to church four times, and is on date for baptism. he just needs to quit smoking entirely, and he will be ready. he has made a lot of progress, it is actually incredible. since I've been here, unfortunately, he hasn't come to church, and he is still having trouble making that last leap to quitting entirely. he is a way cool guy though.

we also meet weekly with a guy that was baptized last transfer, Alexander. he is so awesome, he understands the gospel as well as i do. basically our meetings are- we bring a topic, start talking about it, and he takes over and teaches the rest of the lesson for us. and we learn stuff. he like makes awesome comments in church, is super happy, he said that after he received the Aaronic priesthood (yeah, it was fast), "i feel like there is a reconstruction going on in my heart." way cool guy.

ha ha, there is this guy in our branch, pretty much inactive, named brother doberday. hes nuts. i met with him for the first time this week, it was a blast. he was the FIRST person baptized in Donetsk, he loves to tell everyone he knows. and it is probably true. there were like ten people baptized on the same day. unfortunately, after he was baptized, he decided he wanted to become a provaslavnee priest, so he went to Kiev and did just that. he was really funny, though most of what he said i can't really write in this email, as he is just a dirty old man. he played us some amazing accordion though, he is really really good. and he has like so much stuff in his apartment that is way cool, like USSR uniforms from ww2. man he is crazy.

we met with these two girls a few days ago, friends about 21 or so, they live like five minutes from our apartment. they are way tight, they came to church, and are very interested in our church. we taught them a bit of the first lesson, and they were asking really good, sincere questions the whole time. watched Finding Faith in Christ video, and they said it was much happier than any other Christ video they had ever seen. two more awesome investigators.

yesterday we had an awesome member lesson with like 15 youth from all over Donetsk. it was weird, i remembered what being a normal 19 year old person was supposed to be like, just hanging out with friends all night. playing games and laughing, just having a good time. we had tacos, but they don't' really know what tortillas are, so they made them with bleen, which are pretty much crepes. they were good though. speaking of which, we have been making some awesome Mexican food. we had some incredible fajitas the other day, man they were good.

questions: yeah, just send anything to that same address, it is the office, so they will get it to me. area is awesome, apartment is awesome, mud is gone (as snow is here). it hasn't actually been too cold, it has stayed about 0. though this morning was a nice -10. its not bad, last year it was -30 for like a week.

thanks for the emails, i might not reply to all of them, but i always read every one, i live for those things. thanks for the love and support and prayers. i know that i feel their effects daily. thanks for everything, maybe I'll send y'all a postcard from Kiev. yeah! talk to you in a week.

love, elder brimley

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