Dear Family and Friends,
Hey, so about the passport stuff. i had an interview with president, and he basically told us that we are going to have to go to kiev, and i'm going to have to pay for it all. a new passport is like 150$, and the train trip is about 100$ too. like, my new companion had to do it a few months ago. So if you could make sure I have enough money on my card, i'll be doing that next week probably. i'm going to be taking a night train to kiev, getting there by like eight am, and taking a night train back. apparently the embassy takes like an hour, and president said we could do a session at the kiev temple, which is just the tightest thing ever. its going to be such a party. the temple will be in russian. that should be intersting. i'll send some pictures, obviously. maybe a postcard. by the way, i want to send some pictures, but like no internt clubs have usb's, so i can't this week. hopefully next week.
so i got transferred, i got pretty much the best of all my fairly awesome options. I'm still in Donetsk, but in a really awesome area called abidenyony. my companion's name is Elder Thomas, he is a cool guy, hard working and easy going. really down to earth, which is what I've needed. he is from Texas, and he is in his eleventh transfer in country, so the same group as Mueller and prince. My apartment is one of the nicest in the entire mission. Our area is awesome, we have a lot of really cool investigators. like nine, i think. and out of those, four of them are families that we teach. one of them is our landlady and her family, who live in a two story mansion. three of them feed us every time we go over. this area like one transfer ago was known as a really hard area, getting only like six quality lessons a week. this week we got twelve, and the goal is to have 15 by the end of the transfer. this place is exploding.
so i moved from the worst apartment in the mission, in an area with zero investigators, to pretty much the best of the mission in all aspects. the poor kid i replaced is one transfer younger than me, and got sent straight to the rats nest. poor kid. must have been a hard fall. but needless to say, I'm very happy.
so last week was pretty much goodbye lessons for the first four days until i got transferred. like, it was the same as every week for the past four months, just lessons with members. cool members, most of them, so it is fine. but I'm glad to be out, I'm really happy i didn't spend a fourth there. it wasn't too sad or anything, because i still have a year and a half left, so I'll probably see most of them again.
my new district is really tight, we all are just having a party. we had an open house at the church building and, well, a couple people actually came, so that was cool. my area is interesting. it has a lot of the first people baptized in Ukraine here. so it is another really strong branch. about the same size as my last one, but much better run. things just go smoother here. it is cool. like when Donetsk first opened, apparently they sent four elders from the Kiev mission to open it. and they were sent with nothing but one lady's phone number. they called it up and she let them in, they lived with her and stuff. and she now is a really active member, and she lives in our area.
what else have we done... there was an open house, it was OK. like two people came, which was a surprising miraculous turnout. but then the new branch showed how awesome they are: there were refreshments afterward. sandwiches, tea, and cookies. this place is so legit. later that night we went for a lesson at our landlady's. she actually wasn't there, but her daughter and son were, and we taught them a lesson. their house was huge, a two story castle looking building. it has this enormous fence around it and everything. they fed us some delicious cheese and bread.
Sunday was interesting. so I've decided I'm trying something new this transfer, learning Russian-wise. the past few I've been learning words from my textbook and flashcards. I've decided to get every word i study from what i hear. it helped me a lot in focusing on what i am listening to. during sacrament i got a bunch of good words to learn, but i also understood a lot, because i was trying so hard to pick out words i didn't know. it is good practice for my brain, practicing understanding in a different language. like, it was easy because it was all church words, but I'll also do it like on the street and during lessons. so hopefully I'll get more practical words to learn, and figure out how they actually talk. a couple members said i have good Russian for my age. At least once a day, either me and my companion, or our district, or some other group of missionaries have a good long conversation just complaining about Russian. its so dang ridiculous.
we were walking this morning down the street, and see these three guys, one of them was pretty drunk, they were kind of fighting a bit. we stop to watch, see if anything cool happens. this little guy is like yelling at a pretty big guy. and the little one HEAD BUTTED the big one, and like knocked himself to the snow. it was funny. so in response to your question, do you feel safe, yes. like a few days ago, the elder who is now in petrovsky told us that some rebyatta kicked his legs and he fell down, and he was like 'careful! it is slippery!' and he was with his district, and they didn't do anything. my new district was mad, they wanted to go fight some rebyatta. rebyatta means punk teenager. kinda.
oh man, I love my new apartment so much. actually just my new circumstances in general. It is a really fun district, like good, hard workers, but also really fun.
we have sisters in this district, one of them is a greenie. it is funny, she is very excited, and keeps saying 'hello' to members, yeah, in English. good to see that greenie faith, we were talking about it.
so yeah, life is good, or as good as it can be in this country. we saw a miracle the other night. we were looking for a building, and we asked this lady where it was, and she pointed to it. we said thanks, and she said and what apartment number? and she told us where the apartment would be. it was a miracle.
yeah, so I'm out of time. Church is still true. Jesus is still alive. Mission is still service to God. God still listens to prayers, and answers them, as is evident in my new apartment. Thanks for everything.
love, Elder Brimley