Derek opens his mission call

Monday, March 28, 2011

Dear Family and Friends,

First things first, I'm staying! and elder Rollison is leaving. that was pretty much already known, though i had a bit of hope that I would get out. but I'm not all that dissapointed, as this will most likely be my last transfer here, and then my options look very good. Xarkov! or maybe...Lugansk--both would be dreams. I figure I'm getting a younger companion, so at least it should be a change from my last five transfers.

So there is this dude named Pavel. remember when i told you about the cool contact lady Looba? well she gave us a REFERRAL, which is a big thing. and so we contacted her nephew, the referral. and we met with him! it was on Tuesday, on a bench in this...almost park. and he speaks English pretty well. so we were like, probably just interested in English, but whatever. we got to know him for a little bit, then started talking about God and religion. and he is super interested in like philosophy and sociology and all that. So talking about religion is interesting to him. so we taught a good, but scattered first lesson. our meeting was like two hours, but it was good. we gave him a book and he said he'd read. his English is good, but probably not good enough to know religious words, so it was like half English, half Russian. we left the lesson kind of thinking that he might end up either way- a good investigator, or just an English student who likes talking about religion.

But then FRIDAY we had another meeting with him and this one was in his apartment. So he had read most of the introduction of the book of Mormon, and was asking some awesome questions about where it came from, why we have it, about the story in it. we answered them all, and he was (or at least seemed) super accepting. It was cool, the longer we talked about the book, the more excited about it he got. by the end he seemed pretty excited to read it. He also had some questions about prayer. we taught him the 'steps', and a bit about what prayer is. He thought it was really cool. he was trying to memorize the steps with us, making sure he had it all right. we invited him to church, and it was interesting. at first he was like, I dunno, maybe next week. Then we talked about what our church is, what goes on, we talked about all the great people, people he should meet, and by the end of us talking he was like, actually next week I'm not going to be in town, but it would be interesting to me to come this Sunday. we set it all up, where we were going to meet him and when, and he seemed pretty excited for it. Unfortunately SATAN stopped him from coming on Sunday, but we still have a meeting with him on Tuesday, so we are pretty pumped. A new, progressing investigator in one week! Good for us. I can see him going all the way.

other weekly highlights. ha, at the bontsovs, rollison was trying out some new slang that antomonov taught us. so it turns out, the word that antomonov translated into 'bum' was more like 'the a word.' we had a good laugh. Oh, on Saturday we had an adventure. we have heard there is this giant hill made from a mine that you can hike up, and there is a deer monument on top. so we set off to find it, and contact of course. we found it, and it was like the coolest thing in the world. we climbed up, and we could see the entire city of Donetsk from it. Ukraine is really flat, so it was an awesome sight, we could see our whole area, all of center, it was sweet. I'll send some pictures sometime.

Friday we had a short lesson about priesthood blessings with Alexander, and then I gave him one, as he was sick. it was pretty scary, I don't think I did very good. I mean, I said all the important stuff right, but I didn't really know what to say. but it doesn't matter what i said, i guess. it was a cool experience, a first of my mission. he really appreciated it.

oh and a couple of days ago this drunk dude was getting off a bus i was on, and he sees my nametag, and he was like, what's with your name? what kind of name is Brimley? and I'm like, its American. and he was like, that cannot be. that makes no sense. it can not be American. and I was like, well I'm from America. and so he was like, well it isn't a pretty name. I of course was very offended, and in defense of my family, asked his name, in hopes that I could make fun of it as well. he dodged this by saying, "they call me beautiful." yes, that is a perfect translation. i don't know who won, but I hope we meet again. I feel like he is my arch nemesis. the bus was chuckling after he got off.

we did some more service this week, it was getting this ice arena ready for like a bunch of events. so like all of the elders in Donetsk got together and put up some weird curtains. We felt like we really made a difference in the country. But it was fun, at least.

As you can see, this was a less eventful week than usual. but we got a new investigator! so we are happy. i can definitely use my CD player! i just need some more music now. that reminds me, when president Fry goes home, the mo-tab rule goes with him, and everything goes back to the white handbook rules. so that means, soundtracks will be allowed! so a request for my next package would be some of those, like lord of the rings, gladiator, and any other good music you would like to send me. he doesn't leave until June 30th, so there is plenty of time. I don't think I'm losing hair... yet. my hair is already longer, don't worry. My clothes... have been better. but in a couple of months i will start wearing the second half of clothing! crazy! Money is crazy. We spend lots on transport, but we get by.

The mission is hard. but at the same time, it is fun to live here, see crazy stuff sometimes, the people are really interesting, if nothing else. and there are some awesome people, too. it is a fun time, I like it. so yeah. as for things that i love, the juice is really good, and so is the bread. i think I've said that before. The markets are pretty cool, everything is really cheap. i really like borsh and shaoormas, bleen, and fornetti's. there are good things. and i think I'll like it even more once i get to Xarkov...

anyways, that was my week. hope you all had a good one!

love, Derek

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