Derek opens his mission call

Monday, March 14, 2011

Derek Gets Ukrained

Hello beloved readers,

I've been told that it is apparent by my first sentence how the rest of my letter is going to go. so in an effort to break the mold, i shall start out like this:

what a great week.

as it was woman's day, this week wasn't great for contacting or tracting, and thanks to a wedding in our branch, members didn't want to meet either. so we set a record low number of lessons for me, at an astounding 4. 5, if you count the spiritual thought i gave at the missionary meeting on Sunday, which i don't. pretty much, we chose the wrong week to drop several bad investigators.

Tuesday was woman's day, which we kind of planned on contacting until our lesson with the bontsovs at night. when we got outside, the streets were completely empty. in our area, there are usually very few people walking around, but this time there were none. so we were like, tracting, right? the white bible says that holidays are great times to find people, because families are together. this is a lie. they just get really mad at you. but the bontsovs are really great. we brought them flowers, and had a little party. go women!

Wednesday we had district meeting, which is usually great, but this was an...odd district meeting. in short, the zone leaders came to institute some new goals for us. which is fine, except the goals they set for us are like our personal goals. i don't really have time to write exactly everything, but suffice it to say, in our mission there are some issues between leadership and missionaries. they call it 'the wall', and so they have been working to get over 'the wall' by working on unity. so here is my idea of how people become unified: get to know each other, become friends, everybody showing each other love, and working together. and some other stuff. here is the leaderships idea of how to build unity: make a random rule seem really super important, like listening only to mo tab, and setting a goal to all keep that rule really strictly together. that was what they were trying to force down our throats at district meeting. kind of made everybody less unified, i think. luckily me and rollison saved the day with brownies and a scavenger hunt for the girls with a bunch of presents, which lightened the scary mood. me and rollison are good.

after that we got dogged by Leonid, the archangel guy. did i tell you about him? he believes that some aliens and Michael the archangel are coming next year to end the world. so we weren't too dissapointed when he wasn't there. he was there on Thursday though, and our lesson with him consisted of him trying to prove to us that he was right. we got our restoration video back and left. he was a crazy guy. we also had our weekly lesson with Alexander, which as usual was just great. they feed us bread and sausage every time, and i eat a lot, so they love me. they always call rollison a girl cuz he doesn't eat very much. Go me. after that we contacted and tracted.

Friday was OK. we are supposed to do planning, so we tried, but we don't have much to plan, so we went out and worked after like half an hour. we tried to find some old investigator who lived out in the edge of nowhere, we couldn't find her, but we found a cool temple, and it was a cool little village place, so it was a good walk, if nothing else. the rest of the day we tracted and contacted. the problem isn't tracting and contacting, it is just, in our area there are very few big domes, which is the only good place to tract in the winter, and we are running out of them, because most of our area is little individual houses. and tracting domes stinks.

Saturday was awesome. we get up in the morning, and the other elders call us and say come open your door. they came over for a breakfast party! we were really surprised, we didn't think they had it in them. but they made us some bleen and we did studies together, it was a great morning. then we all together went to the church and cleaned it up a little bit (from the wedding party the night before. it was a disaster). see, that's how you build unity. we had a member lesson during the day, which was great, and then found a less active who lives in our area, who is hopefully willing to meet. he seemed pleasant enough. then we filled the rest of our day up.

so this is where things get a little scary. I've thought about not writing this one, but i figure i should. if i were you i wouldn't let mom read the following. we went to sleep Saturday night pretty happy- rollison got a call from his last area, and a lady he found and taught is doing really well, and said she wants to be baptized. so we were both really excited for him, this is a first for him. so we go to sleep. next thing i know, it is about three thirty am, and i hear some yelling outside our apartment door, and some pounding. i was still really groggy, so i just sat there in bed. it sounded to me like a small group of men were out there, and from what i could tell, they were really angry about something. i recently learned the main swear words, and yeah, they were all there. that's when i realize that it isn't just some random drunk guys partying, but they were banging on specifically our door. not just banging to get us to come open it, but they were trying to knock the door off its hinges. they were really, really mad at something, and trying to break off the door handle. well I'm trying to think logically, and i realize that I'm completely defenseless. i figure, if they come in, there is nothing i can do about it. this was the first time i have been truly terrified in this country, and thinking about it, it was probably the scaredest I've ever been in my entire life. after a few minutes they kind of lay off the door, and just keep yelling. i ask my comp if he knows the number for the cops, and he says no. so we call president fry. he tells us he will figure it out and call back. meanwhile, I've thought about it and armed myself with a frying pan and a rolling pin. we hear them still in our building, screaming, banging on other doors, banging on ours, and we are just sitting, waiting, and wondering. but it sounded like it was dying off, they were slowly making their way downstairs. president calls and says that he cant wake up his APs or office elders so he cant find the number for the cops, but it was OK because it was over. he said wait for a while and if it is really over to go to sleep. so we did.

the next morning we head out for church, and i take a look at the door, and it is pretty bad. lots of foot marks, and the door handle is completely snapped off. we until then were pretty sure it was just some crazy people attacking everyone in our building, but none of the other doors looked like they had really been touched. so that kind of scared us, it seemed like we were being singled out. we didn't know, i mean, who knows? maybe it was enemies of the church. we couldn't really leave out any possibilities, i mean, its Ukraine. we call our landlord, tell him about what happened, about the door. we go to church and come back, and the landlord has figured it all out. we got a new door handle, and he told us the story. apparently there is a girl on our level whose ex boyfriend got really drunk and came with some friends to break into her apartment. but they were drunk and mistook her door for ours. her landlord is kicking her out as soon as possible, by the way. a bit later, president came and made sure everything is OK. we told them everything, and he said that everything should be good, we have a good solid door. we said we felt a little uncomfortable sleeping there again (mostly true for me, very true for my companion) so we should probably sleep with the other elders. he said that would be fine, so last night we had a completely OK sleepover! it was a party, it helped ease that fear.

so that was pretty scary. it really felt at the time like we were going to get attacked. we both talked about it later, and we both thought about Carthage jail while it was happening. my heart was beating harder and faster than i think it ever has. later i realized that i had armed myself with a rolling pin, while we have a fairly nice knife set. so next time hopefully i remember that. but man, it was crazy. that's all i can think about right now. you should have been there, it was just crazy.

oh by the way, happy birthday Scott! 18? i totally remembered yesterday and so we made a cake at the sleepover, we even blew out candles. though we were also celebrating p-day eve at the same time. but i remembered.

so yeah, a really interesting week. i think every week is pretty interesting. but this one especially. i guess it just shows that SATAN is trying to stop us, so it is actually a good sign, when you think about it. GET THEE HENCE SATAN

THANKS FOR THE AWESOME PACKAGE!!!!! that was the right book, the ring fits, the CD player works (and was actually a big surprise, thanks!). and of course, a special thank you for the whatchamacallits, or in Russian, the etee sameeye. it was a great birthday package.

that's crazy about the japan thing, i hadn't heard anything about it till now. that sounds awful. the video didn't work, but i heard the sound, and it was pretty scary.

man, I'm happy. zone conference is tomorrow! and it should be a much, much better week than last. members should be able to meet, and hopefully a couple of the contacts we've gotten will work out or something. thanks for all the letters, as usual. yeah. this is an adventure.

have a great week, and happy p-day to all!

love, Derek

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