Derek opens his mission call

Monday, March 21, 2011

Uneventful week

Wazzup y'all

Not quite as an eventful week as last week, or the week before, come to think of it. but it was, OK. somehow we got less lessons than last week! but it is actually understandable, because we had ZONE CONFERENCE. but that doesn't actually explain it, because ZONE CONFERENCE was on Tuesday morning, when we would never have a lesson. but it is ALL GOOD. we got a new investigator this week! and when i say new investigator, i mean, an investigator that missionaries here used to meet with, and then lost contact with. but this dude named Nikolai called us, and said he wanted to meet. so he (and his girlfriend) are pretty much English students, but also at least somewhat interested in the message. our meeting went this way: we got to know them a little bit, did a little English lesson/ practice. then we said, lets pray. we watched the restoration with them, and then talked about it. it is always fun to teach first lessons, i think i can count the first lessons I've taught on one hand. they were pretty accepting, admitted that it was possible. we talked about the book of Mormon, testified, committed them to read it. so from the area book, it said they had been taught the first two lessons, but we asked them what they had been taught, and they so hopefully this time it stuck a bit more. we shall see.

that was Wednesday night. that morning we had district meeting, which was uneventful. well, always fun obviously, hanging out with the district. i just can't remember what we did. but that's OK.

lets go back to Tuesday and ZONE CONFERENCE. president Schweitzer was there, he is the president of the Europe east area. he is in the second quorum of the seventy. yeah, he's in the conference ensign. legit. he was the coolest guy ever. he was SO freaking smart. he taught us for like two hours. lets see, what did he say... he taught us how to contact, which was funny. he compared it to getting a date, which I've heard lots of times, but it was still really funny. I've really been trying to implement some of the things he said, change the way i contact. it is really hard. but I've been learning a lot about contacting this transfer, so it was good. even before zone conference I've been thinking a lot about it. I'm so bored of the normal contacting, just repeating the same memorized lines. I've been trying to actually start human conversations, i know, crazy right? the hard part is seeing someone on the street, and it not being weird to have a conversation with them. like sometimes, depending on the situation, it is easy. but most of the time it's not. here is a funny quote from him giving an example of asking a girl on a date: 'hi, i just got back from my mission. (here he turned and winked to the crowd and said: the clincher!) I served in Ukraine, not one of those wimpy California missions." i hope i didn't offend anyone. but it was a general authority, so it is pretty much scripture.

He also taught us a really deep second lesson: the PLAN of SALVATION. it was way interesting the way he presented it, I've never thought of it in this way. i won't go into it, but here is a good quote: 'most of you have probably wondered if you are doing any good out here. I'm here to tell you that god needs judges in Israel. he needs you to bear heartfelt testimony to this people so at the judgment you can testify that you testified.' It was nice to hear from him, he just seemed to get it. he understood the culture, the language even. it was a nice change from the usual stuff we get that tries to pretend we are like any other mission in the world. anyways, zone conference was sweet.

Tuesday we also had our usual lesson with the Bontsovs, they are great as usual. we brought them brownies, which they said was their favorite, because it was sister Bontsovs birthday the day before. so we had a party, they even fed us a small meal, really tasty. man i love that family, I'm going to miss them when i leave.

so here is my prediction for next transfer: we will white wash out (which means both of us will leave, and two new elders will come in.) i know that Rollison is out, and i think this would be a good area to have a fresh new start. we have been working hard, trying to do a bit of rebuilding, but it wouldn't be too devastating to the area for both of us to leave. We will find out this Friday, and then the next Friday is transfer day. wow it goes fast. I hope I leave, but I won't be too sad if I don't. I just want to go to Kharkov.

Thursday was our Alexander meeting, he is still legit as always. then we contacted and tracted. and we made TACOS. mmmm tacos. Friday we had a split, which was fun with elder Mccallison, but it was unfortunate because the two lessons we had planned both fell through, so we had to contact for the whole time. FORTUNATELY, the weather is OCHEN XOROSHO. life is AWESOME. it got up to like fifteen Celsius, and all the snow is almost melted. the mud is absolutely ridiculous, but holy bleen hallelujah winter is over. i don't know if i can go through another one of those. life is awesome when you are warm. it is just a fact.

Saturday we somehow got it approved to do an hour of SERVICE! it was sweet, we went to this ice rink and wiped off dirty chairs for an hour with some of the youth. gosh, i haven't done service in months. it felt kind of worthless, i mean we were like wiping off chairs, but it was good. and fun. oh i forgot: i made blueberry pancakes with that package for muffins you sent, and they turned out awesome. so tasty, and i made some maple syrup, it was just so good. so that night we ended the split and our lesson canceled, so we went home and cleaned a bunch, because we had cleaning checks on Sunday (which didn't happen because Sister Fry got sick, so now they are going to be a surprise sometime). our apartment is really clean now, that's good.

Sunday was a normal day. except this one thing. so the sisters come up to us and they are like, oh man! we forgot your surprise! and we were like, darn. then after church they were like, come over to our house for a bit. so we did, and they had made us these awesome Russian pastry thingies. it was funny, because they didn't do it for the other elders in our district, just us. yeah, they love us. it was a good time.

then our lesson that night we made lasagna, which turned out very greasy, but it tasted really good.

and then i went to sleep, and then i came here.

so my companion served in this really terrible area called Dockey, which was known as the worst area in the mission until it was shut down when he left it a few transfers ago. he has told me several times that this area is worse than Dockey. i don't think that's true, but it is a bit frustrating. suffice it to say, I'm hoping to leave. oh by the WAY: i hit my nine month on a mission mark a few days ago. that was pretty crazy to think about. that means one thing. Bulgaria is coming soon. it can't come soon enough.

well. that's about it. sorry for the uneventful week. i hope yours is full of many, many events. love you all. the church is true.

love Derek

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