So i just went to the office and got my package!!!!! thank you!!!! I haven't opened it yet, but it is sitting right next to me, and the description says 'book, cd, food, tie'. so thanks for the book cd food and tie!!!! i had a really good birthday week. hey, lady gaga just started playing here. aly aly handro, aly aly handro...
Six months in country! that happened basically on my birthday, so we celebrated both at once. it is a big deal. i thought I'd be fluent in Russian by now. I'm surprised i made it this far. Fortunately, it seems like winter is on its way out. it got really warm a couple of days ago, everything started melting. really muddy. but I'm getting ahead of myself. excuse me.
i think it is cliche by now for me to say this wasn't the greatest week, missionary work-wise. missions are really frustrating, heart breaking. well my mission has been. from what i know of other missions, there are probably happy missionary stories. they tell me to have faith and hope. it is really hard to put your faith in somebody, or put your hope on them, after I've had so many 'hopefull's' die off. this area is kind of down to zero investigators again.
anyways. Monday we had a fun meeting with the tikamerovs, district presidents family. they are so legit. just indescribably awesome. it was a good family night. Tuesday we had a first meeting with this dude we met tracting. the lesson didn't go very well, as we kind of figured it wouldn't. his real purpose of meeting is to convince us that Michael the archangel is coming to destroy the earth next year. he has a lot of crazy books that he tries to give us. he is a really nice man, i mean, he let us in tracting! but it is just because he is crazy. we left the restoration movie and told him to watch it. we have a meeting set up for this week, and the only real reason we are going back is to get our movie back. but who knows, maybe he won't be crazy anymore.
that night was great. we had a meeting with the bontsovs, which is always just so great. it was probably one of the best nights I've had on my mission. we get into their apartment, and sit down. then they bring out a big wrapped box for me! they gave me a tie, and a nice card, and this funny refrigerator magnet. then they turned out the lights, blindfolded me, and when they took it off, there was a cake with candles and everything! they even sang happy birthday in English! it was a delicious cake. they said that it was the first time they had done that for a missionary. i love that family so much. they are just the nicest people.
my birthday was really good too. we had district meeting, which just turned into a birthday party. we had lots of bleen, as it was bleen week. we played a fun game of finger twister, my first time. i totally won. then everyone gave me presents! i got an awesome recipe book made by the sisters, who also gave me a little toy gun. my companion gave me some Andes mints that he had gotten from a package, very nice. already ate them all. it was a great birthday party. later that day we went over to brat doberdays house, and even he gave me a signed copy of the new testament in Russian, it was a really good gift. also he hugged and kissed me, then prayed specifically for me, and made my companion say a prayer for my birthday. it was a little weird, but hey, he is crazy. poost.
that night we went to jamals house, which was pretty average. we will probably not be meeting with him anymore, but it was a good birthday dinner. we figure he isn't going anywhere, and hasn't really ever gone anywhere, so it is time to drop him. it is sad cuz he really is a great guy. but oh well.
Thursday was an up and down day. we had an awesome lesson with Alexander, who is just a fine fellow in general. he gave me the book 'spartacus' in Russian. way awesome gift. and he is just the kindest man. it is hard to describe, i just love that guy so much.
then we had a lesson with sasha, finally. we met at the church like usual. he is such a great guy. he is really, really smart, which makes him hard to understand, and he has a lot of really deep questions and ideas, that i don't really fully understand. so the lesson wasn't good at all. he told us that there was nothing in the book of Mormon that he didn't already know. that he couldn't learn anything from it. i tried to do my best to teach about its purpose, but i just don't speak good enough Russian, and probably more importantly i didn't really understand what he was saying. so he owned us, I'm not going to lie. he was nice about it, and he really is a great guy. when Elder Thomas was here, or when we had a member in on the lesson, it was great. but without a real firm grasp on Russian, he just isn't handleable, if that makes sense. i was pretty down after that lesson, and i decided that I'm going to become a good speaker of Russian. easier said than done, but i decided that I'm going to do it. that night we met with sister bobskova, who is really legit. she has like the whole book of Mormon memorized, so she pretty much taught us. she is so cool. that cheered me up.
this kid next to me playing a video game keeps saying a VERY bad word over and over. i think it is all he knows in English. it is a little distracting.
Friday we tracted all day. both our lessons fell through. but we got like 5 contacts, and a couple of them seem actually pretty hopeful. yeah, that was a long day, but ok.
Saturday was a really interesting day. it was another tracting all day day, except with one lesson in the middle of it. we were starting, and we headed to the ploshad, and there was this big celebration going on. we still don't really know what it was for, probably women's day (that's tomorrow, by the way). there was some singing and dancing, and they had like this little fire. it was kind of cool, but not all that exciting. we go walking down this street, and it was really muddy. like, really muddy. Alex, you said you wanted some crazy Ukraine story? i saw on the ground was a little root, so i stepped over it. rollison was right behind me, and he was like, hey. look. i look, and i see the root again, but then i look closer. it was a DEAD CAT that had apparently suffocated in the mud. it was like one of those dinosaurs that got stuck in the mud and died there. it was disgusting.
(WARNING--THIS NEXT PART SHOULD BE READ ONLY WITH EXTREME CAUTION. PLEASE HAVE THE CHILDREN LEAVE THE ROOM NOW)
we were walking away from that, pretty grossed out, when i look to the side of the road. there was a slope, so the side of the road was like five, ten feet lower than us. i see a bigger man who was bent over, like touching his toes. his rear end was pointed towards the street. i instantly noticed that his pants were all the way down. not too weird, people pee in public all the time. then we hear like this grunting. his crack was open WIDE. a yellow, green slime was pouring out. he had bad diarrhea. just pouring down. just absolutely shameless. we both swallowed some vomit and got out of there. that was probably the grossest thing I've ever seen in my life. that image will never leave my mind. i kind of wish i would have taken a picture.
the lesson we had that day was with this awesome lady. she is the first person that came in contact with missionaries in Donetsk. she basically told us about the history of the church in Donetsk, all of which she has been an active participant. she is the office cooking lady, so we also had awesome borsh and lots and lots of bleen! she is such a sweet old lady. the rest of the day we tracted.
Sunday was a shame. it snowed really bad, randomly. i think that it kept a lot of people away. including that lady who said she would come. we called her and she said she would be there, but she didn't come. Sunday night we pretty much had nothing, and it was really snowy and cold and dark. so we cleaned our apartment, something we have been putting off for a while. it needed to be done. it is better now. i also made lemon bars! so tasty. I'm still not done with the Christmas packages. ha. thanks again.
yeah, so pretty much we have dropped all of our investigators. it is pretty sad. but it is way easier to keep meeting with our bad investigators, than find new ones. we are working.
that's pretty much it. thanks for everything, the package, letters, so on and so forth. love you all! happy women's day tomorrow. this was probably a pretty negative letter but I'm still happy. things are good. the church is still true.