happy easter! it didn't really seem like easter yesterday. except everybody was carrying around baskets with eggs in them. but also in all of their baskets was vodka. haha, good job ukrainians. so one cool thing they do here for easter is say, in russian obviously, 'jesus resurrected!' which is really just, happy easter. and the reply is 'he indeed resurrected.' it is more beautiful in russian. another thing they have is these easter cakes, which they call, easter. they are basically slightly sweetened bread with raisins and sprinkles. but there are millions of them. we got gifted a couple of them, even.
happy birthday nate! not until wednesday, but have a great day. i hope you like your gift. sounds like you are getting pretty tall? how'd that happen? good job with your soccer games and whatnot.
and congrats nicole for graduating college! who'd a thunk? i never lost faith. i knew you could do it. sounds like you guys had a fun week, lots of celebrating.
my week was good too. tuesday we did four hours of service at this park, repainting this big slide. mostly just covering up swear words, actually. but we made it look a lot better. it was a lot of fun, most of donetsk came in. afterwards we did yet another hour of service, digging up some dirt at a members house. haha, afterwards, this babooshka was like, you guys are so great, you are so strong and beautiful boys, thanks so much, you are so big(speaking of noren), and you are a bit smaller(me), but still good' and her daughter, who is like thirty, said "big guys are for working, little guys are for loving." i think that is my new motto.
that night we had a lesson with volodia, who is the guy who is trying to quit smoking. he is doing awesome. he has quit drinking, and he really wants to get baptised, but obviously smoking is hard to break. we had another lesson on saturday, and he said he is doing better already, smoking much less. he seems happier, more talkative, he is a very humble, great guy.
then wednesday we had a split, i went to the other elder's area, where we contacted all day. kind of like my area! it was good, i haven't left my area for a split for all of last transfer, and it was making me a bit claustrophobic. oh, and for the first time since i've been here, we actually got called over by a prostitute on the street. she did the little ukrainian sign of lifting up her leg and she was staring us down like crazy. she was like thirty, and so not too much of a temptation. and we kept walking by.
thursday was good too, we did service at that same park for another 4 hours. the government apparantly asked the church to do it, or something. it was fun again, just painting stuff. this time it was a pavilion where, in antomonov's words, drunk people will come and party.
afterwhich we had a lesson with yaraslava,the lady who came to church. she is still awesome, said she loved church, and will keep coming. she said she is trying to quit smoking, so we talked about faith and repentance and baptism, obviously. unfortunately she couldn't come to church this week, but she called us before and told us, which was legit. she was busy. which i believe. i'm pretty sure she is a crazy rich lady, because she moves all the time, and sponsors big events. so yeah, she is awesome, i really like her. we had tea and that cheese you rip off, stick cheese? how is that called?
we had a good lesson with konstantine on friday, we watched the restoration video with him, and afterwards he said that when he met with missionaries before, he didn't think it was realistic, but now his point of view has changed. it was a really quick lesson.
then we met with pavel again. it was an ok lesson, basically he just talked about lots of different philosophies. he is still reading the book of mormon, which is good, but other than that he isn't really willing to do anything, like come to church. i'm afraid he is going to become an eternal investigator, which is really sad. hopefully he starts progressing again.
saturday we had a lesson with the gypsies, who are still pretty cool. first we watched finding faith in christ, because they love watching movies about jesus. unfortunately they don't have a remote control, so we couldn't change the language. so i had to try to translate into russian. and its like scripture, so i simplified a lot. and it is fast. that was a firstthen we taught most of the plan of salvation. this time it was only vladik, and his brother, but they seemed pretty interested. oh, i finally heard some of their gypsy language. it is pretty scary. unfortunately they can't read, so we are getting them an mp3 of the book of mormon to listen to. so that will be good.
sunday we contacted after church. ha, in the distance we saw a huge fire, and all these kids were yelling 'fire! fire!', and so we walk over, and as we walk toward it, we pass like ten policemen walking away from it. we get to the fire, and it is blazing away, and no one is around it. so either it was an accident and no one cared, or it was intentional, and they didn't stay to make sure nothing bad happened. it eventually burned itself out. they love fire here. they just burn their trash, i think it is a pretty good idea.
it was a good week, our numbers were really good, and that is what is most important, like my zone leader said. if we get 20 quality lessons this week we get a free ride to this one famous monument next p-day. so we might have to bow down to the number gods and pull out a bunch of old investigators.
yes we finally got some more copies of the book of mormon. oh yeah! i made my first borsh, well the first that i myself made. it was pretty good. i figure if i make one a transfer, then i will perfect it. it has lasted us five days now. i figure it is time for something else now.
send my congrats to allison and her husband!!!!! and to ryan!!!! don't forget to let me know where he is going! and when.
man you are all so great. i so wish i could say that i'll be with you guys next easter. i will almost be home by next fourth of july. oh gosh i almost forgot to say, the weather is inCREDIBLE. it is so warm, i'm just wearing a short sleeve shirt all the time. soon it will be unbearably hot, but for now i love it. i even got a sunburn on tuesday!
well i hope you all have a FANTASTIC week. i desire you all the best of everything. Jesus resurrected!
love, elder brimley