so, things are legit. yes, i got a new companion. he's the coolest kid ever, everybody loves him. he is way funny, he reminds me of Scott, actually. tall and red-headed. we are having a good time, we are going to work hard. and baptize Igor!
so the week went well, it was hazen's last week in xarkov, so we had to go buy souvenirs and what not. lots of appointments dropped on us, as well, but it was ok. he said goodbye to everybody he wanted to, so its all good. lets see, Tuesday we had a lesson with Igor, taught him the third lesson and reinforced the whole baptism thing. he seemed pretty excited, and willing to do everything necessary. it was a really good lesson, he understood it well, and asks good questions. still doesn't totally understand the 'no tea' thing. and so we just teach about obedience, and that seems to work.
the rest of the week until Friday we just had a few member lessons, saying goodbye to everybody. good stuff. Friday morning early we went into center xarkov where the missionaries going down to Donetsk leave from. said goodbye to everyone, a few of which i won't ever see again, sadly. it was a good day, i just hung out with a few other elders without companions, and waited for our companions and stuff. i kind of knew that i was getting elder young, because the ap's let transfers slip this time. and i was happy. the missionaries that came up got to the center around 7 or so, and we hung out for a bit, and then got a taxi and moved young in. he is in his 6th transfer, and I'm in my 8th.
the next day was fun. there comes a day in every Ukraine missionary's life when he gets his aids test, in order to go to Bulgaria. and Saturday was that day. it was a bit sketchy. we had to walk to this place, close to the heart of the middle of nowhere, in a forest/ ghetto, but the building looked fairly nice. i did some paperwork for a while, paid, and then sat down in a chair. you all know how much i love needles and stuff. so the lady wiped my skin with a bit of alcohol, and then stuck a syringe right in. not too much warning. and then sucked it out. i was expecting to have it naturally pump out, you know, how they do it in the modern world. but why would i expect that? after she pulled it out, she put a little cotton ball on it and had me squeeze my elbow pit closed. after a few minutes she said i could leave. they didn't exactly give me a band aid, but that was OK. i just had a little hole on my vein. everything was OK, i find out if i have aids on Friday. wish me luck.
we then had a lesson and dinner, and planned. good times. Sunday was great. Igor came again, of course. on the way to church, he said "all yesterday, i just wished it was Sunday." i said, well that’s cool. and then he said, "and even more than that, i wished that it was the 9th of July", his baptismal date. that was awesome to hear. i introduced him to the branch president, who, after church, had a quick interview with him. it was good, he explained that baptism is kind of a big deal. i was a little worried that he was going to scare him away, but he handled it well. explained that he was going to receive a calling, and the priesthood, and he has some responsibility. its not just some thing. so after that we had lesson four, which is all the commandments. usually you want to split it up, but he knew most of the commandments, at least in principle, already, so we just did an overview of what they are, and what we are expected to do in order to be worthy members of the church. he said he was willing to do it all. he is ready, i almost wish his date was sooner, but its good to give him a bit more time. we will teach him a bit more about the priesthood, probably, maybe answer some more questions, and probably, for good measure, teach the restoration once more. I'm really excited for him.
so yeah, this is way cool to be seeing a baptism. I've only seen one convert baptism since I've been in country, and that was the other elders in my district. so it is nice to feel that I'm actually adding to the kingdom. especially a priesthood holder! and another cool thing, i don't know if i told you, he has a ponytail. that’s not the cool part. he said the other day, you know what, you guys look good. nice well groomed boys. i think I'm going to cut my hair short, like yours. i said, that’s probably a good idea. what I'm saying is, it actually feels like, for the first time on my mission, i am changing somebody's life. its really cool to see.
president fry is going home this week, and president campero is coming in. should be interesting. we are all waiting anxiously.
i love you guys. its good to hear from you all. I'm having a good time right now. it's a bit rainy, it's lightning stormy every day all day, but the work is good. i love the mish, and i know the church is true.
have a good week!
love, elder brimley