Derek opens his mission call

Monday, June 20, 2011

1 year mark

howdy! how y'all doin? well yeehaw!

well thanks for being the best dad ever. i wish i could give you a great big hug. thanks for everything you've taught me and done for me. i really appreciate everything. love you!

sounds like you are partying it up pretty hard over there! HAPPY ANNIVERSARY MOM AND DAD!!!!!! i can't believe i missed your 25th. that’s a big one. and i had no idea it was fathers day! HAPPY FATHERS DAY DAD!!!! you've been great all these many years. i really appreciate it. i RESPECT you, man!

i had a really fun week. a lot of good stuff happened. here is some things: we haven't had hot water. like, none. which isn't too bad, because we kind of want cold showers. but not really. also i hit my ONE YEAR ON A MISSION MARK!!!!! so hopefully that one is even better. but it is quite a big one. i can finally say that one year ago, i was on my mission. and a year from now, i will still be on my mission. and then another month.

other cool things that happened. probably my favorite, at family night with the rusinovs, after the lesson, they pull out this giant cake, with this delicious, rich cream frosting, and strawberries. it was a struggle to eat two pieces, it was so rich. but i took one for the team. no regrets! the next day we met with dima, and had a first lesson with him. i wasn't too hopeful about the lesson, as he seemed just interested in English, but it turns out he is fairly interested. so we will keep meeting with him. he was a cool guy. that night we finally got the guts to go exploring the basement of our dome. it was pretty sketchy. really creepy. i think a lot of creepy stuff has gone on down there. here is one example. on a wall, in big letters, is written the words "HELP ME" in English. it was pretty legit.

oh man, Wednesday we spent contacting, and i only remember two things. the first is this lady we tried to talk to and she said "no! we don't have that disease!" it probably makes more sense in Russian. "net! mi etim ne baleyem!" the second was this really old couple. we were walking past them in a park, they were sitting on a bench. the dude goes in for a kiss, which is normal, though they are way too old to be doing that in public. we soon realized that it was not just a kiss. their faces were stuck together for the whole time we could see them. they were so old, it was raunchy. just full on making out. ew!

from Thursday on it was just party. we went to barabashova, the giant market, and got some new ties. and a pretty legit old soviet military hat. then had district meeting, i taught the lesson (on the spirit). then we had a fireside with president, which was good. we went home, and, it being my one year on a mission mark, i made some homemade donuts! they turned out tasty enough. the next morning was zone conference, which was legit of course. it was president fry's last time with everyone up here. it was a good meeting- they always give some time for the missionaries going home to bear testimony, and a lot are going home soon. several missionaries that i have spent a lot of time with, so it was a good meeting. said goodbye to quite a few people for the last time, which kind of stinks, but, you know. its time.

we did a split the next day, elder beck, a zone leader who is going home next transfer, came to me. we had a good time, had a couple lessons, contacted, the usual. he is a cool kid. really trunky. made me pretty trunky. talked about movies, music, books, free time, dating girls, hanging out with friends, relaxing... America.... it was fun. he'll be home in 6 weeks, of course he's thinking about home. it is fun being trunky, at least once in a while.

Sunday was a pretty intense day. we headed to church, and walked our investigator Igor there. having investigators at church is awesome, obviously, but also pretty nerve wracking. you gotta keep everybody happy, its like babysitting. and you have to speak in Russian the whole time. we get to church, and this random dude showed up, and he is in our area, so our responsibility. and I'm pretty sure he is mentally retarded. to top it all off, in the middle of sacrament meeting, a guy starts having a seizure. it was so freaky. I've never seen anyone have one before, it freaked me out. he is fine, but it obviously disrupted sacrament meeting bad. the guy just didn't eat, and has diabetes, apparently, so it wasn't completely random. but gosh it was scary.

in second hour, there were four investigators, and all of them were in their own way really unique. Igor is very needy, and a little different. But its OK. after church we had an awesome lesson with Igor, the plan of salvation, with a member present. he admitted that he thinks the book of Mormon is true, and that Joseph smith is a prophet. and so i asked him if he would be baptized. and he said "mozhno", which pretty much means yes. we put him on date! this is the first time on my mission i have someone realistically on date for baptism! I've hit a new high. this has been a very, very successful transfer. praise the lord! the date we decided was the 9th of July, so about three weeks from now. i don't see too many problems, he said he doesn't drink or smoke, and he isn't a...ladies man... and he actually asked about tithing before we talked about baptism, so, i think it could actually happen. pray for him, please.

what else, what else... i finished the book of Mormon in Russian a few days ago, that is pretty cool. its not too hard of a read, quite repetitive. I'm also pretty close to finishing it again in English. it has been cool reading it twice at the same time, I've been really enjoying the book of Mormon. I guess in an answer to your question, yes. my testimony has strengthened. its been tested, oh boy, but its been strengthened. my daily routine is: get up at 6:30, maybe do some sit ups, but usually not. study from 8-11, then go out and work, contact, and do lessons. we are home around 9-9:30. sometimes we take a break for lunch, if we are contacting all day. we have a washing machine. it is small, but works. no dryer, so its all natural. p-days, we hang out, do internet, play sports with the district, sometimes its too hot so we just play risk. Ukrainians... yeah i think they take vacations. if they can afford it, which they usually can't. i don't know my new release date. we will figure that out when it gets a bit closer.

so yeah, its pretty awesome. transfer day is this Friday, did i already mention that? I'm getting a new companion. 8th companion, 8th transfer! i like having lots of different companions. I'm loving the mission, loving the area, and am excited for the next transfer. i love the work, and i know it's God's. i know our church is the right one. i love you all! i hope you have a great week of glorious summer.

love, elder Brimley

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