and to the ward: thanks for the awesome package! totally unexpected. i appreciated the notes and drawings and stuff. it made my day. you guys are awesome!
yes i mailed the tie. hopefully it reaches America. i sent it probably about 2 weeks ago, so any day now you should expect it. no, i don't need more money. the mission is working on getting us more msf, and I've just been using personal to buy groceries once i run out. I'll probably have to buy some more winter clothes, but it will be much cheaper for me to just buy them here, so don't worry about that. some boots, some warmer pants, maybe another sweater or two. as far as what you can do for people in Ukraine... i don't know. they all need new apartments. pictures of Christ is a cool idea. they all have pictures of him, but usually they are the orthodox, icon form of Christ. which is pretty creepy. i will think about it and get back to you.
we had a good week here. kept pretty busy, had quite a few investigator lessons. saw actually some cool success. monday was legit last week. we made shashliki, shiskabobs with this crazy man named rustam, who loves to hang out with missionaries. pretty out of his mind, but he is a lot of fun. out in the woods we had a delicious meal, me and him played some one on one tackle football. that was interesting. it was one of the best p-days of my mission, now that i think about it. oh rustam... i don't know how to describe him.
so we had some phone problems. it wouldn't charge, and to make a long story short, we had to buy a new one. which of course means the cheapest one in the store, about 20 bucks. but it is a lot better than the old one. i feel cool having the nicest phone in the mission now. it is white and slick. later on Tuesday we gave nastya, the girl we baptized, a blessing, because she has been feeling sick, and school started on the first of Sept. and then we got dogged by a new investigator, who was way drunk when i called him. so, a pretty average day. we ended up looking for the dudes house, because he said to come over, because we had nothing else to do. we couldn't find it, but we found this place, which felt like the sketchiest place I've ever been. in the background was this enormous factory making a bunch of noise, it was dark, there were drunks wandering around, i felt like i was in one of those movies that one guy made. whats his name...the dude who made Edward Scissorhands (Tim Burton).
Wednesday was way good. the day started out, sister bigoon fed us breakfast, because she heard that we had run out of money (because our msf was put on late, so everyone starved for a day or two). that was one of the nicest things anyone has done for me in this country. she is a really great, loving lady. so caring. then we had a good district meeting, which was cut short, because we had a lesson with an investigator, Tanya. me and this kid named mironchenko were on a split, by the way. we had not a very good lesson, the members there both said they felt like she was using us for English practice, which is what I've thought for a while too. but she is reading the book of Mormon, so we keep meeting. right after that, we had a good meeting with investigator Sasha. he is so legit. speaks English really well. we convinced him to read out of the book of Mormon every day. because he says he only does when he wants to. so then we talked about desire a lot, and where that comes from. i think it helped. he promised to try to read every day. then we had a quick member lesson, and came back to the church for a new investigator lesson. she dogged us, which gave us time to eat dinner (bread!). then we had another investigator lesson at the church, we taught him the second lesson, very detailed. he is kind of difficult. he doesn't seem all that open, i don't really know why he meets with us. when we ask him, he just says, to learn. but that was a good day, three whole investigator lessons. craziness.
Thursday was my YEAR IN COUNTRY MARK!!! that was pretty crazy. we did some service in the morning, brought some potatoes and onions from this market to a ladies house. they were way heavy. then went to McDonald's, and then went contacting for a long time. that night was a youth night, we had a kind of investigator there. he just won't meet with us because he is Jewish. but comes to lots of activities, so that is cool.
Friday was surprisingly good. i wasn't excited for it when i woke up. we had a lesson with Tanya again, and we planned on dropping her. but she surprised us, she seemed a lot more into it, seemed to understand better, and thanked us for the lesson. we now have two planned lessons for this week with her. then we had a lesson with Alexander, an inactive guy. he is an alcoholic, and he told us that after our last lesson with him, he hasn't drunk at all. he said we filled him with the spirit and his "soul rejoices" when we are there. he is now trying to quit smoking, which is a lot harder. then we had a lesson with a member, and randomly her husband came in and joined in with the lesson. we had just a good spiritual thought, and other relatives came in and took part too. it is cool, because apparently all her family is usually super against it all, but this time they were nice. good day.
Saturday we did service in the morning, then had a lesson with a cool less active who could be the best member in the church. then we had sports night, which was a big success. lots of people showed up, it was great. afterwards, this member who is going on a mission soon invited us over to his place for some food, so we went and had dinner at his place.
Sunday was interesting. the branch is falling apart, kind of. but they are trying to do better. we went over to sister bigoons, who was sick, and gave her a blessing. i had a long time to talk with her while other people got there, and we had a good discussion. she is having a hard time right now because of the problems with the branch. later that night, she called and gave me one of the best compliments I've ever gotten. she thanked me for the conversation i had, said that out of all the people that have tried to help her, for some reason i was the one that really comforted her. she said i had a "gift," that i was a good listener, and that i made her feel a lot better. that was really nice to hear. I'm glad i could help. we also got a random phone call from a member who gave us a referral. that was nice too.
well I'm out of time again. we had a really good week, it turns out. thanks everybody for all the emails. this Friday is transfer calls, we will see what happens! always pretty scary. i love you all, and miss you a bunch. sorry i don't have time to personally reply to all of you. maybe in a couple weeks i will.
love, Elder Brimley