first of all, monday night. we had a lesson with anya, it was good. i don't know if the other elders before us ever tried to put her on date for baptism, but it was super easy. we just asked her to pick a date, and she picked december 3rd. so, we are having a baptism this week! four o'clock. she is so ready. there was one problem though. she can't come to church, because she goes to school on sundays. we talked it over with her, we talked with president campero, and he said that we are allowed to baptise her. she finishes school in may, and after that she will come to church every week. she has a super good friend in the church, so that was one big comfort, that she wasn't just going to go inactive. we thought it over, and figured that it would be ok. she is also only 17, so we got her parents permission, thankfully. so on sunday, we told our branch presidency, and they were pretty worried that we were baptizing yet another inactive girl. which is understandable- it happens all the time. luckily, we had a lesson set up for after church, so we asked the branch president to talk with her.
so she comes for the lesson, and gives us the great news- she isn't going to enroll in the next semester, so she can come to church every week (after this semester ends in three weeks)! plus, she is coming to church this sunday to receive the holy ghost. that was just a miracle. president miroshnichenko (branch president) talked with her, made sure she was ready, and then gave his approval as well. its so great!! i am so excited for her. she is such a cool girl. its cool seeing the divine hand work everything out. everybody pray so that nothing goes wrong. ved it's ukraine.
i went on a split with elder stradling on tuesday. we had a couple of funny meetings. first with this lady named zoya. she is crazy. but a fun sort of crazy. she starts out almost every sentence with the words, "and most importantly!" and then goes on to say what is most important. and usually, its not that important. "...and most importantly, you need to protect your legs from the cold." but she is a good lady. she gave us a referral! she said she was going to contact her for us, and then give us the ok to contact her.
oh man. thanksgiving was awesome. we had a feast at the branch on wednesday night, and then a missionary feast on thursday. it was so awesome. i haven't had real pumpkin pie in a long time. mashed potatoes, gravy, yams, everything. it was so incredible. i just can't get over it. i stuffed myself to the brim, naturally. oh my boy it was so good. i can't wait for next years thanksgiving. oh man!
unfortunately, elder fish got pretty sick on friday and saturday. he's doing better, but still not 100%. oh! on saturday there was a baptism in center xarkov, so we went to see it. the lady that got baptised was interesting. she is an old lady, with this HUGE braid of hair that goes to her thighs. and she requested the water to be super cold. poor elder thornburg. when she got in the water, she was like, so, three times, right? he said no, just once. what!? its always three times! then she wouldn't give him her hands, saying that she wasn't afraid, and then tried to dunk herself. he finally got her to be still, said the prayer, and did it. afterwards, she bore her testimony and said that 3 was God's favorite number, so she has now been baptised 3 times! she is a sweet lady though.
after the baptism, i had my first lesson with a brother! it went great. he is a legit, smart, really cool guy from nigeria. speaks english very... understandably. but, of course, he actually recently moved into the other elder's area. so we passed him to them. he is a cool guy. i think he can go the whole way.
i gave a talk on sunday, and i tried to use a whole bunch of idiomatic phrases that i've picked up, and the members ate it up. everybody thought it was so funny. heres my favorite: in russian, you can say, "there are few of us, but we are in sailor shirts", and it means, basically, we can do it even though our numbers are few. they loved that one. and yes, i bought a sailor shirt down in mariupol, just in case you were wondering.
that was the week. i think it was a good week. this week should be pretty busy with the baptism stuff, but that’s how i like it. i think that is about all that i've got. i'm still loving life in aleksayvka. i'm happy and working hard. that’s good. i hope all is well there, it sounds like it is. i love you guys, and always pray for you.
have a great week.
love elder brimley