it went great! kind of. here, unlike most of the civilized world/ church, missionaries are in charge of the entire baptism. and this week we have had a lot to do. i mean, a lot. i'll get to the rest of it later. suffice it to say, we unfortunately couldn't focus 100 percent of our attention on preparation for the baptism. it didn't help that when we got to the church, they had moved the piano into a different room, and said we couldn't move it. so we set everything up in that room, until our branch president came and told us that we had to do it in another room. so we had to re set up really quickly. and then it turned out that the baptismal program had a lot of mistakes (a LOT of mistakes) because, i was in charge of it completely. and i'm human. unfortunately, our branch presidency doesn't understand that, and combined with a preconceived hatred to all missionaries, it made for a long scolding for me. in the end, she was baptised, and everything worked out. but it was stress, ful! elder fish baptised her, and i gave her the holy ghost yesterday. she is great!
so lets go back to... tuesday. tuesday night i called into the zl's, and they mention that elder mcCallson is going home the next day, a week early because of his arm. remember him? yeah, he's going to need surgery. anyways, i wanted to say goodbye, so i called the ap's (one of which is a former companion, haizen). i said my goodbyes to mccallson, and then haizen said he wanted to talk to me. first thing he says: how would you feel if i told you that you were being transferred on sunday? i said that i would honestly be pissed. sorry mom, i couldn't think of a better word. you can edit that one out. he said, well...you are. the new greenies finally got their visa's (they have been serving in america for a month) and you are going to train one of them, and your companion fish will train one of them in alexeevka. needless to say, i was furious. i didn't sleep well that night out of rage. i was not happy.
the next day- oh! i forgot to mention something awesome. wednesday, we had the baptismal interview with anya. the branch presidency were pretty against the baptism, because she couldn't really come to church because of school. well, we asked them to talk to her about it, because i still felt that she could be baptised, and that she would remain active. i just knew. well wednesday she told us that she decided not to take the extra courses next semester, so after three weeks, she will be able to come to church every week! it was a miracle. after the interview, we made president talk with her, because, we wanted him to put his stamp of approval on the baptism. i of course didn't want to baptise her without his permission. they had a good talk.
so that day i was on a split with mendoza. we were eating dinner that night, and i get a call from elder haizen again. we made a mistake, he said. fish is leaving, and you are staying. i thanked my lucky stars, and made sure that it wasn't because of something i said that made them change it. he said that that day, he, his companion, and president prayed one last time about the transfer, and all felt like the change had to be made. it was a miracle! poor fish, i don't envy his position. i couldn't really pretend to be excited for him, because he saw how (sorry) pissed i was about leaving. i think he is ok with it.
another thing we had to do- apparently they want to put another couple of missionaries in the alexeevka branch (which i am against, by the way). so we had to go check out an apartment that they picked out. we met with the landlord, talked about the apartment, looked at it, talked about what else missionaries will need (there is only one bed and no washing machine). but overall, it was really nice. i told them we will take it, and let the office talk with them about paperwork. the next day, saturday (yeah, baptism day), they called me up and said that they reconsidered and decided not to give us the apartment. before i could ask why they hung up. so i called the office, and he said he would figure it out. i haven't heard about it since.
so sunday after church we headed by bus to donetsk to pick up the greenies. it was a really long ride because the stupid bus stopped in every city, and waited forever. and they were playing this stupid sitcom that was like scrubs but not funny. a normally 5 hour ride turned into 7 1/2. boo. oh well. we got in, and slept over at some elders house.
so this morning we went to the church and had a little transfer meeting, got our greenies, and had a good little meeting. we are leaving in about thirty minutes to catch a train. that should be fun. so now i'm with...elder hales, from utah! only my fourth from utah. we haven't had a chance to talk too much, but i think he will be good. this is a for sure 2 transfer companion. took a while to have one of those.
ok questions. we had a thanksgiving for the ward. in ukraine they have 'harvest day', which they just stole from us. i don't know the life expectancy, but i think it is probably around 65 or so. its rare you meet any older than that. there are older men, they are usually jerks and drunk though. not too many old man investigators. there are many more women than men. but that is pretty church wide. my companion is feeling well. it is pretty cold, it stays around zero. part of the city is decorated, yes. it should be really pretty when there is snow. i don't know about the packages, but i hope they come soon!!!!! thanks for them in advance!!!! you are the best. i will look for a nativity thing. that is a way good idea.
we are kind of in a hurry. thanks for everything! i love you! wish me luck...