zdrastvooytye everyone!!!!!! merry christmas again!!! russian christmas is on the seventh. this country is pretty awesome, because i get to celebrate every holiday twice. the 25th is real christmas, and then there is second christmas. the 1st is new years, but then there is 'old new years' on the 14th. because they changed their calendar, and the old new years used to be the 14th. so they figure they can just celebrate every holiday again 14 days later, and they can be justified in taking more time off work. i plan to apply this in my life.
i'm doing good. we had a fun week. my poor companion just keeps getting owned. he has to get his visa renewed every 45 days, in donetsk. they found this out on monday, and it was pretty urgent, so we shipped him and one other elder on a night train the next day. so he had a three day trip tuesday, wednesday, and thursday. luckily, in our district, we have a three-some, and so i got to serve with haizen for those three days. it was fun. tuesday was haizens birthday, and luckily we had found a restaraunt called "texas". it was a steakhouse. haizen is a texan, so it was just natural. the steak was good, but the ribs were the first ribs i have had in a year and a half. they were incredible. i want to go again. it was so darn tootin good. giddy up, yall!
we also had a fun christmas party on the 4th. the branch put on a little nativity with the primary kids, it was fun to watch. little ukranian kids are really funny. yesterday at church, they asked us to come and give a little spiritual thought to the primary kids, so we went in. they are so funny. we were supposed to talk about agency, so i asked them if they knew what freedom of choice was. no one said anything. i asked, do you know what freedom is? and one kid was like, "yeah! i know! freedom very good!" little kids are so funny sometimes.
thursday was a great day. me and haizen had a lesson with festos, who has been doing really well. well we had a good lesson about the gospel of christ, and at the end of the lesson we put him on date!!! that is number 2 for me and haizen. and we are 100 % for people who we put on date and eventually get baptised. just saying. well he said he needs to know more, before he abandons his catholic faith, but accepted the 4th of february as a goal to be baptised. he is such a legit guy! my one worry, the one complication is that he is having some pretty serious financial issues. the branch can't really help him out, but we are going to try and gather up enough money from individual church members to help him pay his rent this month. i sure hope everything works out. africans who live here seem to get owned a lot. that would be way hard to try to live somewhere that you didn't understand the language. and they don't have a senior companion either.
anyways, just pray for festos, he is a really cool guy. i really hope everything works out for him. i just feel like there isn't much i can do. we had an interesting zone conference on friday. actually i really like what we talked about. the biggest thing is that we got a new schedule for our days. i've been getting kind of bored of our same old schedule every day for my whole mission. it should be a really nice change. so basically, we are supposed to leave our apartment at 7 am and go out contacting for about an hour and a half. and then we come back in, exercise, eat, and do studies. then we go out and work, and then come back in and basically, it just breaks up the day more, so there aren't as many really long times of contacting. it breaks everything up a lot better, and we tried it out on saturday. i liked it. it is something different, at least.
did i mention last week about all the muslims we've been associating with? well it has continued. on saturday night we had another lesson with a muslim named roma. once again, he wasn't as much interested in listening to our message as he was in telling us about his religion. muslims are pretty assertive. after listening to him for about an hour, we tried to teach the book of mormon to him, but he admitted that he doesn't think it is possible to be true. we told him to at least read it, and he said he would, but that no matter what, it can't be true. so, we will see what happens with our good friend roma.
sunday was uneventful, except for during english gospel principles with the brothers, we discussed what color God is. that was an interesting conversation.
another cool thing from zone conference: we can work fund vitamin D! :D so we went and got some, it should help with the whole no sun thing. speaking of the weather, it has been super warm here, around 40. no snow, just lots of mud everywhere, and gray skies all the time. its kind of lame, i want snow this year! it is really, really unusual. hopefully this week...
in other news....i think that is about it. good week. good week. i love you guys! i love the mission, it is such a good time. scott, you are in for the best experience there is.
have the best week!
love, elder brimley