hey, everybody! i just realized that i missed groundhogs day! aaaahhh!!! darn.
here are some answers to questions: i am doing well. we have found a few people, mostly more brothers. it is not quite alexeevka, but there are a lot of foreign students here as well. so we got several of their contacts, hopefully they will meet. but we shall see. it is pretty here, though usually it is too cold to take pictures. i will try to take some more this week, and send them next time. we both really want to go see the russian border. i'm not sure where it is, but we will figure it out. and the branch runs...but it struggles.
the mission office just sent us an email regarding the cold. here is the first line:
European news sources are saying Ukraine is hardest hit by this recent arctic weather and has the highest mortality worldwide, of over 122 people to date who have died from the cold.
so our investigator galina, who was on date, unfortunately slipped on the ice and fell, and she got pretty hurt, from what it sounds like. it was pretty terrible. she is getting some sort of surgery today, maybe. either way, it is a long process of healing. so it will be at least 3 weeks before she can meet with us or come to church. it was very bad news. so she could use your prayers.
we had several meetings this week with investigators. it kind of seems that none of them are going anywhere. it is sad, because they are all really cool people with a lot of potential, but for one reason or another, are really slowly progressing. like this girl nina, she knows it is all true, totally believes everything, but her parents are competely against the church. her mom even said that she will kill herself if she gets baptized. and it has been like this for about 2 years. and then there is a new investigator, nicolai, who thinks the book of mormon is true, joseph smith is a prophet, and the church is true. but he thinks all churches are true if they are of god. and no matter how we explain it, he just can't get it. i've had a hundred investigators like him.
our apartment is pretty cold. but it is my best apartment so far. it even has a piano! and a guitar, but i don't play the guitar. but it is still legit. this week the zone leaders came, and showed us around the area a little bit. they both served here earlier. we were walking around, and there was this place that was kind of like a wind tunnel effect, and we had to walk against it for like 10 minutes. it was the coldest my face has ever been. we were all crying. it was so cold. i can't describe how cold it was. it was unhealthy.
things are well, not much new. i'm happy and taking my vitamin d daily. still not seeing much sun. they say it should warm up a little bit in another week or so. i don't know by how much, but any little bit helps. i'm pretty tired.
in other news, i am about 20 pages away from the end of the old testament. so that is really good news.
i love you guys. you are ze best! thanks for all the letters and other things.
love, elder brimley
(Below is a letter from the mission office to the parents of the missionaries)
All missionaries here are safe and warm. Their health seems to be good; President has provided nutritional supplements and we are not hearing of respiratory illnesses. It is true Ukraine is experiencing a severe cold snap and there have been many deaths related to the cold weather as you have probably seen in the news. We are very concerned here for the safety of every missionary during this “at risk” time. Besides the typical safety net precautions such as staying in companionships, always having a working cell phone on their person and coming in on time, we have stressed the following to each missionary:
1. NEVER create supplemental heat in your apartment with any gas appliance or open flame.
2. Always plan ahead so you do not miss bus schedules etc.
3. Every time you leave the apartment, even if you think it will be for a moment, dress warmly.
4. You are encouraged to discuss additional heating needs if your apartment is still cold after the supplemental electric oil filled heaters are not adequate.
5. Wear proper thermals, scarves, gloves and hear gear.
6. Gas detectors are in each apartment and should be checked regularly in addition to once a transfer checks by the mission.
This note is meant to communicate our concerns and actions and not meant to alarm you. Most of the deaths are in the missions to the north of us and are homeless persons or those who got too drunk and fell down in the snow late at night.
Thank you for your son or daughter’s service and preparation to serve this mission.
We do love and appreciate them.
Ukraine Donetsk Mission