Monday, December 27, 2010

Cold Mountain Letter 5

Boo yah! Christmas has come and gone. Lame. Christmas here was amazing, even though I was serperated from all of you, I was surrounded by my "other family" here. The elders that have been here in Ukraine for some while made it amazing. They knew how to make Christmas the best thing ever. It was a blast! We had some great breakfast and dinner. French toast with some fried cubed potatoes, and homemade pizza. Oh so delicious. Sounds like a lame feast but oh my gosh it was so good. I loved it.

Mom thanks for the package that you sent me. It had everything that I could have ever imagined. Thanks for the large Temple photo. That was the cherry on top. My heart rejoiced when I opened that brown paper bag and saw the Lord's house. How I wish I could go there, I will in two years. Thanks for the handwarmers, hopefully it never gets too cold to where I need them, but if it does get cold then I will totatlly use them. The photo album was a heart warmer. Thank you so much for that. I was so happy to show everyone else some more photos from home. Everyone was like, whoa Elder Young you were a chubby and now you're not chubby at all. It's crazy how much I've changed over the years. Other elders here have said that they have changed a lot while they have been here.Hopefully I won't change that much, and I really hope that I will keep all of my hair while I'm here. There have been some photos sent home from some others whilst I've been on my mission and Mom you joked that I had a receeding hair line. Hopefully that hair line doesn't go any further backwards and that it stays put. Mother, I'm wearing that Nephi drama club sweat shirt right now. I wear it quite oft when I can. I'm too lazy and cheap to go buy another one but that's okay. I'm warm and I really don't care what I look like. It keeps me warm and I shouldn't complain.

I'm not sure what else you all want to hear since I've told you a lot during the phone call but I guess I could just tell you the usual. We had two lessons planned for this whole week. One of them bailed on us. It was the older sister that has memory problems. We went to her house and knocked on the door. The radio was on and Elder Duke said that the last time the radio was on when he came she was asleep. She must fall asleep to the radio. So that was a bummer and then that meant that we would be doing another day of contacting. This was Wednesday and Tuesday we contacted all day long. So I wasn't too happy with the thought of contacting again because it seems like no one wants to talk to us. We walk around and around and around and try to get people to talk to. We eventually talked to ten people and handed out two Books of Mormon all in about five hours. Do the math that's like two people every hour and a book every two and a half hours. Brutal, but that is the work goes up here in Cold Mountain. Oh that was Tuesday and the results for Wednesday were one Book of Mormon placed and one contact received all in about five hours as well. It's hard. A lot of people reject listening to us and so that makes the heart and mind not feel so well and gets me down a bit. But after some time and prayer my spirits are lifted. One Wednesday during our contacting we were walking through a "forest park" and we saw some old lady just chilling there all alone. So we went up to here and started talking to her. She was pretty cool. She was really interested in what we had to say and when we gave her a Book of Mormon she said that she would read it. The down side to this great story is that she isn't from around here. She is visiting her family. Hopefully she will read and she'll get in contact with some other missionaries and take the lessons. That would be amazing. When we left she was like "Why did you come over her to me and start talking to me. I was all alone just standing here and you two came up to me. Why did you come over here?" It was pretty cool. We just said we are missionaries and that's our job. So it was pretty cool.

I went on a split with the Zone Leaders since they are supposed to go on splits with every missionary in their zone it was finally our time to go with them. I went with Elder Young. So there were two Elder Youngs together. It was crazy. He has one more transfer left in the mission and then he goes home. He's really awesome. We went to a lesson and taught about Jospeh Smith and the Restoration it was spiritual and amazing. I saw the investigator at church the other day which is totally amazing!!!!! He hasn't had a baptism his whole mission and he's really praying that sometime soon he'll have a baptism. The split was over and that was that. It was fun and I learned some new things.

Last week was crazy with the Christmas holiday but now that is over. This week should be a great work week. We are going to probably going to be doing a lot of contacting again but that will be good and it will help with my Russian. This week is also New Year's so that will be interesting. I've been told that there will be tons of drunk people out and about which is a little bit scary but if I avoid them then everything should be fine. We've been told to go home at 6:00 p.m. Hmm....what to do during that time. Studying and cooking making some good food. I've acquired some new recipes, thank you very much mom for those. You are amazing. Thank you so much. I know that I'm supposed to be in Ukraine and that this is what I need to do. It makes me feel so good to know that. Thank you all for the prayers and everything else that you all do. If I can add one more thing-take time to read the scriptures in your life. The scriptures are amazing I love how much power are in them. Just reading them can make you feel so much better. If you're having a bad day then read the scriptues and see how much better your day will go afterwards. I love the scriptures.


Elder Frank Young

Monday, December 20, 2010

Cold Mountain Letter 4

Dear family and to those that also read this letter,

My week has been really well. It wasn't the normal week but a week nonetheless. On Wednesday night and Thursday day we had a Christmas party/service project! It was a lot of fun to dress up in a suit and sweater and do to some fun things. The dinner was great and I had a great time.

Thursday was interesting because we performed service. We were going to clean the apartment building basements. Let me describe to you what it looked like. You have a big tall building and five entery ways to get in, which would mean that there would be five little basements. We had all of the Kharkiv and Sumii elders down to perform service. We all divided into different groups and went to work on the basements. We were told to clean them out. Ha! If we were to really clean them out I would still be down there cleaning. I have never seen so much stuff that is useless. For instance, half a chair, a delaptitated bookself, glass to a window, windows with glass, empty paint cans. Strange, but hey, I'm in Ukraine so I can't really talk. So yeah we tried our hardest to clean out the basements. They were pretty sketchy not gonna lie. I wish I would have taken pictures then I would be able to show you how it really looked. But anywho I think that I might have taken five years off my life from cleaning down there. That doesn't matter.....or does it? Meh... The service project, which was documented might made it to the Liahona for a section with the missionaries from UKRAINE DONESTK MISSION, so keep your eyes out or ears perked if something happens. That would be so legit.

The weather here is very tempermental. Some days it snows and then later that night it will rain or other days it will just rain or snow. I wish the weather would make up its mind so that it would be to do stuff, such as contacting or teaching lessons. With the weather it makes the sidewalks really interesting to navigate. The snow freezes which in turn, turns to ice. If the weather warms up it melts but by the night it turns to ice so it's smooth ice that is just begging people to slip. No matter what the weather combination there will always be ice. Our district made a little pact that the first person to fall would have to buy everyone else a candyvar. I was walking really well and think that I would be okay and that I would never fall this winter. I was thinking about how good I was doing and then the next thing I know I was wet. Why? might you ask. I'll tell you why. I was walking and it was raining which was making the ice already down start to melt and become slick, admist my thinking about how good I was, I slipped and fell. It was a surprise! I quickly jumped back up and "limped" back home. I thought that I would never ever fall and then the next thing I knew I was on the ground. Lame. So now I owe my district candy bars. Eh....it happens to everyone right? I hope so.

The other day Elder Duke and I made so chili/soup. We found some dry beans and vegetables and thought of making some chili because it's starting to get cold and why not make something that would keep us warm. We weren't sure on how to make the beans, come to find out you need a really long time to boil them and then they'll be ready. After a long process of cooking the beans we made the chili/soup. It contains some red peppers, tomatoes, celery, onion, beans of course, ground beef, and some random spices that we found. So now we have a big pot of chili/soup that is just chilling in our fridge. It will probably last us all this week and some of next week. It's probably the most healthiest thing that I'll ever eat here because it has veggies and what not. Crazy, with all of the protein from the beans and the overload of veggies it's making my bowels do some funny things, like fart, fart some really really stinking ones too. But that's not important. It's a good chili/soup.....hopefully I don't get sick of it too soon because it is really going to last us a really long time.

We are teaching some people....some. It's brutal. With the weather not being Chirstlike it's difficult to contact, but nonethe less we go and teach. We teach a progressing investigator who has set a baptism date. Januarary 8th. It's going to be a lot of work to get her there but she can do it and I know that we can help her get there. She' been taking the lessons for quite a while but "goes away" so she has to start over, so that's what I've heard. But we are going to work with her. She has some of the best fellowshippers ever, so it's going to be amazing. We have the Branch President coming with us for a lesson so it's going to be good. Hopefully it will all work out and we will get her to be baptized. We tried calling other people last night to set up some times to teach this week but that didn't work out too well. They all said to call them after the new year....I wonder why.

We are trying to teach this one guy, Oleg, but he is always working at some temporary job placement place and they call him like the night before or just a couple of hours to see if he can work and if he says no then he's pretty much out of a job for a really really long time and has no money, so he always says yes. Hopefully soon we'll be able to meet up with him and teach him. I've only taught him once since I've been here. Yeah a really long time ago. Hopefully something will happen. We tried calling this one contact that we received on the street but his phone was weird, it was like :We are not accepting phone calls now, and then it would send a text saying okay call me. But then it wouldn't accept the phone call. So...lame. But hopefully we'll find some more people to teach.

That was my week, a good fun time. This week is going to be awesome because it's going to be Christmas!!! I'm excited for that. I haven't opened any of the presents because if I wait then I'll be able to open more on Chirstmas! I did how ever open it and see what was in there, I took out the socks-which were amazing-and wore those. How great that feeling was. Warm feet is the best thing ever. This week should be a good week. The ZL's are going up to Sumii to conduct some baptism interviews, if I can remember 6 interviews, and there's only two elders in Sumii. They are doing work. There is usually four but one elder had to go home because of his tonsils were acting up and they are going to take them out. So they sent his companion down to Donetsk, those two elders there are doing work. I got to meet them during the Christmas party and they stayed at our house for the night too. They are really cool elders doing work.

The last email I sent home I remember including that there's rumor that we don't have enough money, but to be honest I think that we do. It's fine. Three hundred grevian is pretty good, well I think so. I haven't had to go into person money yet, but this last week was close on money. I had to buy some papers that said that I was legal to live in Ukraine and I spent two hundred from my personal and one hundred from MSF to buy a CD player which was the best thing ever. That was a good purchase. And then I had to buy those papers for one hundred and fifty grevian and then I spent about one hundred grevian on groceries so I was pretty low on cash by the end of the week, but now I get to start all over. It's do-able but it's close. It will be okay. I don't think that I'll need to buy some boots. I asked an older missionary who goes home in Feburary if he ever bought some boots, he never did and was fine. Elder Duke has some boots but they aren't waterproof and his feet are always cold so he says. So......I'm going to stay with my shoes, they seem to be doing fine and keeping me alright. If I do take out some money it will be for some ties or some warm clothing like a sweater. So yeah it's all good.

Oh the time of Christmas is amazing. I love it. I'm really excited to be here for Christmas and to be here with my "family". It feels good to be here, I'm surrounded by good Elders and doing the Lord's work, what could be better? The other day I found myself being a little down and then the next thing I found myself doing was singing to myself the primary song Army of Helaman. When I was done I was pumped and ready to go. It brought a smile to my face, a warm feeling inside and the want to go to work and work work. The Lord is with His missionaries, I know it. Have a good Christmas everyone I love you all and thank you for what you have done for me in my life. Remember what it's all about GIVING!!!!

Love Elder Young

P.S.-
If you want a story here's a story. The other day it was snowing/raining and when we were walking back to our house we saw a dog. It was freaking out, like wigging out of control. It was pyscho. It would like freak itself out and then jump back. Then all of a sudden it went stiff and laid down. It's legs were all out stiff and shaking. It was super sketchy. We think that it was rabid and that it died just then. Yeah super freaky. Anywho I'm safe, not rabid! yay!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cold Mountain Letter 3

So this week has been really good so to say. Last P-day we went bowling after we did internet stuff. That was a lot of fun. We bowled two games and both time I bowled over 110, yes without bumpers! Boo yah! That was a lot of fun. We found a McDonalds and had some lunch. We went to a church to watch the Joseph Smith full length feature film. It was great to watch a church movie in ENGLISH with other missionaries. After that we went home and did our studies and then went to bed. Seems kind of like a lame day but it was a lot of fun, I like being around other missionaries and seeing how they are doing.

Tuesday was great because we got our MONEY!!!! After all of the troubles with our card we finally got our money. Now I'm loaded. I have 300 greavian a week which about like under $50. Yeah seems like it's not enough but we've been getting by. Some of the other missionaries are complaning that we are not getting enough money and that it's hard to survive with how much we have. Some missionaries went through and figured out if we ate this and ate that and did this and went there and came back that we would be about 250 greavian off of what we have to need. But Elder Duke and I are doing pretty well. We have food in the fridge and in the cupboards. So I don't know what the other missionaries are freaking out about but hey if we get more money that would be great because then we could eat a bit more better than rice, noodles, and what ever else we can find for cheap. But eh what ever.

We had lined up two lessons that day for the night (Tuesday). We went to this one guys house, he's pretty legit. He is in the District Presidency around here, which is a big deal. We went to his house and taught him about prayer and how great it is. After that great lesson we went to the church to try and teach the guy who asks the random questions, Sergai. We went to the church and waited and waited and then waited some more. He never showed up. Which was lame. The church is about 40 minutes away from home. So it's a big deal to go there for a lesson, so we went home. Before we went to bed we got a text from him that said that he forgot and that we will connect with him later and try to teach again. Hopefully..... so that was our day.

Wednesday was supposed to be a good day. By the looks of our planner it was going to be great busy day with three lessons. We went to the first, Sister Arena the crazy lady that forgets everything, we went there. It was always interesting. I didn't like the lesson too much because it was hard for me to comprehend what was going on. I felt like crying and giving up and not doing it anymore. I knew that is what Satan wants but I said a little prayer for strength to get through the lesson and to shake it off and to step up, meaning to grow from it. It was brutal but I got through it. We finished the lesson and went to the bus stop. As we were waiting our phone rang, it was our second lesson calling to let us know that she wouldn't be able to make it because she was sick. So that was a bummer. We then went home. We were home for some time and our phone rang again and it was our third lesson also telling us that she wouldn't be able to make it. Great :( that was a heart break right there.

It was bad, so what were we supposed to do??? Contacting of course!! We were walking around and I say to passerby's "Can I talk to you about God and Jesus Christ?" They promptly continue walking by like they never saw me. I swear, missionaries have an amazing capability to turn invisible. People just keep on walking by us when we talk to them. However some people see us. Guess who though??? The crazy people and the drunk people see us and some normal people. Serious. We talked to this one guy who was drunk, he gave us some candy and we talked to him. He kept on asking Elder Duke what his first name was, I think he asked like three times. He also told us that he was Armenian a couple of times. Before we left he gave Elder Duke a nice drunk kiss on the neck. Oh how precious! We kept on going looking for other people. After some time we found another guy, who wasn't drunk. I contacted into him in Russian but then he cut into English, which was nice. He said that he was an Atheist because he went to the University and believed that it just happened and that there isn't any Divine Intervention. I couldn't really hear him because of the traffic. I really wanted to talk to him more because I too have felt that way with my studies, what to believe. But before I could talk to him some homeless bum drunk lady came up and started talking to us. We all kind of looked at each other, Elder Duke and I and the guy, and laughed. Yeah it was funny. She whispered something into his ear a little bit loud enough for Elder Duke to hear. The guy was disgusted and said to her to leave. That kind of killed the situation and then we all just left. As we were walking away she chased us down and tried talking to us. We acknowledged her but just kept on walking. We got to a street corner and then decided to turn back. Which meant that we would have to face the drunk crazy lady again. When we got close we just put our heads down and walked really really fast past her. Which worked. Contacting brings out the crazies of the world.


Thursday was a good day. We made our way to a lesson but we were a little bit too early so Elder Duke said to me, find a DOM (apartment riser) and lets go tract it. I was optomistic thinking that we would be able to find someone. We went to the top floor and worked down. Elder Duke rang the door bells. Either people would talk through the door and say that they weren't interested or they would either open door but then promptly close it. Some old guy opened the door and then saw us was completely disgusted and closed the door. Some drunk lady opened her door and said to go away. That was funny. Another guy opened up his door. He was only wearing boxer bottoms. His house smelt so freaking good but he told us to talk quiet and then he said to go away. That was a bummer, he looked like the Michael on the British version of "The Office". That made me laugh but then that was it.

We finished tracting the DOM and then went to our lesson. It went well. She was an inactive and hopefully she'll come back to church. We just talked about the love of God and next time we're going to talk about the Holy Ghost and how that God and Jesus want you to come back and renew your convenants that you made at baptism. Hopefully she'll come back to church. We went to another lesson that night. She has been an investigator that has been close to baptism but hasn't fully commited. But this time she was like "alright I want to get baptized and really do everything this time" That was awesome!! Hopefully she'll get baptized for reals and not back out. So I could attend my first baptism in my first transfer. That would be so legit. So that was that day. A good day.

Friday we had no lessons planned at all and the joke for the day was "How are we going to do what we need to get done today!!??? We have some much to do." So we did our weekly planning for an hour and then headed out. We came back and had lunch/dinner. Elder Duke found some inactives to go to and see if we could teach them. We found three and planned our route and then headed out. The first lady we went to we knocked on her door. She came to the door and talked through the door. She asked who was there, we said the missionaries, and then she walked away from the door and went back to her activities. So we looked at each other dumbfounded and then left her house for the second place. We asked some people for directions on how to get there, people here are really helpfull with directions. That's pretty cool. So next time we might look confused I might ask someone "Hey do you know how to return back to God?" and see what happens. But we got to the second house. It was scary none the less. I'll give you the pieces and see if you can make the pieces fit. German Shepard dog, angry middle aged man, snow, and cold night. Hope the pieces fit!!! Then the third house we called the family-mother and daughter are the inactives-but the father answered the phone, wasted drunk. He said that they weren't home and so we just went home. It was time to go home anyway. So yeah, that's Ukraine for you.

Saturday was really busy. We had two lessons. We had one with the crazy old lady who forgets. This time it went really well for me. I didn't feel like crying at all and I just laughed inside when everthing was happening. I was glad that my little prayer was answered and that all was well. She thinks that we go to her to get help with our Russian. So she is alwasy correcting us, which is helpful but weird. Then she also weirds out and says that she's an investigator that we found on the street and to teach her for five minutes. That is different. She also made us do a forced role play with talking about the Bible and the Book of Mormon. That didn't work so well. Oh before I forget before our lesson there were some people in the stairwell talking a little loud. She went out and said that they needed to be quiet because we are talking about holy things. It was really funny. Our second lesson was cold because we were outside. It was with Elia, we don't meet in her house just in front of it. Either way it was good. I tried to tell some principle about faith but with my limited Russian I made it through with the aide of some actions. It was really good actually. After the lesson we made our way to the Senior Missionaries home for the district dinner/meeting. It was fabulous. They served us chili which was amazing. Elder Duke and I wanted to make our own chili but we weren't sure on how to cook beans, so we called Sister Burr to see how and she told us that we have to soak them and then boil them for a really long time. So we just bailed on that idea and just ate their chili. But this week we are going to try and make our own chili. That was Saturday. A good missionary day.

Sunday is always the best day of the week. Church is just amazing. I was supposed to play the piano but we only got there like 5 minutes to get there becase it's been snowing and we left our house a bit late. So we got there and then I sat down at the piano. I had to pick out some hymns but I don't know which hymn is which. So I picked out some hymns and then the meeting started. I managed to play the first hymn alright. I played mostly just the right hand and occasionaly the left hand. It wasn't the best thing ever but it worked. I was going to play the Sacrament hymn and then the other elders walked in. One of them plays the piano really well, so before I started to play I was told to wait and that he would come up and play. It was an awkward exchange but it worked.....I ended up leading the music for the rest of the meeting. So that was music.

There was this little kid that sat next to me, little as in like 12 years old. He loves the missionaries. He was like let me see your planner and let's draw, I was like no, I need to listen and so do you! He instead just went to sleep on my shoulder. It was funny. Sunday School and Priesthood was good as well. After church we talked for a while and laughed. We got word that the First Presidency Christmas Message was going to be broadcasted to our church. But it was going to be in Russian. We had this idea to go to the Senior Couples home and watch it there. The plan went through and we watched it over there in English!!! It was amazing! I loved it! During one of the songs, one of the other elders saw his older brother singing in the chior and then they showed some members of the orchestra, guess who I saw. Sarah McQueen, from school. That was legit. What a small world. That was like the best night ever.

It started to snow again. So now there's a good amount of snow on the ground, not a lot but enough. Going to senior missionaries house and watching that devotional was the best thing ever. It got me pumped to go about doing good for others and helping others out. I feel like my physical/spiritual batteries got recharged so now I'm ready to work and go to town being a missionary. I got this thought during the devotional "This is what I need to do and this is where I need to be" I know that that it wasn't my thought but a thought from the Holy Ghost from Heavenly Father. It was amazing. Christmas is going to be amazing here! I'm so excited.

So that was my week. Just the typical Ukrainian week for missionaires. It's been fun and I'm looking forward to the rest of this week. Elder Duke and I will for certain figure out some times that work out for the Christmas calls. Have a great a merry Christmas this year. That's the smell....it's Christmas in the air!!!

Remember the true meaning of Christmas and help other people. I love you!!

Love,
Elder Frank Young



Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cold Mountain Letter 2

This past week was pretty awesome not gonna lie. Today when I looked out at the temperature gauge it read -5 degrees C. Yeah how cool...err cold is that!??!! Yeah so cool to be here. Cold I mean. Wednesday and Thursday were some really really cold days, try like -10 to -15 degress C. Yeah, that's cold and uncomfortable but nonetheless we went out and did some work.


We played some SPORTS last Monday, we played some soccer and some football. How great it was to run around and to play again. At the MTC it was always volleyball aka standing, or basketball aka jogging in spot, or running aka weaving in between people. But here it was really nice to run and play and to not have any worries. I think that there were about 30 or so missionaries there, which made it fun because we could talk to everyone and see what they are up to.


Getting there was something else. I really feel like I'm walking in a video game. Like a WWII or some Cold War video game. The tall communistic buildings are everywhere. The cold dark cement is everywhere. The trees have no life. Everyone is wearing dark colors. It's so like a video game which is cool in it's own sense. We walked around aimlessly trying to find a field, it felt like a patrol of Elders going to war against the evil of the world. Seriously though it's like a video game. We ended up at a turf field in the middle of nowhere surrounded by communist looking block apartments. We played till our hearts content. We went to MicD's aka McDonald's for lunch that was pretty good, "American" food for once.


We’re still having some problems with our credit card trying to get our MSF off so I think for the past couple of days we've been living off of like 20 US dollars. I'm here to tell you that I'm alive and that there is food. Hopefully soon we'll be able to get our credit card worked out so that we have money. But don't worry, President Fry told us that we are going to have some money so that we won't go with out.


You all must be dyeing to know who we are teaching. We are teaching a fellow, Oleg, he's been working with the senior missionaries and trying to figure out a job and trying to get his life back in order. It's way cool he's making some progress with them. So we taught him about Prophets and what they do and how important they are to us. One of the best things about teaching him is that it's in English!!! WOOT!!! He thinks that everything is really cool and interesting. We should invite him to be baptized soon, hopefully that would be amazing!!! We meet with him at the Church in Center. Oleg though could totally be baptized though.


We are teaching another investigator, Sergai, he asks some of the most random questions ever. We were teaching about, in Russian, the Plan of Salvation and then out of the blue he asks how many people live in America. He asked some really random questions. Hopefully he'll stop asking some random questions and he'll focus on how awesome the Gospel is. Maybe we will extend an invitation to him for baptism but I don't know for sure.


We are visiting some members. Elia-the young girl. We went to her on Saturday, the day was foggy and there was moisture in the air. We don't meet inside of her house because her parents don't like the church, so much which isn't cool, so we meet in front of her house and teach. It started to rain and so we went to some covered area of her house. Her house is falling apart or just not completed and well…I don't know. Maybe I'll take a picture of it and show you. It's a really humble place nonetheless. Elia has a really strong testimony of the gospel, which is so wicked awesome.


We went to another lady of the ward, Sister Erina, roll the 'r', she's an older lady who is slightly crazy, meaning that she has memory loss. On Sunday she couldn't remember if we taught her or not during the week. When we went to her house we sat in her kitchen. It was about the size of the kitchen bathroom back home. The sink would be the oven and sink, and the toilet would be the fridge. It was really small, but awesome. The three sat there and we taught to the light of a desk lamp. We were going to teach about the Plan of Salvation and part way through the lesson she was like whoa! What are you teaching me?! We explained what we would be teaching before we started, but she must have forgotten. She then said why are you teaching me this, act like I'm an investigator on the street and you only have five minutes to teach me. Tell me something really quick about commandments. It was something else. I would just look at Elder Duke and smile a laugh. That was an experience.


We taught another member couple. They are awesome. They live if some old building, not a block building but a one level long row of connected houses. Everything they had was basically in one room. We walked in and they had a mud room where some other things were kept and then walked into their bedroom/kitchen/living room/dining room/everything room. It was warm and nice. On the walls they had pictures of Christ and the Kiev Temple. They had a TV and the brother plugged in his camera to the TV and promptly showed us all of his pictures from his camera. There were some really cool photos of when they went to the Temple. I miss going to the temple. The Kiev Temple is amazingly awesome and so pretty. So after he showed us some of his photos we talked about the Atonement. We usually go there to teach an investigator but she "ran away" so we taught them. After teaching them they gave us a homemade jar of fruit jam and some fake coffee stuff. They are awesome great people. I love them. The brother walked with us back to the Trambai stop and waited with us till the trambai came. He's so cool.


So yeah those are the people we are teaching. We tried to go to some inactive peoples houses but none of them answered their doors. But Elder Duke mapped out some more inactives so we got some work to do this week.


Contacting is a lot of fun, well for me it is. I get to go up to random people and talk to them. About 90% of them say no I don't want to talk and that just makes me smile because I just talked to a random person about the gospel. It just makes me happy to talk to random people and get rejected. As odd as that sounds to you all it's a fun game for me. I have some fliers, and on the cover Jesus is with some little children and inside is the Proclamation to the Family and the Living Christ. I have a couple in my hands and when I walk by some people I hand it out and say "take this please." Most of the people don't take them but some do. It's cool, planting gospel seeds.


I think this past week we gave out a Book of Mormon and the other day walking around we saw the lady we gave to BOM to. We tried talking to her but she just blew us off like she didn't remember us. But when we gave her the BOM she was like oh sweet a gift for me?!! Hopefully we'll run into her again and we'll be able to talk to her about the book. Contacting is a game. My teachers said that finding is an attitude. You gotta have the right attitude to find the people. I know that the people are ready for the gospel they just don't know that they are.


We talked to a guy that we contacted into for a while. He was pretty legit, we gave him a brochure about the Restoration, hopefully he calls us and he'll become an investigator. If by chance someone does stop to talk to you they usually listen to what you have to say. Which is nice. But when I say can we talk to you about God or Jesus Christ they just say no and keep on walking. How sad it is for them to not talk about the Men who have blessed their lives so much. SO yeah that's contacting for you here in Ukraine. Last night it snowed it will make contacting even harder because people will be like no it's cold I don't want to talk. Anywho I think contacting is fun.


I've talked to some other elders here and they say that it gets wicked cold and there's nothing you can do about it do stay warm. I've been wearing a long sleeve shirt, a sweater, and a coat sometimes when we go out. I also wear a scarf, a beanie, and some half mitten/gloves. I stay warm for the most part. My toes however freeze. I found the other day in our apartment an older liner to a jacket, which keeps me warm. I wear it around the apartment to keep warm and sometimes I wear it outside to keep warmer. Yet it’s still cold. I need to find a small coat that is windproof and wear it underneath my big black pea coat. If I can do that then all should be good and I'll be warm. Everyone said that there's nothing that you can really do to stay warm. Come spring if I'm still alive I'll be grateful for the good weather.


So yeah that’s my week from memory. Thanks for everything you all have done. Letters still make it to Ukraine. I still have yet to find a post office so I can mail home some letters. Thank you all for everything. I can feel the love and the blessings from those that send it my way. But yeah seriously though to everyone thanks for everything. I'm going to try and upload some picutres.


I have some Kinder chocolate. Right after I bought the chocolate I saw the Kinder Eggs, but next time I'll get some Eggs. The bread here is good. I like it. It seems like the food is cheap but we only have roughly 300 Grevien a week to live off. So hopefully we'll be able to make things work.


There are some crazies here. On the trambai the other day there was a grandma reading aloud some old paper, yeah it was werid. I saw some old homeless old guy walking into the subway saying something and then he just walked through for free onto the Metro. There was another crazy guy at church the other day. I think that there are more crazy's here in Ukraine than in USA.


Enjoy the Christmas season and help someone else out in the day at least twice. Remember the spirit of CHRISTmas.

Love,

Elder Young


P.S. - Oh yeah something else that happened this week. We caught two mice in our apartment.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cold Moutain - Letter 1

It's so weird to be here in Ukraine! Just gonna throw that our for you all. We left Monday morning and then arrived Tuesday afternoon. The flights went well. All of my luggage was either a pound or two under the weight limits, which was a blessing because if I would have had to pay that would have been horrible. Yes the rumors are true. I got all of the exit row seats all the way across. Did the seats recline? No, but that doesn't really matter. The first flight was really really empty, hardly anyone was on the plane.


I called home right when I saw a payphone; I used some spare change that I acquired throughout my wonderful delightful stay at the MTC to call home. I think if I can remember right it lasted like 7 minutes. It was nice to call home and hear how everyone was doing. Sounds like all is well. Then we found our gate and sat down. I was sitting there and some guy handed me his phone and said that I should call home. So that was way super awesome of him. Find out he and his wife have a son on a mission and they were headed for a cruise in Italy. They are living the life. So the plane ride from SLC to NYC was quite nice and quiet. I wrote some letters and had the exit row seat. I was never able to send the letters home so....sorry. We arrived in NYC early because there was a tailwind of roughly 130 mph if I can remember, so we got there pretty early.


We tried to find out where we were supposed to go and navigate our way there. We walked outside which what I thought was a big no no but it ended up being the right thing to do. We checked into our next flight, went through security again and found our gate. All the others wanted to make more phone calls and get some food. So they dumped their stuff on us and went and got some food and then came back and made some phone calls. There were 4 payphones and 4 missionaries all standing around making phone calls home. I was kind of fussy during that phone call because I had NO FOOD in my system which makes the Young family members agitated. But I called home, and it was good to talk home again. Before we boarded the plane I made a seat change to the exit row. That was the best seat ever. It didn't recline but I had leg room. I sat next to an elderly woman who was going back home to Slovakia. I talked to her for a while in English and then zonked out for sleep. Elder Smith came by and said that I should come sit by him and talk awhile. I did, I have no clue how the people sat like that with NO leg room. It was the most uncomfortable thing in the world. I didn't sit there that long and went back to my seat. I think that I went to sleep again and woke up when they gave us some food. Good Austrian Airline food. Chicken with some rice, and some other food sorry I can't really remember. They also gave us some breakfast food, which was your typical European breakfast. Lunch meat and cheese. We landed after a while. The view out the window was really pretty. We then went through security again to our other gate and sat there for a while. I tried to by a drink with the money you gave me mom but that didn't work because I needed coins. Oh well.


So we got our little plane to Donetsk and flew. They gave us some food again, just a small little meal, and then I zonked out again. We arrived and it looked like the most sketchiest airport I've ever seen. I wish I would have taken a photo of it. It was like an old warehouse building transformed into an airport. We grabbed our carry ons and went inside. There were two military men sitting in a booth waiting to take our passports and stamping them. After that we went to the "baggage claim" which was two flat bed trucks with the luggage on the back. We had to go and grab our bags and exit the airport. They made us put our luggage through a small security scanner and then we were fine. I walked through and saw two other missionaries and the President and the driver. How nice it was to be finally there. They loaded us up and took us to the office. We unloaded everything and were told to grab some clothes that would last us 3 days.


After some time of chilling around and some small meetings and orientation we walked to the president’s house. They handed us some Books of Mormon and some семья's and told us to try and give them out. Holy cow!! Seriously!!??! But we managed to give some out. I was walking with the AP and he told us some interesting things about the mission. I stopped a guy and then he took over. The guy knew a little bit about the Book of Mormon and he heard about Joseph Smith. That was pretty cool. He took a BOM and went on his way. We then went inside the mission home. Probably the nicest home I'll ever be in my entire mission. We had some food and then went to bed. We were told that we could go to bed fairly early and sleep in as long as we could. We did.

The next day has some more meetings and orientations. We went to Tequilla Boom for dinner, a wanna be Mexican restaurant. We went on splits that night with some elders, which was fun. I was with the AP again. We went to a less active member family and then a member family. It was pretty cool. I didn’t' understand much or anything but it was cool to see the gospel with other people in other countries. The next day was pretty much the same, orientation and then splits again at night. The next day, Thursday if I remember was transfer day. All of these missionaries started flowing in from everywhere and started talking. Transfers took place and it was all fun. Those that had cell phones were talking to everyone who wasn't there about who was going where. It seemed like a sports draft with everyone talking about everyone else. I hoped on a bus headed for Kharkiv with some other elders and went. The ride was kind of scary, the roads weren't good at all and, eh, it was just Europe baby. I sat next to Elder Bangeter, my buddy from the MTC and chatted. We took a stop somewhere along the way and got some food. The whole bus ride was like 5 hours. LONG. All of the missionaries in Kharkiv were there. I met some, and met my Trainer--Elder Duke. We hoped in a taxi and headed for our place in Cold Mountain. We got there and then I unpacked. We talked about the plans for the week and then went to sleep. We had a lesson with Эля which I think is translated to Ellie, maybe because that it was it sounds like. So we made our way over to her place. She's 16. We are not allowed to go into her house so we talked in front of her house. It was cold. We talked for a while and then went back to our place to have some food. We then made our way to the church building to have a ward mission leader meeting. I met our zone leaders, they are really cool: Elder Young and Jensen. We then went to the senior missionaries’ house to get something for Elder Duke. They ended up feeding us a meal which was so, so, so good. The Zone Leaders forgot their house keys and it would have taken an hour and a half to go from where they were to the church and back. That would have been too long, so they made a few phone calls and were allowed to sleep at our place. We made our way and went home. We got there and we talked and talked. It was about 11 and I was too tired so I went to bed and the others stayed up for quite a while. Eventually we all went to sleep. Right when my head hit the pillow I was asleep. The next day was Sunday.

We got dressed and went. The ZL's didn't have their suits so they went as they were. It was funny. Church was awesome. Even though I didn't know what was happening or what was going on the spirit was the same. They had me go up and share my testimony with the branch. That was kind of scary, but it all went well. I had a silent prayer in my heart for comfort just so I could feel relaxed. During the Sacrament hymn I started crying because I could feel the love of the Savior for me in a new different place. I was so overwhelmed. But it felt good. During the talks I was sitting next to Elia and she wrote a note saying that she wanted to help me. I wrote back that I'm fine and that I'm not scared. True. Even though I didn't know what was going on I was fine because I knew that the Lord loves me as is looking out for me.

We went to all of the church meetings and then went to the ZL's for some things. We went back to our house and we were there for the rest of the night. The weather was like: Hey just curl up into a ball and sleep because it was cold and dreary. Elder Duke made some phone calls to try and do some stuff but no one picked up their phones. So we stayed home. We made dinner which composed of pineapple, egg sandwich, and banana bread. Yeah, lame but it filled me up. It was good. I did some studies and then went to bed.

Now it's Monday and all is well. There's like 18 elders all sending emails home. It's pretty cool. Soon we have sports time! This week should be good. We have some lessons set up and that's about it. We have like 2 investigators and that's it. So we are hurting for some investigators. We have a lot of work in front of us with a lot of contacting and finding to do.

For your questions:

1. Elder Duke, from Hurricane and has been out for a little bit under a year. He's pretty cool. He likes to snowboard.
2. My apartment is pretty nice. Spacious and great. Remember the "double beds" from Romania? With two single beds pushed together. That's what my bed is and so is Duke's. To flush the toilet we have to switch a knob and let the tank fill up and then flush and then fill up the tank again. Not too bad. We have all of the necessities to live.
3. The people........Elia has like always been a member. Her older sister in a member but she moved to Kiev so it's still a bit hard for her but she comes to church. The branch has no youth in it her age which also makes it difficult. But she's cool.
4. President Fry is pretty cool. He has a lot do to. We, the Donetsk mission get the least amount of money for all of the Russian speaking missions, 1200 greveain. It's the bare minimum from what I've heard, but it will work.
5. Elder Allred has been home for a while so I wasn't able to see him :(.
6. Church is cool. We have to travel for like 45 minutes to get there. Hop on a metro, figure out some stops and then walk there. It's a great wonderful building. Super awesome. Kind of like the one in Romania. The color is pink so it stands out. They made me read from the Liahona in Priesthood which was a bad move because I butchered it. The teacher looked like me with a look of like WHOA. But eh, whatever.

The Dear Elders still works so feel free to send those as well. I want to figure out how to send physical letters home. Maybe sometime I will. All is well and I'm still alive. I also haven't received my Christmas package yet. Hopefully it will. Christmas is on the 15 and 16 for all of us up here in Kharkiv. Hopefully the Fry's will bring it with them when they come.

Thanks for everything!


Love,

Elder Young

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ukraine Letter 1

Family I am safely in Ukraine!!!! The plane rides were pretty nice I got to sit on the exit rows for all the flights. I am in the mission office for sometime and then I get transferred on Friday if I can remember right. Thanks for everything.

Love you

Elder Young

Monday, November 22, 2010

Travel

Elder Young has left the MTC and will be arriving in Ukraine. Look for updates regarding new address and currently serving.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

MTC Letter 11

Yes this is not a joke. This is truly my last Tuesday in America. How crazy is that???!!? The time has flown by so incredibly fast that I can't really comprehend how fast it has gone by. It really does seem that it was only a few weeks ago that I was being dropped off here and now I'm leaving. Time flies when you are really having fun. Such a true little statement. I have had a blast here at the MTC. Learning Russian is amazing. My teacher says that he's confident with sending us out into the field and that we should all be okay. I'm excited to go to Ukraine finally. The MTC has been pretty good to me. I've been able to run occasionally during gym, I've made some new good friends, and I'm closer to our Heavenly Father than I could ever imagine. How awesome is it to be alive and to be a member of this great and wonderful church. I love it. Life is amazing. After the temple this morning, for the last time in a really long time, I was walking back and just in awe of how beautiful this whole world is that has been created for us. I love it when the air is clean and that I can see all the way across Utah Lake and see the mountains on the other side so majestically. Oh I love the world and love how stinking pretty it is. I'm going to miss it to be honest. Hopefully Ukraine will be amazing and that I'll still be able to find the same joy and happiness that I find here. Oh I'm so excited to go to Ukraine.

This week has been good. Elder Bednar came this week. Yes another Apostle. That makes it four (4) in a row that have come. It's so cool. Elder Bednar talked/taught about teaching more about doctrines and principles. He said some really good stuff. "What doctrine understood would change this behavior/attitude." It was really amazing. Hopefully tonight another Apostle will come that would be so the best. My teachers are still teaching in Russian. One of our teachers only speaks in Russian when he teaches. The cool thing is that I know what he is saying. It makes me so happy to know that I can understand and speak Russian how much love and joy and happiness that brings to my soul. The other day we listened to this website where they have people all over the world talk about what they believe and everything else. For the Russian people it was a bunch of old people talking. We used this is as an exercise to see if we could comprehend what they were saying. It was hard to be honest. They talked but it seemed like mumbling. Which wasn't so cool, but yet that is what I'm going to have to get used to. The Russian language is pretty cool. I find complete happiness in learning about it. It's so cool. I love it when I get to talk in it and converse and hope that the other person can comphrend what I am saying. I've started saying all of my prayers in Russian. I think Chris told me to do that to help with learning the langauge. It's been amazing. You would think that I wouldn't be able to express myself as fully as I can in English but praying in Russian is awesome. I know for myself that no matter what langauge when praying our Heavenly Father knows and understands. How awesome and cool is that. I know that when I pray in Russian Heavenly Father hears and knows everything that I am saying. I love praying in Russian. Prayer is something essential to my soul. Elder Smith and I have been teaching our teacher as a Russian man as a progressing investigator. We've been trying to teach about prayer. It's harder than it seems. But I know that if any investigator prays to Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ he/she will recieve an answer. Pray is amazing. We can pray anytime, anywhere and He will listen. How amazing is that. We can always have constant communication with Heavenly Father.

Life is good. I feel really relaxed and ready. I know that if I have trust in Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father then what is there to have fear about. As it says in Moroni 8:16 the last line. "...perfect love casteth out all fear." How wonderful is that?!??!! If we love without end then there is nothing to fear. Heavenly Father and Jesus and the Holy Ghost will be with us and guide and protect so that we don't have to worry about anything. I love that. I know that it's going to be hard in Ukraine but if I forget about myself like Kevin Buckner and many others have said go to work, then what is there to worry about. Heavenly Father will make everything work out. His way not my way, His timetable not mine.


Love Elder Young

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

MTC Letter 10

So I have been here for 2 months and I have 2 weeks left and I am going to Ukraine.

This past week has been really cool. We had another Apostle come, this time Elder Ballard. That makes it three Apostles for the past three weeks. On Sunday night Sheri Dew spoke to us. It's so awesome having high up church officials coming and talking to us. I probably won't have this opportunity once I get to Ukraine, but you never know. Hopefully. Dad before I forget I had a Powerade this week with a Coke Rewards number I wrote it down in my planner but I forgot my planner this morning, weird, but I will make sure that it gets home and that you can have some more points. So yeah having members of the Quorm of the 12 come and talk to us is absolutely amazing. Mabye tonight another Apostle will come or even the PROPHET!!! That's kind of our joke around here is that when we are waiting in line to go into the gym to sit and listen we say aloud: "oh I heard that the Prophet is coming." So maybe this week he'll come but who knows.

On Monday we officially started speaking 100% Russian. It is hard because sometimes we can't express ourselves and so we just fall back on English. But the tutor here, Brother Hansen who served with Jason Freeman, said that if we can SYL (speak your language) then when we get to the field we'll be leaps and bounds ahead of those who didn't. So Elder Smith and I are trying our very hardest to only speak Russian to each other. Brother Hansen said some few words about it. Something that he said that really stuck out to me was that I shouldn't allow myself to speak English. Deal with it being hard and push through. Eventually it will be fun. It already is fun because 2 months ago I thought that speaking Russian would be impossible but really it's NOT. Heavenly Father has blessed me and prayers have been answered. It's so amazing to be a missionary today.

The other night we had a workshop and in the workshop we read a religious time line of the LDS church in Eastern Europe. Ukraine opened up for missionary work on July 1, 1991. 10 days before I was born. How crazy is that????? Heavenly Father has been preparing me all my life for this time to go and serve in Ukraine. Just think about it for a second, that's so crazy. The church is so young and naive in Ukraine. The teacher said that soon the first generation Mormons will start being born or something like that. It's so true. We are helping build up the kingdom of God. I love it.

I've been learning a lot. We've learned all of the grammar principles that we should need and now it's just a matter of mastering the principles. It shouldn't be too hard and now that we have to speak 100% Russian it will make some principles become second nature. The other day I was saying a prayer and then the next thing I know if was praying in Russian, my mind just switched and started praying in Russian. It's so crazy cool. Elder Smith and I have made a pact that we are always going to speak Russian. And the thought came to mind that if we do, we'll be really good at Speaking Russian by the time we leave for Ukraine.

Sounds like all is well back home and what not. Thank you soo soo much for the photos that you sent mom, as well as the socks and the small journal. Thank you so much. The photos are amazing. Seeing my family and my dogs and the new car was awesome. I like how Duke was just chillin' like a boss, that's cuz he is a boss. And Chloe was being silly as always. Erik's mullet is coming in quite nice..........and the car is gorgeous. Be safe and enjoy having fun with it. On the way to the Temple this morning I looked at Timp and saw that it was getting pounded with snow and that Provo Canyon was all in clouds. I told Elder Smith how cool it would be to drive up there. He said no because you wouldn't be able to see. Elder Smith is a cool kid we see things totally different but yet we get along quite well. The other day he told me a story about his college time and we just bonded it was awesome. This morning when walking back from the Temple he saw the BYU stadium and I saw the mountains across Utah Lake. He only saw the stadium and I saw the mountains. It was funny.

Love,
Elder Young

More Pictres from the MTC


Above: District 9B
Elder Young, Smith, Bangeter, Noren - all going to Ukriane
Sister Wilson, Margolias, Elder Bahr, Morris - all going to Russia

Below: Zone



Above: Elder Young and Elder Vargin -
A native Russian from Moscow, Supper funny and really tall.

Below: Ukraine 4ever!!




Above: Silly Elders

Below: Elder Young & Elder Young
I have a funny story about him



Above: Elder Chason & Elder Young
Florida Buddies

Below: Elder Bybee going to Russia.
He was my best friend from the older district. He's way cool.



Above: Elder Scoril & Elder Young
He's going to Donetsk

Below: Me (Elder Young) and a Native Ukrainian
His name is really big and I don't remember it.




Above: Random Photo of Me (Elder Young), weird....

Below: Elder Young & Elder Mills
My friend from Utah State going to Ukraine


Hope you liked the photos. All captions were provided by Elder Young.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

MTC Letter 9

How crazy awesome cool is it to be alive?

This week has been really cool. Last Tuesday Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorm of the 12 Apostles came. You know the one that talks during General Conference, yeah that awesome cool Elder came. If you can recall way back like 3 weeks ago we had Elder Nelson come and speak. I was able to listen to two (2) members of the Quorm of the 12 talk in a week. It was awesome! Our district was the ushers for the time when Elder Scott came. It was pretty cool. I was holding up my hand with 4 fingers extended letting every one know that there were 4 (four) chairs available, then all of a sudden everyone stood up in unison. I turned my heard to see what was the cause of motion and I saw Elder Scott walking in. I think that I dropped my jaw because I was surprised that 2 (two) apostles would come back to back. It was awesome. He talked about the Holy Ghost and he all gave us a sheet about what he talked about. It was way so wicked awesome, not like wicked as in bad but as wicked as in totally awesome! It was a great talk. Through out the talk he have some apostolic blessings. He gave one to the sisters for safety and to everyone learning a new language that they would be able to learn quickly and effectively and bestowed upon them the Gift of Tongues. It was just amazing. It's a wonderful time to be a missionary. I love being a missionary.

This week has been really awesome and fun. A lot of things happened. Some members of our zone are having a tough time with things but we all come together as a zone and help one another out. It's so cool being a part of a loving, helping, awesome zone. The Zone Leaders are amazing, Elders Bangeter and Noren. They are busy being leaders but they do an amazing job. When there was the time when leadership opportunities need to be filled, Elder Smith and I thought that we might be the next ZL's but now we are so very greatful for our opportunity to not be ZL's. Yeah so life is good.

This morning I wanted to take my camera to the Temple because when we are done and then walk outside how glorious and beautiful the world is. I want to get a panaromic photo of the Temple moving North to Mount Timp and then accross Utak Lake. Every single time that I walk out I really wish that I could take a photo, but the White Handbook says no. "...I must obey..." From the last verse of the last chapter in 2nd Nephi. So I will not take a photo after our Temple session but hopefully this coming Sunday during the mixed feeling Temple walk I hope that I'll be able to snap the photos that I so desire. Question: The mixed feeling Temple walk.....Answer: Temple walks are great. They got canceled for the past two weeks because some Elders/Sisters had some family members coming to the Temple and they would converse. So they got cancelled. Thank you family for not coming. Elder Smith loves the Temple Walks and I sometimes like them. I like to go up there walk around see some other Elders and enjoy the surroundings and then go back to the classroom and read and study. The Temple walks are great but I think that I could use my time more effectively. Is that bad? I don't know. So yeah my little rant.

Yes I do play the piano if you were wondering. I play on Sundays during the hours of 4 to 5:45 ish. During that time I play musical arrangements and Church Hymns. The other Sunday I started learning a new musical arrangement. Secret Prayer is the title. During the time when I get to play the piano I LOVE IT SO MUCH OMGosh. I look forward to the time on Sundays when I'm able to "thrash" the piano keys with love and harmony. How great the joy is when my fingers gently press down on the ivory. I love playing the piano. Hopefully in Ukraine I'll be able to find some time to play the piano.

Oh yeah I do run during Gym. Thanks for asking. It's weird running in long shorts and long socks and my Sambas but hey running is running. Mom and those who did the Halloween Half Marathon, congrats. I usually run in the morning because at that time I don't have a lot of food in my tummy or none at all. So I run in the mornings for about 20 to 25 minutes. Which hopefully would be about 3 miles. The bummer about running here at the MTC is that inside it's 10 yes that's right 10 here I'll spell it out T-E-N. Ten (10) laps equals 1 yes O-N-E mile. I don't count laps, because that's childs play. I know how to count, why should I count when I run? That's just silly. So yeah I run for a while and get all sweaty and stinky but it's awesome. Running is necessary.

Family I hope that all is well for you back home. Hope that you're all still being silly like buying cars and what not, geeze. Anywho life is great. I have exactly 20 days left till my estimated departure. Thinking about that is totally awesome but yet there's still a lot to learn. Hopefully I won't let the departure become a distraction and that I can still stay focused on learning more about the Gospel and Russian. I saw Steven Metler last Wednesday that was cool. I saw Jesse Lewis, he's going to Germany. I see quite a few Springvillians around. Family I love you. I want you all to know that. Life is good. My goal for when I get to Ukraine is to love everyone like how Christ loved them, unconditionally. One of my teachers told me that loving people and becoming their friend is a trait that I have and that if I am able to develop it to where others will want to do what I ask them to do, great and marvelous things will happen. I love you Family.

Thanks for everything. Life is great. I love being a missionary, it's a lot of fun and hard work. I'm excited to get to Ukraine and hit the ground running and start working right away.
Do everything that is right always.

Love Elder Young

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

MTC Letter 8

So like totally oh my gosh I have like seriously 4 weeks left! Can you believe it??!!!?? That's so crazy!!! It feels like I've been here for like 6 weeks or something like that. Holy smokes I'm almost done!!!!

This week has been pretty amazing awesome. Exactly one week from today ago Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorm of the 12 Apostles was here. Yeah that's right you heard slash read that right. I along with a gazzillion other missionaries here at the MTC listened to Elder Nelson. It was awesome. He got up and just said what he thought we needed to hear. And then he left. He only talked for like 30 minutes and then left. Usually everyone else talks for a while and then leaves no time afterwards to talk about it, but Elder Nelson said that we as missionaries shouldn't be a bothersome to the people that we teach and quickly say what we need to say and then leave. We don't need to talk for hours and hours or minutes and minutes but to go, teach, and leave. I thought that was pretty cool. We simply have to state why we are here and tell them what we have and what they need to have. Any who it was really cool.

The new missionaries arrived on Wednesday, they've almost completed their first week. Woot woot!!! Time here seriously does fly by so wicked fast that if you're not paying attention you missed it. It seems like it was only a couple of weeks ago that I was coming here but in reality that was 6 weeks ago. The new missionaries are awesome. There's 3 going to Dniperpalvopisud90a78w3p4ruhal;s, 1 to Keiv, and 4 to Donetsk. There are some sisters and I believe that they are going to Moscow West mission. It's so cool where the work of the Lord is going on. If I can recall from Elder Nelson's talk he said that we've all been called by a prophet to our missions for a purpose, a purpose that we don't necessarily don't know now but when we come back home we'll know why we were sent there. Oh I'm so stoked to go to Ukraine and start going to town on the Ukrainian people.

My Russian is coming along, thank you for the blessings from everyone. Prayers are truly answered not on our time table but on the Lord's time table. Life is amazing. This week as with other weeks is just jam packed full of learning the Gospel and the Language. My teachers are amazing. A quick story from slash about one of them. Brother Toone served in the Moscow Mission. He's a great teacher. He told us this story about his mission, mind you that it was all in Russian, about how in the Metro's it's not always the best place if you're looking down. He said that there are stray dogs down there and sometimes dogs gotta do what a dog gotta do which is POOP. He giggled at that and so did we when he said the story. But then we went on that at a mission conference there was an older missionary aka couple missionary and he said that missionary work can be hard if we keep our heads down and not look up. But if we do look up life is amazing. Brother Toone said that was right. If you look down in the Metros all you'll see is dirty not so good things but however if you look up you will see amazing spectaular works of art. He said that the metros are like lil museums because there's works of art and beautiful architecture. He showed us some pictures of the metros and truly they were amazing. He said that we need to keep our heads up and have a good attitude about everything, find the good in life and be grateful to be alive. This morning after walking out of the Temple I looked over the valley and saw the beautiful wonderful earth that our Heavnly Father created. The valley air was so clean and fresh. I looked a bit north and west accross the lake and said the clouds so fluffy and powder-sugary and the mountains below sprinkled with a heavenly amount of precious snow. It was all accented by the still small "reflecting" pool at the temple which displayed the immaculate reflection of the clean crisp blue sky. Just beyond the pool was the changing colors of the trees. The oranges, greens, and reds, and everyother color just made the moment so sureal it was amazing. Life is truly amazing. I then looked back at the temple and saw Squaw Peak jutting out bravely as can be behind the amazing Provo Temple, the light flouring of the snow on Squaw Peak just made the moment even more better. Seriously??!!! Do we live in a better place than this world? It's so amazing and wonderful. Heavenly Father has blessed us graciously. Oh I love the world. I hope that Ukraine is as pretty as it is here. Take some time and look outside everyone and see what there is to see. Take of the city goggles and look around at what there is. Oh it's so wonderful. I could sit outside all day and be perfectly happy with what I see. Oh so pretty.

So yeah, life is good.

Love,
Elder Young

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

MTC Letter 7

This week has been pretty good. Tons and loads and mega-tons of studying has been going on. My Russian has been improving and I can comprehend and speak some what good Russian. I know that this capability is possible because of the blessing from our Heavenly Father. There is no way without His help that I would know as much Russian as I do now. He is providing the way (1 Nephi 3:7) and making it possible. Our teachers in class now speak pretty much 100% Russian. They ask to speak for about 10 minutes in English but then return to speaking Russian. It's so amazing. I actually know what's going on when they talk. I laugh at first because I am comprehending it and then I listen. Russian is so freaking amazing.

Throughout the week it's been quiet because the older district left last week so it's been just two districts chilling for a week. I will admit the quietness has been nice but I'm so excited to see the newbies come in TOMORROW!!!! Yes we get 2, yes two new districts coming in. Our zone will now be four (4) districts big. Which is cool. The members of the new districts will be going to Dnipeperalsdkfjpaostosk-I think it's spelled that way, I'm not sure. I'll check for sure on that. Some are going to Donetsk, some to Moscow, few to Kiev and some to Russia. It's amazing the work of the Lord and where it's all going on. It's will be awesome to talk to them and invite them in and show them how the MTC works. I'm excited to be the older district and help other people. The other day in class I was so excited because of the thought of new people coming in just excited me. I do love my district but there's something about something new that is awesome. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to focus and study and not worry too much about the other districts coming in. I probably will but still.......

Mother to answer your questions (I forgot that Dear Elder letter so hopefully I'll be able to remember all that you asked.) My roommates are awesome. Elders Bangeter and Noren are the new Zone Leaders which is kind of cool but now we really have to go to bed on time and not talk when the lights are out and laugh and giggle. I miss those nights but we must be 100% obedient. Elder Bangeter is absolutely hilarious, he loves life and we get along quite well. If you ever have the chance look up Bangeter on the Church website and see who comes up. If Grant Bangeter comes up then you found out his Grandpa. Julie B. Beck is his aunt. He knows every one here somehow. Elder Noren is a fantastic leader. He knows what the task at hand is that it's important to get it done. He's a good guy and fun to be around. Elder Smith, my companion, is a nice guy. He can talk your ears off with stories about anything. He knows the scriptures very well so when we teach it's helpful to back some things up. Every now and then we'll talk and we laugh about it all. We were talking the other day about girl mail and that I'm 0 for 4 with girl mail and that he's 1 for 1. He's got the hook ups so to say. I asked him for a girls address that he wasn't going to write but he declined so.......looks like I'll still be not getting any girl mail. Oh well.......sniff....tear......But yeah all my companions are amazing love 'em all. Oh mom, Elder Noren I believe sent you a letter asking for bread beacuse he had a little bit of what you gave me and he was in love with it. I told him that he could have as much as he wanted of what I had. So.....yeah..weird. I don't believe we need much. We all have a lot of food in our small room which doesn't make that much sense but we do. Anywho I love you.

Love you all,

Elder Frank Young

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

MTC Letter 6

This past week has been wonderful! I am learning so much all the time everyday. I'm thankful to be here in the M.T.C. learning the Russian language and learning more and more about the Gospel. I can't wait to go to Ukraine and teach and preach and share and bless and help and teach and laugh and share experiences and learn all with the Ukrainian people. I'm a bit nervous though because my language skills are quite "native" yet but I know that if I work hard every day that I'm here at the MTC and while I'm in Ukraine that the Russian language will come to me and that I will be able to express my feelings about the Gospel to everyone that I come in contact with. I'm so excited to learn more Russian and of the Gospel.

This morning the older district left at 4:00 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time (I have made a mistake. In my first couple of letters/emails home I used to say MST-Mountain Standard Time-but during General Conference President Eyring said Mountain Daylight Time. I appologize for this mistake.) so the older district left and we said our goodbyes this morning and last night. I'm going to miss those men, most of them are going to Donetsk but one of them is going to Russia so I won't see him again for another two years. Good news though is that he goes to school at Univeristy of Utah. We made plans to meet up after our respected missions and laugh and talk all in Russian. He was the "coolest" one out of the older district in my opinion. We talked about everything and we got along quite well. I'm excited to see him again but till then I'm going to work my socks off.

On last Wednesday I shined my brown shoes for the first time ever. It was pretty cool and fun to shine shoes. I'm going to shine my black shoes today and buff up my brown shoes again. Also on Wednesday I did some language stuff for sure and learned more about the Gospel but I can't recall exactly what I learned. Elder Smith just farted and it really stinks. He's been having trouble with his bowels and making less farts but it's to no avail. The food here or something makes us all fart. His farts are extremely rank.

So on Thursday we had our service! It's a great time to do something else than being a robot and doing classroom work all the time. Elder Smith and I cleaned mirrors. He can tell stories to where you ears will start to bleed because he has so many stories. It's hard to chime in because my mouth disappears because it isn't being used. But we get the job done and that is what matters. Thursday was quite the random weird mission day. We were informed that some memebers of our district would be leaving us and going to a new district. That was weird because 1. that usually doesn't happen and 2. we were a pretty tight night district already. Anywho we went along with the plan beacuse that is what we're supposed to do. So three members of our district left. Two Elders and a Sister. The Sister has been here for 2 weeks. She has a crazy story. She is going to Honolullu HI (inform the Chritchfields about that and let them know). She's speaking Russian by the way. WHAT??? So she just got to know the other sisters in our district and then she got thrusted out and into the new district. The people that left think that they are cool because they went to the "AP District" our teacher said that it's lame and that we're all going to learn Russian and we're all going to do the same work so we shouldn't worry about it.

On Friday I worked on memorizing the 1st and 2nd conjugations down. If you're confused ask Chris about it and he'll explain. It's were you conjugate the verb depending on who is doing the action. Similar to Spanish. Friday was Friday.....However for Saturday our normal schedule got complicated by the forming of the new district in turn we got a lot of MDT-Missionary Distracted Time I mean Missionary Directed time-so we worked and played and got stuff down. I memorized Genitive case which is the possessive case. It wasn't too hard but I have it down.

On Sunday there was reformation of leadership. Elder Smith and I had a little feeling that we might become the new Zone Leaders that was a little bit scary. So we sit in Sacrament meeting and wait in anticaption of knowing who is going to be the new Zone Leaders. Come to find out it's not us!!! So then came more waiting to find out who was going to be the new District Leader.....not us either! Which is a blessing because now we get to focus more on learning the language and not have to worry about other leadership things. Oh well, but now is my duty to help and support the leaders that I have. Elder Smith and I taught the "Sunday School" lesson that was awesome. Everyone told us that we did a good job. We taught about How to become a successfull missionary. For one of the ways to become a successfull Missionary is to develop Christlike Attributes. There are 8 Christlike Attributes in PMG. I had an object lesson to where you had to fold a peice of paper 8 times to make a paper airplane. It does work quite well. The Christlike Attributes gives us the air beneath our wings to help us get to where we need to go. After all the Sunday meetings we went on a Temple or XPAM(Russian) walk. I took some more photos. I'll get those photos developed and shipped out home when I get them. Also on Sunday I worked on memorizing Dative case.

Then for Monday (yesterday if anyone can't remember) I had class time for a really long time, but during that time I learned a lot. Some principals are starting to connect and it's all starting to make sense I love it!! Later on on Monday Elder Smith and I had a companionship inventory. I'm a little bit scared about them for some reason, mainly because of what Chris said about them and how sometimes you just ended up holding each other by their collars of their shirt. But anywho we had the inventory. It was good one. My time is up now. I love you all and thank you for everying. Mom I don't think I need the jacket yet. As for the food if you could hold off on that that would be great. The shirts were perfect thank you. Russian dictionary will be looked forward to for sure. Love you all and God Bless you all.

Elder Young