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