Monday, January 3, 2011

Cold Mountain Letter 6

This week seems long and short all at the same time. Yeah think about that for a while and see if you can figure out what I mean. I mean that it seems like it was forever ago that I was typing an email home but now thinking about it, it seems really just a couple of days ago that I was sitting down at a computer writing an email home. The days seem to go by some what quick and the weeks fly by. Can you believe that I've been in country for 5 weeks? I'm going into my 6th week of the transfer and then the transfer is done. It's gone by so fast. I can remember getting off the plane in Donetsk and looking at the "airport" and thinking: "oh crap, what did I get myself into?" And now I'm here and still alive. It's just crazy to say the least. The time flies by some times. It's crazy how fast the time has gone.

This week was a pretty good week. On Tuesday Elder Duke and I and the other two elders and the Senior missionaries all met up and went to a store to buy some chocolates for some orphans for Christmas. That was a blast. The orphanage was nothing like the one I went to in Romania. It was just a floor of an apartment building it seemed like. It was worlds better than the one in Romania. Sorry I don't have any pictures from the orphanage but just imagine something a little bit nice in Ukraine and that's what you have. Handing out the chocolates was the best thing ever. I wasn't have the best of days but until we delivered the candies my world changed. I was filled with joy and excitement. All of the kids burst into joyous happiness. It was the best feeling in the world. I wish I could have bottled up that feeling and use it when I feel down because that would turn any crappy day into an amazing happy-go-lucky day.

After the great time at the orphanage we got something to eat and then went and some missionary work. We went to this one lady. I've probably talked about her before. She's a less active who is bed ridden because she is sick and can't do so much. We went over to her house and she requested a blessing. We gave her a blessing and it was amazing. The power of the priesthood is real no matter what language. Elder Duke was asked to give here a blessing, it just brought the spirit and I was filled with it. It was so great to be there. On our way out she gave us some jars of jelly/jam. Yay.....On Wednesday or Среда if you want to get technical we went contacting for most of the day. We were pretty much some what successful. We handed out two books and got some one's phone number. So we have someone to work with now, hopefully when we call him he'll be really open to the gospel and he'll want to be taught.

Speaking of people to teach we don't really have anyone. We did have someone who was on date to be baptized, but she "went away" and we haven't been able to teach her again. That totally blows because she's been taught before and this time she was like "Okay, I'm for reals this time, I want to get baptized." And then she goes away. So what are we supposed to do...? Nothing. So that sucks. Later that day on Wednesday we went caroling again to some less actives and ward members. It's been a blast going around to other peoples houses' and singing for them. I kind of like singing sometimes but sometimes not, but most of the time I do. Singing in Russian is totally different than singing in English. Huh? I wonder why?

Thursday was a normal day. We went and taught Elia, we shared some of our favorite scriptures with her and then made our way to District Meeting. It was a good District Meeting. We got fed some homemade pizzas and talked about some approaches. The senior couple have some of these ideas for contacting but in all honesty they are good ideas but they won't necessarily work here. They say to talk to families, but anytime we do we are rejected and they don't want to talk to us. So what do we do? We talk to anyone that will stop and listen to us. But when some people stop and we say that we are missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints they just walk away disgusted. Yeah............But back to District Meeting, it was Elder Duke's birthday and the other elders wanted our keys to our apartment. I secretly gave the keys to them and then they went to our place and got set up for something epic. When we finally got back to our place we went into the table and there was this note. It read that we had 15 seconds before we were going to be attacked and there were two airsoft guns waiting for us. So we grabbed those and endured an airsoft battle in our apartment with the other elders. It was so much fun. After that Elder Duke got his cake mix and we made cake. Oh my golly gosh it was so good. It tasted like America. So good. That was Thursday.

Friday was New Years Eve here in Ukraine, maybe it was too in America and everywhere else. If so please let me know, I'd really like to know if it was New Year's Eve everywhere too. So that night we had to be in by 6:00 p.m. Ukrainian time. That was lame because (1) I'm not really going to study and if I do it would only be for a little bit and then I would get bored and (2) I'm stuck in an apartment with another dude. My choices were sooooooo good. I managed and guess what I'm still alive. We stayed up till midnight and witnessed some of the most insane fireworks ever. Everyone was launching fireworks everywhere. It sounded like a war zone. It doesn't help that Ukraine already looks a little bit war torn and the reports of the fireworks just added to the insanity of being in a war zone, but yet it was pretty cool.

I'm looking forward to this coming year. It's my "BLACK YEAR" meaning that I'll be country all this year and no where else. 365 days of pure Ukrainian soil. How crazy is that? No one in my immediate family will see me for this entire year. That is just really weird to think about. I have dubbed this year my "YELLOW YEAR" instead of my "BLACK YEAR" everyone dreads their black year, I'm looking forward to this year and what it has to hold for me. I'm going to use this year to my benefit and try and love every moment. I've talked to some other elders about their black year, they said that there are some really long days and some really quick days, all in all it's a year. I've been think the same. No matter what it's going to take a year to get through it and it's going to be awesome. I'm looking forward to it. I'll let everyone know how it goes for me.

The first of 2011 was a really dead day. Everyone was inside trying to overcome their drunk spell. Anyone that was outside was either old or drunk so it was a bad missionary work day because no one was outside. We made some delicious tacos for dinner that night. Speaking of food, I've been a little chef. The other day I made some crepes from scratch, I made some breakfast burritos from scratch and I made some potato dinner. The crepes were amazing. I plan on making those again real soon. The breakfast burrito is this. I shred a potato, cut up an onion, cut up some sausage and fry some eggs all in a pan. I made some flour tortillas and called it good. It's really good. I will probably be making that more and more for breakfast or lunch or dinner. It fills you up pretty good so for the rest of the day you don't have to eat much. I have some more food ideas that I want to execute while I'm here. I think that I might turn into a chef and be able to make some more food when I return home. If I ever do turn into a chef, maybe my companions will like my food and me for cooking the food. But any who who cares about food.

Fast Sunday, aka yesterday, was a good day. I was able to decipher what was going on with most the meetings. I was able to understand most of Priesthood which was a miracle because last Sunday was a disaster for me. I was so happy on Sunday because I was able to some what comprehend what was going on. I've heard that it takes about till my 4th transfer till I'm some what correct on my deciphering on the language and then 6 months in country to be some what able to communicate with others in Russian. I have a lot of work ahead of me. This coming transfer I'm going to focus my language study on learning and getting very good at grammar. That's something that I'm not that great at but hopefully soon I'll be some what better than what I am now. It's going to be a lot of work. But yet it's possible.

I'm excited to be here in Ukraine this coming year is going to be amazing and filled with tons of work. I'm excited for what it has to bring. I'm going to take it head out and deal with it. I'm still with Elder Duke this coming transfer which will be nice. He'll be able to help me with my language and help me out when I don't fully comprehend what's going on. Hope all is well with what is going on back home. I love you all very much!!!

Enjoy the new year and have fun as much as possible. Accomplish your new year resolutions, if you can.

Elder Frank Young

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