Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cold Mountain Letter 9

This morning I woke up to snow and the wind blowing.....just like every morning this week. I lay in my bed for a while before I get out and look outside and see if I can figure out if it's snowing for reals or if my mind is playing tricks on me. But my eyes do really see snow and I just take it. I think on Wednesday it was a real blizzard. It was really really snowing pretty good but by the time we went out it wasn't snowing so hard, which was a blessing. Right now as I look out the window of the Internet Cafe it's still snowing, I think that winter has finally arrived and is here now. Which is a bummer because the weather has been quite nice the past couple of days. Oh well, my jacket and layers are keeping me warm enough. The most warming article of clothing would have to be my beanie. It keeps me warm and comfortable. Thank you very much for the wool socks. I've been wearing those all the time and my feet are toasty and warm. I wear those fleece socks when I'm home and my feet stay sometimes too warm. That you very very much for those. I'm adequately dressed so there in no need to fear.

Elder Duke and I have been contacting a lot recently. We taught a lady that we taught way back when in my first transfer. Okasana is her name. She "disappereared" and now she's back. Hopefully this time for reals she'll be like okay I'm really ready. She knows everything but it's just a lack of self commitment to herself for keeping the reading assignments and actually doing stuff. We are going to teach her tomorrow and hopefully wel'll be able to make some progress with her. We are also teaching Oleg tomorrow as well. He has a life story like nothing else I've heard. He's been working all the time and barely has anytime for us, but his work has given him a time off for now. But with that time he went down to the sea to see if he can get a job back that he had last year. So he went down there and he has a job offer but he's not sure what to do because it doesn't pay a lot and it's not the best conditions, but it's a job he says. Right now he's like 37 years old living at home with his mom and has no wife or anything. He says that he's more worried about money, job, and family than religion. Elder Duke and I are planning on teaching him about putting God first and then how blessings can come from that. Good news: He's been reading the Book of Mormon. Also good news: He's been talking with his friends about religion and his friends says that our church isn't true and how their church is better. But Oleg says that they aren't good people and they only care about themselves and could careless about other people. And he says that we are nice people in our church and that we care about eveyone. It was funny. I wish that he could see how close he really is to baptism, he's really just like a couple of steps away. Hopefully our lesson with him will help him but God first and then see how great the blessings are.

Last Monday after all of the P-day hustle and bustle we went to our Branch Presidents work to help him move some stuff home. His profession is making traditional Ukrainian outfits. He has two big sewing machines that feel like they weigh about 250 pounds. What we had to do what move his equipment from a second story down a floor and into the back of a truck and then take them out and take them to where he is living, a small block apartment. Luckily where he was living he has an elevator which made it tons better for us. But still it was crazy and weird. We had to ride in the back of the truck which was scary enough. The roads here are nothing like how they are back home and people drive here like nothing matters. So Elder Duke and I were just chilling in the back hoping that we didn't die, crash, or anything else bad happen. After we moved everything of our Branch President's, he told us that we were going to help his sister move also. We had to ride in the back of a truck somewhere to where his sister lived. We had to take an entertainment stand/shelf thing and a couch. It was a mess, oh did I mention that it was all in Russian so I wasn't sure on what exactly was supposed to happen and what was to go where. But....I'm alive and eveything has been moved. It was just crazy. Also the elevator broke halfway during the move so everything came to a stand still. We waited for some guy to come over and fix the elevator then the work resumed. Once everything was finished being moved we got some real Russian/Ukrainian crepes. They were amazing. So good. They have so many good sweets here in the country. I would eat them all but then I would get fat and chubby again. I don't want that.

I'm thankful for my coat and winter clothes that I have to keep me warm. Thank you for the sweaters that have been sent. I wear those and then I can endure the weather during contacting. I'm grateful that I'm warm. I see some people that walk around with nothing on their head and no gloves and I just wonder how they do it. I would freeze if I didn't have my beanie and scarf, and small mitten/gloves.

I'm also thankful for food. Even though we aren't blessed with eating fruits and vegetables I'm thankful that I at least have food. I'm thankful that here in Ukraine there are some things that I can make. The other day I made fudge syrup which was delicious to spread on my crepes. I'm grateful that I can have food and have money to buy and eat food.

I'm grateful for laughter. It makes everything so much better. A serious life all the time is just too much. I gotta laugh and have a good time. Like dad always yelled at me "make it fun for everyone" Laughter does just that it makes it fun. Laughing at myself and when things just don't make sense and when things are just crazy, it makes it all better. Laughing at the fact that some things are just crazy and that it's the Ukrainian way just makes it more understandable. I just have to laugh at things and then it goes better for me.

Love Elder Young

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