Monday, March 28, 2011

Cold Mountain letter 18

Where to begin? My debacle again awaits for this pending email.

I didn't sing Elder Lott to sleep this week.

On Tuesday about an hour before a lesson that was planned the person called and cancelled. That was a bummer but that allowed us to finish our studies which is nice. Some mornings we start really early and I don't get my language study in, and that always hurts because I need to study Russian. So yeah our lesson cancelled and then we had district meeting. The weather was nice enough for us to walk over to the Senior Missionary's apartment. It was a good walk. Not too far I think that it took us about 20 minutes to walk over there. It's starting to get warmer, but yet the weather can do anything. Example: The other day we woke up and it was plus eight degrees Celsius. That is very warm. But by the end of the day it was snowing. So..yeah anything can happen. Some days it will be cold but the sun will be out. Weather here is just crazy. I saw the picture that you sent mom from your drive home. Looked pretty crazy. So back to Tuesday.....we had a lesson in the evening with Okcana and that went pretty well. The member's house that we meet in, her husband wasn't home and that made it so much nicer to not have him home. Sad to say but he sometimes just goes off on her and tells her that she needs to stop doing this and start doing this. I'll just say he's a lot more bold that we are with her. It was a really good lesson with her. She said that she hasn't smoked a cigarette in about two days. That's is amazing!

Wednesday was my four month mark in country....not that I'm counting or anything but yeah. That morning we got a phone call from our Zone Leaders and they passed us this referral. They said that we had a lesson planned for 10 a.m. that morning so once we got the phone called we dropped what we were doing and started planning a lesson for him. His name is Godwin and he's from Africa. He's pretty legit too. We heard that a while back he had the number one watched music video in Ukraine, music video you say? Yes because he's a hip-hop artist. That's pretty cool. So we finish planning and then head over to his house. We had his address so we looked it up on our area map and then figured out where it should be and then went. We got there and then we started to look for it. It was in the outskirts of our nieghbor hood, but yet we were able to find it. We knocked on his door, no answer. We called his phone, it was off. So what were we supposed to do. We did all that we could and figured out that he wasn't home. So...we felt bad and then went to our next appointment with the short-term memory grandma. We walked there because we had time and it's a good walk. We took some photos so I have some to send home today. Our lesson with her was good. Then we came home and made some dinner. It's called Plov here but Elder Lott said that in America it's called Pilaf. It's essentially rice, pork or chicken, pepper, and some seasonings. It was good but I think that there was a spice that didn't settle too well with my tummy and bowels so I had to stay close to the toliet for a while. After that we went to another lesson. It was with Domeva, she is another grandma who really can't go anywhere because she is sick. But she is super strong in the church. She told us that she has been reading the Book of Mormon with her husband and then they finished that and started reading the Doctrine and Covenants. So that is awesome. She is doing her own missionary work. Hopefully we'll be able to meet with him sometime soon. Elder Lott made me senior for the day also. I guess President Fry told him that I should be made senior two days out of the week and that he should just follow me. So if I think about it, I could possibly be senior companion next transfer. That is scary.

Thursday....oh wasn't the best of days for us. We had a lesson planned with our old Branch President and then we would drop by Godwin's house, because he lives fairly close to him. So we walked over and got to his house and then we knocked on the door. His wife answered and we asked if we could get Godwin's phone number. She was nice enough to give us his number, but this number was one number different than the one the Zone Leaders gave us. So we called it and someone answered but he hung up because I think that he was confused. We've been trying to call him every now and then but they get confused and hang up the phone. So after our attempt to meet with him we came back home and ate the left over plov that we made the other day. Then we got a phone call......Saying that our next lesson planned was going to cancel. Then we just sat there looking all sad because our lesson cancelled then we get another phone call saying that our next lesson after that was going to cancel. So our night was ruined. I wasn't too happy.

Friday, Elder Lott made me senior again. Then during language studies we get a phone call from the AP's. They watned to talk to me and they said that I was going to be transferred and that I would be going down on a train Thursday night. That is pretty cool that I'll be able to go on a train but yet scary because I'll be leaving Kharkiv. So then after we got the phone call we did our weekly planning session and then went to a lesson. Our lesson was with someone that the Zone Leaders passed to us as well. He's pretty cool. He met with the missionaries a while back but lost contact. So we went to him and taught him the first lesson again. He was really cool but he seemed to play the devil's advocate with his questions. His questions we a little bit iffy. Like can I argue with the revelations from God? He was just asking stupid questions. However he seems interested and we set up another time to go back to his home. That night we made some, get ready, egg salad sandwhiches. It was delicious. Oh so good. That was the first time in a really long time I had one of those sandwhiches. Oh so good. Mom I remember that you said something about boiling eggs and having the yolk trun a light green. What is the seceret to not have that happen?

Saturday was a long day. We had our lesson with the underwear sales man. He is really interesting and interested in the gospel. We taught him the first lesson. He asked about the twelve apostles and asked if they were alive and if we could see them. We told him yes. He also asked if we believed this stuff. Of course we believe this stuff. At the end of the lesson we taught him how to pray and asked him if he would pray. He said that he would and then he folded his arms and bowed his head and then began to say his prayer.....but it was inside. He didn't say it out loud. So I bowed my head too and tried to say a pray to occupy my time and make it so I wouldn't laugh. Then I finished my prayer and then.....waited from when Edward finished his prayer. It was a good lesson with him. Then we went back to our area and went to short-term grandma. We had a lesson with her that Elder Lott made me teach. That went well. Probably the best lesson with her. Then on our way out she said that she wanted to buy us some chocolate from some little store nearby her house. So we went over there and when we walked over there was this guy who was looking at us. Then with the horrible english that he knew. He asked us if we knew english. Of course we know english. He said that we should go over to his house which he pointed at which was nearby. We just stood there and acted like we didn't want to. Some how we ended up at his house. It was a fairly nice house and he sat us down and he started talking to us. It was really weird. He brought in his family and had them look at us because we are Americans and his family was like...that's nice dad, you're crazy. It was really weird. Then we finally got out of there and went home. It was pretty late by then so we made dinner and went to sleep.

Sunday was a good day. They wanted me to play the piano but I didn't really want to play. Then the usual pianst came and he saved the day. After church we had a lesson with Ela, which Elder Lott made me teach again. So I pretty much think that I could be senior next transfer. Then we went home and made some cordon-bleu but it was actually already made we just put it in the oven. That was really tasty and then we went with our old branch president to some other houses to check up on them. It was a good Sunday.

I just talked to my Zone Leader and he said that I won't be going on a train down to Donetsk but I'll be taking the normal bus down. That makes me a little bit sad but all will be well. Thank you all for all that you do. I really do love you all and love you a lot.

With love Elder Frank Young

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Cold Mountain letter 17

Sometimes I don't know how to start me emails. I don't know if I should just type away at what happened during the week or just stare at the computer and wait for something to happen. I don't know. Also I don't know if this country is sucking out my silly juices or not, but I don't think so, maybe it's the morning and waking up and working in the morning isn't so much fun. Yeah probably, walking and working all day for a really long time takes it out of you. But for something silly, I hope that you're all in the silly mood because here you go. Last night I sang Elder Lott to sleep. Yes you did just here right read right, you can't here my voice, but if you did then maybe you're missing me too much or you're a creeper. I'll let you aka the reader, decide for yourself (I feel like I'm writing a book). So yeah I sang Elder Lott a sweet song. I'll try and paint the picture for you of how it all happened, it will probably end up looking like a comic strip, so think of me with some big muscles because that is how I look. Okay let's begin.

Elder Lott is getting ready for bed and probably in bed. I however decided to take a hot bath to sweat out all of the toxins that I have absorbed the past couple of weeks, so think of this green sludge spewing out of my body and my face all red and sweaty. There is this small red CD player but think of a big huge boom-box about the size of a refrigerator laying on it's side. It's playing Mo-Tab, of course, and it's pumping out music notes that you can see, remember it's a comic, anything is possible. Then this one song comes on which happens to be my favorite. Let me slow time down for you so it seems really real. The vanilla incense dies down and stops burning the Christmas lights slow down their off rhythm sychronized flickers and the steam from the bath slowly rises up encompassing me with warmth. Okay, time speeds back up and the refigerator size boom box pumping out music beats of Mo-Tab plays this one song, what do I do, have this picture of me with a disturbed by confused look of what do I do, of course I sing along in perfect pitch and harmony. After the song is done I ask for an encore but only to come to a knowledge that my audience is asleep. I take my bow and head off stage, because I was on a stage, did I forget to tell you that our apartment has a stage? Yeah it does. When I went back into the bedroom Elder Lott was fast asleep. So I sang him to sleep.

I don't know how to transistion from that story to this story: I'll let you think of something and then you let me know next week. The winner gets a treat, so let me know what happens.

Yesterday, Sunday, maybe that's today for you since I'm like a world away. Yesterday, Sunday, maybe that's today for you since I'm like a world away, did I already say that?? Hmmm...So Sunday, yesterday we had church and then after church we had a lesson with Edward, Mr. Underwear Salesman. He's way cool. So we were teaching him and he loves the 10 commandments. We reviewed those and then transistioned into the first lesson about the Restoration. We got out our foam board and started wait no that didn't happen we didn't serve that loooooooooooooong ago, I'm not a grandparent, geeze what was I thinking. So we started teaching and he was just absorbing it all and wanting to know more and more and more and more and more and more and more. So after about two hours of talking with him, he offered to take us out for some pizza, but remember it's Sunday aka yesterday, and we say no and explain to him that we don't really do much on Sunday but relax at home and enjoy the day and not go out and buy stuff. He thought about it for a while and then said that he respected our belief, he's awesome. He also said that for these meeting aka lessons, and for them to be more benificial he should have some sort of homework, he should read some thing from the Bible or the Book of Mormon or some other Christian literature. Also he said that he wanted to come to church the next Sunday, which was yesterday. Was Sunday yesterday for you because I feel like I'm a world away from you all, let me know I'm dying to know what was yesterday. As you can tell I've asked a few I'm wondering. So yeah, that was yesterday which was Sunday.

Funny thing, after that lesson with Edward we went home and we were in a debacle, not a debate but a pickle-it's kind of like a cucumber but it's been in a jar with vinegar and some other stuff. By the way don't drink vinegar alone it tastes nasty. So we get home and get into our relax clothes other wise called as our birthday suits EWWWW no never would we ever do that. We just got some shorts and a t-shirt on and then we went into the kitchen and looked into the boom-box that was about the size of a refigerator and saw not much, then we looked into another cabinet and saw some rice. We were thinking about making some rice but with what??? We ended up a white sauce with cheese, corn and spices. Then we mixed together the rice into the white sauce mixture and called it a meal. Yes, that is what we ate the other night on Sunday which was yesterday. If you haven't moaned and groaned in disgust thank you and if you did moan and groan thank you. I will take all the thanks I can get. Then after eating we sat around reading some Liahona's. Usually on Sunday, which was yesterday by the way, we make something special. So I went through the cookbook and found something to make. I made a yellow cake. It was pretty good. It called for a cup of salt, yeah go figure? But it was way sweet. When it was done and avaialbe to eat, I cut myself a little bit and started devouring it. It tasted like a pound cake which reminded me of the one that you always make mom that is just so delicious.

So this week what happened? We achieved our goals for this week which is amazing. We gave out a lot of Books and received some good contacts as well. We taught some good lessons and of course had some fun. That's something President Schwitzer said to me. Oh did I forget to tell you about President Schwitzer coming for zone conference? Yeah he came and he talked about how we should give commitments to our investigators because it's the only way we can measure their improvemt. It was really awesome. Then after zone conference I was told by one of the AP's that I got selected to meet with President Schwizter personally. I was told about how President Schwitzer wanted to meet with 10 missinaries and he was going to select them randomly. So it must have been the red hair because his wife kept on telling me that my hair was just so pretty. So I met with him and talked and laughed with him for about 10 mintues. He said that if I'm not having fun and laughing then something is wrong. I told him that I laugh everyday all the time with my companion and then he asked about him and I siad that I love working with him. It was a cool experience for me to meet with a General Authority one on one.

What else happened this week? I received my traditional Ukrainian clothes from my old Branch President. They are really cool. The pants are like MC Hammer pants just huge and baggy, but some how really comfortable. Elder Lott and I had some fun wearing our traditional Ukrainian clothes. Wanna hear something really cool, it's another, oh wait that reminds me of this other story that happened this week. If you want to know the first story send this email to 15 people and count to ten backwards on one foot with both hand high above the head, then a fairy will come down and grant you two wishes. Okay so the first story is that Elder Lott and I made lagsana but we didn't use lagsana noodles we just used noodles but we made everthing else like lagsana. It was tasty okay, don't judge or groan. But the second food story for the week goes as follows. We were at the short-term memory loss grandma's house and she always talks about this one thing and tells us to go and buy and she always gives us the wrapper so we know what it looks like. So on Saturday, two days ago, maybe that was like five days ago for you, we go to her house and go in and then on the table is the stuff she always is talking about with us. I have heard of some other elders going there and eating it and saying that it's nasty. I've seen it in the store and thought about buying it but I gave it a squeeze and it was mushy so that deterred me from buying it. So here on the table is it, I look at Elder Lott and then at it and then back at him. I'm scared. She then pulls out another thing and sets it in front of me and hands me a spoon. I sit and look at mine, look at Elder Lott's and then at him and give him a look of oh my crap, are you serious, we are going to have to eat this? Then the grandma commands us to eat it and then walks away. She tells us to get her when we are done eating it and then we will start our lesson. So what seems like five minutes of starting at 'it' passes by and then Elder Lott takes this big huge spoon full and puts it in his mouth and starts devouring it. фыждоафжидоа Sorry the computer just turned to Russian, So back to the story. He takes his big spoon full and looks at me and smiles and then pushes 'it' through his teeth just making this disgusting face. I crack up laughing of course and then start eating. I only eat about 3/4 or .75 of my portion while Elder Lott eats about 4/4 or 1.0 of his portion. It was different but it was good-that's how I'll describe it. It kind of had a taste of a cream cheese filling. So not too bad but it was dense and hard to get down after you had a breakfast about an hour before. So yeah that is my food stories for you.

Oh yeah something else that happened this week on Saturday about two days ago, maybe it was five days ago for you all back home. During Russian study hour we get this phone call from the AP's and they are only speaking in Russian. Then Elder Lott hands me the phone and now I find myself speaking Russian on the phone. We talk about zone conference and what we have planned for the day and then that was that. I was scared and confused and then Elder Lott takes the phone back and calls his former companion and tells him what just happened. Then it all clicks in my head of what is going to happen or what could happen. I guess they called me to see how my Russian is and see if I am able to comprehend and communicate, then they will say oh okay he's ready to go senior companion now. Geeze that really scared me and I didn't like it too much but what ever. I've told President Fry, because he's asked about my Russian before and he has asked if I'm ready to go senior or not. I told him that I will do what he wants me to do. I've also requested that I stay with Elder Lott for one more transfer but that probably wont happen. So transfer calls are this Friday and we'll see what happens. If I do move I would really like to stay up in Kharkiv because it's amazing.

Well....that's about my week in an email. I hope you enjoyed the stories as much as I did. You are all amazing!

Love Elder Frank Young

Monday, March 14, 2011

Cold Mountain letter 16

Where oh where to begin. I'm getting confused because the weather is starting to get warmer and all I know is the freezing cold, so this warm weather is making me freak out. My body is starting to sweat and I don't know what to do. So if you have any suggestions about what I should do to not sweat that would be cool. Last Monday which seemed like a few days ago but was actually a week ago, we played sports. Yes you heard right. It was warm enough to run around and have fun and play some sports. We played on that field that I described way back in the day, it was nice to run around but the field wasn't quite cleared up from all of the snow and ice, that made playing soccer really tricky. Anywho it was a lot of fun. I am way out of shape, walking doesn't cut it. I need to start running again. Oh how I look forward to going running. It's going to be so nice for that first run, but yet it's going to kill me, I know it will. I have been working out as in doing 20 push-ups in one go, yeah my arms are about the size of tree trunks easily.

After sports we went shopping to get some groceries because we don't want to die over here. Like dieing is an option anyway. We have plenty of food and we are able to eat very well. This week we had some good food. We had a pasta meal, where we just combine everything into a pot and call it: Fun-in-a-bucket! It's all good. Then on Friday we made some chili which was amazing. We didn't have to make that much food this week which was nice because we are trying to save some money because we get enough money for four weeks but this month (March) has five weeks. Don't worry I'm eating great. This morning I had an orange and some multi-fruit juice. I've been eating some bananas as well. And trust me the chili had enough veggies to feed a rabbit for a really long time. So yes, back to Monday, we bought some groceries and then went home and put all of the special foods where they need to go. It was a good Monday.

Do you know what day is next??? If you guessed Wednesday you're almost right! So on Wednesday we had our typical lesson with the crazy short-term memory loss grandma. That was always great and fun. It's hard to talk to and with her because anytime I want to say anything she interupts me and I can't ever say a complete sentence when I'm around her. So that's a little frusturating but she has good intentions, she says that we need to speak quick and short saying simple phrases so people on the street can comprehend what we say. So after the lesson-batte with her we did some contacting and made our way home to make some dinner, which was fun-in-a-bucket, and then we raced off to another lesson. We were in our lesson with the grandma earlier and we got a phone call from this other grandma saying that she wanted us to come over and give her the Sacrament. So that was nice, it gave us some thing more to do that day. So after dinner we raced over and gave her that Sacrament and shared a small spiritiual thought with her. She told us that she has been reading the Book of Mormon with her husband, who isn't a member, and that he likes it and they have started reading the Doctrine and Covenants now. So hopefully we'll be able to meet with him and teach him too. That would be awesome. Then after that lesson it was quitting time and we went home and planned for the next day and the laughed it up. I can't remember that last time I laughed so much. Every night we just go to our living room and sit on the chairs and talk it up about anything and just laugh so much.

So back to Tuesday because that's the day after Monday. Tuesday was a bit hard because everyone dogged us. Meaning that they didn't show up and avoided us. We have been planning to meet with this one lady and he son for the past couple of weeks and she keeps on dogging us. We set up to meet with her at noon and she never showed up. We tried calling her but she sent us to her inbox when we called, aka she phone call screened us and that meant that she didn't want to me with us. So we were a little bit sad by that and then we made the journey back home. That night we had a lesson planned with Okcana with some members. We arrived and when we came inside Okcana wasn't there. That was really sad. Sometimes she'll just disappear and not tell anyone and then we are out of an investigator lesson, but it's also a blessing if she isn't there. Simply put it's a win-win situation. So we taught the members instead. We talked about the scriptures and why we have them. All we have to do is say "We want to talk about the scriptures" and then they just go off for about thirty (30) minutes about the scriputes and we don't have to talk. So we let them talk about the scriptures and then went home.

The next "T" day in the week would be, yes you guessed it not Friday but yes Tuesday. Thursday was a great day. We had a lesson planned with a less active lady that we went to last week but during studies in the morning she called and cancelled on us. That was a bummer. We finished studies and then went contacting out on the street. We did really well and then after what seemed like fifty-eleventy-gazillion hours of contacting we went to District meeting, actually it wasn't that long that's an exageration. It was only eleventy hours of contacting. We went to District Meeting at the senior couples house and had some great taco soup and then had a lesson. Elder Lott and I had the lesson for the meeting. We taught about "How to begin teaching" and I talked about planning. That's some thing very important before you teach. You gotta know what you are going to teach about and how to effectively teach it. It was pretty fun and we had some good laughs about what was taught. During the meeting our lesson that was planned right after district meeting called and canceled on us. That was not cool at all to hear. I was really sad about that. So Elder Lott and I decided that we needed to repair our area map because it was not it good contidition. Before it was all torn up because it had all of these needles poking it. So we made a whole new map. It looks good now and it's easier to find addresses and figuring out who lives where and what street is what.

Friday was an intersting day. We went and met with our former branch president. I have him some money because he is making me a traditional Ukrainian costume. Yeah it's pretty legit. I don't have it now, because it's all custom made. But when I do have the costume I'll be sure to make you some photos and send them across the internet. Elder Lott got himself one too and one for his mom I think. I can do the same if the whole family wants one. You let me know and I'll pass on the information to him that my family wants one. They are pretty cool. So after our lesson with him he said that he wanted some new ties and said that he wanted to come us with to the market and get some ties. We said sure come along. For missionaries we can get ties for really cheap and regular people have to get them for really expensive. For missionaries we can get about five ties for 100 ГРН and people here can get about two ties for that much. So we would go into a store with him and he would choose out a tie and then walk out and make us pay and then he would give us money. It was pretty fun being with him and interacting with him. He's a big funny guy.

Then that night we had a lesson planned with Okcana again, and if you guessed that she was there you guessed wrong. She wasn't there again. So we talked, well we introduced that we wanted to talk about charity and they went off about how good it is to be charitable but yet it can be hard to be charitable. So after they talked for about fourty minutes we made our way home.

We met up with the Zone Leaders and started a split. I was going to stay in Cold Mountain and be the senior companion for the time. I was a little bit scared about that because I would be the one that would have to figure out what we would be doing for the day and plan everything. That was scary, I never had to do that before. And in my emails with President Fry he asked me if I thought that I was ready to go senior next transfer. Ahhhh!!! (this is Saturday now) So the split went well. We went to short-term memory loss grandma and talked with her about prophets. She interrupeted me like always but we managed to get out alive. Then since our other lesson that day cancelled on us we had some contacting to do. And this time we really did contact for about fifty-eleventy gazillion hours. We contacted all day. It was warm which made it pretty nice. We managed to give out three books and recieved two contacts. That night we came home for dinner and then I made plans to go and see if we could meet with some less active members. I found three and mapped a route and then we were off. We weren't able to get into any of the houses and then called it quits. It was a little bit sad but what else is there to do. It was late at night and we went and bought some ice cream and went home and talked it up. We were tired from contacting all day long and we both slept very well that night.

Yesterday (Sunday) we went to church. I hope that you all went to church too. Church was really well. There were a lot of investigators that showed up for church. We had a lesson planned for right after church with the underwear sales man but he dogged us as well. We went and waited by this statue, not just any statue but a Lenin statue. So we waited by Uncle Lenin for a while and then called him after fifteen minutes of waiting and then he told us that he wasn't going to be able to make it and he got busy. That was a little bit heart breaking. So we went home and made some flour tortillas and finished off eating the chili. We made some chili burritos. Then we laughed it up and then had some left over ice cream.

Elder Lott showed me this one game that we played with our scriptues. He would flip through his Book of Mormon and then stop and then ask me what page and then what side of the page and then a scripture. He would read the scripture and then I had three guesses to guess the book and then if I guessed the right book and I then had to guess the chapter. It was pretty fun. It was called Scripture Baseball. He then asked me if I had any concerns with life and then he would randomly flip open to scripture read it and try and apply it to my concern. It was really funny. On my split with the Zone Leader we were talking about Elder Lott and he said that Elder Lott is always happy and never down. He's so happy all the time and always laughing about something. He's awesome. Hopefully when I'm older in the misison I can be like that too and help other missionaries be happy all the time.

Today we are going to play sports and have a glorious time. The weather is getting warmer which is making it closer to summer! Summertime is going to be amazing, I've only heard good things about summer. It's just more fun to be outside and the work picks up. I'm looking forward to that. So that's about it. Can you believe that it's already been six months, all I have to serve left is as long as you both served. 18 months. Yeah that's kind of freaky to think about.

Love you all so much. Thanks for everything.

Elder Frank Young

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cold Mountain Letter 15

Can you believe that it's already March??????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!???????????!!!?!?!? I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that it's March. This past week was really fast, prettymuch this whole transfer has been really fast. That's good and that's bad. Good because we are working really hard and bad because that means that I might not be able to serve with Elder Lott any more. He's awesome and I love serving with him. Last night we made some peanut butter cookies and just talked about everything. It's awesome. He's just crazy and silly. I've been laughing so much it hurts.

Monday was a typical P-day. We wrote emails home and then went to the branch building to play some ping pong and to relax with other missionaries. Shopping for this week was really cheap. We planned on making spagetti, Борш, and some stir-fry chicken. I'll explain more about the foods later in their respective days. So shopping was pretty cheap. We are planning on eating relatively cheap so by the end of the month we can eat like kings. At the store there are these full rabbits for sale. We have talked about buying one and making a meal. So if you can find me a reciepe for rabbit that would be wonderful. The rabbits have the heads still on and the feet with some fur. Oh they just look so tasty. I remember that one time when we had rabbit in France and it tasted so good, so hopefully if we go through with making a rabbit. I'll definetly take some pictures and send them to you. After shopping we relaxed and talked and then I took a hot bath. I found some christmas lights in our apartment and I rigged them up in the bathroom so when I take a bath I just turn on the christmas lights and relax. I love hot baths. I get all hot and sweaty and then afterwards I feel amazing.

Tuesday was a busy day. We had three (3) lessons, that usually doesn't happen for us. We went to an inactive lady who is handicapped. She can walk, but not very well. We talked with her and to see how she is doing. We told her about the combining of the branches and what is happening. She is awesome, if only she could get to church. She said that she writes poetry and she shared some of her poetry. It was really good and she has said that she has won some awards. She also said that she plays the piano and she asked for some more music and if we had any. I said that I had a book and that we could make some copies for her.

After our lesson with her, we went to the branch building and taugh Oleg. We talked about putting God first and the blessings that come. He says that right now his priorities in life are to 1, get a job 2, get married and 3, choose a religion. It's kind of heart breaking because he doesn't really care about what we have to say. He's also really picky about things. He says that he's been trying to find a job and that if he finds one it's not just right for him and he complains to management and then they tell him to get lost. So it's sad. He said that he has a problem with our branch presidents and how they are business men outside of church and then church men on Sunday. He also doesn't like that the church doesn't provide for them but he also said that they should be able to provide for themselves. Confused?? yeah. He doesn't make much sense. If he were to really read the Book of Mormon he would be able to find all the answers he has. I was reading the other day and found many references that talked about how kings should labor with their own hands and not be a burden to their people.

After that lesson we went home and made some dinner. We made a stir-fry. Elder Lott wanted to make it more Oriental and so he got some honey and poured that in. He said that he was making it like honey glazed kind of worked. It was all good and then we went to another lesson with Okcana. When we got there she wasn't there and the members that we teach with said that she wasn't home. So we just talked and shared some goals with them. It was nice to have a little member lesson with them and then go back home. We were busy that day, very busy.

Wednesday was another busy day. We had to go to the branch building and get some registration papers and then we went to district meeting. At district meeting we had some amazing food. The Burr's made us tacos. Oh so amazing. We got there early and instead of just being a bum and just waiting I helped them out with some last minute preperations. Don't worry mom, I'm not a bum, never will be or want to be. I came in and helped. You trained me right. One thing that I like about cooking is that when you start you just have an idea and a lot of ingredients and then by the end of the time of cooking you have a wonderful magnificent meal waiting to be devoured. For district meeting we watched a talk by Elder Holland that he gave in the MTC about letting go of your nets and if we really love Jesus Christ and doing his work. He gave the account of the apostles after the death of Christ. They didn't know what to do and so they went fishing. He recalled that event and said that we need to give up our nets and always go to work. It was a good talk. Sometimes when Elder Holland talks he gets very passionate and starts yelling. After district meeting we went to a hospital and saw a member. It was the members mother that we meet with when we teach Okcana. She is amazing. When we got there she was like can I have another Book of Mormon I've already given away two to my roommates. We gladly gave her another book and then she went over to one of her roommates and she started teaching her about the Book of Mormon and our church. She is devoted to the church and working. Wednesday was a good day.

Thursday another day with three (3) planned lessons. We started early with a lesson with our old branch president. He's awesome and super funny. We went over there and talked to him about eternal families and getting married. He said that he is deathly afraid of getting married and talking to girls. He had a job and he's awesome. What is wrong with that. He was asking about our families and if our parents argue and if they get along. I recalled from memory and said that my parents love each other and they don't argue. After our lesson with him we looked at our map and figured that we could walk to our next lesson. So we figured out our route and walked there. When we got to our second lesson for the day we knocked on the door and she wasn't there, it was the older grandma with memory problems, so we were a little bit saddened and then we contacting instead. We did pretty good. Gave out a book and talked to some people. It's hard contacting in the cold because people don't really stop and talk and they aren't to happy. We made Борш for dinner. It's a Russian soup with carrots, beets, pork, potatoes, onion, garlic, and spices. It was good and tasted good. We made a lot of it so it would last us for about three days. Remember we planned on eating cheap. We bought some big round loafs of bread and made bread bowls, mmmmmmm..that was good. Then we went to the church to teach Эля that was a good lesson. Then we went back home. Another good fun day.

Friday...where to begin. The Борш did a number on us. Our bowels hated us all day. The Борш did not settle well at all. We had to stay within a softball toss of a toliet all day, it wasn't fun. We had a lesson planned that day and we were scared that we might have to cancel it because we could do anything beside moan and groan and sit on the potty. We did go to the lesson though and we barely made it through. On walking to the house Elder Lott would stop and stand there for a second and then fart. He was scared that some were a little bit more than a fart but all was okay and we made it through with the lesson. When we got home Elder Lott asked me if I wanted any more Борш, I told him no and then he took the pot and went to the bathroom and dumped the Борш into the toliet. It was a great sound hearing that Борш go away but it was a little too good because it reminded me of what happened to me earlier that day.

Saturday was another busy day with another three (3) lessons. We met with the old grandma with memory loss and had a good lesson with her. We talked about prayer. Then we made our way to Center Kharkiv to meet with Edward. I hopefully told you about him. He's an adult, he told us that quite a bit when we taught him, and he is the underwear salesman. We met up with him and he said this: "Frankly speaking I am hungry and I would like to eat, what do you think?" We told him that we were hungry also. He told us to hop into his car and that he would take us some where to eat. He started driving and told us that the road that we were on led to Russia. For a second I thought that he was taking us to Russia. But he didn't, which was a good thing. Because that would be pretty sketchy. So we went into this restaurant and we started talking. We talked about the 10 commandments and he said that he liked what we were talking about and that he needed to think it over. Oh yeah he ordered for us some pizza. He's way legit. We told him once or twice the commandments and then he had them memorized. He's way cool. He was talking about America and that it's an amazing place because our parents and their parents worked hard and that is why America is amazing. He was saying that the problem here is that no one knows how to work. He's totally right with what he was saying. After our lesson he drove us back and when he dropped us off we gave him a Book of Mormon and he said that he would read it and we marked where the 10 commandments were. He said that since we gave him a Book he would take us out to eat next week. He said that since he is an adult and has a job he would pay because we don't have money and we are just kids and that he's and adult. Then that night we had another lesson with Oleg, we talked about prayer. The last time we met we asked him if he could pray. He said that he couldn't because he didn't have his prayer book and that he couldn't use his own words. So this time we told him about prayer and that we need to use our own words. He said that it would be impossible for him to pray in his own words. He said that praying in his own words would be like going up to a pretty girl on the street and telling her that he loves her and wants to take her to a movie. Yeah, pretty lame. So we talked more about prayer. I told him that he if were to pray using his own words then God would help him and that he could ask for what he needs. Hopefully he'll do something. Then we went home and talked and started our fast. A good day.

Sunday, in the morning Oleg called and said that he doesn't want to switch denominations. We were just like, what ever you need to do something. Then we went to church. The weather was good enough to where we didn't have to wear coats. However during church I looked out the windows and saw snow falling. That was a bummer. But it wasn't tooo too cold after church and then we went home and made some spagetti. It turned out to be pretty good but I used paste and I didn't add enough water so it wasn't so saucy. It turned out to be good and tasty. I liked it hopefully I'll make it again and make it more saucy. Then for P-day eve treat we made some peanut-butter cookies. Oh they are so amazing. We have been baking a bit and we are making some delicious foods. I took a hot bath and just sweated out all my bad toxins that I have acquired. It was a good relaxing Sunday night. Now we are here and writing emails.

Thanks for everything that you have done for me. Life here is going great. I have been thinking of some things that if you ever send aanother package if you could send some bags of brown sugar, that doesn't exist here. Thanks for everything family. I'm going to attach some photos in another email. I really love you all.

I love you!!!