Yeah....that's Russian. Welcome to my life. Do you know what that means? Probably not. I wish I could tell you! Oh it's your lucky day...I'll tell you what that means. Christ resurrected, In the true resurrection! That is what I think it means to the best of my knowledge. Yesterday, Easter Sunday, as we were waiting for our bus members were telling us this. Supposedly they say the first part and then you're supposed to say the second part back. Yeah, I didn't get that memo. So when we were waiting at the bus I was like, yep he sure did воскрес. It was a little awkward for a bit. I thought that it was a little weird and didn't like it too much. I thought about as throwing Christ's name around like it's nothing. But what ever, when in Ukraine you do as the Ukrainians do.
Easter here is really really different that what happens back home, imagine that. Here they all go to their Храм's and have a special cake blessed. They think of Easter and some fertility holiday. The cake is nicknamed by the missionaries as "penis cakes" yeah.....a little awkward but that is what they are. People take those and some painted eggs to the temple, that's what a xpam is, and then some one of their church leadership comes around and blesses them so that they will all be okay. They do their normal church stuff which would be standing and crossing themselves and praying to icons. Sounds a little bit weird to me but that is what happens here. After church we came home as per usual and then relaxed. No one was out after 2 p.m. That made missionary work a bit hard but we were tired and decided to take a Sunday nap. President Fry has told us to take it easy and to rest up as much as we can. We willingly followed his counsel and did what he wanted us to do. The nap was wonderful, took a while to go to sleep but then finally was able to sleep. However that night was brutual, going to sleep took forever.
This week Elder Pulsipher and I are making this a white handbook week. That is where we submit ourselves to the will of the white handbook. The mission has a goal of becoming a white handbook mission but, for some odd reason we just can't do it. It seems really simple, all the leaders need to do is throw us the white handbook and then let us follow it and let us do the work. It will be interesting to see how this week will go too. It's going to be killer doing everything to a 'T' and seeing if keeping the rules obnoxiously does pay off. I'm not sure how exactly to describe it but I don't want to make it sound like we don't keep the rules. OF COURSE I KEEP THE RULES, we just have been given a "higher law" and supposedly that's the only way to go. What makes this whole big mess really confusing is the higher law. We want to be a white handbook mission but we have the higher law, so which one do we follow? Elder Pulsipher and I have talked about it a lot and we find it all just a little wack. All that should be done would be to turn us over to the white handbook and let us go.
Oh well...this past week has been pretty chill. We had "specialized training" on Wednesday. That is where we got told that we want to be a white handbook mission and that we should follow everything in the handbook. They also showed is that in the white handbook it says that we shouldn't play sports. So basically we got told that sportz are no more. That is a heart break because that is where I got to know a lot of other missionaries. Also because I guess President Fry promised some Elders that sportz would never be cancelled. Oh well we we will do what we are asked to do. After "specialized training" we had interviews...dun dun dun!!! Nothing to be scared about. I'm coming home in two weeks though!! JUST KIDDING. President Fry and I talked more about the white handbook and how in a two transfers there's going to be a lot of new missionaries coming in. This coming transfer there will be five new Elders and then after that transfer there will be six coming in. He said that he wants some good trainers. He said that the new missionaries come in with a fire that he doesn't want quenched from older missionaries. I'm a bit scared of what could happen next transfer. I asked President Fry if I could stay another transfer with Elder Pulsipher because we are having a good time and doing the work. He said he would love that BUT, we'll have to see. Right now we are a little down about that because we are just having the times of our lives. I'm very happy and Elder Pulsipher says that he is happy too. We also picked up some more Книга Мормона's from the office so now we can go and do the work. Think about it, how important the Book of Mormon really is.
On Thursday we had district meeting that was a lot of fun. We opened with an hymn and I got to choose the song. We've decided that listening to a hymn would be better than singing a hymn. So what hymn did I pick? You'll probably never guess because it's not in the standard hymn book. It was from the Come thou fount CD, track 14. Rockin' my soul in the bosom of Abraham. That is about how the song goes too. Oh it was awesome. I was totally into the song and everyone just looked at me like I was a little different, but I'm used to that now. Everyone thought that it was joke but it was all for reals. That is some thing that I have learnt whilst being afar from home, making it always fun. If life isn't fun then make it fun so it is. Elder Pulsipher and I have been laughing a lot and just enjoy doing the work. When you're happy it's enjoyable. It's fun to laugh and it's fun when everybody laughs.
We had some lessons cancel on us and that always stinks. We traveled about thirty minutes out to the city where the person lives and when we got to where she lives, she wasn't home and she was sick so it really stunk, literally, no just kidding. You would have thought that she would have called and cancelled but nope that doesn't happen. So we found some other people that we could meet with and talked and taught them. We got some really sad news this week. The man that we found a couple weeks ago by miracle said that he doesn't and will never ever be baptized into our church. That was a heart break. The man, Edward, doesn't really do much and he can't see how the Lord has preserved him so he can meet with us. It was killer hearing that. We asked him about his church and of course he said that he was Christian, and that he can't betray his church. We pried deeper into trying to find out what that really means. It's just a mask that he just says that makes it look like he has a religion. It was so heart breaking that he wouldn't do anything. We asked him if he were to know which church was true if he would join them. His reply, I don't know. He doesn't have a desire....to do anything. It's just so sad to see that people don't care. I hate the excuse here when we go contacting, I have my own religion. We always ask what that means and then they can't really tell us or they say that they are Russian Orthodox. It's hard work being out here. I'm not looking for sympathy, it's just hard. This morning I read from PMG about not being discouraged when you get rejected. How is it possible not to get discouraged when no one will talk to you all day, day after day? I remember the words from Chris Kirkham about how when he was out here half of the mission was on antidepressants. I've told that with Elder Pulsipher because it's been something that we have talked about, and he says that most of the missionaries are depressed. When we talk with other Elders on the phone they sound really dead, it's a lot of hard work being out here. This morning over breakfast I was telling Elder Pulsipher that this is by far the most hardest thing I have done in my life. The days keep on going and life keeps moving. Mom thanks for your words of advice of keep on going even though it seems tough. I will.
We also got news that Russian is pretty much one of the hardest languages to learn. The patriarch was here and he served in Finland and he knows both languages fluently, Russian and Finnish. He said that by far it's Russian that is more difficult. He says at first it's Finnish but then it's Russian. Why? Because Russian is complex and nothing seems like it should work but some how it does. That's just wonderful news and just what I wanted to hear. For me I think my Russian is coming along. Hopefully someday I'll be able to understand it all. There are good days and bad days with the language. I keep on studying and praying that I'll be able to speak and understand.
Love Elder Frank Young