Monday, May 23, 2011

Makeevka Letter 8

This past week has been quite well. Nothing too dramatic happened this week just the same old same old missionary work. First off my bowels have been pretty good and nothing too crazy has happened. I have found myself on the toilet a bit often but that happens to some Elders out here. It happened to Rob Kirkham and it happened to Barry. I got an email from him, that was really nice of him. I'll definitely have to write him back. He said that his problem is still giving him problems. Maybe my little "bug" will always give me problems. I like to look at my frequent bathroom trips as weight loss. I remember when it first started happening E. Pulsipher said that I was losing weight. I haven't lost as much weight as Mike, that's crazy! 22 pounds. If I lost 22 pounds I would be a toothpick and that wouldn't be healthy. Yes mom to answer your questions I am drinking a lot of water and we do have a water filter on our sink. Sometimes it puts out floaties and some other stuff and we just recently changed the filter so it's a bit sketchy that it continues to happen but we just pour it out and then fill it back up and hope that there won't be any floaties.

Today Elder Pulsipher is getting ready to go to Bulgaria. Yes he is leaving the mission for a couple of days to renew his visa. That means that I'll be alone for a couple of days. No just kidding I'll have another companion. That will be fun and will give me a bit of leadership opportunities. I'm a bit scared but what is the worst that could happen? Plus we'll be working and when we are working the time goes by really fast. There have been days this week when we wake up and do our studies and then when we go outside we can tell that the day will be a quick day. We go outside and do the work and then the next thing we know we are done with the day. The time has gone by so fast that May is almost over! Elder Pulsipher and I were just talking about how April was done and now May is done. Sometimes I feel like the time goes by faster and faster some days.

The other day we went and tried to find some people from our area book. The past two transfers that Elder Pulsipher has been here he has gone through the area book in hopes to find some one to teach. We had about 15 people to go and find and mapped out our route and then headed out. We found all of the apartments of where people live and when we tried to make contact not much happened. Only one person talked to us. It was really heart breaking. We try so hard and yet it seems like we get little in return. When we got to our last apartment building and got rejected we sat on a bench and started talking about what just happened. After reviewing the subject we decided to get some ice cream and find a park bench some where else and sat down. We did some passive contacting or otherwise known as "J-dub contacting". That is when you find a bench sit down and then put some material out and hope that someone will notice your material and stop and talk meanwhile you talk to your companion sitting next to you. It was really funny and we just laughed at what we were doing. Some people passed by us and of course didn't look at our material, maybe because it was a bad layout, and continued to walk by. Then of course someone stopped and talked to us, he was a drunkard. I'm sorry about how much drunk people get into my stories but they are everywhere and can be found any time of the day. It gets really annoying because they always harass us and give us a bad time. We try really hard to avoid them but they always seem to find us. So this drunk guy comes and starts to talk to us. We act like we don't see him and look the other way. There were some ladies sitting across the sidewalk on another bench and then they started talking to the drunk guy and said to leave us alone because we were trying to preach our gospel. It was really nice of them and then he left us alone. I looked over at them when the man left and gave them a happy look on my face of thank you so much for doing that. They were nice ladies, then they got up and left. We sat there for a little while longer and then gathered up our material and went home to make some dinner.

Saturday night we walking back home and we started talking to these youth. Come to find out that one of them knows perfect English and she has someone from America staying with her and her family because the lady is trying to adopt some kids. We got her contact information and hoped that we could be able to meet with her and tell her about how family can be together forever. Then on Sunday when we were at church we were waiting outside the chapel when all of a student an American couple walked out and of course all of the missionaries flocked them and started to talk to them. Guess why they were here? If you guessed to adopt kids then you guessed right. I wasn't talking to them but I overheard that and looked at E. Pulsipher and was like "what the???" We thought that it was them who we got information about the night before but it wasn't' them. I guess that there is another couple here doing the same thing. It was pretty cool. Church was church. It's an all day ordeal, we leave out 9 a.m. and then return to our house around 4 p.m. It's a seven hour process. If you're getting the feeling that I don't like church, you're wrong. I do love church. On our way home from church we were waiting for our bus when this crazy guy walks out into the road and obstructs traffic. He causes a bus to stop really quick, which it can't do so the bus accidentally hits the man and that causes him to move into another lane and another bus is trying to pass the bus that just stopped and that bus clips the man. So he got hit twice and then he goes crazy. He starts hitting the first bus that hit him and then the bus driver wasn't going to have any of that. He starts yelling at the man and the man goes nuts he tries to open the bus driver's door and hit him. The bus driver wasn't able to lock his door quick enough and it's flung open the crazy guy starts punching the bus driver but the bus driver is about three feet higher than the man on the street so he has the advantage. The bus driver gives the crazy guy a good kick to the chest to make him go away but only aggravates the man more and the bus driver is out on the street. They start a little fist fight and the crazy guy figures out that he isn't going to win and goes away. It was really intense, and we just stood there watching it all. That was THE most sketchiest thing I've ever seen so far on my mission.

Mom I liked in your email about having an attitude of gratitude. It's hard to do sometimes out here, but yet it's possible. You probably told me that the Elders that are the most happiest are those that work the hardest or are grateful for what is going on. Like I mentioned earlier about our adventure of trying to find people and having no success, it can be really hard to find happiness in that. In some of the stairwells there was human poo, the elevators didn't work, and no one was home. It can be hard to find happiness and joy in that but yet it's the Lord's work and His timetable of how things work. Sometimes it can be hard to remember that because there can be days when nothing seems to go our way. In our Branch-Missionary correlation meeting the other Elders are having all of this success and then when we present what we have it makes us seem like nothing is happening. The Branch Mission Leader said that when he was on his mission he had three transfers with a companion and the first two transfers nothing, absolutely nothing was happening. He didn't know what to do. They were working as hard as they possibly could but for some odd reason nothing was happening. They kept on going and then finally when it got to be the third transfer things started to happen. They had people to teach and people were on date to be baptized. He said that sometimes it's just the Lord testing us to see what will happen and see how patient we can be with what is going on. I feel like that is what is happening for us right now. We can find contacts on the street no problem but when we try and call them to set up, they don't answer their phone or say that they don't have time. It's really hard for us, but yet we keep on going. Maybe I told you last email about the focus of our transfer as a companionship. It's D&C 121:7-8. It's when Joseph Smith is in Liberty Jail and he's getting angry at God because so much horribleness is going on and he feels helpless. Then he receives a great revelation saying that his afflictions shall be but a small moment and if he endures them well he shall be exalted above his enemies and that all shall be well. I'm trying to focus on the enduring part when things get to be bad. Putting that one foot in front of the other and hoping that all will be well. Yes it's hard and I can lose hope. Walking on the street all day and having no one talk to us, finding people with no success, or having lessons cancel on us. It can all be hard but I think that God is testing us to see what we do. There's a story in the Book of Mormon about a group of people and the Lord sees it fit to give them a trial and see how they do. I think that's what happening now. He wants to know how we react to what's going on. I'm not going to give up and I'll always give it my all. I haven't ran a marathon but I've heard some good advice, just keep going and put one foot in front of the other and you'll finish. I'll keep doing that.

Family thanks for all that you have done for me. I thank you so much for your blessings that are sent my way. Just so you know the prayers are being sent your way as well. I've learned a lot out here and I've reflected a lot of what I've learned from home. Home is great place to be. I always like walking back into our apartment after a had day and have it feel like home. Having an apartment feel like home is a good feeling and if I can always have it feel like home then I must be doing something right. I always hope to have any place where I live feel like home. It's calm and relaxing and the spirit is there. During our last cleaning check the couple that inspected said that it felt good in our apartment. That was a good complement to get. The Burr's up in Kharkiv say that only when they mean it. That was good and assuring to know that our apartment feels good. Elder Pulsipher and I are having a wonderful time together. We are laughing and enjoying the work, even when it's hard. When we pray at night I always pray that we can be friends during the mission and after the mission. He's a great kid and I'm very grateful that we are together as missionary companions. I'll miss him when he's in Bulgaria. That's something that I've learned from home, be a friend to everyone. You two are great examples and so are both of your parents. Be friends with people, you never know what could happen because of it. Thanks for your great example to me. You are wonderful people and I love you so very much.

Love,
Elder Frank

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