Today is Victory Day.....Yes today is the day that the CCCP or the USSR (same thing) won the war against Germany and the enemy. Check your history books because they are right and what we have been taught is wrong. This morning we went to the center of the city and watched a parade. The parade wasn't anything too special. The Art City Days parade totally kicks this parades trash in how extravagant it can be. Here there were just a lot of people walking down the street, and I mean a lot of people. It seemed like most of the people were just random crazy people that probably had no deal in being in WWII. However it was pretty cool to see the parade and to see how other people celebrate their holidays. There were some men playing some band instruments and a lot of people waving flags and some really really old people marching with medals for doing everything in the war. We saw some old guys with medals all over their suit jackets. Elder Pulsipher said that he had about half of what this one guy had in his own collection. That was pretty funny. You can buy some communism stuff everywhere it seems like. That is what we did today. Tonight could be a little bit crazy because with any holiday people like to drink beer and get wasted. We'll be extra careful tonight and stay away from sketchy situations.
This past week went by pretty fast. I feel like every week is going by really quick, and other Elders tell me that the time just gets going faster and faster. I can't believe how fast the time has gone. This transfer is almost over and I can remember it just barely starting! It's insane, I guess the saying is true: when you're having fun and working hard, time flies. I'm a believer of that. Elder Pulsipher and I are having a lot of fun doing the work together. We are always laughing and having a good time. Like I said in our phone call, when we are happy other people are more keen to listening to us because we are enjoying what we are doing. It's true. I'm glad that Elder Pulsipher and I are together for one more transfer. We are going to work hard and get the work done. We are going to set some goals and achieve them this coming transfer. Last Friday was transfer call day. The AP's usually do phone calls in the morning but I guess that they were on a split and they started late. So we waited all morning for a possible phone call. That never happened. So we were thrilled because we asked if we could stay together for another transfer, so we got what we wanted. Later than night we heard that phone calls were out and then we got nervous. We got no phone call which means that we are together for sure. Oh how much of a blessing it is. I guess the AP's had to do some rearranging with transfers because there is a lot of Elders coming in. There will be 8 bodies coming in but 7 of those will stay in our mission. Confused? One of the eight has visa problems, I'm not sure where he is supposed to go but that is all I know. We originally heard six were coming in but one more is coming in. The mission will grow pretty quick and I'll get old quick too. I don't feel that old. I'll be going into my fifth transfer which is crazy to think but anywho we are getting more Elders.
This week was not such a good lesson week. We had some people "dog" us and that is never fun to hear. We had a lesson planned with some youth that we found but they called and cancelled. We called some other members but they weren't able to meet. We did have one lesson with a part member family. They are really nice people but the sister who is a member was making it a bit difficult for us. We watched the movie Finding Faith in Christ and then after watching it we bore our testimonies. Before we started she was like: well why don't we just bear our testimonies now and then watch the movie? We just threw in the movie and then tried to bear our testimonies afterwards. Elder Pulsipher went first and did a marvelous job and then I went. I started off with talking about miracles and how they existed back then and how they still exist today. She then interrupts me and asks what miracles there are today. I say that it's raining today and that is a miracle, that the church is here in Ukraine, and that we are here as missionaries. She then asks how often it rains where I'm from. I try and recall and I can't remember, it's been about 8 months since I've been home and can recall the frequency of the rain. I hate to say it but she kind of ruined the good lesson and then when we realized that it was going down hill we tried to bag the lesson and get out. It was heart breaking. Hopefully next time we'll have a better lesson and we'll be able to control everything and have A-OK.
The weather is getting warmer which is kind of freaking me out. I'm used to it being cold but now it's starting to get really warm. Elder Pulsipher and I were waiting for a bus but then he said that he was hungry and so we ran to a little store and then ran back. When we got back to the bus we were sweating and it was hot. We were huffing and puffing because we were out of shape and that it was hot. Elder Pulsipher looked over at me and saw some beads of sweat going down my face and then he said that what we are feeling right now will happen everyday in the summer. I'm kind of looking forward to that and not at the same time. Earlier today I was like I wish it was winter again. Some small part of me liked the cold and being freezing cold. But...I'll just have to endure and enjoy what I have. I read Elder Wirthlin's talk "Come what may and love it" which probably has to be my favorite talk of all time, and it was talking about enjoying the moment and laughing and just dealing with what you have. Elder Pulsipher and I were talking about it and it's just correct in every way. The talk talks about compesation and the Atonement. I've always thought that the Atonement was just for sins and what not but it's for everything bad that happens. Like if life isn't fair right now or it's raining on your parade the next life everything will be compensated for and will be hundredfolds better. It opened my eyes and just makes me feel grateful. Mom I really enjoyed your last email about Ethnocitricity and the Atonement. It was a great email and really helped. Thank you much.
I've been learning a lot out here. I've grown physically and spiritually. Personal study is always a little piece of heaven that I love. Searching the scriptures, likening myself unto them and just learning more is a lot of fun. Like I've said before learning Russian is no easy task. I don't know if I've sent this phrase before but I'll send it again. English missionaries come home fluent in the Gospel, Spanish missionaries come home fluent in Spanish and Russian missionaries just come home. We are out here struggling everyday trying to do missionary work. It's a bit depressing to hear that phrase, but I don't know if I entirely agree with it. I've learned a lot out hear and I think that we come home men. I've learned how to accept disappointment when something doesn't work out. I've learned how to struggle and never ever give up. I've learned to rely on my Heavenly Father for help, I've learned about the power of prayer and how prayers can be answered. I've learned more than I could if I was back home. Being out here is a blast even though some people reject us and wave us off, being out here is amazing. There are people out here that are willing and accepting to the Gospel, it's just a matter of finding them. I'm grateful to be out here.
Love Elder Frank Young