Monday, June 13, 2011

Makeevka Letter 11

Oh what a week, there is soo much I have to type about this week. A lot of events took place this week, which is a good thing because it sparks things up a bit.
So on Monday we went bowling because it was an Elder's birthday and we decided to go crazy and celebrate. So we went bowling. It was a good time and we all bowled pretty well. Then we went shopping and got some good meats to eat. We've been experimenting with foods and we have been eating pretty well. This week we had steaks, chicken tacos, beef tacos, chicken filets, and ramen, and anything else that was in our house. Right now there is nothing in our fridge, every time I open the fridge I hope to see more food but that never happens. It'll be nice to be in a place were there is always food. Something cool that also happened on Monday was that we bought a new frying pan!!! It's a deep pan with a no stick surface. Oh it's so nice. The other pan that we had was horrible and everything burnt on the bottom and it was just a nightmare. Now we are living the high life with a new frying pan.
This is were the week of great events starts taking off. On Tuesday when we walked out of our house, well apartment, we saw a funeral. It was like the one I saw in Romania with mother. But this time the guy wasn't laying on a wagon full of straw but this guy was in a casket. So I wasn't able to see him, sorry. So we walked by and everyone was out crying and wailing and weeping and gnashing of teeth, no just kidding no gnashing. We were a bit confused but then we realized what was happening and just walked on by. When we were about 38 meters away from the group we stopped and turned around and watched to see what was gonna happen. Elder Pulsipher said that we should go preach the Plan of Salvation to them and convert them all, like how it was in the Book of Mormon times. We didn't though, we thought that we would be nice and not do that. After about four minutes and twenty-three seconds of watching we turned the other way and continued on what we were trying to do and that was finding people's apartments. After our round of trying to find people we went to this near by city to try and find someone that we have made contact with earlier. It's a weird story. Last transfer we were walking and this lady stops us and asks us for English practice, she says that she lives in another city which we think is in a completely different area. So we get her contact information and pass her to the Missionaries over there. Come to find out the city she said was the small city close by us, they both have the same name, thank Ukraine. So we walk our way over to this small little town. On our way we see a father and son ride by on bikes. I've been telling Elder Pulsipher that I've been wanting to buy a bike really bad so I joked with him that I would buy the guys bike for 100 griven. So those two ride by on bikes then stop ahead of us. We then pass them back and then when we were about 13 meters away from them they rode past us again, but this time they stopped and talked. Come to find out the father is an inactive member who has the Aaronic Priesthood and tried going to the Frieburg Temple back in the day, but things didn't work out. We were a bit confused because it seemed too reall to be true. We talked with him for a while and he seems really cool and he said that he wants to start coming back to church. It was perfect because we've been praying and wishing for an Ensign missionary story where something crazy happens. So we are counting this as our Ensign story. After talking they rode off and we continued walking to the city. We finally got to the city and we were a bit in shock because the city was like Smoot, Wyoming were nothing exists. We walked around trying to find this address that we had for the lady that I mentioned earlier. We thought that we found her place but we really didn't so we kept on walking till we found ourselves at the entry way of THE most sketchiest apartments you could find. We looked up and thought to ourselves, "really??" We walked in and we past the elevator shaft which was open, but it was full of trash and the elevator apparently didn't work. So we kept on walking up the stairs. It was really creepy, did I mention that the apartment building was part abandoned? Yeah work that one over in your head and I'll explain later. As we keep walking we see some people and we ask them for their help on trying to find this room number. They tell us that it's on the 8th floor and when we get there the door is locked but someone else said that it was on the 9th floor. One floor up and we find ourselves talking to a really large lady....come to find out she isn't the lady that we are looking for and tells us that the lady that we want actually lives on the 9th floor and shows us where she lives. As she is showing us where she lives we pass some open rooms and just see complete horror in the rooms. Since the lady isn't there we explore a bit of what this apartment building has to offer. We go into a few rooms and see dog poo and garbage everywhere. It was pretty nasty. Then we see a ladder going up. Of course we take it and it leads to the top of the apartment building. When we get to the top we can't believe what we see. We can see for ever and ever. The day was perfect, blue skies and happy clouds. It was a good time to be at the top of the apartment building. It was awesome, we took some photos and walked around trying to see what we could. We made some future plans for what next cities we want to go to, to try and do some missionary work. Then we came back down and returned back to our little town to grab a bite to eat. It was pretty cool to go up on top and see around, it will probably be the first and last time that I'll be able to do that.
Wednesday we went on a bus ride to another town. We've seen some buses that go to a certain town and we asked what was there and how far away. So we decided to take bus and see where it takes us. The bus ride was a bit long but totally worth it. We got to the city and when we got off the bus we were a bit in confusion because we didn't know what was going on. It was just another city but really far away from us. As being the missionaries that we are we started off and did some contacting. Some people talked to us and some people just ignored us. We want to say that we could possibly be the first missionaries that have ever been to that city, but we aren't sure. We took some pictures and walked around to see what was there. We "hiked" a mountain to see the view. Oh my goodness!! that was probably the best view I have seen since I've started my mission. We could see forever in any direction. It was just too good to be true. We left a Book of Mormon at the top in hopes that someone will get it and read it and then be converted. We then came back down from the mountain and walked around some more. We asked some people how we could return and they said that you had to walk this way to a bus stop and then ride back up to where we started and then buy a bus ticket and ride back. So we did some more walking and then eventually got home. By the time we got home we were beat and really tired. It was a good day of exploration.
Thursday we had district meeting which was alright, nothing special to report. We were gonna go signboarding afterwards but we all don't want to do that and we know that if we talk for a long time we won't have to go signboarding. Of course that is what happens and we don't go signboarding. It was a blessing because Elder Pulsipher has gone a few times before and has said that it's probably the most worst thing you can do as a missionary and it isn't very effective. After talking for a while, which was actually enjoyable everyone went back to their areas. That night when we went contacting we found this one guy who is from Turkey and has met with the missionaries way back in the day. He seems really cool and has some potential. We are going to meet with him tonight, Monday night. Hopefully everything works out.
On Friday morning our landlady and someone from the office came by apartment because our apartment is probably one of the not so greatest apartments in the mission and there are a lot of things wrong with the apartment. So the landlady came to see what was wrong and what she has to do to make the place better. When we were showing her what was wrong the guy from the office said that he didn't like the apartment and said that it felt like a "bum house". Did I mention that the guy is a Ukrainian? Yeah some Ukrainian doesn't like our place, that's a pretty low blow to our place. He also said that he was going to talk with other people and try and get us a new place. That would be nice because the apartment is not too good at all, but it does the job. After that mess we set out contacting. We walked back to that one small po-dunk town to try and contact and find this temple. All we have is a picture of it and some what of a knowledge of where it should be. So we walked around and asked some people. Everyone didn't know where it was so we just kept on walking in hopes that we would run into it by chance. Our path led us to a fence that was easily jumped over and we walked through a big construction/mine yard. It was pretty crazy. We just jumped over and then found ourselves walking through something crazy. We got through and on the other side we found ourselves in Ханжённкаво which is about a thirty minute bus ride from where we live. Good thing we had a lesson and we were able to sit down and rest our feet for a while. Then the biggest rain storm that I have seen whilst over here happened. We tried to wait out the storm as best as we could and then made it home. It was really really raining for a long time. We made it home all safe and sound a only a little bit wet.
Saturday was mission conference with some special guests. We had Elder L. Whitney Clayton and Elder Shwitzer and their wives came along. It was pretty cool to see them. Elder Clayton is a member of the presidents of the seventy. We had ALL of the missionaries from the whole mission come down and be altogether. It was great to see everyone from Kharkiv that I haven't seen in a while. I missed them. I've made some great friends out here. So mission conference was a Q&A session with Elder Clayton. It was pretty cool and they answered some questions and then that was that. There has been some talk about making a stake over here in Donetsk but that didn't happen, we aren't ready for it yet. After mission conference we went home and did some missionary work.
Sunday was District Conference and that can be likened unto Stake Conference back home where everyone comes. It was the whole Donbass region that came. Everyone was there. The building was packed full of people and we were there for only three hours, thank goodness. We listened to the Fry's, Shwitzer's, and the Claytons talk. It was pretty cool and they said some good things. A couple things that I remembered was that we need to make FHE fun and interesting, and that we should stay on the gospel ship and not jump off because it's just easier to be on the gospel ship. After conference we came home and made some beef tacos. We have gotten the process down to a T so that we can quickly do everything. I made the tortillas and the beans and corn while Elder Pulsipher made the beef and rolled out the tortillas. It was a good meal and then we talked for a while about everything that has happened. It'll be a sad day when we are separated and have to go our separate ways. It's been a blast being with him and doing the work. Hopefully my next companion will be a blast and we'll work hard and play hard.
Elder Frank

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