Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Kharkiv/XT3 Letter 14


So this past week has been crazy, if you didn't know. We had Zone Conference, zc, on Monday and Tuesday. Maybe I've already typed about that. That was good. Then the rest of the week was just crazy. We had a lot of lessons the past few days because the first part of our week was crazy and we didn't really have time. So on Thursday we had district meeting and that a pretty good one. We reviewed what we learned about and talked for a while. Then we waited for a while for Igor to show up and then we had a good lesson with him. We learned about the Atonement during zc and so we talked about that. We read from Alma 24:10-16 and talked about the Anti-Nehpi-Lehi's and their conversion and using the Atonement to heal their hearts and then eventually choose righteousness. It was really good.
 
So I have a little bit of time left. So if the email gets cut short I'm sorry.
 
So we had a good lesson with him and then after that I went and gave some blood at the hospital. It was a bit weird giving blood because it seemed a bit sketchy to me but hey I'm in Ukraine so what else is there to do. So gave some blood for and AIDs test. Good news I don't have AIDs. That means that I can go to Bulgaria tomorrow!!!! I'm so excited.
 
Last night Elder Noren and I took a train down from Kharkov to Donetsk. Funny story. We were waiting in the metro to go but the metro was taking for ever and so we eventually walked out and found the first taxi that we found and hopped in. We told the guy that we had about 25 minutes till our train left and we were about 30 minutes away. The driver did the best that he could do and sped and cut some corners and ran some red lights for us. It was pretty stressful for us and what not because what if we didn't make our train??? So we get to the train station and he pulls over and tells us to run. This time we have about 6 minutes till our train leaves. We run like we've never ran before and eventually found our platform and found the right wagon and then got it. Then once we got to our little room the train started to pull away. We had about three minutes to spare before we were left. It provided for some good laughs and some coughs. I'm so out of shape. So there is my new crazy story for the week. Now I'm in Donetsk, maybe you could have told my email, but yeah. Today we are doing some paper work and then tomorrow we fly out. I'm excited. I get to be with the MTC boyz and that will be fun. I haven't been around them for pretty much my whole misison. We all have some good stories and laugh a lot. I hope that my stomach works with me and that life there will be really cool.
 
Not sure about what else to report. Life has been going good. Time has been flying by. When I got into country there was a group that just got back from Bulgaria and now that group is going home at the end of this transfer. It's so crazy. Time sure is flying away too fast. 
 
Thanks for all that you have been doing for me. I sure do love you.
 
Elder Frank Young

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Kharkiv/XT3 Letter 13


Can you believe that September is already half way over??? I can't believe how fast the time is flying by over here. Wanna know something weird??? In a couple of days I will be taking a night train down to Donetsk. Why? Because whilst being in Donetsk I will be filling out paperwork so I can fly to Bulgaria. Why? because I need another visa. Yeah that's right I get to leave and got to Sofia and then eventually come back. When I come back from Bulgaria that means that I have one more year left. What the?? What happened???? When I think of the Elders that are going Bulgaria they are the OLD missionaries. I don't think of myself like that but for some odd reason I'm now becoming an old missionary. So yeah that's the big crazy news for this coming week. I'll let you know how it goes and I'll be sure to take many photos.
This past week and few days have been interesting. We have been working hard and enjoying life. Last night we had a lesson with a new investigator. We saw him on the street and then got his information and then called for a lesson. He said to come over and have a lesson. We got there and had a great first lesson with him. He's from Ghana, studying here trying to become a doctor. It's awesome. He says that he's a Christian and reads the Bible. We gave him a Book of Mormon and at the end of the lesson we didn't have to commit him to reading the Book of Mormon because he said that he was already gonna read it. He gave the closing prayer and it was awesome, just humble and he blessed our meetings to come that they'll be fruitful and that our families will be doing well. He is awesome. We have an opportunity to come back to him and teach him some more. When we were finishing his roommate came in and we started talking with him. It's awesome. Hopefully all works out with him and his roommate.
We had a meeting with A. [an investigator] but he called and canceled on us. That always hurts when someone calls and cancels. He said that he was too busy with work and that he couldn't come. He also texted us in the morning of Sunday and said that his boss said that he was gonna work today and that he wasn't gonna be able to meet with us or come to church on Sunday. That was a heartbreaker because we really wanted him to come to church. He's come a few times but he's never made it to Sacrament meeting. Hopefully he'll be able to meet and he hasn't dropped us. That would be the worst thing in the world.
We met with the kids that have been baptized and we had their whole family meet with us. We talked about going to the temple and getting all sealed together. Hopefully soon or when ever it's possible they will go to the temple and get sealed. That would be awesome.
Zone Conference was alright. It was a lot of talking and when that happened I kind of zone out and didn't pay too much attention. Probably not the best thing to admit but yeah there were times when I was talking to who ever was next to me. We learned about the Atonement and repentance and love and unity in the companionship. It was good to see everyone. I miss talking to everyone and laughing. Afterwards when we were eating I was laughing so hard with another Elder that I had tears coming. It was so much fun. Life out here on the mission is awesome. I'm happy to be here and survive and live. I can't complain too much nor should I but life is good. 
Thanks for all that you have all done for me. I love you all and miss you.
Love Elder Frank Young

Monday, September 12, 2011

Kharkiv/XT3 Letter 12


So last Monday we bought a rabbit to stew. We took some good photos and I cleaned it up a bit more by cutting off the hind legs because they had fur and then I cut the head off and boiled it because I wanted a rabbit skull. I learned from Brandon T. that boiling heads gets the garbage off of it. It kind of worked. I have a little bit more to go but other than that, it's a pretty clean head. I need to bleach the head and then it is all clean.
 
Wednesday was a good busy day. We had the branch mission leader coordination meeting and district meeting and then we met with A. [investigator] afterwards. District meeting was pretty good and then the lesson with A. and his friend was also good. We taught him about the Plan of Salvation and drew it up on the board and talked about it. He said that it makes sense to him and that it's all good. He loves the Gospel, which is good and then when we talk to him later in the week he says that he's been telling his grandma and other people about it and trying to get them interested in the Gospel. It's awesome! After him we booked it home to another lesson. 

A member called us and said that he has a friend that would like to meet with us. REFERRAL!!!! It took about a year to finally get one but it happened!!! The member sat with us on the lesson and helped. The guy reads the Bible everyday and so he knows it really well. We gave a really quick first lesson because time was low and gave him a BOM and told him that he should read it. He said that he would and try to come to church in two weeks. That should be awesome. Hopefully all works out with him and we can continue to teach him. It was just crazy this day. We were running around really fast trying to do everything. I like those days when you're just so busy you're moving constantly.
 
Thursday was my YEAR MARK!!! One whole year on the mish. How crazy is that?? Time has flown by so darn quick. We went and did some registration in the morning and then came back to our area and had two lessons then booked it to the church for a lesson with Igor and then came home and started to make some rabbit stew. This whole day we were running crazy again. But finally when we got home time started to slow down. I grabbed the rabbit and quarter it and coated the meat in flour and then browned it in some oil and then put it in the pot with vegetables and then stewed it for a while. It all worked out and it was pretty good. Elder K was a little bit grossed out about eating rabbit but yet he ate it and said that it was pretty good. It was pretty good to be honest. Wait, I actually made the stew on Wednesday night because we had some other lessons later in the week that would have made it so we had stew one night and then a couple of days later in the left overs and Elder K really doesn't eat left overs. So..yeah so we had some left over stew and it all worked out good. So this night I actually made a cake and put some frosting on it and light a candle and had a birthday cake celebration of being on a mission for one year. It was good and took some pictures...I'll send those.
 
Friday we started a split. I was with Elder P., my zone leader, in my area. It was a good split. He's only one transfer older than me and it's fun being around him. He and I are pretty similar I would like to say. We sat and talked about girl stories and laughed and stayed up a bit late. I miss having those nights telling stories and talking. It reminded me about the Makeevka days with P. [a previous companion]. It's about everyday that I talk about him and those good ol glory days. Any ways back to the split.
 
Saturday morning we were gonna have a branch picnic but the weather got a bit colder but the branch didn't call us and say that it cancelled and so that was bad because we had A. and I. [two different investigators] there. So we made our own fire and threw a football around. It was a lot of fun. Then we decided that we want to do our own barbecue on Monday, today, so we went and bought our meat and started to marinate it. It's gonna be good. So after the meat ordeal we made some pizza and then went to some lessons. After the lessons we came back home and had some good more talks and played some games and then eventually went to bed.
 
Sunday was good we had church or course and then had some lessons afterwards. We tried to make a Sunday dinner but Ukraine style. It was okay but not the greatest. Then we had dinner and sat around then went to the lesson and came home and cleaned up and did some games and then went to bed.
 
Sorry the last couple of days got short, it's because we are going to have the BBQ and we have to leave soon. I love you all and I hope that you're doing great. Thanks for all that you have done for me.
 
Love Elder Frank

**Editors Note: We have been asked to edit Elder Young's to remove names of investigators and companions for their privacy. Also due to Zone Conference next week Elder Young's letter will be received on Wednesday rather than Monday.**

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Picture

Elder Young at the Zoo. 

Kharkiv/XT3 Letter 11


Is it really already Monday? I felt like I just wrote you all an email just a couple of days ago. Time is flying by so darn quick. Speaking of time guess what?? It's already been a year!! I can't believe that it's almost September 8th, the day this party started. I can remember it like it was yesterday. Erik thought that it would be funny to play his trumpet to wake me up, that wasn't funny at all, then he went to school and then I did some last minute packing, tried to kill some time, watched mom and dad cry and then we drove off to the MTC. My friend from USU helped with the curb-side drop off and then I walked into the MTC. Crazy how time flies by. To celebrate the big day I am gonna have some rabbit stew. Elder K isn't gonna have some he says that's gross. At the Target store here, no it's not red and like the ones back home, they sell rabbits. Head and feet all included and so I'm gonna buy one and then boil it up and have a good time. It should be good. Gotta celebrate some how. I could have some regular dinner like everyone had for their year mark or I could eat some crazy! Plus rabbit is good right??? I sure hope so. I'm really looking forward to this dinner. Enough about the food, it's making me a bit.....hungry. 
 
This past week was a good week. I gave Elder K the great opportunity to be senior for four days. Why? you might ask. Because if he goes senior next transfer then it won't be cold turkey and he'll know what he'll have to do and also I was tired for being senior and wanted to be junior again. I'm trying to be junior companion of the year. Hopefully I'll get the award. Elder K did a good job. He got the phone and I got the keys. The first couple of days he was not feeling to good so we stayed home for some time till he got feeling better.
 
On Wednesday we got a phone call from a member in our area saying that he would like a blessing. The member is a bit special, hopefully I've mentioned him before. He has a problem with smoking. So we went over to him and gave him a blessing. Then I turned to Elder K and gave him the look "okay..now what" it was fun being in that position because I could have easily stepped in and started a lesson but I just sat there and made him do everything. Oh how I wish I was junior comp again. You don't have to worry about anything. All you do is walk. Really you don't have to worry about anything. It's the life. However senior is pretty fun because you actually know what is going to happen that day. So after the lesson with him we went to another lesson and Elder K led that lesson too. Then we came home because he was still a bit sick and didn't feel so good. Whilst being home our land lady called, I couldn't come to the phone and told him that he should answer the phone. He said that tomorrow in the morning she was gonna come and get rent. So that meant we had to go get rent money. We got some money and did some other purchases at the store.
 
I like looking at Thursday in my planner because it's so colourful. I'll send a photo so you can see for yourself. Our landlady came over a bit earlier than she said she would got money and then left the place. This day get.s crazy...all of a sudden a dragon flew into our apartment via window and started blowing fire everywhere. I was trying to fight the dragon and Elder K was trying to put the fires out. Yeah crazy huh? yeah crazy if it would have actually happened. Instead we finished studies had a small lunch and went to district meeting. That was a good district meeting. Maybe the best one of the transfer. It's hard sometimes planning a good district meeting  because they are the most fun when it's fun. So planning a fun district meeting can be hard. But yet it works out...sometimes. District meeting was good we laughed and had some good uplifting talks. After that we waited for some people to show up and have lessons. One person didn't show up and so we waited even longer and then finally Igor showed up. He bought some 'Learn English books' and we talked about that with him. He can read pretty well in English but his understanding ain't that good. So yeah we had a lesson about some awkward topics. He likes to buy some stuff after church and so we were gonna talk with him about observing the sabbath day holy. He then gave some long explanation and got kind of angry and then so that was awkward and then we were like...okay! Let's read from the BOM in English. Then after him we booked in home and dropped off some stuff and then quickly went to the kids who were baptized a couple of weeks ago. They live a pretty far away. About an hour walk. So we quickly walked there because we were a bit behind on time. We finally got there and had a lesson about the Holy Ghost. It was a good lesson.Then the kids got bored and then we were like "okay that's it. Live so you can have the Holy Ghost, amen" Then they gave us some food.  After eating we walked back home. The sun is setting a lot earlier now and so at 8 o'clock it was pretty dark.

Friday was an interesting day.
 
Saturday. Hahahaha I left you hanging, you thought that I was gonna go on about Friday!!! So whilst we were contacting on Friday we saw some old people playing some chess. I have come to love playing chess over here. Every night or so we play a nightly game of chess. So I looked at my watch and then back at the group, back at my watch back at the group. In about twenty minutes we had a lesson. I suggested to Elder K that after our lesson we come back to this place and hope that they are all still playing some chess. After the lesson we quickly made our way back to area and we blessed with seeing them still playing chess. I walked up to them and asked if I could play against one of them. One guy pointed to another guy sitting on a near by bench with a board not playing anyone. I now know why they didn't allow anyone to play against him. I thought that I was pretty good at playing chess but that guy made me look like a fool. I was a bit flustered from the start and he capitalized on every word I said. OHHAHAHAHAHa no, he just made good moves and made me look really stupid. Some of the other people near by were asking me when was the last time I played. After my humiliation Elder K had his go at playing against the guy. He put up a good fight but then the guy turned the tables and beat him. After the sad losses we walked away with our tails between our legs laughing about what just happened. The guy was really nice and said that we should come back and play again. So hopefully the next time I go and play I'll put up a good fight and maybe win. We were talking about it all the way home.
 
So back to Saturday..we woke up early and did some market runs. I bought you some Матрёшкы dolls. I probably spelled it wrong but it's the Russian Nesting dolls. I'll try and send them out home. I hope that you like them. Then we came back home after running around to the different market places made a quick lunch and then went out for the night and had three lessons. We were out all day. We really only spent about two hours being home today. It was nice being out and working all day. On the last lesson this day I was talking about my big anniversary plans to make rabbit stew. 

Sunday was a good day. If you all have been praying that I enjoy Sundays more, they worked. Church is a bit more interesting. Sometimes I play the piano or I sit with some other members. It's also more interesting because our investigator came...with his little brother and friend. He's been telling everyone that Mormonism is awesome and that it's simple and all good. They came a bit late and weren't able to join us in Sacrament but they stayed for Sunday school and Priesthood. After church we had a lesson with them and they asked some questions about what was being discussed which was home teaching. So we answered some questions about that and then said that the next time that we meet we would like to talk to him about the Plan of Salvation. Hopefully after that lesson and he accepts it and thinks that it's all cool, we'll put him on date. That will be the coolest thing in the world. I sure hope that he accepts and chooses to become baptized. He's so ready for everything. After church we went to a shut in and gave her the Sacrament and then came home for the night. We had some left over lasagna that we made the night before and then chilled for the night. We did some planning for the coming week and then called it a night. We have been busy and this coming week we should be really busy. I'm grateful for the busyness that we have. It's better than sitting around and doing nothing.
 
I'm going to try and send some photos from the zoo trip and what not. I hope that you enjoy them.

 
Love Elder Frank