Monday, October 31, 2011

Transfer's


As you can tell in my spare time I've been learning Spanish. It's quite easy. Acutally I was talking to some member who knows a little bit of Spanish and we were talking about some words and then President Compero was at church. I should have spoke some Spanish with him but I didn't, instead he spoke Russian with me.
 
This past week has been good, we've doing a lot of things and we've been going everywhere. We have a lot going on too.
 
Last Monday was the last Pday for some Elders and so we got to say goodbye to them and have some last minute photos and what not. It's weird that people are going home. They came back from Bulgaria when I came into country. The time has flew since then. Oh it's so crazy.
 
Tuesday we had some lessons. I called someone that morning to try and set up a lesson for the next day but they said to come over in a couple of hours and have a lesson. It was the member family who knows Chris [Elder Young's cousin who served in the same mission]. They are awesome and we were able to have a good lesson and talk about life and everything else. When we start talking it some how always ends up us talking about our future families and how many kids we'll have. The sister is pretty darn kid hungry and would love to have another baby around the house. After a while there we went to another lesson with another member and then booked it to the church for a lesson with A. He's doing good. We lent some DVD's to him so he could watch more about the church and what not. He's a champion. Did you know that at age 17 he was the champion wrestler in his age group in Ukraine. He's a beast. We talked about the Book of Mormon with him and helped him to read it more and what not. He said that he wants to read the whole book, that's great! Hopefully he'll decided to get baptized too.
 
Wednesday we were told that we shouldn't set up any lessons because clean checks were gonna happen. They didn't want anyone to leave their apartment when the people tried to come over and check. It was a bummer because we couldn't set up any lessons and so when we were done with clean checks we really didn't have much to do. Good thing all of Ukraine was on holiday for the week so we were able to squek in some lessons with some people and talk with them. Clean checks...something I'm not a big fan of. The checkers just go crazy and check every stinkin corner of the house and if there is one speck of dirt then you get docked on some points and then they recap the check and then you just feel bad because you got told that you didn't do a good job but in fact the night before you spent the whole night cleaning and that morning. Then I think to myself. What's more important, Salvation or a clean apartment???
 
Thursday was our last district meeting as a full complete district. It was interesting. We were gonna talk about how to be a successful missionary but the spiritual thought from one of the Elders went a little bit too long, such as the whole meeting. We talked about the spirit world and all that could happen after death. I really don't care about the diagrams and what not after life and the check-list for doing this and going there. For me it's extremely simple. Keep the rules, go to the temple, be baptized and live a good life according to the church standards and then you'll end up back with God and in the Celestial Kingdom; it's that easy. We were talking about doing this and doing that and accepting the Gospel and rejecting the Gospel and where you would go. What it boils down to is that God will figure it all out and we don't have to worry about it, thank goodness. 
 
Friday I got my transfer call saying that I'll be going down the the Donboss aka Donetsk. I'm a bit sad that I'll be leaving the are Kharkov and XT3. This place is awesome. I really sure do hope that I'm able to come back up here and serve some more. This place is just more chill it feels like and all of the missionaries are close and we know everyone. After the phone call I was just rilled up with the information because then my mind started racing about where I could possibly go. After some planning some lessons we went to a lesson and then came back and started a split. I went to the other area again but with another Elder, Elder P. Yes the one from the 12 Apostles. It was a  good split, and I'm glad that it happened. We had some good time together. We went home teaching with a brother and then went to surprise goodbye party for a Russian Elder going home. The branch put on the party and it was flawless. Most branches rely on the missionsaires a lot but we are trying to change that and have the branches do their own thing and have the missionaries support, not run the show.
 
Saturday was a good normal day of missionary work. We went out and tried to find some people who are less active and talk to them but they all weren't home for some odd reason, they must have known that we were coming. Then we made our way to a baptism that some other Elders were putting on. Some 70 year old guy, or something like that, got bapitzed. It was pretty cool to see a baptism. There have been quite a bit the past few transfers, it's pretty darn awesome. Then we had to book it back to the area and have two lessons. The first lesson we helped the guy with some translations, he reads Goosebumps books and doesn't know quite what some words mean. Try explaining the word shutter and some other basic words that could be used but you have to dumb it down and hope that the other guy understands. Then we talked about the BOM and gave him one and told him to start reading. He said that he would. Then we had another lesson with another guy. We talked about prophets and dispinsations and that we don't need another apostasy because we are living in the last days. It was a really good lesson, those two lessons were probably the best two that I've had in a long time. It's fun teaching really good and having everything make sense. That's something that I love about teaching. When you teach simple it reinforces your knowledge and adds the second testimony to it.
 
Sunday was good. President Compero came up and talked with the branch about doing member missionary work. He told them all to start opeing their mouths and talking to people. It was good for the branch to hear that because we as missionaries have been telling them always to open their mouths and talk but now that it's comng from the top they'll probably actually listen now. President did a good presentation about it. President is just doing work. Then we came home after church and made dinner and then went  to a lesson.
 
My week has been pretty good. I'm grateful to be out here and being a missionary. Life is pretty fun and the work is picking up. I'm scared but yet excited to go to another place. Hopefully all will work out and life will be good for me. Thanks for all that you have all done for me. It'd be cool to hear from you all about your missionary experiences through out the week.
 
Love Elder Frank

Monday, October 24, 2011

Kharkiv/XT3 Letter 18

This past week went by quick, which is good. The weeks just go by quick and the days go by even quicker. Last Monday we went and played hockey!!! Yes we played ice hockey NOT we played some street hockey. There is a little section of asphalt behind the Center Branch and we had a goal and 6 sticks and we went to town playing. It was a lot fun, but the rest of the week my back and legs were a bit sore. But it's good because I miss being sore, I miss running and biking. After hockey we came home and rested from the week, I decided to take a hot bath because it's been getting cooler and I needed a good sweat. Dad knows because on the cruises he goes and sweats. So I am taking my hot bath and it's amazing. Then it's been a while and I'm done and it's time to get out. I stand up probably a little bit too fast and get a tad bit light headed. I rest my head on the shelf thing in the bathroom and try and get my bearings. Then the next thing I know is that I'm sitting down back in the tub. Crazy.  
 
On Tuesday we did a quick Rinok run and got some stuff. We went with our zone leaders and one of them bought a couple of the Russian fur hats. I bought a good scarf and a new beanie. My scarves that I have shed on me and that isn't nice and my beanie from last winter got washed too many times and doesn't fit so I bought a good one. It has some ear warmers on it. It looks like the very first helmets that footballers wore. It's pretty cool. Then we had a couple of lessons that night. We met with A. and V., she's a youth and in a hard situation. Her mom is against the church and her sister is less active. It's hard for her. We had a lesson and got to know one another better building the friendship trust. 
 
Wednesday we had to change our plans for a while because the zone leaders called and asked us if we could take over a lesson for them because they were too busy. We took the lesson and went to the church and met with a woman who has been meeting with the missionaries for a while but finally has been able to meet with the missionaries. It was a good lesson, we talked about a lot of things and tried to get her understanding of the church. She has been traveling everywhere and has a sweet life. She said that for the summer she went to Switzerland and worked at a monestary for a while. She said that she has read the Book of Mormon a little bit and likes it. She said that her dad and grandpa died in the past year and she wanted to know more about the after life. It was awesome teaching her that after life she'll be able to be with them for eternity. She really liked that. It's good to know that I'll be able to see Kim [his second cousin who died over the weekend] again and get to know him a bit better. It'll be sad not seeing him at the reunions. Also on Wednesday night we were able to meet with A., it's been a long time since we've been able to meet and we tried to talk about Joseph Smith seeing God and Jesus. He doesn't accept that. We watched the Restoration movie with him and hoped that it would help him understand and know that it all happened. After the movie he said that it was good propaganda. MAN!!!! Then we talked about it more and then I testified to him that Joseph Smith REALLY did see God and Jesus, then after that he said thanks. He is in agreement with everything else except that J.S. saw God. It's a bit hard to teach him that it's true, it's all up to him to accept it and get baptized. 
 
Thursday we had district meeting and had a good feast because the Russian Elders brought some good district meeting snacks. After district meeting we had two lessons. We met with A. He's a good youth kid. He loves soccer more than anything else and so after the lesson he and Elder K were talking soccer for what seemed like a long time. Then eventually they stopped talking about it. Then I. showed up. He loves the missionaries and so does A. and so we had a joint lesson with them. It was okay. Then we played some ping-pong with them to have a good time afterwards then came home.  We're trying to help I. become more independent in the branch and what not. He likes to ride with us to church. It's nice but he needs to do that on his own and we can't be there to hold his hand to church. It's hard because I think he's 36ish and he doesn't has any friends in the branch and not a lot of people talk to him. But now he has a calling and he's been passing the sacrament.
 
Friday was an interesting day. During weekly planning we had a good discussion. Supposedly we got invited by some family that lives in another area to come to them and have dinner. The girl that invited us is leaving on a mission and would like to have us over before we leave. The dad is the District President (Stake President) and has two good looking daughters and some younger kids. So it's a little more than just a dinner appointment, so I see it. Ever since we were "invited" I have had a feeling of not goodness and that we shouldn't go. So before we started weekly planning I was eating lunch and before I ate I said a prayer to have strength to tell Elder K that we shouldn't be going to this lesson. Then it came time to open my mouth and tell my thoughts. He didn't like the thought at all because he really wants to go and is willing to do what ever to go. It got a little bit heated and then it worked it's way out. 
 
Saturday we had a lot of lessons, four to be exact. We were everywhere and walked everywhere. It was good. We met with some less actives and then a family. It was good and hopefully we'll all be able to meet this coming week again. The family that we met with was pretty cool. A mom, dad, and two boys ages 11 and probably 8ish. Just a good family that would be awesome to have them be a part of the branch. They wanted some help with some English and we said that we would help them for a short little while. They gave us some borsch and showed us everything. The dad started pulling out some rifles. It was just a crazy cool family and it was good to have some interaction with a family for once. We are hoping that we'll be able to come back and have a good lesson with them about families being together and all will work out. They are normal and they aren't crazy. It's heaven sent. 
 
Sunday was interesting because we thought that church started at 10 because they announced it a week before, and so we all thought that this Sunday it was gonna be at 10, but we were wrong. We were there waiting and waiting and no one was there. Then everyone started showing up at the regular time, we as non-native speakers heard wrong. Church is going to start at 10 starting in November. That's nice to know. Church was good. After the church we came home and did some studies and made some pizza for dinner and then went to our grandma lesson. Nothing too crazy. 
 
This past week was quick and this coming week is going to be good. Thanks for everything that you all have done for me, I really appreciate it and love you all so much for it. I miss you all, yesterday was my 11th month mark in Ukraine. Geeze. 
 
Love Elder Frank 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pictures

Elder Young in his Fall Photo Shoot: 








Below: The district



Above: Studying
Below: Elder Young and Elder K. [whom he went on a split with]



Above: Playing the piano. 

Kharkiv/XT3 Letter 17


It's me again. I'm probably the one that writes you on Monday's so I'm sorry to fill up your inboxes with my email(s).
 
This past week has been great! I'm trying to remember exactly all that happened, but I do remember that it was all awesome.
 
So I'm not sure what you want to hear from me or see from this email. So I'll try and spice things up and send some good information about the past week.
 
It's been cold the past couple of days.
 
The leaves are almost all on the ground.
 
This morning when we walked out of our house we could see our breath.
 
The store we go to finally had some spices that I needed, oregano and garlic and some other powder spices.
 
I went on a split this week.
 
What else.
 
Yeah I think that's it.
 
Love Elder Frank Young
 
No I'm just kidding. I can't do that.
 
..
...
..
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So this past week was a good one. It was bit cold as you can remember from my earlier news. We had about three to four and rarely two lessons everyday so we are pretty busy which is nice. There is this one member that has some smoking problems, I've mention him earlier, it's fun going to him because we have a good relationship between us. When we were leaving he said that we were the nicest missionaries ever and that we show love to him. It was a good compliment to get and to know.
 
We had a good district meeting on Thursday. We talked about how we do this one lesson because we have been asked by President Compero to go around and do this one lesson about building up Zion where we live. We've tried it before without scriptures and it just doesn't work. So President said that we need to have some scriptures that go along with it. We searched for some good words and found exactly what we needed. It's awesome giving the lesson because after every lesson it's getting better and better. The best thing about our lesson is that the scriptures to the teaching and we just read. We've been telling other people in our district about our lesson and so they asked us to go through it on the meeting so we did and it was good. They liked it and they on the split that I was on it worked out really well.
 
Later this week we got dogged quite a bit, which is never fun. We tried to meet with A. but he's been down South trying to find a job and then he finally came back. When he was back up we both wanted to meet. We set up for Thursday but then he called and said that he couldn't meet. Then we rescheduled for Friday, but they he texted us and said that he was called to work and wouldn't be able to come. It was a heart break because we don't want him to leave before we start getting serious with everything. He is so close to getting baptized. We haven't been able to meet with E. this past week because he's been busy with school but we ran into his roommate on the street. He said that he missed us coming over and talking and what not. We should have asked him if we can go over to him and start meeting with him but we were in a bit of a hurry and we didn't have a lot of time to talk.
 
The split that I was one was a good one. I was back with Elder K., remember him? Way back in my Cold Mountain days I was on a split with him. My second transfer to be exact, guess what transfer I'm in now? If you guessed 8, then you guess right. So...it's been a while. We had some good times and worked hard. That night we started off by going to a less active and then we went by a member. The less active was a good little lesson. We just tried to see if we could drop by and see if they still live there. So we dropped by and when we knocked on the door they asked who was there and then when they knew they opened the door. They invited us in. It's a mother and a daughter and the daughter is a member. We sat and got to know one another. The mother had a good testimony about the BoM and the church and so Elder K asked her if she would like to be baptized, she declined. Then after some more talking we learned more about their situation. It's not the most pleasant situation in the world. Before we left the daughter asked how she can exit from the church. When she asked that question we sat in confusion and asked her to explain. Long story short some leader didn't do the right thing with some money and that doesn't sit well with her. She doesn't want to be affiliated with the church anymore. It's just a sad story. We said that we were in a hurry and set up to come back the next day.
 
The next day we prepared all throughout the day of how to address this problem. When it was time to go to the lesson we were pretty much prepared. We showed up and started off by showing some photographs and then we dove right into the situation. We started off by reading some scriptures about repentance and forgiveness. She knew the scriptures really well and understands them amazingly. She knows that she is kind of in the wrong for being so bitter to some of the church members and knows that she needs to change. But still she asked how she can get removed from the church. At the end of the lesson we asked her to kneel down and pray and ask Heavenly Father if this was the right thing to do. We all got down and she began to pray. During the prayer I was praying to Heavenly Father to give her the answer to stay in the church and that her mom could get baptized. After the prayer she got up and said that she still wanted to get removed from the church, even though she never really asked in her prayer. Then her mom steps up and says that she needs to rethink this over and that they were gonna pray about it some more. It was awesome, her mom who is not a member came to the rescue. It was great. Then we went our way back home. It was just crazy.
 
Church has been good the past couple of times. I've been sitting with members more and lesson with other missionaries and really trying to focus on what is going on. During one of the talks I closed my head and bowed my head and started to get some holy nap going. After about 7 minutes the sister next to me nudged me to awake me. Priesthood was really good, the branch president is really putting the task of doing work such as retention and making sure that people come to church. He told the brethren that they need to call their families of those they home teach and ask them where they were when they didn't come to church. It's awesome. It's taking the weight of unnecessary work off our shoulders and placing it where it should be. Our branch president is awesome.
 
On Sunday after church we tried finding some youth because there will be a fireside and all the youth need to go. So we went off and tried to find some people. Some of the doms that we went into were a bit sketchy but we were determined and didn't give up. We made contact with a few people and tonight we are going to return and find some more.
 
We've been working hard and having a good time whilst working. The weather is really starting to get cold, but that's okay because I got a good coat that I took from another apartment and I should be pretty warm this winter. However I think that it's going to be a cold winter and it's going to start early. I'll be ready you won't have to send me anything.
 
Thanks for all the love that you have sent this way. Remember that it's all being sent back to you, well not the love that you send here isn't getting returned and not used. I mean that I'm sending love to you.
 
Love Elder Frank

Monday, October 10, 2011

Kharkiv/XT3 Letter 16


Life is going pretty good for me so far this week. We just played some volleyball and then we're gonna go home and make some food and maybe take a nap because waking up early for so long just wears you out. We already bought our groceries for the week. Nothing too cool to talk about when you're a missionary over here. It's hard to find time and the resources to make something good, yet I've had some good handmade meals but nothing crazy special...except rabbit stew.
This past week has been a blur just like every other week. Time has been flowing by so quick. Elder K. was in charge and I followed him where ever we went. It's nice being a follower sometimes and allow others to have the chance to do some leadership so they know that it's a bit more difficult than they think. We had some lessons and had our fair share of contacting. On our lessons we have been trying something new. During ZC we got this paper for referrals and ever since that is what we are working out. It's call My Zion and the purpose is to write names of those who you think are ready for the Gospel who have close relationships with you and then pray about them and then eventually invite them to learn more about the Gospel. It's a good concept and we have a good lesson plan about it. We have some scriptures from D&C and they talk about our duty as a member to build up Zion and then when we do we receive blessings. It's a good lesson and people are more keen to doing it. We already tried with one family but they just put the paper aside and didn't do it. We came back and checked up on the paper and they just looked at us with fear because they didn't do the paper. Then we taught them the new lesson and they were like "okay this time we'll work on it". It was good for them.
Something big that happened this week was that we did service for Kharkov. The first of October was Helping Hands day in Ukraine. We went to a near by park and raked up some leaves and sticks and then put them in a tractor pulling a trailer and made the park look nicer. During the service some guy walked up to me and started talking to me. It was pretty cool. He was all interested about who is Mormon. That is a question that we get pretty often and then when I told him the answer he just went on and on and started talking to me. It can be annoying when people talk to you on the street instead of having a good conversation with them. He complimented me on my Russian and asked how I knew Russian well. I told him that I studied for 12 weeks and then study everyday. I also said that I know that God is helping me and has helped me. He then chastised me for saying that because you really can't know things in this life. He went on to try and tell me that we can never know things. He just made himself look silly. He also said that God didn't have a body. I then asked him the question: who are we similar to? He didn't answer the question and when I said that God certainly does have a body he just laughed. Then I called over a member and asked them if God has a body and then they said yes too. The man replied with how do you know that? The member said that it's written in the Bible. Then they guy just went his way and that was that. It was good to talk Russian with him because it was right after Bulgaria and I didn't talk a lot during that time and I felt like I forgot about how to speak Russian.
General Conference was really good and I'm really glad that I was able to listen to it all. All was really good and I took some good notes. I'm excited for the Liahona to come out. I really the Sunday School counselor's talk about teaching. That is something that I want to improve on whilst being out here and being a missionary. Teaching is something that I want to do back home as a profession. I also liked the leadership talks and what not, pretty much everything was awesome and I'm glad that I was able to listen to it all. I think that this GC was a really good one. A lot of people talked about our duty as a member and teaching others about the church, and repentance. Sounds like something crazy could happen in the next few years or what ever and we just gotta make sure that we are all clean and ready for what ever happens.
Life has been really good the past 20 years. I'm glad to be here as a missionary and doing the hard work of the Lord. Thanks for your support and all that you all have done for me. I love you all very much.
Elder Frank Young

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pictures


Above: Elder Young and the rabbit skull. 
Below: Elder Young and his 1 year cake. 


Below: Elder Young in Sofia, Bulgaria







Kharkiv/XT3 Letter 15


It's good to back in Ukraine. Weird as that is, I'll explain. Bulgaria is wonderful and nice and pretty much a dream mission. Ukraine might just be the opposite but I LOVE IT OVER HERE. Walking the streets of Sofia is awesome and everyone should do that before they die, but walking the streets of Ukraine is just another story. You never know what you're gonna get (say that is a Forrest Gump accent).
 
Elder N. and I took a train down from Kharkov to Donetsk, which we barely made by a matter of 5 minutes. We ended up taking a taxi because the metro was soooo slow but we had about 20 minutes before our train left and 30 minutes to get there. Do the math and you will see that it's not possible. I'm here typing to you all that yes it is possible. We told our driver that we were in a hurry and asked him to do his best. He certainly did. We got to the train station and then we ran as fast as we could to the platform. It was a sight for sure and boy oh boy am I glad that we made that train. I have no clue what we would have done if we didn't make that train. Then we rode down and got to Donetsk. There we did paper work and played some basketball and then got all together and waited for the morning to come. We woke up even earlier and got picked up and went to the airport, which is a lot nicer than I thought it was when I first came in. I thought that it was a dump but that is a nice building. Then we crammed into a plane and rode to Kiev. That was an alright flight and then we waited for about 5 hours till our next flight was ready. We met up with some other missionaries from the Kiev mission and flew with them. Sister W. and the K.'s, a senior couple. We got to Vienna and then made our next flight also by a matter of minutes and flew to Sofia. Once we got there some office elders came and picked us up and drove us to the mission office. Elders I remind you. I was a bit jealous because they get to drive cars and what not. They showed us the apartment which was a spitting distance away and then we went to dinner. After dinner we came back to the place and got ready for the next day.
 
Elder S. and I got up a bit early and started the Sofia adventure trying to find a Dunkin' Doughnuts. After stumbling across all of the cool things to see we finally found DD and KFC. We got two dozen doughnuts and made our way back to the place to share with the others. Then we all went out and had a good time seeing everything. We went into the churches and saw pretty much everything the city has to offer. It's a great clean city. I'd love to go back and have more time seeing everything. After some walking around we got tired and found a place to eat and ate and then walked some more and then went back to the apartment and ordered some pizza. There was a lot of eating going on. Then we all went to bed and then woke up early, again, and got in a car and drove back to the Sofia airport. Just so you know when you fly into Sofia you feel like you're in SLC for a bit and then you realize that no one speaks English and then you look at the signs and it's all in Bulgarian. Then we flew back to Vienna and then back to Donetsk. It was the same flight that we took when we came in and it was interesting to see it all again. The weather turned south for us and it was cold and raining. Thanks Ukraine for the welcome back. Then we stayed for the night and drove back up with President Compero and his wife as also as the AP's. It's been a long week of travel and I've been really tired the past few days.
 
That's pretty much all that happened the past week. I was in Bulgaria and traveling. I'll attach some photos.
 
Love Elder Frank Young