Monday, November 28, 2011

Donboss/Gorlovka Letter 4

This past week was a good one and we had a really good Thanksgiving feast. I'll start with that first.

So I'm not sure when Thanksgiving is for you all but for us it was Thursday 24. Maybe it was the same day for you...who knows....I bet it was I'm trying to make a joke...laugh. We all got together in our small little city, all six of us, we got together at the Zone Leaders apartment and we started our big huge feast. We spent about 700 griven on this meal, that's quite a bit. That is more than what we get a week as a companionship. So with all of this money we bought TWO turkeys, veggies, fruit, and everything else you might not might need for this great feast day. When we arrived the chefs pulled out the turkeys from the oven and basted them again and then put them back in the oven for a little bit more time. WOW is all I can say. When was the last time you saw six 20 something year old boys put on a Thanksgiving feast? Probably never...but I can tell you this, it was AMAZING!!! The turkeys were deliciously cook/baked, the fruit salad was amazing, the various other salads were amazing, the mashed taters were tasty, and the rolls were good. Everything was good. It was and will be the best meal that I ever have on my mission. So much food! We sat around and I said a typical Young family prayer and we then started devouring the food. We each had two plates and we filled them up to the top till gravy started pouring off the side, well that is what happened to me, and we ate till we couldn't no more. Oh my goodness it was so good.  Holidays as a missionary are awesome because you come closer with those around you and you have maybe a little bit more fun than you would back home. It's pretty cool being out here for the holidays. I'm excited for Christmas! After eating till we couldn't move we sat around to let the food settle and then we went outside and threw a football around for a while. Remember we're American and this is our holiday, we had to be as American as possible. Some youth came and threw the football with us, it was their first time ever seeing a ball like that and throwing it. It was pretty fun to teach them how to throw and laugh with them. Ukrainian people aren't afraid to try new things I feel like. They just walked up to us and asked if they could throw the ball. Who would do that back home? Walk up so random people and start playing with them? After some throwing of the pigskin we came back in and ate some pumpkin and apple pies. Oh so good. They were really dense and eating them was a bit of a challenge but yet so tasty. We really had a feast and so much food. So much food that we are going again today to finish what we didn't eat the first time. After eating the pies we sat around and said what we are thankful for. The Book of Mormon, my family, the opportunity to be a missionary, all the good things in Ukraine, and so on. It was a good Thanksgiving. It was fun talking with the younger missionaries because we, the older missionaries, said that next year we are gonna have a better Thanksgiving feast because we'll all be home whilst they will be here.

This week we had lessons and doing this and that as per usual because we are missionaries! The following day we had a really good lesson with some investigators. Before we went over we had a good open talk about the Holy Ghost. Persistence came to mind. Keep on going when life just seems too hard and you wanna throw in the towel and give up. There is a story in the Book of Mormon that always comes to mind every now and then. It's about some group of -ites and how they are trying to get away from the Lamanites but they get recaptured and they have all of these problems. Then it says that God wanted to see how they would react and wanted to try their faith. Every time I think about my triall(s) I think about this story and what they did. They kept on going and they chose the right and did all that was good and then they were rewarded for their good faith. When I think that life is a bit too hard for me I think about peristaining through the hard times and enduring and expecting the blessings that are in store for me. After this good talk we had I also thought that maybe I'm maturing in the way I feel the Holy Ghost. I sometimes feel the Holy Ghost but now I really haven't felt him it's been more or less hearing him and having thoughts that are not mine come to me. It's a new change and it was throwing me for a loop because I wasn't used to it. After this good talk we went to our lesson and it was great. It was with V and her son A. They are very humble people but are game to knowing more and changing with the Gospel. Earlier last week we stopped by and gave them the task of reading 3 Nephi 18. When we came back they said that they read it and then we started talking about it. They really understood it and it was awesome hearing their knowledge about it. Then the thought came to mind get them to be baptized. I wasn't sure how I was gonna do that because I couldn't change the topic like that on a dime so I asked her if she has got an answer about the Book of Mormon being true. She said yes and then I asked her if she has ever thought about baptism. They said no and then we asked them to pray right then and there asking Heavenly Father if they should they should get baptized. We all got down on our knees and prayed and then they prayed. They asked and then waited....and waited...they said that they got no answer and that they thought that it meant that they weren't ready. We talked about how the Holy Ghost works and then got out because it was super spiritual and we didn't want to take away from the spiritual high. When walking back home we talked about how it went, we both thought that it was going to end differently. We both got the same thought that they should be baptized but who they reacted to it was different. We thought for sure they would accept baptism but they didn't. I was a bit angry with myself because I should have worded the invitation better. I should have said "will you be baptized' instead of having them pray about it. Hopefully they'll still be game and next time we'll just ask them to be baptized. It was a good learning experience.

A funny story this week: Elder D and I went on a split.

Funny huh???? Yes Elder D and I went on a split celebrating our one year anniversary of when we first met and started working together. Can you believe it that it's already been one year?? Yes the split...we had to go to the church on Saturday morning because I needed to do an interview for baptism and then we went to the small city away by train. When we got there we figured out when we had to be back at the train station to catch the next train and then we were off. It was Elder D first time going out there  and I showed him around and then we had our lesson. When we got to the building where she leaves it was dark outside. So we walk inside and expect to have some light on, but we guessed wrong. Remember the Sister is blind...and so she doesn't know if it's dark or bright out. In her room we walk in and look at one another and kind of laugh but keep in the giggles. I look around for a light switch. I flip the switch....nothing...try again...nothing. Remember she's blind so how is she gonna know if it's dark or bright inside. We take off our coats and sit down. I remember that I grabbed my headlamp that morning and threw it in my bag so when I remembered that I grabbed it and threw it on and we had a headlamp-light lesson. It was pretty interesting and all worked out. We just giggled to ourselves and had a good lesson with her. After the lesson we talked about it and thought that if we just came from America and that was the first thing we did as a missionary we would be freaked out and maybe not continue. It was pretty crazy. But since we have been here for a while and we some what know to accept the crazy we weren't put off and all was well. Then we got some food and walked back to the train station. There we waited for a while and then our train finally pulled up. We got on and then waited for it to move. We waited for about two and a half hours. It was a not the best thing. The train isn't the most comfortable place to sit and it was a bit crowded. The reason we waited so long is because further down the tracks there was a broken train. Finally the train started moving and we got home with about thirty minutes to spare before we were supposed to be inside and SLEEPING. We didn't get home until 10 that night. Yes it was pretty late.

The rest of the week has been good. We have a baptism coming up this week. There will be two men getting baptized! That is pretty cool. The work is going on here in Gorlovka. I like being here and I hope that I get to stay another transfer and not leave. There has been some talk that some crazy things will happen because of the 'greenies' not getting visas that people could move and our place could become a sister missionary apartment again. That would be cool...but at the same time not really because we have so much going on and we meet with other men so they wouldn't be able to meet with them and yeah. I would really really like to stay another transfer here.


Elder Frank



Donboss/Gorlovka Letter 3


Monday was a good day, that night for "FHE" we went to one of our investigators and had talked with him. We are waiting for First Presidency approval until we can baptize him. We were talking with him and his friend was there and then his friend started asking some good questions and we started teaching him. We talked about the Book of Mormon and prayer and what it all is. He was asking how we pray because we said a prayer before we started the lesson, that's what started the questions. People here when they are done praying say "..in the name of Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost, amen." It's a bit awkward hearing that but they are all Russian Orthodox and that is how they pray. So he was asking why we only say in the name of Jesus Christ. Then we asked him how did Jesus pray? We pray in the name of Jesus Christ because he told us to and that is the way. He was in agreement with that and said that it was right. Then he asked why there are so many churches and we tried to explain to him the reasoning but he wasn't  so interested in our answers he really liked asking questions. Then he went off about being with girls and having sex before marriage and doing not the best thing and he wanted to know what our stand was. It was a bit awkward talking about that because he was using a lot of slang that I didn't understand and so we just said what we knew simply and left it up to him to decide. He said that he was interested and would like to meet some more so we are hoping that this week we'll be able to meet with him and help. 

Tuesday night we started a split and I went to the other Elders area. We have three sets of Elders in the District, Elders R and F, then the zone leaders-D and Z, and finally Elder H and I. I went to Elder F and we had a good time. We taught that night a lesson to a wife of a member who is an investigator (confused...the wife isn't a member but the husband is). I was 'junior companion' for the split and so I sat there and talked when I had to talk. We read a scripture and then Elder F was about to close the lesson, but before he closed it I started talking and we talked more and more about Christ and his purpose and what he did so we all could return back to him. I'm grateful for the member that he spoke up and started answering the questions that his wife had. She was a bit confused about the purpose of Christ and the Atonement. Her husband made the analogy of the debtor and creditor and made it super simple and it was awesome. We learned more about the investigators needs brought the Spirit. Then we came home and talked about the lesson more and then made some more food to eat. 

Wednesday we had some lessons and talked some more. The area that I was in was really small but yet they have a lot of members in their area and so we met with some members and did some work. We met with an older woman. We met that night with a less-active youth, who is really cool. He got back from a vacation and he said that whilst on the vacation he and his girlfriend broke up. But the way he said it in Russian (translated) my girlfriend quit. Elder Fr has been on the mission for a while, five transfers, but didn't quite pick up what he was saying and said 'cool'. NO NO NO NO NO!!!! NOT COOL!!!! Then the youth looked at him and said 'cool?' then I told him what he said and he was a bit embarrassed about that. Good 'ol Russian making us have some hard times not understanding, sure do love it!!! We talked about the parable of the talents and talked about what talents we had. He was still feeling a bit depressed but when he started talking about his talents he seemed to lighten up a bit and everything turned out  better. He wasn't feeling so depressed by the time we left. 

Thursday we planned on having district meeting later because we were gonna have to be at the church later that day and so we didn't want to go in the morning and then leave and then come back so we planned that we could stay at the church for a while and everything would fall together. We had a good district meeting in the chapel. I'm glad that we had it there because we were a bit more reverent and it felt better. Elder R talked about being the best you can be and not to worry about what other people think about it. He gave an analogy of a doughnut and how they cut out the hole and then the doughnut is then unique. He was telling us to be you and be grateful for the differences that you have and to not worry about it. It was a good lesson. Then after that we played some SET and talked a bit. We ended a bit early and we had an hour before our missionary night was about to start. We decided to go and get some food and then come back in time for it to start. We left and grabbed some food and then came back and waited for members to show up. About 10 minutes of waiting since it was going to start, no one shows up; more time goes by, still no one shows up. We realize that no one is going to come and so we talk some more and then it's late and we come back home. 

Friday we go to Donetsk for a special meeting for all the missionaries. How we got there was a bit interesting. We walked down the street and found a guy who yells "car to Donetsk" and told him that we wanted to go to Donetsk and had us walk over to a car and hop in and then we paid the driver and then he drove us to the edge of Donetsk. It was pretty interesting we rode with some other people and eventually got to Donetsk. In the back of my mind I was a little bit afraid that I we weren't going to Donetsk and the driver was going to drop us off in the middle of no where and scam us for money. Luckily that didn't happen and we got to the edge of Donetsk and then we had to ride a really crowded bus into Donetsk and then hop on another bus and ride to the mission office where the meeting was going to be. It was good to see all of the other Elders again and to talk with them. We talked about being a good mission and working hard and doing the work. We had President Bennett come by earlier this year and a question was asked about winter time and what to do because it gets dark around 4:45 p.m. or earlier and then everybody is inside and no one is on the streets. We got a return letter from the head of the missionary department and they said that we need to be proselyting from 6 to 9 p.m. everyday. It's a bit of a heartache because that is a long time to be outside in the cold doing work, but we will do it. The rest of the meeting was good and we discussed as missionaries what to do better and about the work. It was cool to see us all come together and talk about a topic and work with one another. Before we left to come back to Gorlovka I met with President Compero and talked with him about how my life is going and what not.  He's a wonderful man and is super spiritual. 

Saturday morning we woke up early again and went to the little city a ways away and met with a member. We take a small little train and ride it for about an hour. When we get there we take our tags off and we can't proselyte because we don't have government permission so we walk to the members house and then after that get something to eat and then come back to our area. We talked about the Articles of Faith with the member, we read them to her because she is blind. At church she wears sunglasses because she has a big hole where her left eye should be and her right eye is closed shut. It was a bit weird and I felt awkward for staring but then I remember what Elder Harris said about staring, you can stare all you want because she won't know. How true it is. The member is awesome and isn't afraid of anything and is pretty self supported. She boiled some water and brought it in and we had some tea and then we read to her the Articles of Faith. She said that they were all good and true and liked them. Then we ended by singing a hymn and left a word of prayer. We knew when the next train was going to leave but when we looked at our watches mid-lesson the train was leaving so we had some time to kill before the next train was going to leave. It was fun, we walked around the small city and found a big outdoor market and walked around and saw the masses of people buying things. Then we bought some food from a grocery store and then found a park bench and ate our bread and drank some Coca-Cola light. Oh it's so good. Then we went back up to the train station and looked at the board for our next train. The next train back to Gorlovka wasn't until another two or three hours but there was another train that almost got back to Gorlovka but we were unsure if we had to take a bus to get back home. We asked some train-station people and they said that we could get back home. When we tried to buy some tickets they told us to run outside because the train was there and was about to leave in two minutes. So we quickly get out and run to the train and then when we get in and find a seat and sit down the train starts to leave. We bought a ticket on the train and then waited to get back close to home. We eventually had to take a bus home but, we got home earlier than the other train would have gotten us home. I was grateful for that because being in that small city is cool but we can't be missionaries and so that isn't so much fun. Then we went to the church for a music night and that was interesting because it was a member who can shred on the guitar and Elder Rooney who can improvise songs really easy. So it was them who played together and we listened. There were a few members who showed up and we had one investigator come. The members were a bit upset because the music night lasted about 40 minutes and they wanted it to last longer, beggars can't be choosers right? Then we talked with the investigator and asked him to come to church tomorrow and he said that he would because he wanted to see how we did church. That was cool and then it was late and we all went home. 

Sundays are getting better for me. We went to church early because since I'm the district leader we get to meet with the branch president and talk with him about missionary work. But he was in a meeting and when we heard through the door he was meeting with the district president and some others. So we didn't know if they already started Branch Counsel without us or what. So we sat waiting for them to finish. Then Elder Harris said that we should probably be in there and so we knocked on the door and they let us in. They were talking about this and that and then they turned to us and had us report on missionary work. We told them of a baptism that is coming up and then the district president told the branch presidency that there is now a lot of work to do so that everything will work out. Then the meeting ended and we waited for our investigators to show. We called the guy who is supposed to get baptized soon but he said that he forgot about church and said that he was going to be late. I felt that we should move the baptism because he was going to be late. So I told the branch president that if our investigator doesn't show up, don't announce the baptism because it'll be moved to another day. It wasn't too fun saying that but when we were planning this date of baptism I had in the back of my mind that it was too early for him and that he wasn't going to be able to make it that early and that we were gonna have to push it to another date. Then towards the end of Sacrament meeting he showed up but it was a little bit too late. We met with him after Sunday School and talked with him about the reason for us changing his baptism date and asked him how he was going following the Word of Wisdom. He said that he is doing a lot better and that he's sorry that he came late to church. He's a good guy and knows that he needs to be there at church and then he can get baptized. After church we walked the blind lady back to the train station and dropped her off in front of the train doors and then walked away. It felt really really weird leaving her there but that is how the procedure happens. Then we came home and made a good dinner which was 'steak', mashed potatoes, gravy, veggies, and happiness. It was probably the best meal that I've had in a really long time. It was good. Then we had some study time and then we talked about the companionship and how we are doing. 

Elder Frank 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Donboss/Gorlovka Letter 2


This past week has been quite interesting. Snow finally hit the ground. I remember waking up and looking outside and seeing snow falling. I really couldn't believe my eyes. I thought that it wasn't going to snow for a bit longer, not till mid-December or something. Oh well with the new snow came some new excitement. Oh where to begin with this exciting past week I had here in Gorlovka? 

Monday we went to our investigator and had a quick lesson with him. He is doing good. Maybe I've told you about him, we're waiting on approval so he can be baptized. That approval should come pretty soon...we hope. Mondays aren't that exciting to report on because all we do is go shopping and write emails home and then figure out some activity and that is about our day. We got an increase in missionary money so we can start buying more food and eating better. I have started to buy some more vegetables and fruits and eat healthier....

Tuesday was 8th if you were wondering. Our investigator had to go to Donetsk to meet with President Compero and so we met up with him and gave him some money so he could get there and then we did some contacting for a while and then returned back home and finished studies and got something to eat. We talked to this one lady who asked us why we meet on Sundays and not Saturdays. Thank goodness for confusing words in Russian and calendars and free agency because it's all confusing and doesn't make sense. The word for Saturday means The Sabbath....so they all meet on "The Sabbath" or Saturday. After some talking about that she said that we need to study more about our church and think things over. I think that she might have been a J-Dub because there are TONS of them here always walking around and trying to talk to people. When contacting it makes it a bit more hard because it's been beat down and by other missionaries so contacting on the streets isn't too much fun, but yet I still find a way to have fun. That night we had a lesson with some members and they gave us some food, which is always really nice. They gave us some Борщ and some other food. I will tell you this that it was a bit hard to get it all down and in, good think you sent some Pepto-Bismal mom so all is well. People here are really nice when they feed you but sometimes that niceness doesn't make it all the way to their food and their food is just a little bit okay, but yet some how edible.

On Wednesday we had a few lessons this day. We met with N. She is a super special soul. I guess you could say that she has some special abilities that no one really else has in the world. She is pretty much legally deaf, so teaching to her is a bit interesting. When we came to her and started teaching, we taught about prayer. I always forget at the beginning of the lesson that she is really hard of hearing and so I talk normal to her, then I look at her and she has the look of not knowing anything and looking at you for the answer. Then I rephrase the question or sentence thinking that I didn't say it right which made her confused, and she still gives me the look of what? Then I remember and then I talk really loud at her and then she barely hears me and then answers. It's quite an experience. I'm learning a lot here. 

Then later that night we had a lesson with some really smart lady who went to California to get a Master's degree in Southern Literature. I'm not sure how that could help you do something over here, but she loves it and so I'm not gonna think other wise. We met with her and tried to find out some more information about her wants and needs from meeting with us. I was having some trouble staying awake because I was really tired and sometimes at the end of the day you are just really tired and you need to sleep. When she was talking and talking I was trying so hard to stay awake and listen to what she had to say. My blinks got to be longer and longer, then some how I was awake. Maybe it's because the sun goes down so early and it's cold that trying to stay awake for that long is hard, I don't know. Missionary work wears me out. 

Thursday was an interesting day. We had district meeting for a while because our investigator showed up. I'll give more on that later. For district meeting we had the Zone Leaders give us some new information about the mission because there was just zone leaders counsel. They talked about some new resources that we have now and that we are becoming a better mission and life is picking up. There is a good talk out there which talks about leadership and management. We changed from management to leadership and the mission is great. Back do district meeting...so we are talking and then our phone rings and we are told that our investigator will be there in about ten minutes...a bit too early so we take a break and we meet with our investigator. He called us a few days before and said that he really wants to meet again and so we finally had a time to meet. He said that he really wants to be baptized and wants to have the Holy Ghost in his life. So....we put him on date to be baptized in a couple of weeks. He has been taught everything and has come to church so basically all we have to do is clear up some things and help him life the commandments of God. He should be good to go by the 26 of November because that is when he is supposed to get baptized. After our lesson we went back to D.M. and talked some more and then it was over. 

Friday we had planned for some service in the morning but when we called to solidify if it was going to happen, we were told that service was not going to happen. So we didn't do have service but we got together and made some scones instead. It was good to have the Elders over and make some food and laugh and come closer. That is something that I wish could happen a bit more on the mission-making some good strong relationships and know who I'm working with out here. When we are all happy and we can feel each other's  love for one another, it's a lot better out here. I have a testimony about the brotherhood that exists out here and that when we are together the mission is better. After the scones we went to a less-active man and had a lesson with him. He is an interesting man who has some stories. He was in the hospital for a while and I think had some surgery. Any ways he's a bit bitter but then he warms up and is a nice guy. I was warned of this but then when I experienced him for the first time it was completely different it felt like. We read some verses with him and he got all upset about the children of Israel.

Saturday we met up at the church because we are doing a music night and we had to meet with the guy putting it on and review what was going to happen and what we are going to do. Elder R can jam on the piano and he is teaching me how to do some improvisation, which is awesome because that is what I've been wanting to be able to do. It's the "5 finger pattern" and with that you can do anything. It's pretty cool and hopefully by the end of my mission I should be able to jam. Then we made our way to a distant city where a member lives. I was looking forward to this trip because I've been told many good things about this place and the member and how wonderful it all is. So we hop on a "train" and spend about an hour getting there. Halfway through the trip Elder H tells me to call the member and let her know that we are coming to her. When I call her she says that she isn't home. That's okay because the next train that comes back home isn't until another three hours so.........we can't proselyte in that city because we don't have permission from the government which means that we can't really be missionaries and so we walk around and explore more of the little city. I'm not sure how to spell the city name translated so sorry. We walk around and see the few one or two sights the city has to offer and then we wait at the train station for the next "train" to come back. Eventually the "timely" train comes and we come back home exhausted and go right to sleep. 

Sunday was a good day. We had to go to church early because I had to give missionary work information to the branch president because I'm the district leader. So I gave a report to him and then waited for church to start. The branch here is pretty good and nice. They have enough members to do everything so the missionaries don't have to worry about anything and we are able to sit and bring some investigators. Testimony meeting here is always interesting. For Sunday School we were talking about sign of the Second Coming and we had an investigator there.  After Sunday School our investigator asked if we could meet because he was leaving soon. So we had a quick lesson with him. He's the one getting baptized soon. He has a problem with drinking coffee and tea so we tried to help him understand that it's not good to drink those. He looked as if he understood and said that he would live the Word of Wisdom. When we started talking about the Word of Wisdom Elder H asked him "what does the word of wisdom mean?" He thought that it meant good smart knowledge that is passed down from one generation to the next. I had to laugh to myself because technically that is right. Oh good 'ol church words that we have that no one else really has. Then after church we met with the one less-active and talked about the Sacrament with him and then gave him the Sacrament and then came home and made some lasagna. That turned out well and was really tasty. 

I feel like I'm going to be learning a lot here in Gorlovka. 

Thanks for all that you have all done for me. You're all wonderful and amazing and I love you all so much. Thanks for the emails, the packages, the love, and the prayers. I love you all and miss you. 

Love Elder Frank

Monday, November 7, 2011

Donboss/Gorlavka Letter 1


So yes I got transferred. This past transfer was a 7 weeker instead of a 6 weeker. I'm not sure why but that is what I know. Some elders got delayed and that is true. I only knew that they went to Arizona..but still that stinks that they are having some visa troubles. I heard from other missionaries, so I'm not sure how accurate the information is, but that Ukraine has made it really hard for others to get visas. There was some court case between the church and Ukraine so that the church could send missionaries here on two year visas so they don't have to send us to Bulgaria. The church won and got two year religious visas but Ukraine doesn't have religious visas anymore....so that is probably why some of the elders are stuck back in the states. My group that got back from Bulgaria we all have different visas from everybody else. I've looked at it for a while and there are some differences about it. I think that I have up to 7 re-entries...so maybe I have to leave every now and then so my visa renews because it also says something about 90 days. It's kind of crazy to think about and figure out what the mission is gonna do, it could end up like Russia and we have to leave all the time. That wouldn't be too much fun.
 
So I guess you would like to know what is up and what is going on. I'm now down in the Donboss. My feelings are a little bit indifferent about it because Kharkov is just amazing. Oh well beggars can't be choosers. The bus ride down wasn't so bad as I thought and remembered it being. We had a big bus because we had about 10 people coming down with luggage and then some others coming down for a counsel. We talked and laughed the whole way down. Then eventually we got to the office building and had some time to talk with other Elders and then we had transfer meeting. During the time before I was able to talk with Elder Pulsipher. He is doing good and it was great to talk with him. We shared some laughs and talked about what could happen. For transfers you have no clue what could happen and who could go where. So it freaks you out. . Eventually transfer meeting happened and we all found out where we are going. President Compero had us all stand up and stand next to the wall and then when you found out where you are going you go sit down. They announced Kharkov first and then the Donboss. Eventually people were sitting down and then I was one of six people left. It got a bit scary because of what could happen and where I could go. I was relieved because there was a buddy still left and we thought that we could be serving together. His name is Elder Rooney, I'll talk more about him later. So then eventually my name is called and I go sit down. I'm serving in a small satellite city called Gorlavka. I was told that the work is a bit dead and there really isn't much going on. Yay!!! Not a lot of people want to serve over here...I'm one of the few and the proud to get the honour to serve here. Boo ya!!! We loaded up a bus and then drove the hour or so out here to the great thriving metropolis of Gorlavka and found my apartment and unpacked. My companion is Elder Harris from Davis area..well that is where he went to high school. He's only in his third transfer, so I'm weaning him as we call it in the mission. His Russian is amazing, they are doing a new teaching method in the MTC and they pretty much come out fluent. It's gonna be a good transfer. I'm following him around for the first part because I have no clue what is going on. I'm picking up more and more about the area and it's alright. We are in the center of the city which is nice. We had TV church on Sunday because there was a broadcast from SLC with Elders Oaks, Uchtdorf and Whitney Clayton and Sister Thompson. It was a good session, they talked about having a temple recomend and paying a full tithe and serving missions and having a temple mission. The leaders weren't so easy with how they said things because it was pretty straight forward and called the members to better action, but it's good for them.
 
Gorlavka is going to be pretty interesting because there are only six elders out here. My zone leaders are Elder Duke and his comp Elder Zsemberry. Yes the same Duke that trained me about a year ago. It's pretty cool being around him a year ago and seeing the progression that I have made since then. Then there is me and Elder Harris and the other elders are Elder Rooney and Elder Frandsen. Rooney was trained by Elder Pulsipher and is just a chill good funny kid. We already know each other by association and have had a few chances to talk with one another. I'm excited to serve around him and get to know him better. He'll be a good friend after the mission. Mission life is going great, I'm still District Leader over here and doing the normal things. I think that I'm getting set up to train next transfer, that's a bit scary...kind of. We'll just have to wait and see what really happens.
 
I can't believe that time is really moving by so quickly. Elder Rooney is in his fourth transfer and that is when I was with Elder Pulsipher and now I'm in my ninth transfer. I only have about six more to go and then it's home. It's crazy to think that the mission is going to end. Life out here is a lot different from back home. I'm grateful to be out here and working hard and having struggles with the people, life and the Russian language. Thank you for your prayers and all that you have all done for me. I love you a lot.
 
Love Elder Frank Young