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