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

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