Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Donboss/Gorlvoka Letter 7

It's almost Christmas!!! It's the 19th and there is NO SNOW over here and today the temperature gauge said that it was about 6 degrees Celsius. That is quite warm. I don't know what is happening with this warm weather. It's kind of making me go crazy in the head because I thought that it was going to be cold, but in fact it's quite warm. Maybe I'm just always crazy in the head. Who knows....

This past week was a good quick week. It was transfer week and so that included some extra surprises. On Tuesday we met with some people so
Elder H could say goodbye to them. Nothing too special happened.
He was bummed that he had to leave this area. I remember way back when, when I was his age in the mission and I remember not really wanting to leave my first area because I liked it a lot. But eventually you have to grow up and move on. I've come to like all of my areas. Some other missionaries could say that I have served in the 'armpits' of the mission. There is only one more area and I have gotten all of the "bad" areas. I tend to think that all areas are good. This area that I am in now is great. There are a lot of people to talk to and we always have something to do.

On Wednesday night we went to THE best house in Ukraine. All of the houses, apartments, or living spaces here are relatively the same and so when we walked in we were surprised at what we saw. We as in Elder H, D, R and I. The members invited us all over because some of them were leaving. It was AMAZING!!! The house felt like an American home. Warm and loving and everything was amazing. Wow! I'm wondering how they got all of their stuff inside of that house and where from. Just simply amazing. We went and washed our hands before we ate and in the bathroom there was a Jacuzzi tub, and a shower box with many showerheads, bidea and a toilet. It was THE best bathroom
I've ever seen. Then we commenced with a meal, which they said is a 'real' Ukrainian meal. What ever it was it was very delicious. We talked and showed photos and had a great time. Then we talked about life and everything else and then it came time for us to come home. It was a night not to forget.

Thursday was transfer day. The bus came for Elder H and we loaded up his stuff and then came to the other Elders to grab Elder D and his luggage and then they all left. It was sad to see them go but life goes on. I'll probably never see Elder D again because he is all the way up in Sumi and since that makes a lot of sense for you he's about seven hours away by car travel...roughly. So I won't see him again and he's training again...meaning that I have a mission brother..That is to help you out if you're doing missionary genealogy. They all left and we waited for transfer meeting to occur and wait for the bus to come back so we could get our new companions. My new companion is Elder L.

He's awesome! I'm grateful for the chance to serve with him. I've only seen him once before and that was up in Kharvov for zone conference. He was up in Sumi so he came down. He was a fresh greenie. That was my first time seeing him. I knew of him but I didn't really know him. He's a bit taller than me, wears glasses, and has a shaved head...because he got a fellow missionary to cut it and he didn't do a good job. He's from Phoenix, Arizona. He went to BYU for a year, graduated high school in '10. It's crazy serving with younger kids. I'll probably have younger companions around me for the rest of the mission. That isn't bad because then there are more teaching opportunities and what not. When I found out that I was going to get Elder L I was a bit scared because I was going to 'wean' again. That is to be his second companion. That is sometimes a frightful thing but after I put some thought into it I wasn't so scared anymore and now I'm not scared. He's a great kid and is easy to get along with. We laugh and make jokes all the time. It's a good time right now, and I can't complain.

Friday we had district meeting and we had some good lessons taught about always having Christ near to our hearts...that's because we have nametags that have His name on it. We played some ping-pong as a bonding activity and Elder L is amazing at playing ping-pong. We then quickly came home and made some food. Elder L helped out which is nice.  It's nice having help in the kitchen. Then we went back to the church to have a lesson with an investigator that we found a while back. He speaks English very well and is pretty cool. He said that he got back from the recording studio because he is in a band playing drums and occasionally the bass guitar. That was way cool. From what we gained from our lesson with him he has a great head upon his shoulders. He has had interactions with missionaries for a very long time and knows about us. Hopefully we will be able to help him out and make the step and become a member and reap the blessings that are in store for him.

Saturday was a busy day just like everyday. We went to V and had a lesson with him. He's been hit-and-miss some times and so it was good to meet with him. Meeting with him can some times be a bit difficult because he knows everything and takes it all in so when it comes time to teaching some thing new...there really isn't some thing new to teach. We ended our lesson and he thought that we were gonna leave.... instead we sat there and shot the breeze with him for a while because he needs some good friends and then we left. Then we came back home and ate some leftovers and went to V and A for a lesson with them. They are good people and the lesson with them was great. They are people who love good things and they try and do good things and so they are great people. One of the many great things about them is that if you ask them to read the scriptures they will and get out great information from it. So we talked about the scriptures and gave half of a first lesson. We talked about good things in the world and that every good thing is from God. She agreed with us and then grabbed a newspaper and showed us a photograph of a smiley face made out of clouds and asked if it was from God. We said yes because it was a good thing. Then after some more discussion we left and came back home and made some white-chocolate chip cookies. They turned out to be way good and tasty.

Sunday was a long interesting day. Church was good and the usual. Gospel Principles never really has anyone in the class except some missionaries and some other members...that can get awkward some times. Priesthood was normal. Then came the most exciting part of the day. There is going to be a Christmas program put on by the branch and so we practiced for it.....for about 5 hours we practiced.  It provided for some laughs and then everything worked out....I guess. It was a good thing to participate in.

Life has been going great. I have been learning a lot of things lately. In 1 Nephi chapter 2 Lehi is talking to Laman and Lemuel about being like a river and a valley. If you want something to think about thing week think about a river and what it does to the land. I'm thankful for the love of the earth and how she works because rivers are quite fascinating. Rivers if they are continuous, just as was said by Lehi, always move.... then shape of the land but yet the flow of the river keeps on going. Yet the land may move and change, the river will always be flowing.... into the fountain of righteousness. I thought that it was interesting to me...maybe not so much to you all but that is something that I learned this week.

Also Elder L can do finger tip pull-ups on the small lip of a doorframe and he has been teaching me how to do them. He taught me that I need to have trust in myself and that I can to do. Now I can hang on my finger tips for some seconds and every now and then I can pull up to a 90 degree. It's pretty cool. I'm learning a lot and having a lot of fun and laughing of course. Thanks for all that you have done for me.

Love Elder Frank

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