Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Transfers

As pertaining to the subject line you may have guessed that I am moving....away from Gorlovka. I'm not sure how I feel about it but what ever. I have come to the terms with transfers and that is not to worry or to guess because there are other missionaries who will do that for me. Some think that I could go back to Kharkov, pretty much my last area and be a zone leader. Or they think that I could go to Donetsk and take Elder P place. Who knows...and who really cares. No matter what the work goes on. 

The phone call came Friday morning. I thought that it was a bit unexpected. I thought that I could have gone another transfer here with Elder L but that isn't going to happen anymore. Time has been going by pretty quick though. I can't believe that this transfer is almost over. I thought that we just started it a couple of weeks ago..more like five and a half weeks ago we started...geeze...

This past week hasn't been too exciting. The snow has been coming done and I can probably say that winter has finally arrived. Every morning it's about negative 5 or 6 degrees Celsius. That's not too bad unless you don't have a coat then it's really bad. But good thing that I have a coat and that vest that has been keeping me warm. I don't know what has happened to me but recently I have been feeling really cold the past couple of days. Maybe it's because I don't take hot showers or I sleep with no blankets. Just kidding I wrap up and night and when inside I'm almost always wearing that lamb's wool vest. It's very nice and I'm excited to show you all. 

Last Monday I got a hair cut...well I got them all cut. It was my first haircut in Ukraine! I have been doing the safe way out and every six to seven weeks I give myself a haircut. A number 4 all the way around. Looks a bit silly when I do the buzz, but I was thinking of doing something different and so I went and gone one. The lady did a fairly good job. I'd send a picture by the camera is dead...so sorry. 

Tuesday was an interesting day. We had a lesson that morning with the lady who thinks she was baptized and then when we got home from that lesson another member called us and asked if we could meet. We agreed that we would meet in an hour and then off we went. That lesson was really good. The member has only been a member for about 4 years but she has only gone to church 2 out of the 4. But her understanding was wonderful. We talked about the Love of God and everything else pertaining to that. Basically what everything boils down to for me is that we need to be patient and then everything will work out...eventually. That is one thing that is a bit hard for me to accept. There are just times that it would be very nice if everything was working 100% of the time and there wasn't any problems. But that is not the case some times and there are things to be learnt. 

We were supposed to have a lesson with this guy that we found earlier last transfer and he said that he was gonna have some people there waiting to listen to us. This was going to be excititng and frightening. I was anxious that morning and did my best to keep my cool. Eventually it was time to go and we put on our suits and went out to find the building. After some searching we found the place and went in. We found the right room but he wasn't there. We talked for a little bit with some of the people there and then left and went to another lesson. It was a bit of a let down because the guy talked it up pretty good the night before but maybe next time. The other lesson was a good one, we tried asking for some referrals from the member because that is what we are supposed to do every now and then. We gave a good presentation about building up Zion and that we need his help to build up Zion, how ever at the end of the lesson he couldn't think of anyone so that was his commitment before our next meeting. Think of someone to meet with the missionaries with him. Our fingers are crossed. 

Later this week we met with V. We have been waiting for approval for his baptism and we finally got it!!!! We talked about having a testimony, gaining one, and what it all means with him. It was a good lesson. I think that he took it and understands it a bit more. What I learned is that there needs to be two parts to gaining a testimony. One, need a desire and two, need to ask God in sincere prayer. It was a good lesson. That night we met with Svetlana, she is a professor and is really interesting in what we have to tell her. I noticed that she had a huge stack of papers to grade and I told her that my mother grades papers all the time. Then she said that you mom are wasting your time and shouldn't do that. She also was making some jokes at some of her students because they use funny words like mediator between the books and the students and facilitator. She thought that it was very funny but to us we just faked laughing and agreed with her that it was funny. 

We have been having some hard times getting a hold of the people that we found the week previous, when we call they don't answer their phone. Yes that can be annoying but they have their own life. Eventually this one guy picked up the phone and he and I chatted. He is a wonderful guy. We gave him a BOM quickly because he was leaving to another city, but returning. He said that he read a little bit from it and thought that it was interesting. When we offered to meet with him he declined nicely but yet was still really nice. He said that he didn't want to meet with other people because I told him that I was leaving. He told me to write down his number and call him from time to time to chat because I'm his new friend. That is pretty cool. The people here are really nice and it'll be sad leaving them. 

On Sunday I had to play the piano for the first time is a really long time. Right before the meeting started the usual piano player walked in but she sat down in the congregation and didn't come up. I was thinking that she was going to come up and play, but she didn't. So I pretty much sight read the music and occasionally had to play with one had. The song-chooser chooses some really weird songs that I really haven't heard before so it was interesting to play. The songs were played and it all worked out. Church was pretty good, got to say some goodbyes to some people and then we came home and had our last Sabbath meal together. We made steaks again because they are so tasty. We had some potatoes and some veggies. Oh so delicious. That night we were gonna go help the other Elders move/pack because today was their last day in their apartment. 

This morning we went over and helped them pack some more and then helped them move. It only took about three car trips and it was pretty quick. I don't know why we as missionaries keep Ensigns/Liahonas from the past 20 years. They should just be thrown out. Anyways the new apartment is really nice and will be fun to visit on Pday...oh wait, I'll be leaving so I won't be there anymore. 

This week has a lot of surprises in hold for me. Who knows what will be going on and there is no need to worry. All is well. I love you all very much and thank you for all that you do for me. 

Love Elder Frank

Friday, January 13, 2012

Merry Christmas!!!! I hope that Дед Мороз brought you all some more gifts. Confused?......because of the Русский (Russian) or because I'm saying...typing..Merry Christmas again. Well this week was a good one. On Saturday it was old Christmas...the one that the Soviets tend to 'celebrate' because of their Orthodox religion. Why complain when you get two Christmas's? Not a lot of people celebrate it they just observe it. This past week has been a good one. It seemed long but it went quick at the same time. Last Pday you pretty much already know because we went to internet a bit late because we rearranged the furntiture and bought groceries and did everything else that we were supposed to do. Tuesday was supposed to be a good day but the whole day I had some stomach pains that were really uncomfortable. I didn't like having the pains one bit but I tried to endure. The pains would come sparatically and wouldn't really cease. We did go out that night to have a lesson and during that lesson they usually feed us but because I started my special diet again of eating Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast I wasn't able to eat what they fed. I felt bad but the hostess understood. She was asking me about my problems and everything else about the problem. It was pretty cool that I was able to talk about the problem as well as I did. I know that Heavnely Father has helped me and is blessing me with the gift of tongues because without his help I wouldn't be able to speak at all. Wednesday we had a zone conference and that was interesting. We learned more about using our brains and exercising our agency because the mission has a hard time of reading something in the handbook and interpreting it the other way. There was a time when some people were talking, I included, because we understood the principle they were talking about but yet there were some who didn't get it. It was simple, USE YOUR BRAIN! Then one of the AP's noticed all of the talking and asked us what was going on. That made us quiet but no one would answer the question. I then said that we all understand and we're bored and we've been talking about the same small little problem now for 15 minutes and we are bored and we understand. They were happy with the answer and we moved on. Oh zone conference... At zone conference we got a new schedule where we go outside right at 7:00 a.m. to find more men to teach. We have been trying out the new schedule since Wednesday and it really wears you out by the end of the night. We went out and found some people to talk to and one guy talked to us for about thirty minutes saying some interesting things. He was asking some "elementary" questions but in fact they weren't really "elementary" questions. Then we had some more lessons and we were busy for the rest of the night. We had a member present lesson with some of our investigator. It was great because what we planned on saying our member said it all. We wanted to express the need to come to church and that you really don't need to wear Sunday clothes. What is important is that you come to church....they didn't come to church. Friday we had district meeting and Elder Lewis talked about using the resources that we have to help further the work that we are doing and to be good missionaries. He talked about improving our teaching skills. It was a good lesson. Then afterwards we started a split. Elder Rooney came with me and we had a great time. We went to a less-active member and brought the branch president along with us. That was good because it hopefully helped the less-active know more and why it's important to come...she also didn't come. It's hard work out here but I love it everyday. I'm glad I'm here and not anywhere else. That night we had a great lesson under the direction of the Holy Ghost. He totally led the lesson. We wanted to talk more about repentance and how we can feel good but what came out of the lesson was that our investigator didn't really have a belief in Jesus Christ. We told him of the need for him in repentance and simply put it was one of the best lessons ever. At the end of the lesson you could tell the guy was thinking a lot and the Spirit was working on him. After that lesson we walked back home and found another guy. We talked to him underneath the only street light on the road, one of many miracles that we saw that day. He wanted to know why bad things happen to good people. We told him that we would research the question and get back to him. We got his address and went home. Saturday we studied out the question and came to a great conclusion. All because of agency is what happens in life. God gave us agency which means that we can choose what can happen. If someone chooses to do bad then something bad will happen and maybe that consequence will happen to someone who is good. It way crazy. We tried finding his address but he lived very far away and we tried riding some buses but to no avail. We then thought about it..we talked to the guy at 9:15 p.m. and we were trying to go to him at about 6 p.m. How was it that we found him if he was trying to get back home so late but his bus wasn't going to run. It was pretty crazy to think about and we know that it was and is a miracle that we found him. We weren't able to find his place that night and hopefully soon we'll be able to find his place. Church was good. Some people gave some very interesting testimonies. There is this old guy who gets very animated when he talks and he speaks really really loud. It was funny none the less and everybody was pretty much laughing. After church we sang our hymn that we are practicing for the next week. It's a bit crazy because the music lady is very intense but yet we take it as funny. We sang for a while and then came home. We got something to eat and then tried to find some one but they weren't home. With this new schedule we were very tired and we slept very well. Thanks for all that you have done more me whilst I've been away. I'm having a good time and enjoying life. I know that Heavenly Father watches over his children and His missionaries. It's crazy to think that I come home this year...that's weird but till then I'll be working hard. I love you all very very much!!! Elder Frank

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Donboss/Gorvloka Letter 8

Oh my goodness....it's 2012. You know what happens this year???? Something crazy.....supposedly the world ends. So what has already happened this year? I finished my one whole year in Ukraine or aka my black year, but I nicknamed it my yellow year. With the conclusion of the yellow year means that I will be coming home this year...but that isn't so important.

Tuesday we went to this guy who has no legs. His name is S. He said that he has had about three strokes, that is if I translated right, and in so doing he had his legs amputated. Elder H said that he thought that his arms were gonna have to be amputated because of the bad cicurlation and because they are weak. If that were to happen he said that he would buy some thing that would hang from the wall so he could some how get around and that he said that he would change his name to Art. Get it??? It's a joke. But he really doesn't have any legs. We taught him to have faith in Jesus Christ and that in so doing his life would get better and that he needs to read the Book of Mormon and that life will be even better. We asked him for his desire to change and to do what we ask of him to do and he said that he would do what we ask him to do. After our lesson with him we tried looking for P - the guy who was baptized and then ran away. He wrote down two addresses and one of them was in the same building that we were already in. We found the room and when we knocked no one answered the door. Then we waited and some lady walked up, she turned to go into the door and before she got in we asked her if she knew P and she said that she was his mother. We asked about him and she said that he was working in Donetsk and that he was depressed. Then we tried to find the other address,  The other address was very far away from where we were and so we started off. We roughly found where it should have been but it was getting dark and we wanted to get back into town before it was too dark. Then later that night we had a lesson with S and at the end of the lesson she said that she wasn't going to become a member of our church and that she wouldn't care if we stopped meeting. She has a lot of worries and problems but we'll figure them out and help her out. No trial is too big.

On Wednesdy we had some time in the morning before a lesson and so we walked around the city trying to find some less-actives. We had some small piece of paper that had some streets on it and and when we were walking around we became a little bit lost and so that made us walk even longer. After our time of walking we tried finding a bus that would take us to our lesson. We waited at a bus stop for about thirty minutes but it never came. We walked to another one further up the road and when I looked at my watch it was about ten minutes till the lesson was about to start. I quickly called and move the lesson to tomorrow. Then we walked to the church and had district meeting. That was good and we talked about the mission and other things that we are working on in the mission. Then we tried to have a lesson that night with a member but the member didn't come so we tried for another day because we really need a member on a lesson.

Thursday we were very busy running around everywhere making lessons. We started off by going to V and meeting with him. We are waiting for approval from up above but time will let us know. He pretty much knows everything and so it's a bit difficult to have lessons with him because he answers everything perfectly. We talked about him coming to church because he hasn't come since I've been here in Gorlovka. He gave some excuses and said that he woul come...he didn't come to church. Then we went to a member lesson and talked with her, then her mom walked in at the end of the lesson and started asking some questions. She has done that before but this time she had a lot of inerestest. It was fun answering questions for her and letting her know more about us. Hopefully she'll want to know even more. Then we had some more time and we walked to a less active. We have met with her before and so it was kind of a surprise that we met with her, but yet it was good that we met with her. After our lesson with her we came home and made dinner and then tried going to this lesson with a member present, yet again he called and cancelled. So we tried again for another day with him.

Friday was a good day. We met with an investigator and had a good lesson with him. I've met with him before and was excited to meet with him because he's so amazing. He's the one that rides bikes and runs. During the lesson he was answering all the questions right and so we asked him to be baptized. He said no because he felt like he would be a bad member. We told him of the help society that exists in the Church and that he would be able to have some friends that would be able to help him out when his life isn't that good. We asked him if we could bring some members the next time and he said that would be fine. At the end of the lesson he asked me if I was still here in the spring time if I would like to go run 35 kilometers with him. How long exactly is 35 kilometers, only about 21 miles. Yeah...that wouldn't be the best thing for me because I'm way out of shape and I would be dead for about two weeks. Then we went to another lesson with whom the member was supposed to come but yet again he called and cancelled. We really could have used his help on that lesson because we didn't really understand what they were saying. Elder Lewis tried putting them on date but they weren't totally listening and ignored the question and then about ten minutes later brought it back up. They said that they didn't want to get baptized because they have already been baptized before.........we didn't want to argue it and it was getting late.

On Saturday we had to be in by 4:00 p.m. because of the holiday. We met with a less-active and then went and bought some groceries because we were gonna have a bake off because we were gonna be home for so long. We made a lemon merangue pie, brownies, and pizzas. It was all good food and we still have half of everything left over. Being on "house-arrest" for so long wasn't that much fun, but we made it fun. We laughed a lot and made some jokes. That has been something that has been happening a lot this transfer, laughing. We didn't stay up late because we wanted to sleep, but yet the fireworks that went off woke us up but we quickly went back to bed. Kind of a lame way to celebrate but I think this holiday ain't that cool and staying up late ain't that much fun any more escpecially when you have to wake up at 6:30 a.m.

Sunday was good because President Compero was there and we got to have interviews with him. There wasn't a lot members there because of the holiday and in so doing we all met together in Sunday School and because President was there we all met together again. President Compero is an amazing man. He can hold his own with Russian and can do anything. He talked about having a stake in the mission and what that all included. We need to have active Priesthood and everyone paying tithing. President also talked about having members doing more less-active work which was good. He had them think about one less-active person and then during this week invited them to come back to church. After church we had interviews with him and whilst we waited we sang a hymn because there is going to be a special musical number. The pianist is very intense and sometimes can easily offend if you choose to be offended. She was telling me that I sing dirty and it isn't so pretty and that I'm swimming when I sing meaning that I don't know what is going on. She told another Elder if he was baptized yesterday because he didn't know the song. We were singing some song about the temple and that the temple is awesome. After many practices we finally got it sounding good and it'll be cool to sing it all. Then I had my interview with President and it was amazing. I learned about having the Holy Ghost guide me in ALL aspects of my life not just spiritually. It was a good thing to learn and he told me to listen to the Holy Ghost when eating because of my health, something that I wasn't thinking about but I know that he is a wise man and that if I follow him all will be better. That night we had to be home at 6:00 p.m. and so during that time I did a bit of studying and read in 3 Nephi chapters 13 and 18. I like in 18:11 about always remembering Him, then we can have His spirit to be with us. The phrase ALWAYS REMEMBER HIM stuck out to me. There may be times when I forget him and think about other things but that will change I will focus more on him and in turn having His spirit being with me.

The week had been fast. I can't believe that we are about halfway through the transfer. Time has been flying by so quickly. This morning we rearranged the furniture and that took a while. Now our apartment looks a lot better and we had to do shopping, that's why I'm writing so late. Hopefully you're not worried about me, all is well. Thanks for all that you have done for me. I love you all a lot.

Elder Frank Young