Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Letter 8

This past week was a great one. Instead of telling you everything that has happened in detail I'll just tell you some things that I have learned. 

We were in Mariupol the earlier part of this week and that was a lot of fun. We got some stuff for the Elders and Sisters down there and then made our way to the bus station. We got suckered into paying some guy some money for a personal car ride down there...but in the end it was all worth it because we didn't have sit in an uncomfortable bus and yeah...it was better. So we get down there and meet up with the other Elders and go to their place and have some fun...as in try and do some missionary work. All the people that they usually meet with couldn't meet until the weekend, when we would be back up in our own area. So we did some work that we could and then made some great dinner. We had cinnamon rolls that were to die for. 

The next day we had a district meeting and talked about some things that we learned from Zone Leaders Council...we have some new clarifications about some rules. Such as companions need to match, meaning that they need to wear long sleeves together and so forth. Some Elders didn't like that new news because they feel like it's restricting them and they are back in the MTC. That is what we had to deal with and explain some other things. Then they talked about the branch in that area, it's struggling and they are trying to make it better. We came up with some ideas and then made plans to meet with President Campero and discuss the situation. Then we went and got some food and got a haircut. We walked around trying to find some place that would cut hair and still open. It took a while but we found a place. We walked in and got it all set up. We looked through some magazines and I found a style that I liked...so I kept it and when it was going to be my turn I was going to ask for that style. I went in and asked for the same style and low and behold...it happened. So if you want something and you find it and then you ask for it....you'll probably get it....that is something that I learned. Also it provided for some good laughs. 

We had a special meeting with President Campero when we talked about the branch in Mariupol. That was good and they were thankful that we came to them and helped them know more about the branches. It was good to meet with them and have the opportunity to have a close relationship with President Campero and talk with him. From this I learned that if there is a problem you gotta quickly get the problem solved before it gets way too out of hand. 

We had a crazy "hell-ish" lesson this week as well. It was all over the place....not the best lesson in the world. The thought behind all of it was great but what all happened was not great. We had a lesson at a members house with an investigator. The lady showed up with her two kids and there was also another member there. The table was set and we were gonna eat some food and then have a lesson. It was a bit frightening at first seeing the table and knowing what was gonna happen. The investigator, O, showed up a bit late due to the fact that the elevator stopped when she was in it and she totally freaked out. She calmed down and we had some food. The two kids that she brought got a bit bored quickly and that provided a challenge to control them and help them not go crazy in this member's apartment. That didn't work out to our benefit and things got out of hand. They went to the bathroom and did some number 2's and they couldn't find the toilet paper, so they opened up the door with their pants on the floor and asked where it was. We told them that it was in there and then they, yes they, went and got the t.p. It was just a mess. It ended up with some spankings being handed out by their mother and us trying to get out as fast as we could. It wasn't good. It was a bit of a nightmare and "hell-ish". Next time we are going to have the lesson at O place so it can't get too crazy. Hopefully that lesson will be good. The lesson that I learned from this is that discpline for children is essential or else they will run ravage and control will never be found. 

District meeting was good. We listened to a talk from President Henery B. Eyring about the Spirit in hard times. It was a good talk and one that helped me out. I don't have my notes with me but I remember it being good and having felt the Spirit. That is something that I have felt a lot this past week. Feeling the Spirit and acting upon those promptings that follow the feelings. I'm working more on following those promptings at the first time they come. I could be like Nehpi and put it off the first time when he was commanded to slay Laban or I could follow it the first time and not question it. I have learned from talks from General conference that putting off the promptings of the Spirit ain't that good and it's just a lot better to follow it the first time. If I follow the first time, I'll be more capable of receiving more guidance from the Holy Ghost and with that guidance I'll be able to receive great blessings from Heavenly Father. That is what I'm working on and one great lesson that I have learned this week. 

This coming week is going to be great. We have a lot of things going on such as another Zone Leaders Council, lessons, and getting big muscles. Today we bought some protein and we are gonna work out and get some big muscles. I'll come home a stronger man.....yeah a man. Life is great. I know that I say it every week but it's true. I have been playing the piano here and there and I have been improvising a little bit with the hymns and it makes playing a lot better. I'm thankful for the push to play musical instruments from you my parents. Thank you very much. It has been a great blessing in my life. 

I hope that life is going for ya'll. I love you and miss you but I'm working so I don't have to think to much about ya'll. Don't get offended. I'm working hard to stay focused. 

Я люблю всех вас! Yes good luck on translating that....it means I love you all! 

Elder Frank Young

Monday, March 12, 2012

Letter 7

So this week has been pretty good....it's been a crazy week. There has been so much that has been going on. It's all over the place. We tried to say goodbye to the departing Elders on Monday but didn't succeed because they were in meetings for the rest of the day getting prepared on going home. Crazy that my trainer Elder D. is now home.....where did the time go??? After that mishap we went out to eat with the district to some good restaruant and got some great food. 

We had a great district meeting before the district split in half. Elder L. talked about having confidence and what that means. He asked a good question pertaining to faith and confidence and the difference or the relationship that those two words have with each other. We talked about dating back home and they asked how we felt before dates and some..most Elders said that they felt confident before dates, however I was always super nervous before dates. Hopefully after the mission I won't be too scared but I remember getting super nervous and scared for the dates. I don't like having anxious moments. What I got from that lesson is that to become less nervous and having more confidence is having more trust in yourself and doing some preperation before hand. Also I have to do my part to become confident. 

Transfer day was pretty great. Seeing the new Elders and Sisters was a treat. They were all standing around not knowing what was going on or what to do. I talked to some of them and got to know them. They all seemed really cool and ready to work. Before the meeting we all stood around and talked with some other Elders and then some greenies came over and asked some questions about the mission. It was crazy taking a mental step back and realizing that I was one of the more older missionaries there at the meeting. Crazy what happens when you work hard and do work, time goes by. Then eventually we found out who our new companions are going to be. Elder F. from Henderson, Las Vegas, NV. He's a great kid. He's almost been out for a year. So I'm serving with a younger companion. Then we got in a taxi and came home and then made the taxi driver wait and then we went to the church for a church activity. The taxi driver was way cool and we ended up getting his number and hopefully something cool will happen with him. The church acitivity was a blast. Super great and the missionaries again didn't have to do anything for it. This branch is technically a ward but since there isn't a stake they are still just branches. Then we finally came back home and talked and talked getting to know one another. 

The next morning we woke up early and went to Zone Leaders Council. That was a great meeting. We learned some great new things and how to work more with the members and having them work with us. It's going to be a great summer as we work really hard. I'm excited for all the snow to melt and it's going to be great. Then after ZLC we went to the church and had a great lesson with S. We taught him how to give some directions in English and then afterwards we had a great small little spiritual time. Afterwards he prayed and then he paused for a second and then we asked him how he felt inside and he said that he felt great. We then explained to him that what he was feeling was the Holy Ghost. We told him some more about it and then asked him if wanted to feel that feeling for the rest of his life. He said yes and then we asked him to be baptized and he said yes. It was AMAZING!!!! Then afterwards we had Youth Night and had a blast and then some youth brought some of their friends along. It is great to see that they are doing their own missionary work. 

Saturday we cleaned the church for the branch and then had a quick little district meeting and had a great time. Elder R. is the district leader and he is doing a great job. We came up with some goals and what we want to do with the district and everything us. This is going to be a great transfer with a lot of success and a lot of hard work. I'm excited to work my tail off this transfer and see some results. Before bed Elder F said that 'when much is given, much is required' it was awesome. It's going to be a great great transfer and I'm excited to work very hard and see some miracles. Later this night we went to a members place and had a great lesson and during the lesson the husband, who isn't a member, started asking some questions about baptism and the after life and more other great questions. It was great to see the wife and the daughter-in-law answer his questions and we just sit there. They must have gotten a little bit awkwareded out because they were like "well it's time for the missionaries to go home" so we left and got home. 

Church was good. I got to play the organ again and that all worked out pretty well. It feels good to play the organ and help out the branch. We went to the other Sunday School class because there were no investiagtors and the lesson was pretty good. I sat next to this really older Sister and her and I talked and laughed. Priesthood was the same old, kind of boring and so I talked with the new Elder to my side and he and I talked and became friends. After church we had our meeting with the branch mission leader and then waited to hear from the branch council what is going on and what we can do to help out the branch. We have an idea of doing Missionary night but that got shot down because there is already a lot of things going on in the church and maybe it got shot down because of miscommunication. The youth are excited about doing misisonary work and they want to know how to teach and find better and so we want to do that with them but the branch council said no. We'll try and find another way to get that all figure out. 

This week I go to Bulgaria. It should be a great time. I'm excited for it. After this trip it will be General Conference and then time will be really going away. When I think about the time going by so quick I always think that I need to work harder. That is one regret that I think about when I think about being home and pondering about the mission. I always think that I could see myself saying that I wished I would have worked harder. So instead of wanting to think that I going to work harder and smarter so that when it's all said and done, I won't feel regretful about the mission. Elder F and I are going to be working really hard and seeing the results from working really hard. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Letter 6

This past week has been good and busy. We started this week out with some splits with some other Elders. Elders B and W in a nearby city. We went on a split with them earlier this transfer and it was very quick, it ended up being a sleep over. Later on I quietly promised that we'll be able to go on another split. It was getting close and so we some how worked it in to our schedule and got a split in. It was a great split. I was with Elder B and we had a great time. We are simliar in many ways and became instant friends. I hope that I'll be able to serve close by him sometime soon. He's a boss. We made some plans for after the mission and had a great time. Then we went on another split with some other Elders in that same district. That ended up being just a sleepover because one of them wasn't feeling to good and so we stayed over and then in the morning he was still sick and so we helped them out. Good Elders. One of them goes home on Wednesday...and last night when we were talking to him he was freaking out a bit because it's coming to a close. Time goes by so quick over here. It's crazy telling people that I only have about 5 more months left.

We have a new investigator, S. He's a boss. He's 17 years old and plays American-football. His dream is to go to America and play football for some college. He needs to speak some English and that is why we are meeting with him. He want to know English so he can make it over to America. He's got a ways to go because his English ain't that good. Other than the fact that we are teaching him English we are also teaching him the Gospel. After our lesson with him we asked him if he is interested to know if it's true or not. He said that he does have a desire to know if it's true or not. Oh when he said those words was it music to my ears. That is probably the first time that I've actually heard someone say they want to know if it's true or not. Then after the lesson he stayed for Youth Night and had a ball! He instantly made about 6 new friends in the church. Afterwards he was super excited and happy that he came. It was a blast. Then what gets better is that he came to CHURCH!!! This is my first time that someone has come to church for their first time with me being one of the missionaries. It was great! He loved it and had a good time and a lot of members came and talked to him and embraced him and made church great for him. He said that he will come again. Oh it was so great to hear that. I'm so excited that I get to stay another transfer here and work with him. Hopefully he'll progress in the Gospel and he'll get baptized soon. That would be a blessing! Life is great and I can't complain. 

Editor's Note: Elder Young will be attending BYU in the fall - hence the short letter he was so excited he forgot to tell us more. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Letter 5

Thist past week was good and quick. I can't believe that we are already in the fifth week of the transfer, they are only six weeks long. Time is flying by quick. I got an email from a former Elder, he was a good friend of mine and it was good to get an email. He was saying that being home is a bit weird but yet good. He said that there isn't a day that goes by without thinking about the mission. Also he said that everyone else that went to other missions will be different. Basically everyone will be different and having a conversation with them will be different because they have experienced different things and so it will be weird to talk to them. Anyways...this week.

This week we had to run around and do a lot of work for the zone. We went to the mission office and picked up some baptismal papers because they were going to have a baptism but they didn't have any forms. So we had to figure a way to send the papers down there quickly. We got the papers and then their mail and went to the bus station and talked with some bus drivers and asked them to take the papers down. The first driver said no and then we were a bit scared to ask someone else for help. We saw another driver sitting in his bus waiting and we got a good feeling about him, he seemed nice. We went and talked with him and asked him if he could help us out. He said that he would....which meant that he was going to go and talk to another bus driver. He then told our situation to another driver and that new driver took our papers and we gave him 20 griven and then the papers were on their way. Kind of a bit sketchy to say but that is what it comes out to be. The power of money in this country is quick crazy. Later the same night we had a lesson with a less-active and a member came on the lesson. The lesson turned out to be pretty good and the member told the less-active that she needs to get her who-know-what into shape and come back to church. It was good because we kind of wanted to do that to her but thank goodness the member was there because it would have been really awkward if we would have done it. Then we went to another lesson and met with a great family. They have some dogs and when we were talking I sat down on the floor and played with their dogs. Good times. They have a Chinese-hairless dog. It's pretty ugly looking, not sure why anyone would want to buy a dog like that. 

My split with the AP's was great. I went with Elder K, he's a great kid. It was my third split of the mission with him. The first time was when I was a young little missionary, the second when I was a bit older, and then just barely. We had a great time together and did a lot of work. We tried finding someone that moved into our area. We found the place but he wasn't there and so we talked a little bit with the people that were there. Then we made our way to the church to have a lesson with a recent convert. Crazy story about this. We needed to have a member on the lesson and so we called some people but they wouldn't answer their phone. Then some one did call us out of the blue and asked us if we needed help with the lesson tonight. We were really confused and not sure about what to do. I guess the recent convert called someone from the branch and had them come. It was a miracle that they came because it helped out the lesson so much. The recent convert is struggling a little bit and he was able to help her more fully understand that it comes line upon line, precept upon precept. After the lesson when we were walking back to the bus stop he told me that I spoke pretty good. I thought about it and then it started playing tricks on me. I could feel myself twisting the compliment to puff up myself and I didn't like the thought of it. I tried really hard to push the pride out of my mind and remain humble. This is something that I have been praying and working on. Always remaining humble. At the beginning of the transfer I prayed very earnstly for Heavenly Father's help with being humble and every day there isn't a prayer that goes by with asking for humility. I know that the humble soul can do more for Heavenly Father. I'm trying to get to that point. 

The 23rd was Man's Day or Day of the Red Army....aka a holiday. The branch put on a great church acitivity which was a blast. We didn't have to do anything but provide some support. It was great. Elder R and I got pulled into doing something. I'm not quite sure what we were suposed to do....I think that we were supposed to decorate some silver platter with food in a nice pleasing way....I think. I made a face out of the cookies and what not. In the end we both won. For the final act of the activity. Some women of the branch came out and started dancing. Oh my goodness what it hilarious. It was probably THE most funniest thing that I have seen since I've been here in country. Some old grandma's swinging their hips and dancing. Absolutely hilarious. It provided for some laughs and some good times. This branch that I am in right now is probably the best branch ever. They do everything themselves and they have every kind of church member. Toddlers, youth, future missionaries, return missionaries, young couples, coulples with kids, middle aged couples, and then grandparents. It's a blast coming to church and talking with members. I'm so glad that I'm here in this area. I hope that I get to stay for a while because it's a great place to do missionary work. We have some investigators that we are working with and tonight we will have a first lesson with one of them. I really can't complain about the work that is going on. 

I love you all very much!! 

Elder Frank Young