From this list I shall start with the beginning. We painted some windows this past week. We went to one of our lovely older members and helped her out. She gave us a bathrobe and told us to go and paint the outside facing surfaces of the window frames. We quickly prepped the surfaces and then I watched for a while as Elder Fish painted and then I did my side of the patio. It was boring watching paint dry, I'll be honest. When I was getting done with painting the upstairs neighbor started shaking a dirty, dusty, old, floor rug out of her patio. That was nice because I was hanging halfway out of the window when all of the dirt, dust, hair, and other dirty things started to fly. Remember though that I was wearing a bathrobe so I didn't get that dirty. Thank goodness for prepared people these days. After what we thought was some sufficient time to return back to the painting job the neighbor once again started shaking yet another more dirtier rug out the window. This time the person that we were at started yelling at her neighbor.....the neighbor never heard. With the incoming raid of dirty, dust and other dirties I promptly closed the window and called the job done.....that was job number one. Job number two was to eat her food that she prepared for us. This member for the most part is a great cook and makes some delicious food. Her plates and technique of making food probably isn't up to the Naked Chef's standards. I looked at the plate that I was going to use and it looked like it was just washed off with some cold water.....so it's really super duper clean (joke). She dishes up some soup and then grabs a big spoonful of sour cream and puts that in my soup. She does the same thing for Elder Fish, but I'm pretty sure that his plate was clean. Then she grabs some more plates and dishes up some noodles that were cooked in a pan and then eloquently lays some nice servings of liver on top of the noodles. It looked really appetizing (not). I don't know if you (the readers still reading this) have ever had liver, but let me tell you how not (imagine the line is through the word so it looks crossed out) tasty liver is. If you've ever tasted a boiled shoe lace with some spices of wild rose beets then you can relate to me, but if you haven't had that great meal too, then you're out of luck. All in all...liver is great....if you're starving and you have no food left in your one year supply of food storage and you are lost in the Siberian winter frozen wonderland. Liver. Is. Great. (my head is shaking in the no direction).
District Conference was great. We had President Larry Lawrence and his wife come to us. He is the first councilor in the area presidency and soon to become the area president. It was way cool to see him come and listen to him. We were able to have a special zone leaders council with him on Monday and my goodness was that amazing. We actually had a council instead of being told what to do and being told other information. We have felt like information relayers for the past couple of transfers. Some thing new comes up and we just pass it down the line. Now we will actually start to lead the mission. I'm excited for the end of this transfer and I hope that I don't get transferred. I have heard that I could be transferred and not be zone leader any more but I also heard that things have changed...so I'm hoping that I'll still be here, if not then darn. We all had special interview with him afterwards and that was amazing. I asked him for some advice before I head home and he gave me some great advice. It wasn't scary talking to him at all. Before we had lunch I was just standing there and he and I struck up a conversation and talked a bit about life and what I want to do. It was very cool. It was like talking to Bishop Willmore, awesome. That is some thing that he told me to do, have a close relationship with my bishop after the mission. It was great. I won't tell you everything because then that would make it so I would retell everything on Monday when we Skype.
Yes my sacrifice. During zone conference President Lawrence talked about making the changes to get the results. He gave the example of the disciples after the death of Christ when they were fishing and Christ said to put the nets on the other side. They listened, made the change and as we all know caught so much fish that they weren't able to bring them in. They made the change. I'm making the change as well. In my studies I've been noticing the need for the small changes and so during this zone conference it hit me hard and I was ready to make the change. I had a flow on inspiration come to me during the meeting and was frivolously writing down what was coming. I asked some others what they thought about sacrifices and got their insights. There was a member who was a missionary when Pres. Lawrence was a mission president in Siberia. He is in our branch and I asked him about the sacrifice that he did when Pres. Lawrence asked them all to sacrifice. He said that sacrifices are all different for everyone and then he said that his sacrifice was changing his hair style. He used to have a regular hair style. Just straight down the front, but then he changed it to a comb-over. He said that he didn't like the comb-over but he made the change. Pres. Lawrence also said that this man was one of the best Elders he had in the mission. Still to this day, he still has a comb-over. This morning during studies I was researching a lot about sacrifices and I was determined to get a sacrifice that I could offer to God. Some things that stuck out to me was that a sacrifice is something that we give up that we cherish for something of far better worth. After searching my mind for something that I could give up till the end of the mission, it finally came after a prayer. I prayed to know what I could do. I could give up playing the piano, NO, I could stop playing ping-pong, NO, I could give up eating these delicious cookies, now we are on to something, I could give up chocolate, YES. When I said that I got an overwhelming sensation of the Spirit manifesting to me that this is what I need to give up till the end of the mission so that I can have the powers of Heaven with me. This means that I can't have those delicious cookies that I love so much, that means that I can't have some candies, this means that I can't have some night-time chocolate snacks. But this does mean that the powers of Heaven will be with me. God and I will be together.
We had a boss lesson last night. We were finally able to meet with Саша (pronounced Sasha). He's the football playing kid from a while ago. He's been busy playing football all throughout Ukraine and now he's finally back. The lesson with him was great! He's on date for June 16. It's going to be awesome having lessons with him because they are spiritual. After his first prayer about a month ago he felt the spirit and had a change of heart so to say. He told us that a couple days after that experience he had a dream where God came to him and told him that they common church here is not true and that the Mormon church is true. He knows that this church is true. It's absolutely amazing! We talked about some other things and he said that girls were a problem for him. Hopefully it's nothing too serious. He told us that he doesn't drink coffee any more and that he doesn't use steroids and the best thing about it is that he says that he feels better. Boo yah!!! It's amazing seeing the Gospel be taken up quickly by him. I can't wait to see him get baptized. We told our branch mission leader about the news and he was happy for us. He is the same guy up above who still wears the comb-over. He told us that we need to have constant contact with him because now Satan will be working hard to get him not to baptize. We are hoping that for the next lesson we will be able to have the branch presidnet with us and that he'll be able to help us out and get him even more ready for baptism. Life is good.
I love you.