January, 2012

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Week #7 Ukraine/Saltivka

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Okay so…. you know the end of the movie Vertical Limit? It’s when they are all stuck in a ice cave and freezing to death? Fingers are falling off and lungs are filling with fluid??? You know??  They have to chose who lives, and pretty much everyone dies. Well thats about how my week went…lol!

I took a bus down to Donetsk city on Monday and it was a GREATTTTT trip! I can’t wait to serve there! It’s really crazy! But, I got SOOOOO car sick on the bus ride up. Worst I have hever had!!! So, I got out on one of the stops to throw up and there was a pack of wild dogs (just like Italy, remember?) and one of the dogs ran across the street while all of his dog friends watched him. Then…..BAM!!!!!! He got nailed by a bus!! :O I saw the whole thing!!!!!!!! His leg flew off, then he was running around screaming while his dog friends watched him….SO messed up! haha, it was such a crazy day!

SO its pretty crazy….I have found out that all the Muslims here like to learn more about Jesus Christ than the real Christians??? Wah?? Yeah it’s weird. We taught a lesson with Muslim and his Christian friend. To keep it short, the Christian kid hated us.

I was SICK allllll weeek!! Ugh! I feel great now though, but it was a hard week! I had a flu or something. It sucked!!! But when the Lord brings you down low, He is just getting ready to lift you up higher!!!! On Saturday, we met with Raime (a brother from Africa) We had a BOMB first lesson! The spirit was so thick! He has the strongest faith in Christ I have ever seen!!! We put him on date to be baptized FEB 18!!!! He is SO amazing! He said if this is all true, he will move back to his home town to tell everyone the truth!!!! He just started reading the Book of Mormon and is already thinking of missionary work! Haha! I love this guy! So you will hear lots about him! We are going over to his house tonight!! :D

We have about 6 investigators right now!!! The work is going fine!!! I would tell all about the investigators, but it would take forever!!!

We had another lesson with Veetalik last night! (the one who was drunk and we gave him metro coins) It was SUCH a good lesson! He is progressing VERY slow but that just fine!!!

Tell Courtney Page congrats on school!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks so much for the letter!!! Tell them I miss them!! and I will write them asap!! lol….when I have time.

It’s crazy being out for 4 months….It’s going so fast! It’s almost been 1/2 year!! Aghh!!! I am growing so much! I didn’t know how amazing this gospel is!!! I was thinking the other night, and I thought “Serving a mission won’t change anyone, Simply living the gospel will change EVERYONE.” That’s not to say you don’t need to serve missions!! It’s just that EVERYONE can feel this happiness and this spirit that missionaries feel! All you have to do is be 100% obedient to the word of our Father!

The other day on the metro, an old funny looking man got on and stared to play his accordian!! He was dancing around and smiling like there was no tomorrow!!! But the funny thing was, he was not asking for money….he had no coin case or cup for change. He simply wanted to make the people smile. This being Ukraine of course, everyone hated him. No one was smiling or even showing a care for this old man. But, he let his light shine anyways!! He walked up to one girl and kinda got in her face, playing a happy tune and giving her a big smile. She just looked away! He asked her, “Will you notice me?” She turned and said “DA,” and he simply said thank you! and smiled and everyone else! It was sooo crazy! Me and Elder Petersen were getting such a kick out of this guy!!! He made such a bad sick day SO much better just by giving people a reason or opportuninty to smile and be happy! I know it’s cheesy, but never forget to find those small moments that bring an opportunity to be happy!!! Don’t spend you life waiting for the golden ticket! Take a step back and enjoy the small moments!!!!

I MISS YA all!!! Send me some letters! :d I love you goodbye!!!

Week #6 Ukraine/Saltivka

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

HEY!!!! I have litte time today cuz I’m going down to Donetsk for 2 days to do some visa stuff!!!! It’s gonna be SICK! So, sorry this is so short!! ITS BEEN A GREAT WEEK! We had a few lessons!

We had a lesson with this guy and we were wayyy pumped cuz he knows like nothing about God or anything! But, when we got there we was SUPER drunk :( We still took him into the church and gave him some water. He talked to us for a bit and felt really bad that he was drunk. It was a pretty crazy night, haha!

Our investigator Ivan has been at church the past 3 weeks!! Its great!! And, we have a lesson with Ahmed on Tuesday! Ahmed is this Muslim to Christian convert!!! He said he will lose his head if he goes back home, and he wants to lose his head for the TRUTH!! The other elders who taught him said he is ready for baptism!!! So, we are WAYYY pumped for this!! He can only meet on Tuesdays though…:(
It has been SOOOO COLD!!! Holy Cow!! I have been sick the past 2 days, but all is well, don’t worry!

We have been working with this less active, Celestine, from Africa!! He is the BOMB!!!! The other day he answerd the door naked and was like “….oh..hey guys come on in…” HAH!!!! He is teaching us some Pidgin, and African English!! haha! So, when ever we talk on the phone, we talk like black men. It’s sooo money!! :D (Mom: Did he mean funny, or is money the new cool Ukrainian word? )

A TON, almost all of our lessons, fell through this week… ugh. I HATE that its sooo hard when you pray all day and the spirit is so strong and then you get dogged…..

Sorry, this is random but the kid next to me is playing Pokemon on the computer, so I am having a hard time staying on track… :D

The deck looks SICKKKKKKKKKKK Ahhh i love it! Did my pictures get through to you guys??

Well, I’m sorry! Thats alll i got!!!! I miss Rooroo and Jax like crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ahhhh!!!! Last night was hard! There were all these little kids playing in the snow :)

Ha, funny story……the other night at like 845 we saw a rebiata slide! (a huge patch of ice that kids slide down. It’s insane!! I’ll get a video some time!!) But, I walked over to them and was just like, “Hey, I’m from America….teach me how to do this.” Haha…..they didnt like me that much…. but I got a good run……then I hit the ice and fell flat on my face in front of like 20 kids!! Haha it was so great!!

I LOVE YOU ALLL!! My testimony of the Holy Ghost has been getting stronger and stronger!!!!! I can’t tell you how much I love this place! It’s SOOOOO hard, LOL, but its worth every second!!!
OH and we met an American! It was tight. He was really really nice to us!

You know that sick Chistmas tree we got last week?? Yeah… we came to find that it was infested with these larva!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHH!!!!!! I wanted to barf, cuz I sit right next to the tree!!!!!! So, we thought of some cool ways to kill them, so we sprayed some BANG cleaning spray on some of them and watched them die. Then we had the good idea to burn some of them off the tree with the lighter!!
Turns out that pine is VERY flammable!! Haha! The whole brach went up in flames and we had to pat it out!!! The whole aprt was filled with smoke….

Here is a picture of me tracting and what it looks like here, our tree larvae and a picture of the PINGPONG TABLES that are everywhere over here!!! They are just in parks and stuff like in China! It’s sooo great! I can’t wait till there is no snow. I hear it is nuts!

Week #5 Ukraine

Monday, January 16th, 2012

First, idk what all the fuss about my email is. LOL, just send my emails to my friends. Lol, don’t worry about anything….just send my letters to friends, and I will talk to them when I can through email or letters. Oh and noooooooooooo….there’s no way i can get a scale here….nothing is here but vodka bread and beef. I reeeaaallly want one SENT here! I’ll pay for it and all so just send it over ASAP!

OKAY! Crazy awesome week!!! We now have 3 investigators! The one guy who just came to church (Evan) We tough him the 1st lesson last week and it went great!! He came tio church again yesterday!!!!!!!! I love him. We had 3 people show up to church! It was so great! We are getting more and more lessons!

So, on Friday we stoped and talked to this halfway homeless man (idk) and he just said how hard his life is (like everyone here), and I felt that I should give him my shoes!! cuz his had holes in them and it’s like -10 outside!!! So, I told him if he comes to church I’ll give him a new pair of shoes!! Haha and he showed up!!!!!!!!! It was great! I elped him put on the shoes and he was missing all of his toes on his left foot, and his feet had scars and blood stains all over! I felt way bad for him. I helped him get the new shoes on (my mission shoes) and asked if he wants to stay for sacrement and he said YES! Haha! He is a HEAVY drinker and smoker and great…. they talked about word of wisdom in church and it was a Russian talk sooo….that means SUPER blunt and kinda rude about it. Haha, he said he wants to wait outside. I went and said thanks after the meeting was over and he just said thanks for the shoes and left. Realllllly sad. I’m sick and tired of seeing peoples lives broken due to drugs and vodka. It’s SO bad here…I had no idea, but I felt great giving him what I have. (btw….I might need new shoes soon)

I just got back from a house call from this member who needed help with her mom. We got over there and she asked if we could pick her up and help her go to the bathroom….ugh….R.I.S.E. all over again. ;) It was very sad. I’m still a little shaken up about it. She was SUPER short and SUUUUUUUUUPPPER skinny and was screaming and asking to die to God. She was naked, so all we had was a cloth over her and her diaper and just helped her sit up and gave her a blessing and changed her bed. (not her) It was messed up mom. She was screaming, there was poo on her bed and cockroaches all over. It smelled like a zoo. idk how she is doing it. I don’t know what else to say other than I feel like crap.
We are trying to get members to take care of her now.

On a happy note!! We found a christmas tree in the trash about 1 mile away from home, so we stole it and brought it back home!!!!!! Haha! It’s huge and real!! My first real tree out of a trash can in Ukraine on January 13th!! lol!! It was tons of fun! Everyone thought we were crazy, but we just told them “It’s an American thing…..”

I am LOVING life here!! It’s SOOO hard haha! WOW!!!. But, I am soooo happy and love you all! This golden investigator got home today, so we teach him this week for the first time! He pretty much will be baptized.

Nothing else to say I guess!!! GREAT!!!! Jam packed week! I am learning sooo much out here! I loved reading Logan’s letter cuz I can relate to how he feels haha! It’s good to hear he is having fun!!! !

Tell everyone I love them!!!!!!! Goodbye!

Week #4 Ukraine

Monday, January 16th, 2012

Sorry, I got behind on posting these. There is some confusion as to whether to email Chase or send him letters through Dear Elder and the Mission Office. Dear Elder is always safe, but takes a long time to reach him. I am sure if you email him and he needs it another way he is going to let me know. It’s kind of clear as mud. —-Julie—-

HEY!! So we have a investigator!!!!!!!!!!! Woohooo!!! Best kid in the WORLD! He is from Iraq and speaks English! YES! ha-ha I’m telling you….Muslim people are saints. He gave us some way good cake and he was BLOWN away by the Book of Mormon!! He is going to come to some English nights with us this weekend, so I can’t wait!!!! The other night we were tracting in this dom and a Muslim opened the door and let us in! (first time on my mission) !!!!! HE WAS THE BOMB! He was sooo funny. He gave us some way good chai (W.O.W okay kind) and then pulled out this HUGE hookah and asked is we wanna have some smoke!!! Lol, but he was AWESOME! He just brought 2 random kids into his house and took care of us! He said that in the Muslim world if someone knocks on your door and you feel a spirit around them and feel peace you bring them in and give them what you have! Sooo he gave us this Palm oil stuff you put in your chai, and I guess it makes your sperm count skyrocket! :D just what I need. holy cow its is insane here you guys!! We are starting to get some more lessons now, and we are starting to see the fruit of our labors. I’m loving life! I wake up everyday and look out the window and all I see is grey. I go outside and the ground is cracked muddy and filled with trash. Every person we talk to is drunk or hates us and thinks we are here to rob the old ladies. The Russian is SO HARD. but……I wake up happy every single day!!?? I have really learned what makes you happy in this life. I got up and did my testimony last Sunday in Russian so that was pretty awesome! Russian is getting tons better! I got I guys phone number off the street the other day all by myself!!.

So, Sunday was a crazy day. We had these to black guys talk to us on the street and they said they wanted to come to our church! We were like…what?! You do! AWESOME! Ha-ha, sooo we called him Sunday morning and he was ready to go and way pumped but then he never showed up :( He texted us and said he was really busy but call him asap. We called and he said “PPLEASE tell me if you have any other meetings this week I need to go!” So, we are meeting with him this week a ton! It seems very promising!! Lessons fall through EVERY DAY its very hard sometimes. Last night after we had fasted alllll day and walked alllllll day we got to our dom at 8 and as soon as we walked in one of our random contacts called and said he wants to talk right now! Soooo……we ran allllll the way back to church to find he just wanted to get some money from us :( It was all good though, we bought him some metro coins and he was a really nice kid so we might meet again.

OHHH and Sunday some RANDOM contact we talked to on the street for 40 mins one night came to church!! We never would have guessed! So he seemed to like it a lot and said he will be back next Sunday and will meet with us this week!! He is AWESOME! AHHHH I love it here. I could tell stories allyl day!

SO this kinda sucks….we had a zone conference last Thursday and it was AWESOME! But we can no longer Email our friends…..I know… I’m sorry
but we have been working our tails off trying to be 110% obedient! (To tell you the truth, this mission has a hard time with that) and we are starting to get blessed for it I think lol. Sooo I made a promise to do whatever was asked of me so sorry Devy, Lando, Jer, friends…..no more email. I will write you all letters today and they take like 2 weeks to get home sooooo be ready! (Landon I’ll send yours to you somehow….idk yet lol)

On Wednesday I’ll be in Ukraine for 1 month!!! That’s sooooo fast! lol wow! I have such little time!! Landon don’t be scared man! It’s awesome!. It’s very true you have no idea where you life goes anymore but after awhile you learn to love it ha-ha. I miss you like crrrraaaazzzyyyy brother! and I am so proud your going to serve!! :) Write me okay!! It makes my life when I hear from you!! Some crazy day when we both get back home from our missions we will be bonded once again….and the soul will continue to burn…..:) we will live together!
welllllllllllllll guys idk what else to say other that WOAH… oh yeah Landon! PS I know what you mean when you say you get to a keyboard and you blank….it SUCKS lol
Devy sorry we cant email :(!!!! I know I loved it too but this will be good I promise! I got you letter and glad to here your doing great!!! I LOVE YOU sooo much!
JEREMY! I’m writing you a letta today! you better star writing me you punk. none of this sitting thinking about what your going to write stuff ;D I miss you brother! I love you!!!!!

SDorry this letter is sooo random..It’s hard to only have 1 hr to write, but it has been raining for 9 days now…………I. AM. SO. COLD. end of story.

I will pray for my brother Collin fosho!!!!!!!! I love you man and I know the lord will be with you!

This Muslim convert to Christian gets back this next Sunday and the Elders before us said he will be baptized! Soooooooooo next week should be great! He sounds like a golden investigator!! I cant wait! I talked to him on the phone for a lil bit and he was wayyyy pumped we called him! I could talk about Muslims allllllll day ha-ha! They are not who I thought they were! They are such good people.

Sooo I know its probably a ton of cash but I REALLLLYYY want an electric scale!!! You can take my money to pay for it if you need I really want one though!! :) I should get those books soon! Idk, but yeah… I hope lol! OH BTW send letters through the pouch or whatevs. Iit took like 2 1/2 weeks or so…

DEVI! Writing will get harder and longer! lol but we got it okay!!!!! I LOVE YOU to death and you better write me a ton!!! Take care of Landon and Jeremy and Tanner for me… and WESLEY! Tell that punk to write his one and only brother!!! WESLEY@!@!!! now.

Okay, well that’s about all the time I have!!! It’s been a great week! So here is the saying of the week “The pains of change are much greater than the pains of staying the same ” Elder Bennet 70. I look at the atonement in new eyes now its insane! Change is such a strong word/action what have you. If you really give everything to the lord I know for a fact that he won’t let you fall. My testimony of this church has forever changed. I cant believe how real it is…idk how else I can say it…. real.
I love you my family and hope you are living your lives 100% Don’t let a second go by where your not trying to understand the atonement in a deeper way.

One love….(I say that to all the kids here. They love it)

Week #3 Ukraine

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

YOYOYO!! Yes the picture works!! That’s a SICKKKKKK picture! I love it, ha-ha!
First things first.  On the way here, I was walking in this park that’s in the center of the city, and I stopped and said to Elder Peet…..”I have been here!”  You all know how that goes… I could not think of what it was! It was a dream or a movie that looked JUST like this place, and I was freaking out trying to remember.
THEN IT HIT ME!! This is weird….  The book The Last Oracle that I read while working at RISE!  It’s a place I PICTURED in that book! And, what is even more nuts!!!!! Is they are in Ukraine in that book!!!!!
WHAT!?!?!? Talk about revelation!
Well this week has been nuts and hard! No investigators yet! Lots and Lots of tracting and contacting! We got 15 contacts this week, and I guess eveyone said that’s WAYYYY good for our area!  We met with lots of members when they had time and what not!  Cool, cool week! It’s reall sad how many people don’t want help here! We help a lot of drunk guys and get yelled at a lot!
One thing that has been sucky is all the jdubs! They are insane and really mean here!  For New Years we went to bed at ten watching the fireworks and eatin’ yogurt!  We talked with a guy who said that Jesus did not die cuz he went to Tibet and hung out with the Dali Lama and learned the powers of the earth and told only 16 families how to controll the world and they live here today!!! Ha-ha soooooo many weird people here!
It was great to SEE all of you!  I loved that!  I just got a hair cut so I’m lookin’ fresh!  We have been working SUPER SUPER hard.  We contact for 8 hours about everyday.  It’s nuts…….and SUPER cold here!! This week we hope to have about 2-3 investigators!!
The Russian is getting better but still a pain in the butt! But, I am pushing through it all!! I LOVEEEEEEE it here! It’s way crazy!!  Sunday morning after the New Year party was over there were SOOO many drunks dead on the street ha-ha! :-\  One guy was laying on the sidewalk buttnaked!!!!  It’s really, really sad to tell the truth :(
Well, I miss you guys like crazy!!!!! I hope everything is well!!!!!!!!! I LOVE you so much!!  SEND PICTURES EVERYWEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D and tell anyone who wants to write me to just email me okay? DearElder sucks here! lol.
The city I am in is called Saltivka

Christmas Day Phone Call

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Post yet to be written by mom detailing the phone call.