Just another ordinary week on my mission. OH WAIT. This week I passed my year mark! July 31, 2013 I put on my very first tag. Isn't it crazy that it's already been a year? I'm pretty sure it's closer to 4 maybe 5 months. Maybe. A year sounds so long, but in reality it feels so short. I pulled out my old journal and read what I wrote on day 1. The entry ended I'm pretty sure being sister pugh is going to be the best thing that's ever happened to me. So darn true. The past year really had just been the best. I could write a love letter to my mission. I pretty much do every night in my journal. Where would I be if not on the mission? I don't know, but it wouldn't be nearly as good in any way. A mission is just the best. I literally haven't the words for it. I'm just happy and I'm growing and I'm learning and it's so good.
Now that I've established how much I love it here, let me just say IT IS AN UNHOLY TEMPERATURE OUTSIDE. Luckily, we have lots of awesome people we're meeting with and we're not on the street all that often. Also lucky, I found sandals this week with closed toe and heel that don't look like something you'd find in the free box at a retirement center! Hurrah! (I started saying hurrah in Russian (ура!) and it's apparently made its way into my English vocabulary too). Anyway, I'm drinking between 3-4 liters of water a day and it's just great. Remember when I got called to Ukraine and everyone was like "you're going to be so cold!"? The heat is like 1000 times worse than the cold. (Someone remind me I said that when it's January, okay?)
Also, I know everyone's super interested in the hot water situation, which continues to develop. As of this past week, there will be no hot water anywhere in Kyiv until at least October 15. Death. It comes as a result of the war with Russia. (Sidenote: is it known as "the war" in American newsmedia? Like do people call it the war in Ukraine? If so, is it seen as being between Ukraine and Russia or Ukraine and rebel groups? I never know, because everyone here just calls it "the war".) ANYWAY, apparently Russia's been jacking up prices on our oil and gas and cutting it off immensely, so Kyiv government was like "well, we all have boilers in our houses, so let's just let the commoners suffer for a few months." Not sure that's a verbatim quote, but you get the jist. Hurrah.
We had testimony meeting at church yesterday, but it kinda turned into a political rally. Basically all our testimony meetings turn into political rallies. We've got a few die-hard patriots in this ward, and an open mic is a chance to proclaim their politics, regardless of the situation. The patriots refuse to speak Russian (even to us) and only speak Ukrainian, so I never really understand what's being said (I've learned Ukrainian enough to get like 45-50% of it), but I did understand yesterday the call for us all to put our Christian words to the test by collectively buying support kits for the troops in the East. Pretty ligit use of sacrament meeting. (Not.)
After that, one 18-year old kid (my favorite one, actually) stood up and read in the bible dictionary what a testimony is. Such a punk. But kinda a rock star one.
We had a fun excursion in center this week. We had an investigator who wanted to go visit a cool spot and we were like "okay!" so we went to this way awesome terrace area in center Kyiv. Kyiv is so interesting because in the very center of the city you can find beautiful places that are super quite and peaceful. Anyway, the area had a beautiful view of the city, some fairly decent street musicians (I love when they play American music because the accent is so funny and fabulous) and a ton of way cool contemporary statues and tiles. It was just magnificent. After that, we went to this Lviv chocolate place where they don't give you hot chocolate, they literally give you a cup with straight melted chocolate in it. And it is way good chocolate. So that was kinda super awesome. I like center Kyiv. Someday, I'm going to come back and be a tourist here.
We're teaching my new favorite little girl in this entire country. Her name is Eva and she's 9. She's from Lugansk (where the war is) so she and her family came here to be safe. Her parents aren't members but her older brother and aunt are and she's been going to church with them for a few years. Anyway, her mom gave her permission to meet with missionaries so we've been teaching her and she is the sunshine of my world. She's so bright and just good. She's like the most loving little girl I've ever met, and we have so much fun playing and talking with her. She's amazing and I adore her.
Anyway, that's about all for me. Things are good, aside from the absurdity of living in a country kinda at war. Whatever, I love Ukraine.
All the love,
PS. We work hard.