Monday, September 1, 2014

Return to Житомир

So it was pretty much one of the best weeks of my mission. Why? Because this fool got to go back to Житомир! Does anyone remember my favorite 7-year old, Masha, from there? The one I love with my whole darn heart. Well, now she's my favorite 8-year old and her mom gave her permission to get baptized. Her grandma, Yulia, called me and was like "Is there any way you can come, Masha would really love it if you did." So I called President and made some pleas and next thing I knew I was on my way to that favorite little town of mine. And it was wonderful. Yulia didn't tell Masha I was coming so when she walked in and saw me she was so surprised and so excited! She pretty much gave me the biggest hug anyone has ever given me in my life. And then she pretty much didn't let go of me the whole time I was there (except to get baptized, obviously). It kinda felt like coming home, honestly, to just be with her for a few hours. I really do love that city and those people so much. There was just something so rewarding about getting to be there and see them. Missions are the best. 

On the way back, I realized that it was maybe the last time in my life I will get to see Masha and  Житомир and there may or may not have been a few tears. Not sure why, but it made me realize that my mission will actually end in a day not to far hence and it kinda killed me inside. We listened to The Best Two Years soundtrack this morning and I was just like "No, No, I can't handle it. Missions don't end. I will never have to take my tag off and go home." Basically I'm terrible at letting things end. So I'm trying to just not think about it at all and we'll just cross that bridge when we come to it. 

In other news, we had a kinda awesome random act of kindness. On Monday we were late and our bus came and we ran after it and the bus driver clearly saw us but decided not to wait. Next thing I know, this car has stopped and the driver was like "girls, get in, I'll drive you to the next stop ahead of the bus." So we hopped in and that is what happened. It was kinda super awesome. I want to be more like that when I grow up. 

A man walking a chow chow told me this week that Utah legalized polygamy? Someone give me an update on that. Having strangers speaking Ukrainian to me on the bus as my news source kills me. 

In food news, it was a good week. Monday we made sushi with the youth, who are awesome. Tuesday we had Dominoes with some members. Have we talked about Dominoes Tuesday? Tuesday is buy one get one free at Dominoes so naturally we have to take advantage of that every once in a while. Wednesday we had lunch with some missionaries and some senior couples - it was American themed including some incredible BBQ sauce the elders made. Thursday we had district meeting and one set of elders made cookies and the others made lemon bars, so that was obviously awesome. And on Saturday I found pumpkin at the grocery store so I made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies which were obviously a hit because I used Katy's recipe. Then this morning we met at the church early and had district lunch of pancakes! Which was just way fun and tasty. Basically, I love it when the elders cook for me. 

I think this is a thing in America, but our ward has been all about the "ice bucket challenge" this weekend. You fill a bucked with ice water and dump it over your head and then challenge other people to do the same within 24 hours. Saturday we filmed our MCL while he did it. And then he challenged the elders, who did it this morning before pancakes. I'm not really sure why it's such a big deal, because we basically dump a bucket of ice water over our heads every morning when we shower. (Yes there is still no hot water and I swear the water gets colder every single day). The elders said the bucket was actually warmer than there showers, but I'm not totally sure I believe that. 

Remember that scene in Harry Potter where Hermione's like "it's Levioca not levioca." If I could, I would insert the link here. Anyway, that's how Russian is. The placement of the stress literally differentiates all words. And if you get the word stress wrong, people don't understand you at all. Which is just something that has been driving me nuts lately. 

Anyway, summer is officially over and that's always a terrible feeling. We made brownies and had a lesson with Angela and co. and it made me so sad that our fun summer of going over there all the time and teaching her and baptizing her is over. It really has been a wonderful summer here in Kyiv. School started today, so all the kids put on their vyshyvankas and got all decked up. It was adorable. Here's a picture of me with mine. 


All the love,
Hannah

OH. PS. We got transfo this week and I'm staying in Kyiv with Sister Grandy until at least October 15. #prayforhotwater

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