Monday, November 17, 2014

4AM campfires, Celo-hoping, and other adventures

Well, since we last spoke:

We woke up at 3:30 this morning to meet the elders at 4. We went hiking through the woods to a place overlooking a reservoir and made a campfire and ate breakfast. It was awesome. Probably the best part was taking a nap in front of the campfire. Here's a picture of all of us when we headed home around 7:30. By then the sun had come up. As you can see, it was a little bit of a chilly morning.

Have we talked about the hymn books? My entire mission I've sung in Ukrainian. Except here they sometimes sing in Russian. And I HATE it. Seriously, Ukrainian is so much better for singing. Yesterday, I finally got the Ukrainian hymn books out and we sang in Ukrainian and that was fabulous. What would I do without this little country of mine?

We went to Kyiv this past week for interviews with President. It was great. I love President.

We had another Zhytomyr throw-back because we went celo-hopping this week! We have two awesome members who live in a little city about 2 hours away called Nizhyn. They've been sick for a while and haven't made it to church, so we went to visit them. It was so fun to meet them and we had a great visit. They told us about how they found the church:

They met because they were both Jehovah's Witnesses. But JWs believe only a certain number of people can go to heaven, and one of them was told they'd make it, but the other was told she wouldn't. So they didn't like that and left. For 10+ years they studied the Bible together. One of them worked for Utah-based company, Agel. In one of her business packages, she found a Book of Mormon in Russian. She snagged it, they studied together, and now they're awesome members. How's that for a conversion story?

Getting back from Nizhyn was an adventure. The train was way too late, so we tried to take a bus back. But then we missed one bus, the next one was cancelled, and we spend 2.5 hours waiting at the bus station. Definitely felt like Zhytomyr. Sometimes, things in Ukraine aren't so organized. But it was fine. I had time so I called most of my favorite people in Ukraine. I talked to my cute RS president from Kyiv and she was like "I was just in the temple and put your name in there and I came out and saw that you'd called!" So that was way sweet. It's lovely to be supported.

The bus ride back home was through the Ukrainian countryside and it was consequently just lovely. Lots of little houses, babuskas carrying heavy loads along the side of the roads, horse-drawn carts, many cows, and lots and lots of fields. They were all harvested and had giant piles of grain in the middle. I felt like I was back in time a century. It was nice.

Yesterday at church, this little girl who's become my good friend came in all upset. I was like "Erika, what's wrong?" She looked at me and immediately burst into tears and gave me a hug as she said, "my parrot flew away." I love being a missionary because you get to be the one to comfort little girls whose parrots take off.

We were at a babuska's house this week (obviously). She was inactive for a long, long time, but recently came back and is really passionate about the gospel right now. We were talking about the church and the whole point of the deal and she said something I just love. She said, "I love God and I love Jesus and I want to be just a little bit more like them. At least just a little bit." Isn't that a lovely and concise summery of conversion?

All the love,

1 comment:

  1. Hannah your mission sounds incredible! I am jealous! I love reading your posts. Enjoy the beautiful journey you are on. And try not to freeze too much! :D Thinking of you today. Sister Moss.