Monday, December 15, 2014

The best week

GUYS. It was such a week. I don't even know where to start.

Saturday Ludmila got baptized! She's almost 70, and is one spunky babushka. She's just a riot. She was so happy to finally get baptized. When she came into the room after getting redressed, she was like "I just want to thank you all so much for coming to my birthday. This isn't my second birthday, I was born today. I'm so happy to be baptized and to be one of you and I will do all I can do be good and be an active church member." It was adorable. Rock on babuska Ludmila.

I went to my very first Ukrainian wedding this week. Our MCL got married. It was pretty awesome they invited us, although it was kinda anti-climactic. The literally just signed a document. Still, though, ligit.

Spring came.Not literally, but it was super warm this weekend and most of the snow is melted. I'm choosing to assume this means winter is over. Here is a picture of me and a snowman from earlier this week, when it was still winter. One of the fun parts of living next to a school is that the kids build snowmen sometimes. I am impressed. ​

Oh. WE SAW PRESIDENT KLEBINGAT THIS WEEK. He came on official area presidency business, sort of. The seventy who was supposed to come couldn't last minute, so back he came (which is kinda a miracle since he was told he wouldn't get to come back for at least 2 years). It was so good to see him. He gave us all hugs and took pictures and called us "my сёстрыs". I think he might have been even more excited than we were. He definitely made us all feel very loved. He quoted his own conference talk when he spoke, obviously. And he ended his talk like this: эта церкрвь истинна и I want my dear missionaries to know that I love you во имя Иисуса Христа аминь. So here is a picture of me and both my mission presidents in Kyiv.

While at that conference, I got to see tons of my favorite people from my Kyiv ward, which was also such a huge miracle. I love them because I feel like we're genuine friends. Sometimes, it's hard to be yourself as a missionary, but all my friendships in that ward are so real. I just love them so much!

On war front news, we did in fact lose power every day this week for a few hours each day. It's fine though. We just have lessons with people by candlelight. It's kinda nice, really. There's something just simple and quiet about it. I like it. Though there may have been a few moments when I've missed our good old Cummins generator.  Here is a picture I took of my dear companion studying by candlelight.

One really funny incident that happened due to electricity shortages was last Monday. We went ice skating Monday evening with some youth and investigators and the elders. It was the most Ukrainian ice rink of my life. They build walls around a basketball court, covered it with water, and let it freeze. We rented skates in the school next door. Except it was on the third floor. Which meant you had to go down 3 flights of stairs in your ice skates to get to the rink and then get back up to get your shoes back. OK. There was no Zamboni, but they had a couple of kids pushing snow shovels across the ice, so that kinda was something. Anyway, it was all great and such, until ALL THE LIGHTS WENT OUT like 10 minutes after we started skating. So it was pretty much completely dark, but all and all very fun. No one was injured, which was good.

Speaking of injuries, I almost got hit by a car yesterday. We had a green crosswalk, and I was running for a bus, because we really needed this bus in order to get home on time. Some car comes hurtling down the road through a red light and totally would have smashed me had the elders not been there to yell at me to stop. It seems to hold true that I am the most likely person I know to be hit by a car. I think I picked up that trait in Vienna 5 years ago, and haven't seemed to outgrow it. So there's that.

We had lunch on Wednesday at an Italian place that let's you get half-priced pasta if you draw a moustache on your face. Obviously worth it. First time I've had salmon in over a year.

We went to the National Ukrainian Choir concert this week with our branch. It was so good and so Ukrainian. Did anyone know that "carol of the bells" is actually a traditional Ukrainian folk song? Now you do! They sang that song among others. There was a guy playing on a bandura, which is a 68 string guitar, and it was so cool. Very talented. They all wore Ukrainian clothes and it was just the most Ukrainian evening of my life. I loved it. Search "Український національний хор" on youtube and enjoy a little piece of my life.

I spoke in church again yesterday. We walked in and were told "well, no one prepared their talk today, so missionaries are up." So with all of 7 minutes to prepare, I pulled off a pretty good talk just sharing what I'd learned during personal study that morning. It was really neat to see I could do that, since I definitely would not have been able to do that 6 months ago. But that's just how missions are. You get to grow and change and so many amazing things come out of it.

​All the love,

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