Monday, December 8, 2014

Winter is enchanting

It is just the most lovely winter wonderland here in Chernigov. There's a river near/in the town which causes lots of fog at night. Which means that every morning all the trees all over the city are covered in the most beautiful frost. It's unreal how lovely this city is. Maybe winter isn't so bad after all.

In news on the war front... the country is trying to save energy this winter, since there just isn't enough to go around due to the oil situation with Russia. Thankfully, hot water has not been cut off! But, electricity has. They've been doing a two hours on, two hours off thing this week for half the city, and then the other half goes without electricity this week, and so on. Luckily, we had electricity this past week, but probably we'll be going without the upcoming one. Good thing I have a headlamp! Haha we'll survive just fine, but it's always sad to call up a babushka "how are you?" "It's dark!"

I lost more friends this week. One of my skirts got a fairly large hole in it and that totaled it. And then my FAVORITE boots died. The boots that I brought on my mission and have worn pretty much every day since then. That are so darn comfortable and walkable. That I already got the zipper replaced on once. This week, the zipper like tore off, and I'm pretty sure it's not fixable. So that was a great loss. They broke in the middle of the day, so I walked down the street with rubber bands on my boot keeping it together and ran into the first thrift store I found and got a replacement pair of boots for $4. As if anything could replace those boots.

I also got a hole in my winter coat (it really wasn't a good week for my clothing). We were at a members house and she was like "oh, I'll fix that right up for you." So we drank tea and talked while she sewed it up for me. And I was very grateful for that. Sometimes, the things that mean the most to me are the quiet kind things people do for me. The small moments of "here, let me take care of you" are the best.

We had a cowboy party this week, and it renewed my resolve to be a cowboy if nothing else in my life works out. I also wrote a poem this week for the first time on my mission. It felt good to write again. Whenever I tell people I wrote poems before my mission, they're like "do you write poems in Russian?" And the answer to that is no, because while I have basic communication skills down in Russian, I definitely don't have command of the texture of the language, which is what makes poems fun to write. Maybe someday.

We had a real life pioneer adventure on Saturday (not really). We got up at 3am to get to the bus stop by 4 so that we could go to the temple! IT WAS SO COLD. Seriously, an unholy temperature. The bus was also very, very cold. It did not know my feet could be so frozen. So being tired and cold in order to get to the temple made me feel like a pioneer.

We went to the temple with the branch and it was SUCH a wonderful day. President let us go because we had a couple less-actives and recent converts that came with us. So we did mostly baptisms all day. You know how they have a little spiritual thought before the baptismal session starts? The temple matron asked me to translate for her, so that was pretty neat. And then we were in the temple until like 4:30. It was just a wonderful day. I love the Kyiv temple.

Anyway, in the evening we went with those who could only do baptisms to center Kyiv, because the rest were staying for a 5:00 session. We walked around center Kyiv in the winter and it was just beautiful. Snow and cold and old buildings. I loved it. I love where I'm at. Christmas season is the best.

All the love,
Hannah

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