This week just FLEW by. I come home in 3 weeks? What? Yesterday it struck me how much I am going to miss going to church in this country.
During Sacrament meeting, a woman who is a photographer talked about how 5 years ago, she did a photo session for a girl and told her a little bit about the church. This past week, she ran into the girl who sense then has been baptized and whose husband is getting ready for baptism. Yep, that girl was Ira! How cool is that?
Second hour was about John the Baptist. The teacher decided to use some film clips to help illustrate the story. But she decided to use some film that was 20-30 years old and decidedly not produced by the church. John looked a lot like the Geico caveman and just went around screaming at everyone. And he baptized by pouring a hand full of water on people's heads. So that was how he baptized Jesus. I'm not sure if that constitutes blaspheme, but it was pretty entertaining at any rate.
Third hour, one of the RS announcements was the following: in case of bombing, the only safe places in Kyiv are the metro and the temple.
Speaking of the metro, yesterday there was a monkey on the metro and it was awesome. Some guy put his pet monkey in a warm coat and put a leash on it and just brought it on the metro. The monkey ran around on the handrails. I greatly enjoyed it.
I went on an exchange this week with Sister Steinacker, who is awesome and AMERICAN. I don't think I stopped talking the entire 24 hours we were together. Being able to communicate fluidly in English with no cultural or language miscommunication was so liberating. Which is not to say I don't love Sister Pugachova, because I adore here. We do have our fair share of miscommunication though.
Our washing machine finally got fixed this week! Did I tell you it was broken? For the first 2+ weeks here, our washing machine didn't work. So that was not convenient at all. I can now say I've gone without electricity, hot water, and a washing machine in Ukraine. Does that count as roughing it yet?
Saturday night some of my FAVORITE members from Chernigov called me and were like "hey, what are you doing tonight? We're at the temple and have a few free hours." So we spent our dinner hour getting dinner with them. It was AWESOME. I think the hardest part of the mission is not getting to see all my friends often enough. I missed them.
Speaking of seeing my friends, I had a total miracle moment this week. Kyiv is a fairly large city, with lots of transport. At one point this week, I was sitting on a marshrutka when I saw this familiar red scarf and black hair get on. NATASHA. (Eva's aunt from Voskresensky, if you don't remember her. She's definitely on my list of top 5 favorite people in Ukraine). So I ran up and sat with her and got to talk for like 20 minutes. It was so incredible to see her, and just such a wonderful little miracle. She doesn't even live in my area. The chances of us being on the same bus are like 0. But things like that just seem to somehow happen all the time. And it is wonderful.
All the love,
PS. Metro ad word of the day - lagniappe: a small gift given a customer by a merchant at the time of a purchase