This last week flew by... P-day comes up and I never know what to even say because I feel like I was just writing! A lot happens but then as I sit down I seem to forget it all.
This week we had a lot of appointments fall through which was a bummer but we also found a lot of new members/part-member families that we can work with. The best thing we could have here is 3 Mondays in a row and then just skip to Thursday every week because of all of the people who want to feed us and have us come over for FHE. I enjoy being with the families and participating in their FHE's.
Both of the wards we work with are very nice. They are both very different though.. Last week I gave my testimony/introduction in one of the wards and instead of 20 people in the congregation cheering me on and a little grandma correcting my grammar in the front row and nodding her head when I say something right, I just looked at the congregation and they just all stared at me with blank stares and at one point I almost started laughing because I wasn't sure if I was speaking in their language. Elder Young had a talk this week and did very well, they then found me and told me I have a talk in 2 weeks. A little nervous to be honest, hope I can say something that they can relate to and understand. Every ward offers something different, as missionaries we just need to recognize what they have to offer.
This week we had just a few lessons, but I felt like they went really well. I find myself in lessons literally trying to focus up a ball of the Holy Ghost and concentrate the Spirit and then just throw it at them so they know what it feels like. It sounds funny and strange while I am typing it, but I find myself just trying my hardest to toss the Holy Ghost over at them, because without, we really can't do too much for them. One of our investigators is being persecuted at work for him coming to Church and it is really crazy to see the sacrifice that goes on here to become and member and then stay active.
On my birthday we had a District Leader training meeting (Elder Young is a DL) and then we ended up getting a weird and random call to go over to a house to teach a lady and her 30 year old inactive son who lives with her. We showed up and there was pizza! She had a cute little dog and we named her Utah. Then the lesson was easily the best I have had here in Ukraine. It was led by the Spirit and the conversation bounced from all 4 of us in the room. It was a great way to spend my birthday.
This last Saturday, we set up an appointment to play some basketball! Yes, I was excited! We have a hoop at one of the wards. We asked a local RM to bring a 17 year old we are working with who has a girlfriend in the church and comes with her family every week. It was good to do because apparently he is afraid of the missionaries and thinks we are robots. So we just wanted to try to get to know him better and show him we are normal people. It was good to do something he was familiar with.
It was really sad! I could barely touch the net, and wow I was off. Gained a few pounds...yikes. And haven't shot a ball in a long time. But it was for a great cause. I just need to remember that I am not heading into the basketball season back home. I am here doing the Lords work and trying to get people, like this 17 yr old, to understand what we are all about - the missionaries and the church.
At the end President Packer brought his sons over to play for a bit and instantly this amazing idea we had to play with an investigator was thrown into question in my mind. It is good to always think on the mission what we would do if Jesus was literally right there with us all day. Not comparing President Packer to Jesus, but it was kinda just how I thought of it. He was all for the idea and supported us in our efforts, and we had all the right intentions, but it is just interesting that the moment someone shows up like that you instantly think of all the bad and not the good you are doing. Need to perfect ourselves always.
S/O to my family for the peanut butter (none here in Ukraine) and Nicole for the bouncy ball (she knows how much I love mine back home), and then the letters and emails from Grandparents and family and then all the wishes and pictures I received this week and last week! No I don't feel any different, but yes it is weird to say that I am 19. The language is coming but very very slowly. Good times here in Ukraine.
Work goes on.