Notice that ball going right down the middle for my Strike!
Two of the biggest things that happened this last week are that I went back down to Illy (my first area) and did splits with an awesome Elder and we celebrated Easter here in Ukraine!
Going back to Illy was oddly really symbolic for me. I was on an exchange with the Elder Kovalov (he is currently serving as their Branch President) and riding the bus back into town it all came back to me really quickly and clearly. My whole first transfer I had no idea where to go or where anything was and the moment I was back in the area I knew exactly where to go without a doubt and memories came back clearer and clearer. The smell of the town was even there. It was interesting.
I was able to see a lot of members that I missed and took part in some interesting phases of the work. One of those included a hospital trip where a young mother had just been informed that she had lost her baby and the main focus was now to save her life, bringing medicine around to people in the out land area, and many other tears and hardships for the members. Blessed to be able to have shared those experiences with them.
Elder Kovalov taught me of an analogy of praying as sending a letter to heaven and when we fast it is putting a stamp on it that says "urgent". That is why we are asked to fast as well as just pray. The moment I came into the mission I wanted to serve with this missionary and even to be able to do that for a day was awesome. For companion study (usually an hour) I read a paragraph out loud and then we took the rest of the time going over my accent.. hahaha I have a long way to go he said.
We are both interested in cooking, and he helped add to my recipe book. We made some pretty cool cookies with a skillet thing we found at a members. They let us borrow it. Filled our top shelf of the fridge! They won't last long!
Back in my area, this week we had a lesson with an investigator. It was almost as if it went like we were in the MTC. Focused the lesson on Plan of Salvation and then shifted to baptism half-way through. The Spirit was strong and we invited him to be baptized. He said no. We then bore testimony and then asked again. This time it was a yes, but with slight hesitation. He is 25 but has been smoking his whole life. We had a member with us and he gave a very powerful blessing to him to help him quit. Even after he said that he felt the power of it. It was "picture perfect" and we are excited to see what happens with him.
We also had a lesson with a family that was baptized about a month ago that went very well. Amazing to see how far people can come together. The many blessings of living how we should.
This last week we had a few chances to do service also which really helps mix up the work. At one of the projects this guy was way up in a tree trimming it. It was cool to watch him.
We ride the bus often, and it has become one of my favorite forms of contacting.. they have no where to go! Poor souls! But we are getting fairly good at it. We often meet new people that don't live in our area, but we are able to pass on their names.
We have a member that is leaving on a mission in 2 weeks and had a little get-together at the beach. Luckily for us, he brought a friend that he has been talking with so we were able to go and talk to him. The beach was a blast and we finished with a small spiritual thought. A lot of YSA age people were there and it went really well. Even got to watch some beach Volleyball as well.
Sunday was Easter! People were visibly more happy and it was great weather. We handed out "The Living Christ" and kept saying, "Иисус воскрес!" (Jesus has resurrected) and then everyone replies "в истину воскрес!" (truly risen). Easter was great. We had a lesson with a nice blind lady, met with a contact in the park we found on the bus, and then visited a lady who didn't quite think she was cut out to live in the Celestial Kingdom. In the end, we even managed to paint Easter Eggs. Great times.
Notice the Ukraine and USA egg right by each other!