On an exchange with Elder Roobitski (native) we met up with a missionary who served here 3 years ago and came back and was trying to find someone by the name of Vasili.
Me, returning missionary, E. Roobitski
Unfortunately, in Ukraine it is one of the 10 names that all males have. We weren't able to find the correct
one, but we another we thought was ready to teach a lesson to. Found out that he just wanted to show us the apartments he rents and figured since I was American I could afford them, funny! Weird things happen on the mission, but I wasn't complaining. The view off the balcony was great. In the end we tried to invite him to tour the Church because he showed us his homes but it didn't quite work out.
Cool view from the apartment he wanted us to rent
We have had a lot of outward success in receiving numbers on the street lately, but one of my favorite contacts was when we passed a boy and his friend and then I felt like I should say hi. I did and he was not interested at all, but offered us free peaches. Nicest anyone has ever been on the street. Made a goal to be like that kid.
Parable of the McShake: We went to McDonald's and got a shake as a treat. Walking out, the door swung back and hit my shoulder and the shake went flying. As everyone laughed at the stupid American I picked up the remains and went back in with 2 thoughts in my mind. a] They will not give a refund at all and that will be that. b] I will receive a full refund. Turns out, they ended filling up the shake half way and giving it to me. At first it was a surprise and it was almost funny, but then I was truly ungrateful. That split second I had the choice to see the cup half empty or half full and I was on the pessimistic side. They didn't owe me anything. It was ultimately my fault that it fell. What I felt was entitlement. God tests us in these small moments and sees if we will choose to be grateful of not. Next time, I hope to be grateful. Which happened to be the next day buying a yogurt and somehow dropping it. This week was not my week :(
Went up to Kiev this week and had a great meeting. We focused on asking good questions and I realized that I need to work on it. The next day, after we got back to Odessa we got a call from President saying that he was going to be with us for the day... In that moment, we realized that we fear Man more that God. President Packer is the nicest man on the earth, and we had no reason to worry, but our urgency, work ethic, and schedule should have not been put into question at all with that phone call. He didn't end up even making it, but we learned our lesson of always being ready and really working as if our Mission President was with us.
Had some great lessons this week, but my favorite part of the week was with Roma. We have been teaching him for about 5 weeks now and his eyes just keep getting brighter and brighter. The Atonement is real and repentance truly changes your outlook on the world and yourself. He gets up at 5 every morning to get ready to go to work. He has felt his life / attitude change to the point to where he said for the first time the other day, "I wake up and hear the birds chirp now." That sentence has stuck with me throughout the week. I can tell that he is genuinely happy and his countenance shows.
I hope that everyone has a great 4th of July! Shout-out to sloth (Justin) for his birthday on the 2nd! He is 15!!! But I hear still shorter than me????
Hope all is well. Enjoy the fireworks. For some reason I don't think Ukraine celebrates...
p.s. A very kind member gave us a liver to be able to cook up and eat. Needless to say I am very grateful that my cooking skills have improved. It ended up pretty good! Key, lots of potatoes and onions!