Monday, July 3, 2017

New President arrived..... 7-3-17

Great last week!
Highlights of the week:
We had our last few meetings with President Packer and his wife and went to the airport and picked up the Kumfermans! 
Me & my Comp, Kumferman's & the Packer's at the airport
The moment their plane touched down on Ukrainian soil he was then the Mission President. While waiting at the airport, we had the chance to talk to some people and one of them was a family waiting to pick up their kid from Canada who has been gone for 3 years. The contact was able to calm down my nerves and the family that we were talking with. It was interesting to see the airport scene from that perspective. Lots of emotions all around in that airport. Sounds cheesy, but when we saw him he gave us the biggest and longest hugs and it just felt right that he was now our Mission President. Love the Packers and will miss them a lot.. but the Lord calls who he calls and President Kumferman isn't missing a beat. The wife is the nicest ever and hey have a 10 year old girl with them and a 20 year old daughter that will be staying with them for the summer. I can't wait to hear more about them and hear from them this next week. We had an amazing dinner at the Temple President's house right next to the temple and it was a great day. Grateful for the experience and chance to be there.
 Gratitude.... This last week we had a big surprise and her name is Lidia! She is an old grandma that is missing an eye and sells flowers by where we walk home every night! We think that she forgets who we are after every time we talk to her and she talks in Ukrainian with soft western accent and is really hard to understand but we just smile and listen. Missionaries have talked with her for 6 months and out of the blue she said that she was coming to Church! Anyways, she showed up to church and really expected us to preach. Luckily, it happened to be fast Sunday. We both went up and I shared a story from home about gratitude. Every time I have gotten a gift or anything from anyone else my mom has made me sit down and write a thank you card back.... and for the most part I can't say that I enjoyed it. After Christmas, it would take hours. The Haldemans (Senior Couple here)  had us over for dinner the other night and we did a video type thing with the whole district to send out to her grandchildren to help them decide to all serve missions. She asked the question, "What have you learned the most on the mission?" I thought about it and realized that the more and more I get to know God, the more I understand how eternally I am in debt to him. D&C 78:17-19. The grandma loved the fast meeting and it was a reason to be grateful that she came. We fasted to find a new family and a recently re-activated member did his home teaching and brought a part-member family that no one knew about to Church and we are going to meet with all of them tonight! You can always find a reason to be grateful. 

She found this lovely selfie on her phone after we left - love her dearly!
We have a goal to give a Book of Mormon out every day. We set a goal for 3  for one day this last week and had it on our minds but things just kept getting in the way and we were rushed to and from appointments. On the lesson right before we were about to go home, somehow I didn't say a word the whole time other than the closing prayer. It was around 30 minutes and I didn't want to force my way in, but at the same time I didn't just want to say something to say something.  2 years ago I would have gotten mad at my companion in the MTC. 1 year ago I would have thought my comp was out to get me and did it all on purpose and it was a competition. 4 days ago, those thoughts came creeping back  all the same but I was determined to let the lesson be led how was natural and that consisted of my companion and this member talking. Thoughts such as these kept attacking me: "There isn't one missionary older than me in this mission. I should be the one taking the lead right? He made a Russian mistake that I wouldn't have. Why won't he just stop talking..." In my mind a year ago I would have had "every right" to be bugged by the lesson and sort of just go on home angry at my companion. Instead, I kept a happy countenance and the first 3 people we met outside while walking home accepted a Book of Mormon. The Lord tests us and showed me the higher road that He now expects me to take. Self pity is not from God and kills our progression. We can have two outlooks on every situation. I am glad I realized what was going on in my head 4 days ago and the battle that we truly have daily.
Hope you all have a great week!   Birthday shout out to my Slothman Justin! Your landlord will be returning shortly, enjoy your time before then. Hope your birthday events and gifts were just what you wanted. Watch out on the road everyone else! Also, beware girls, he is legal to date now...
Love Elder Devashrayee