Monday, July 15, 2013

We Got a Greenie!


July 15, 2013

Sister Rohrbaugh is doing great, thanks for asking haha I told her that you always ask about her and she loved it! I hope we get to serve together again sometime!
Okay the big news this week is we got our new companion!!!! Her name is Sister Campbell and she's from Pittsburgh. She is 19 and super awesome. I'm so glad that she has a great sense of humor because our lives are about to become one big joke in 6 weeks when i'm in charge! The members here already love her because she's totally herself and tries to talk to everyone even though she can't say or understand anything! It's so funny, i'm going to try and be more like her. The otjher big news this week is I got your package!!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! it seriously was the greatest package i've ever seen. Yes, it came in perfect condition with everything in tact! By far my favorite part was the Book of Mormon! I saw it at the bottom and was like, don't they know I have a hundred of these? And then I opened it up and saw the picture and testimony and I was so happy!! Did you get Spencer or Ben to translate it? Elder Wither says it's really good Russian, not that I would know! I spent part of my language study translating it which was really cool. I only had to look up a couple words, okay? Also the socks and Toms are great!!! Out of the food the peanut butter is my favorite of course, but the mac 'n cheese cheese made me really happy too. And the pictures are great! Yes, anytime you send me a package i would love to have pictures in there, but yes the attachments work here too so you can email me pictures any time. Oh i got dear elders from Sister Eyre of course, tell her i loved the drops of awesome thing but i'm not sure if i'm to the point where i could share that in russian yet...maybe in a year or so haha and I also got one from brother maddy. It took me a little bit to remember who that was, but it was so nice of him to write me! tell him thanks.

So anyways, thursday we got to get on a rented out marshutka (public transportation bus) at 6am to make it to Donetsk in time for transfer meeting. We have traveled so much this transfer! Sister Erekson says it won't always be like this, but we've left our city 4 times in one transfer! Anyways, they did transfers differently this time, so President did a personal interview with everyone who was being transferred and told them personally where they were being assigned and what was expected of them. Since I wasn't getting transferred, just getting a new companion, I didn't get an interview so I didn't know who we were getting until the very end when they read off the assignments real fast. I was dying to know who we had! So the whole time people were getting interviews we had little workshops where we practiced contacting using the Book of Mormon, family history, and the Family Proclamation. It was really good practice and it was in english so I knew what I was saying! After we all got our assignments we were back on the bus to lugansk! Our bus stopped and dropped of elders in Gorlovka which is the sketchiest part of the mission (they promised to never send sisters there...and yet, there we were haha) so now I've been to 4 cities in our mission in one transfer, that's pretty good!
Friday poor Sister Campbell woke up sick (throwing up), which happens to almost every missionary who first comes to ukraine (i got really lucky and was fine) so we just stayed inside and studied in the morning. then friday night we had english group and only one girl came, so we just basically hung out and talked (luckily she has really good english) and she gave us some good ideas of things to do for our cultural activity this transfer.

Saturday we were in companionship study planning a lesson and we called the relief society president to ask if she could help us out when she told us that there was a relief society activity starting in 5 minutes and asked if we could come! it was an indexing activity which combines the two things we're supposed to be focusing on: working with the members and using family history in missionary work so of course we went! I'm not going to lie, I actually like indexing, however, watching someone else explain how to index is not that exciting, and having someone explain it to you in a language you do not understand is less exciting, but it was good that we were there. Then we had to run and get lunch before district meeting, and then right after district meeting we went and played volleyball! Now I know that sounds like a P-day activity and not missionary work, but our investigator Nadia was there, and a girl in the branch Nastia who just put in her papers, she invited 3 of her friends from school! So we had 1 investigator and 3 potential investigators all playing volleyball and laughing and having fun with us. It was awesome. I'm starting to think that the fact that i'm hilariously bad at volleyball is one of my greatest blessings. Everyone loves to laugh at me, which is good i guess. Also this 9 year old kid, Stanislov came over and played with us, he was super funny. He loves to talk to Sister Campbell because she never understands him haha. The elders brought out Kool-aid to us (the court is right by their apartment) and everyone here loves kool-aid because it's super american i guess. Anyways, we had such a fun time that we're going to play again tonight and this time we have a spiritual thought planned so it should be great. We invited them all to come to youth night tomorrow and they were super excited and all said yes! So i'll definitely let you know how that goes!
Yesterday at church was...interesting. This totally crazy guy named Sasha showed up and of course we didn't know who he was and we're supposed to be friendly to everyone so maybe I was too nice but he sat by me in sacrament meeting and sunday school and seemed to want to be my best friend. He showed me this picture in the liahona of two girls fishing, and pointed to the blonde one and said "that's you" and then pointed to this black girl and said "that's me" and I was like oh really? that's nice hahaha. When he took the sacrament he crossed himeslf with the bread and said some crazy prayer and then ate it so that probably wasn't good. Then in sunday school he argued the entire time saying some crazy stuff that nobody understood. Poor Nikolai was teaching and he just recently got baptized and the only other people in the room were 3 investigators, 1 recent convert and 3 sister missionaries. It was a very interesting class haha. People here love to argue in church and it's so funny, but i wish i could know what they were saying! Last week relief society was about visiting teaching and someone asked what you should do if your person is less active and doesn't want to be taught and the room just EXPLODED haha everyone talks over each other and thinks their opinion is most important and it's so funny to watch even though i can't follow it at all. Sister Erekson says this is the tamest relief society she's ever seen, so I'm excited to see what some other areas are like! Although I don't really want to leave Lugansk ever, it's so awesome! Oh so Sunday night we had a bunch of people cancel on us so we just went contacting which was good because we got to show Sister Campbell around Lugansk some more, but this crazy drunk old lady came up to us and wanted us to forgive her of her sins. I kid you not, her eyes look in completely different directions and I could not understand a word she was saying, and she literally kneeled down in the middle of the street put her hands at sister ereksons feet and then started crossing herself and sister erekson and kept saying "forigve me, forgive me" it was almost sad, but then her neighbor came out and said, "alright that's, enough. go home" so we figured this was a common occurence and she's just crazy. it was definitely an experience. So sunday was a day full of crazies which is always fun.
I have some extra time this week, so I figured I'd include what I learned this past transfer. Today starts my 2nd transfer! crazy town, I only have 8 or 9 left!!! Anyways, today during personal study I wrote down everything that I learned this transfer, or what I could remember at least and it was really cool. One thing I learned this transfer is why I was called to this mission. I realized that I came to Ukraine to learn what it's like to be inadequate. That sounds weird, but it's true. My entire life I've been able to do everything that's been asked of me, usually without even very much effort. But living in Ukraine, speaking Russian, there is literally no  way that I can do this on my own. I now know what it's like to be terrible at something and it's HARD but it's teaching me so much. I am learning to rely on my Savior because that's all I can do. I have also studied faith vs. fear a lot this transfer and came to realize that courage comes from knowing the Savior and trusting Him. There is literally nothing that I have to be afraid of. If I am scared of something it's because I am trying to do it alone. I have also learned that being a good missionary has way more to do with who you are than what you do or what you say. I am trying to become the type of person that is a misisonary simply by who I am, especially because right now I can't teach people any other way. One thing we talked about in Zone Conference that I loved was Jesus feeding the multitude with the fishes and loaves. I had never thought about this in terms of misisonary work before. Christ asked the disciples what they had, and they gave it all to the Savior. He blessed it and multiplied it and then gave it back to the disciples who then feed the multitudes. This is exactly how missionary work works. We give literally all that we have to the Savior, all of our heart, might, mind, and strength and then he multiplies it and we are able to use that to bless others. I have never understood the phrase "magnifying your efforts" but I think that's what it's talking about. My efforts alone are pretty lame, but if I give all that I have to the Lord, he makes it enough. And then I can use that to help others, which is the whole reason I am here. We also talked about not just giving all of your strength, but playing to your strengths. I really want to figure out what my strengths are so I can play to them! If you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them. I know before my mission one of my strengths was words, using words to be funny or persuasive or whatever, but here I hardly even know any words! I can't wait for the day when I can use words well in Russian...it will come some day! Alright that's just some of what I've learned this transfer! I am so grateful to be here and so grateful for your love and support! You are the greatest!

Alright so that's all for this week, sorry this one was a little bit shorter, but it's only been 5 days! Give me a break! Have so much fun at girls camp!!! I can't believe it's sarah's last year! I'm still convinced that they got rid of 7th years because of me. I had way too much fun and did way too many awesome pranks. Don't forget that girls camp is exactly what you put into it, if you want it to be amazing it will be!

p.s.I don't have a t-shirt of the week because I haven't really seen any good ones this week, only a lady with shakira's face on it.
p.p.s "hit me baby one more time" was just playing in here so that was fun.
p.p.p.s our landlord's wife wants to come over this week and give us a presentation on shampoos she sells so that should be really interesting...we'll see how that goes. We'll do a trade and say we'll listen to your message if you listen to ours haha. 

1 comment:

  1. hello sister shrek's mum,am candy from sierra leone .you have a very lovely daughter,and she is the best

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