Monday, September 30, 2013

Moving On

Can you say that a crazy tall 12-fingered man from Sierra Leone named Melvin is in love with you? I can. Yep. I mean, I can't blame him but it's probably good that i'm leaving this week. yep the biggest news this week is i am getting tranferred! i am so sad to leave Lugansk, but I am excited to see where I will go. I bore my testimony in sacrament meeting and i held it together and didn't cry, but when I sat down and we starting singing the closing hymn I Know That My Redeemer Lives I definitely cried. When I bore my testimony I told the members that when I first arrived in Ukraine I thought that I was here to help them, but in reality they have helped me so much more. I will forever be grateful for the lessons that I have learned here in my first area. More than anything I have learned how to rely on the Lord. I learned that relying on the Lord doesn't mean sitting back and letting Him do all the work. It means doing absolutely everything that I can, and then having a firm belief that He will do the rest. I have also learned to believe in myself this transfer. When Sister Erekson first left I didn't have very much confidence in my ability to be an effective missionary. My language skills are not great and I do not have a lot of experience, but I have been blessed to grow up in the gospel with loving parents who taught me well. I know that all I really need to have success as a missionary is to love the Lord and love the people of Ukraine.
This week was the craziest week at church ever! First of all the sunday school topic was law of chastity which was hilariously awkward because it was 6 missionaries, 2 recent converts and an investigator. but whatever i couldn't understand most of it so it wasn't that bad to me. then for third hour relief society and priesthood were combined and this crazy lady was sitting in front of us (no one knows who she is, i'm pretty sure she's not a member) and she pulls out a bottle of liquid chlorophyll and just starts drinking out of it! i'm not a chemist but i don't think that's healthy. then this nicely dressed guy in his 30s walks in and just starts arguing with everyone about how the Orthodox church is better? i couldn't really understand him, but he was saying something about tithing. anyways, general piece of advice, don't walk into a room of about 30 strongly opinionated Ukrainian Mormons and expect to win an argument. basically he got completely owned and left in shame. it was pretty hilarious although it definitely wasn't uplifting or edifying haha. after church everyone stopped to tell me goodbye and it was so cute. Brother Koshelev who is basically the grandpa of the branch (he baptized nadia) he came and gave me a huge hug and there was nothing i could do to stop it haha. he said to me "you're so small, but you did so much!" i loved that. sister zoya, the crazy lady who runs youth night told me she's gonna call Thomas S. Monson and tell him that I have to stay hahaha. Everyone in Ukraine loves to wish you success and they always get carried away and wish you tons of things like they will say "I wish you success and happiness and a nice husband and lots of money and lots of kids and a nice house etc etc etc" it's hilarious.

This week we taught Roman twice. We taught him the Plan of Salvation and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is so humble and willing to learn, it is so exciting to teach him. He has trouble understanding scriptures, so our next lesson with him we are just going to read a chapter from the Book of Mormon together and help him understand and apply what he learns. We usually have members on the lessons with us who also speak english so they can translate anything he says that we don't understand. Our first lesson with him he told us that he knows there is someone wiser than him who created the earth and each one of us, and he knows that when he prays for help someone helps him, but he doesn't know who. I was so grateful and humbled to be able to testify to him that I know who that person is. He is our Heavenly Father and He sent Sister Campbell and I to share that knowledge with him. He also said that the first time he met us he noticed a 'brightness' but he didn't know what that was, so that's why he wanted to keep meeting with us. Once again I was able to testify that that brightness is the Holy Ghost. Whenever someone speaks truth, the Holy Ghost is there to testify. Roman is probably the most humble person I have ever met. I am so grateful to have been able to teach him. We finally got him to pray out loud and it was the sweetest prayer ever. he said thank you for these beautiful missionaries and for Lena (the member we had on the lesson) who speaks my language. it was adorable.

We also taught Oliver, a young man from Zambia studying medicine. He is a Seventh-Day Adventist, but is open to learning about all religions. We taught him the Plan of Salvation and he was really interested in the Spirit World. He said that he had never heard or thought about it before, so he commited to study it this week in the Book of Mormon and the Bible, and we commited to do the same and we will talk about it with him this week. I am so grateful that he is willing to study out what we teach and is open to learning new things. I called Oliver to tell him that I am leaving on Thursday and to see if we can meet again before I leave. He said "Sister Campbelll is going to miss you." And i said, probably. And he said, if she doesn't i'll send her to the spirit world hahaha.

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