Monday, October 28, 2013

Hocus Pocus

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Goats in the background
First of all, did the sisters move in yet? or did they not come yet because you were out of town? i've been telling everyone that sister missionaries are living in my room and i don't want to be a liar! oh also my snow prediction is December 24th. Not because it's christmas eve, because it's sister welch's lucky number. so if i win you have to write katie and sister welch on the trophy :)
Okay so we all know Abby is the persuasive one in the family, but some of it must have rubbed off on me because guess who got permission to watch the DCOM Halloween Classic Hocus Pocus at their ward Halloween Party? This guy. Yep we had planned a big party with bobbing for apples, pumpkin carving, making carmel apples, etc. but then we were talking with two members who were like, let's just do dinner and a movie, that sounds easier. So of course we were happy with that because we would have been the ones to actually put all of that together. So Sasha one of the members found hocus pocus online in Russian (with english subtitles for the missionaries' benefit) and we called the Lochheads and asked permission and they said yeah, of course, as long as we have investigators there. So we called all of our investigators and begged them to come and luckily one actually showed up so we got to say and watch! and then we had to decide what we wanted to make for dinner and the members were like, lets just have everyone who comes bring treats, that sounds easier. so we did that and it was great! man i love ukrainians.
we had our helping hands service project this week which involved 4 missionaries, the branch president and his parents, and the ward mission leader raking leaves for two hours. it was actually way fun. the branch president's parents are total stereotypcial ukrainian grandparents who are crazy but awesome. so we were raking leaves off the grass, but they wanted to get leaves off of the sidewalk too, so they left for a little while and came back with a homemade broom out of branches they just ripped off a tree haha it was hilarious. sister welch got a picture but i can't find it right now.
Last night we had the FUNNIEST lesson of my life. Okay so we met this short little man while walking on the street and i thought he was a total creeper but sister welch was like, no he's way nice you are just being paranoid. so we set up a lesson with him and luckily we had the branch president come with us. we met outside so we could show him how to get to the church but he said no, he wanted us to come over to his house for tea. by this point we couldn't say no, so we walked to his house which I kid you not is a hobbit house! This man Ivan, is literally my height and i think he built this house for himself. Our branch president is 6'4'' and it was the funniest thing i've ever seen watching him try and walk around in that house. So Ivan made us herbal tea which actually wasn't terrible (i hate tea but everyone gives it to you so i just get over it) and some chocolate with alcohol in it, so yeah we shouldn't have eaten that but we didn't know! every missionary in eastern europe breaks the word of wisdom at least once by accident...whoops. then he showed us some music videos that he made himself. they are just like scenic shots of random cities (i think he stole the clips from online) and he is 'singing' (if you can call it that) in the background. it was hilarious. this whole time sister welch and i and president are just trying so hard not to laugh. then he got out a book of songs that he wrote, there were probably hundreds of them. of course they are in russian so we have no idea what they said, but president translated a couple of them for us and they were so hilarious. i wish i could remember them for you. he asked sister welch and i if we have any spare time and i just said "no." sister welch was like, you can't just say no and i said oh yes i can! anyways, sister welch said we have a little time, what do you need? and he said, i want to make a music video with you so you can always remember me and i can always remember you. hahaha i was like yeah...we're not gonna do that. haha we are definitely passing him to the elders. he's just a really nice, really lonely guy, but also slightly creepy so i don't think we're gonna go back there.

this week sister welch and i went to a ukrainian doctor and were told to go on a strict diet in order to keep our bowels in order (don't worry, i'm not sick, but if sister welch is on a diet then so am i because we are companions). now the ukrainian definition of eating healthy is extremely different than the american version of eating healthy, so our diet is hilarous. they gave this pamphlet which lists everything that we are and are not allowed to eat. Basically we are only supposed to eat pumpkin, beets, dried fruit, cabbage, sour cream, twice boiled chicken and kefir which is basically sour milk. so yeah....basically we are just eating a lot of salads.

but we have to at least give it a chance and see if it works. i had an epiphany the other night when i was trying to fall asleep. our doctor Alexander is from another country than us so we don't really understand him that well, we don't know how qualified he is but he seems to know what he's talking about, he very clearly cares about us and thinks that this is the best thing for us, and we can easily tell that he believes in what he is telling us. the only way that we can know for sure if his advice is good is to try it ourselves. sound familiar??? Alexander our doctor is exactly like us. most people don't understand us well because we are american and we think differently. they don't know why or how we are qualified to teach about religion when we are just 21 year old girls who have no degree or anything. we clearly care about religion because we chose to dedicate a year and a half of our lives to talk about it with complete strangers, and we obviously think that our message can help everyone otherwise we wouldn't be here. the only way that people can know if our message is true is by doing what we ask them to do: to read about the Book of Mormon and pray about it!
also I was just telling Sister Welch 2 weeks ago that if anyone gave me any real motivation to eat healthy and exercise i would do it, but I just don't care enough right now to do it. Then Elder Nelson said in conference that we will account to Jesus Christ for how we treated our bodies, so that's definitely enough motivation for me. So I was thinking about our 'new lifestyle' and I wondered if we would see any effects of it in our missionary work. I had a feeling that somehow it would. The very next day when we went back to the doctor we met a woman who speaks perfect english and is just super golden. We talked to her for probably ten minutes, gave her a Book of Mormon and she said "I want you to teach me and my 22 year old daughter you lessons. Is that what they're called? Lessons?" haha we were like YES that is exactly what they are called. we would be happy to! also this week we were able to work with 2 less actives who haven't had any desire to talk to us before. one couple just showed up to our halloween party out of nowhere, they haven't been to church in years. the wife talked to sister welch for almost the whole party and told her that a close friend had died that day and it made her think a lot and she wants her 2 year old daughter to be raised in the church. we went over to her house and visited with her yesterday and she opened up a lot. she wants to come back to church, but is scared to bring it up to her husband. so the elders are working with her husband and we are working with her and hopefully they will talk to each other and i am pretty confident that they will come back soon.
random things from this week:
-i head the song skyfall in the grocery store last week and it took everything i had to not belt it out and sing as loud as i could
-our less active mark who we have been working with (the one who we fasted for and he got a new job) was asking me about what music is popular in america right now. sister welch said Justin Bieber and mark said "I don't know any justin bieber. i know justin timberlake!" I almost cried i was so happy.
-you know how awhile ago I said I saw Thor on the bus? well Mr. Bean also lives in ukraine. This crazy guy came to our halloween party and i swear he is mr bean. he picked up a piece of candy, wiggled his eyebrows, made a weird sound and skipped out of the room. it was pretty great.
-oh i was reading a random Liahona this week (august 2012) and i saw that the article was written by sister mahaffey! random
-if anyone gets a mission call to eastern europe and wants to know how to prepare i have some advice: pracitce ping-pong. i'm not kidding, it's actually a really important skill to have here. every branch has a ping pong table and every single activity people play. if you play well people like you. i wish adam would have played with me more! i'm not good at all.
Okay that's all for this week! Wish me luck on my dang ukrainian diet....cabbage and beets yay! next week i'm gonna type up a recipie for you so you can try it and see what i'm going through over here. just kidding it's really not that bad. just eat some meat for me this week. also anything with an expiration date. okay love you and miss you! have a great week!

p.s. tell my siblings that skippy won sibling of the week this week because he is the only one with a good excuse for not writing me!

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