Monday, November 4, 2013

Newsflash! Sister Shrek is eating veggies! Mothers' prayers ARE answered.

I am so glad that you had the good sense not to throw away my candy. I had assumed it was long gone by now! Now I have even more to look forward to when I get home!!! I don't know what you are talking about, but Kefir is NOT good! It is sour milk!!! The doctor said we are allowed to eat yogurt though, so we are definitely doing that. Trust me, we are getting enough veggies. One dinner I said, "I think i just ate more tomatoes in this single meal than in the first 20 years of my life combined." I'm pretty sure that was an accurate statement. Yes I will definitely be able to skype on Christmas! If I am still in Mariupol I can do it here in the internet club where I am emailing right now. If i am somewhere else there will probably be a senior couple in my area who will let me skype at their house. Either way, don't worry you'll get to see this face in 52 days! It hasn't been too cold, in the 40's i think. It was the coldest my first week in Mariupol and that's what those pictures are from. I have been wearing my trench coat every day and it works just great! I'm so glad we decided to get that. It was so weird being here for Halloween because no one celebrates it at all. I actually forgot it was halloween completely until the end of the day. I guess that's how it will be for Thanksgiving and Christmas too since they celebrate Christmas in January here.That is so cool that a whole family is getting baptized in December!!! Families are gold. We are trying to teach a family but they are just so dang busy it's impossible to get over there.
Funny story: yesterday at church we were talking to this super adorable babushka Dina, who is probably 80 years old which is an insane age to be alive here. anyways we were just talking about something and then she stopped and said "Wait are those your teeth?" And I was like yes....they're mine. and she was like "no. no way. those can't be yours! they are straight and white! no way." then she looked at sister welch and was like "Wait?!?! are those your teeth?!?!?! you must have better water than us because my grand daughter is 26 and they don't look like that!" Now this was coming from a woman who has 4 teeth, three of which are gold. so yeah, be grateful for your teeth people! not eveyone has them!
This week we went back to crazy Ivan's house twice! We probably should have passed him to the elders already, but Sister Welch is good at seeing the best in people and knows that he's just a lonely old man. Anyways since he showed us his videos last time we decided to show him the Restoration video the this time. He is definitely ADD or something because he just kept getting up and walking around and asking random questions. at one point when there was a wagon he points and says "wheels" in english because he was proud of himself for knowing that word i guess. Anyways, then he just mutters to himself, welch, wheels, welch, wheels, and i guess he confused himself because now he calls Sister Welch "wheels" which is hilarious. Also he gave us each a book of love poems (in russian)....Sister welch got shakespeare's sonnets and i am slightly jealous because mine are from some guy i've never even heard of! whatevs he likes her better because he asked her to be in a music video and specifically said i am not invited! i am not offended in the slightest. we are counting on the fact that sister welch is getting transferred because we found out on our third lesson that Ivan is definitely in love with her. we went over for the third time last night and he said that he wanted to teach us a song he wrote. we were like "is it about God? because that's what we're here to talk about" and he was like "yeah, well God is Love, so it's about love" uh oh. well translated this is what the song said "We are going to sing all night about love. I love you, love you, love love you Welch." hahaha i actually snorted out loud when he sang it and i think i may have hurt his feelings a little bit, but come on! it was ridiculous. we had a serious discussion and told him why we're here and that when we come over we can't just sing and hang out, we are going to teach him lessons. We told him that our purpose is to teach people about God and he said, oh that's good but it would be better if you would spend your time teaching people about ecology. then he went off for a solid 10 minutes talking about how our ecology is so bad right now and the water is so bad and if we don't fix it God is going to flood the whole earth again. He is impossible to teach because he just talks and talks forever and then when you finally get a word in he asks a crazy irrelevant question! Like we asked him specifically, Why do you want to meet with us? and he said, "wait is mormon his first name or last name?" also he asked sister welch if God is a personality or nature or something else, so clearly we did not teach that well enough last time. also he asked her if she will baptize him, so we've definitely got a long way to go with this guy. or, rather the elders do because we are definitely passing him. he is entertaining that's for sure though. also we had to run home from one of our lessons because we were going to be late, and by run i mean an actual run, not the half walk/jog thing that i do in the morning to count as exercise. anyways the branch president was with us (we would never to go ivan's without our body guard/translator) and when we were running home sister welch and i were in front and he was behind us then suddenly he just busted up laughing and said 'it looks like i'm chasing you!" so we made him go in front so it looked like we were chasing him hahaha. 

This week we had Sister's Conference which was the best!!!! I got to see all of my MTC buddies who I haven't seen since my first transfer which was basically an eternity ago. We laughed and cried and talked probably more than we should have and it was just great. We talked about how to deal with elders (hahaha), how to avoid creepos (a very valuable skill), how to avoid self-criticism (especially important for sisters), how to exercise (boo), how to eat healthy (boo), and how to consecrate yourself more fully to the Lord (yay). We also had chocolate fondue with fruit which reminded me of that girls camp when maddy and makara went CRAZY and it was slightly scary but also awesome. we all slept with blankets and pillows on the Lochhead's living room floor and it felt so good to be in a real home. Also Presdient Lochhead showed up for a little bit (mostly he was afraid to be in a house with 28 girls so he stayed away) and he told us that we are the most important people in Eastern Ukraine. Nbd. Just changing lives over here, don't mind us.
On the way home from Sisters' Conference I had an epiphany. I've been doing that these days. Anyways I was thinking about how I can love the people more. Some of my friends who are on missions always talk about how the LOVE the people so so much and would do ANYTHING for them (like walk 3 hours to buy food and water every week or something insane like that. that was an example that i totally made up all by myself it's not like anyone does that or anything). I would like to say that I am there, but I'm not sure. Of course I love the members and of course I love our investigators, but I can't say that I love the drunk guys who yell at me on the street or the people who tell us to go back to America every day. I was thinking about this and then a line from President Eyring's conference talk popped into my head: "I gave him to you because I knew you would love him no matter what he did." I decided to change it and apply it to me and the people of Ukraine: "He sent me to them because He knew I would love them no matter what they did to me." Heavenly Father sent me here knowing that I could love these people, I just have to believe in myself and do it. I need to see every person as the Savior sees them, not as they are but as they can become.So that's my deep thought for the week.

Also since christmas is coming up can you send me the spanish/mexican/fiesta eggs recipie and the sunshine ring recipie? i want to practice so i get it perfect by christmas!!! also there's a brand of plastic bags and garbage bags and random stuff here called 'Frecken Bock' which i think is the closest anything has come to rhyming with our last name! so that's pretty exciting. 

That's it for this week, yes we are still on our diet and no we haven't died yet! We went back to the doctor and he said that sister welch has worms (we could have told him that! everyone has worms!) so we get to go back again next week for another check up! we are inviting our doctor and his family (he has a wife and 2 little kids) to family night tomorrow because if we have to come see him so often he could at least return the favor. we'll see what happens. anyways i love you and hope you have a great week! eat a cheeseburger for me this week! 

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