Monday, January 20, 2014

Electrocution, Laundry Mishaps and Praying for Sarah's Pen

okay so we're not supposed to write anything negative about our apartments, which is the main reason why you haven't heard much about my current apartment. but this is a story that i have to share, so i'm going to start off with this: I AM NOT COMPLAINING, THIS IS JUST A FUNNY STORY. okay so our shower eletrocutes us. i mean it's not a big deal, it just kind of gives your fingers a little ZING when you change the temperature. anyways, i just mentioned it to the senior couple when they came to do cleaning checks because i thought it was funny not because i thought it was a problem. but they called our landlord and he had these electricians come over to check it out and i SWEAR they were the ukrainian dumb and dumber. it was the funniest thing of my life. they just kept turning on random things like the shower, then the sink, then the washing machine, and they were poking everything and saying, NOPE it doesn't shock me. nope, everything's fine! then they were positive that it was our boiler that was the problem, until they searched the apartment up and down and realized that we don't HAVE a boiler. so then they concluded that it was our neighbor's boiler and there's nothing we can do about it. but they told us to call them exactly when it happens so that they can come back and check it out again. interestingly enough, it hasn't happened since they came. but while they were there they messed with the washing machine and re-washed sister kopta's clothes on some crazy settings and shrunk her favorite sweater! it will literally fit the 4 year old in our branch, so we're giving it to him on sunday haha. don't worry we already bought her a new sweater. 

then, this week, on friday our lights were flickering for a solid two hours. i'm talking super bright for two seconds, and then super dim for 2 seconds. it was during language study and i almost died. so we left the apartment and when we came back the lights were back to normal but the washing machine and microwave were both COMPLETELY dead! and guess what is stuck inside the washing machine? literally all of my garments except the ones that i'm wearing. yep. the bad news is yesterday was a holiday, which means no one is working 3 days before or 3 days after, so my clothes are still trapped and probably moldy by now! as if that wasn't enough, our phone broke and won't charge so we have to go buy a new one today, AND the power is out in our entire neighborhood today! i think mariupol was hit by a curse or something. actually a crazy creepy lady did call me last week and i think she was a witch because she was saying words that i'm pretty sure aren't any language, and it sounded like she was pretty angry so maybe we are cursed. who knows?

oh last week in church was the funniest thing ever. it was during the sacrament hymn so i wasn't allowed to laugh otherwise i would have totally lost it. so there's two youth in our branch, two 15 year old boys and they are best friends and well, you know 15 year old boys. so they were sitting on the front row because they pass the sacrament and i guess they were goofing off or something during the hymn, and one of the boy's mom is the chorister, and she saw them and during the middle of the song she walks down off the stage over to the son, closes her hymn book and SMACKS him over the head! it was so hard the whole congregation heard it and we were all trying not to laugh. it was great and terrible all at the same time. 

yesterday i saw a bassett hound and almost cried. it was way fat and not nearly as cute as skippy, but still.

i realized this week that i'm going to be so weird when i come home. i mean most missionaries are weird when they come home, but i think i am going to be worse than normal for a few reasons. first, i was extremely prone to awkward situations before i left and i can't say that has gotten any better. second, most missionaries are socially awkward around people their age of the opposite gender when they get home because they don't contact or teach that demographic. well in this mission we do not contact men of any age (for good reason. imagine yourself being a ukrainian man and seeing two beautiful american girls walk up to you and ask if you want to meet sometime to talk. yeah. it's taken the wrong way 99% of the time) so i have pretty ingrained into my soul now that i completely ignore men and walk away quickly if they try to talk to me. so i'm sorry dad when i first see you i might try to run away haha. also we are only supposed to speak in russian, so whenever i say anything in english i feel super guilty so that could be a problem considering that is my MAJOR. also i am now afraid of sideways hallways, so that's a weird issue. we might have to talk to a counselor or something about that one. haha almost everyone lives in apartment buildings here and they just have vertical hallways, you know staircases with 3 or 4 apartments on each landing. well there is this one creepy building here in mariupol that has sideways hallways and i didn't realize till after we left that the hallways were the thing that was creeping me out. sister kopta didn't even notice it because she hasn't been here that long. so yeah, it's probably a good thing that i have a few months at home to readjust to society before i go back to BYU. 

Okay so i guess i should talk about missionary work and stuff. so Vadim is still doing good. He officially quit smoking this week. He told us that he did last week, but he meant that he was 'in the process of quitting.' anyways, we still have a long way to go with him because when i asked him why he wanted to quit he said because it is expensive. i said "and....." and he said, oh yeah, and because it's good for my health. and i was like "and, because God wants you to right" and he was like yeah.....right.....  also when sister kopta asked how the Atonement could help him quit smoking he was like 'I don't need help, i already quit." and i asked him to define the atonement and he said when someone does something for their relatives............yeah. we're trying, we really are! he is just slightly crazy. also he calls me Sister Kat and i can't get him to stop. so adam will probably be happy about that one. anyways, he is keeping all of his commitments and doing the right things, he just doesn't actually understand why yet. i guess that's better than the other way around? 

oh if you want to do a cool scripture study look up Walking with God in the topical guide. I wrote down Moses 6: 34 and 39 in my planner but i don't know why. so look them up, they're probs good.

Also this week I decided that I want to be like Paul (the apostle, not my cousin. sorry paul you're cool too). Read 2 Cor. 10:10. if i remember my seminary days correctly, paul was just a little guy like me. but he was an incredible missionary and he made a much bigger impact on people through his letters than his actual proselyting (i mean people are still reading them today). i am not comparing my letters to the BIBLE don't get me wrong, but i was thinking that way more people read my letters each week than talk to me here in Ukraine. I was thinking and realistically there are about 4 people in Lugansk who will remember me and the impact that I had on their lives, and maybe a few more than that in mariupol. I have no doubt that my mission is making a difference in ukraine, and that it is absolutely worth the effort, but i also feel like i kind of have a 'second mission' in my letters home. that being said, what advice or suggestions do you have for my letters? i try to keep them pretty funny with just a little bit of spiritual stuff at the end so that people will keep reading them. do you think they are good how they are, or is there something i could do better? any and all advice would be greatly appreciated!

okay sorry that's all i've got time for this week. how is sarah's pinky?!?! i was trying to pray for her this week but i realized the other day that i've been praying for her pen instead of her finger. whoops. russian is hard. well her pen is probably extra blessed this week, so i guess that's good. 

i love you and miss you!!! have a great week!

p.s. joelle is serving 1 mile away from the portillo's in arizona. oh how unfair this life is.

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