Monday, January 27, 2014

Power Surge, Investigator Drop-off, Hymn Singing

okay this might be a rough one considering my space bar is broken, but here we go!

i mean it's no polar vortex or anything, but it has been pretty dang cold this week. it's not so much the temperature that gets you but the wind. good thing i have lived through 11 chicago winters already. 

so we figured out what happened with our apartment finally. turns out we weren't cursed by a witch, but there was some sort of power surge and everything that was plugged in when it happened broke instantaneously, namely the washer, microwave, cell phone charger, and DVD player charger. so this week we had our fair share of repairmen coming in and out of our apartment with varying degrees of competency and success. finally yesterday we got the washer fixed and my clothes no longer smell like vomit, so that's a plus.

in addition to our apartment self destructing, our investigator Vadim dropped us this week which was so upsetting. he was on date and had already quit drinking and smoking!! i am mostly upset at myself because i think if we had taught him better, he would have understood how important this gospel is. when we first met him, he wanted to find a job and he wanted to quit smoking. we prayed for him and he got those things, and now he no longer wants to meet with us. so frustrating. he promised to keep reading the Book of Mormon, but he says that he just has no time to meet with us anymore. ugh. 

okay now on to the positive. we met with Anna and first we watched the talk from conference from Elder Christofferson about the moral force of women which of course just makes us all feel good and important and stuff. then i gave her the letter you wrote and she LOVED it!!! she was so surprised that i would think to ask you about it and that you would take the time to write something for her. she said "wow, it's just so....touching!" (she had to think of the word in english). she called me yesterday after she had read it and said that she loves how it was written and she is going to read it often to try and remember all the 'rules' haha. she told me that she already loves you even though she has never met you, and that based off of the things i have shared about you she thinks you are strong, fun, and kind. i agree.

we also baked cookies and went to just go drop them off at some less actives, but ukrainians don't really get the concept of 'dropping things off' so they invited us in and made us a meal and asked us to share a lesson, so i mean that was good. i'm getting pretty good at making up lessons by this point. well babushki are pretty chatty, so all you really have to do is share 1 verse and ask one question and then they're off for the next 45 minutes unless you take control of the situation. 

one of the less active families we went to was this older couple, they are probably 60 but it's pretty hard to guess here. anyways i asked them what their favorite hymns are and we sang with them and it was so great. singing hymns always brings the spirit so powerfully. i asked if we could sing one of my favorites, how great thou art and it was just incredible. sister kopta didn't know the words in russian so she was just listening and she said it was one of the coolest moments of her mission so far. the Spirit definitely works because there were 3 people singing in 3 very different keys, but somehow it was beautiful. sitting there in that tiny ukrainian kitchen with some very weird food digesting poorly in my stomach, i was reminded of singing that same song in a different language several years ago at girls camp. i remember Bishop Eyre teaching us that we can all have our own Sacred Groves, and girls camp was absolutely my sacred grove. i will always remember sitting around that campfire singing sacred songs and sharing sacred testimonies. i am SO grateful that the Spirit can be felt just as powerfully no matter where in the world I am and no matter what language i am trying to speak. on a mission sometimes you get used to feeling the spirit so often that you start to take spiritual experiences for granted. i am grateful that sister kopta pointed out to me how cool that moment was, because i probably would have thought nothing of it. i think we would all do well to try and notice and write down our experiences with the spirit, because i am confident that they are meant to teach us something, but if we don't even recognize them we probably aren't going to learn from them. 

okay funny moment of the week came during english conversation group. one guy sasha (yep it's a guy name here, whatevs) who actually has WAY good english asked sister kopta where her incestors are from hahahaha. we had to teach him that that means something way different. also there's this crazy guy Michael who comes every week and his main life goal is to learn how to say merry christmas in every language, anyways he asks the WEIRDEST questions every week and it's great. this week he asked us how to spell albequerque (is that right? i don't even know) and what the tallest moutain in america is. embarrassingly enough, out of us 4 missionaries, none of us could even name a single moutain in america, let alone the tallest! my excuse is that we are all from the center of america (illinois, texas, and wisconsin) and the mountains are all on the edges of america. the ukrainians all think we have terrible school systems now, oh well. in my defense i have literally never taken a geography class, so maybe that's my own fault.

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