Monday, February 17, 2014

Hibernation, Flower Delivery, Valentine's Day

happy president's day to all you americans!!! i hope you celebrate by sleeping in and watching movies and eating junk food. that's what i would do. i'm glad you and the mission president are tight, but i hope not too tight because i don't want him to make me speak to the missionaries or anything when i get home. although the other night i couldn't sleep so i came up with this super inspirational speech for sister missionaries. i hope i never have to use it, but it's there. can you send me shannon's post? i would love to read it. i haven't heard from her or maddy my entire mission!!!! punks. yes, joelle and i email back and forth, she is doing great. don't worry i'm definitely bringing the under armor home, it will be perfect for skiing! i actually have been wearing the leggings all week just because they're so dang comfortable. also, i'm not sure if this is in the family budget, but instead of a birthday package do you think you could just send Uzma over here real quick? by a series of unfortunate events sister rohrbaugh had a splinter and somehow my tweezers ended up in kharkov with sister campbell, so things are starting to get pretty scary over here haha. seriously, just like an hour with uzma and i think we'll be back to mostly normal.
okay, so life in Donetsk: it actually is not nearly as different as i thought it would be. i imagined busy, bustling streets with tons of traffic and people everywhere, but apparently not. since it's winter and ukrainians know what's up, they hibernate all winter and literally only leave their houses to run to the grocery store and back. so yes, the city itself is definitely bigger and there are more cool looking buildings and yes there a lots of more restaurants which we never eat at because we hate spending money, but there are actually not that many people. i have heard that it will be completely different in the summer because in the summer everyone's houses are way too hot so everyone is walking around outside. hopefully i'll still be here then so i can see the real city. honestly the biggest difference is in the number of missionaries. my whole mission my districts have been either 5 or 6 missionaries and the next closest ones are 2 hours away. now we have 12 missionaries in our district (including 2 other sisters!!!! it's the best.) and that's just in our branch. the best news is we have  senior couple in our district so we get to have district meeting in their apartment and Sister McFarland cooks us lunch! i had pumpkin pie last week and i finally felt like my thanksgiving was complete....3 months late haha.
also the branch here is bigger than lugansk and mariupol, but not by a ton. the good news is the singing is just like in lugansk, absolutely terrible. it is so funny and it makes me feel right at home. (in mariupol there are a few professional singers and the acoustics are real good for some reason, so it actually sounds like the branch can sing). 

this week we had the misfortune to be served some nasty milk bought from a sketchy source, and sister nash and i were out of commission for a solid 24 hours. it was pretty rough, but also kind of funny. it's always more fun to be sick with someone, because you can complain about it together.

the best news of the week is we found a family! by that I mean a member called us on Sunday and asked us to come with her after church to visit a less active. Of course we went and we met 25 year old Zhenya, who is less active and just had her baby boy Mark 5 months ago, and her non-member husband Timothy. Zhenya became less active when she started dating Timothy because he is not religious at all, but he is not against having us come over. They were so sweet and just literally the cutest young couple ever. They were so kind and happy to have us come over, and we are so excited to start working with them! i feel like less actives must be kind of my thing, in lugansk i helped candy come back, in mariupol i helped anna come back, and hopefully Zhenya will be my person in dontesk. she is just so sweet and her baby is literally the cutest thing on the planet. i will try to get pictures this week. i just know that the gospel can help them be so much happier!
Also this week we were stopping by less actives when Sister Nash felt like we needed to buy flowers for some reason but she didn't know why. We decided that we would give them to the next less active that we visited, but the problem was the whole rest of the evening no one answered their door. When we were at the last door for the night we decided to just stick the flowers in the door handle and leave a note saying that they were a gift from the missionaries. We were kind of disappointed that we weren't able to hand deliver them to anyone, but we got a call that night at 10:30 from Vera, the less active saying she had just got home from work and she saw the flowers and she loved them! the best news is now we actually have her phone number and can call her some time!
oh for valentine's day, sister nash and i decided to be each other's valentines and we bought ourselves chocloate ice cream and watched legacy before going to bed haha. actually one of my better valentine's days.
also if you want a good family night idea, read or listen to the talk Help Them Aim High by President Eyring. so good! then think of what spiritual gifts each member of our family has. i would love to know what you think my spiritual gifts are. i will try to think about yours this week, the only problem is i don't have a whole lot of spare time, but i will try!

okay that's it for this week, i love you all and miss you every day! have a great week! eat something american for me!

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