Monday, February 10, 2014

I'm In Donetsk With Sister Nash!

okay i know i say this every week, but this one is actually gonna be super short. first off, i am in center donetsk with sister nash!!!! we were in the mtc together and i am so excited to be with her. we have so much fun together and we are gonna get so much done. it's so awesome to be with someone my own age for the first time. it's cool because our russian is about the same level, but we have different strengths so we are gonna learn so much from each other. the best perk about living in center donetsk is that president and sister lochhead live in our area, and they said that we can have lessons in their home anytime! how could you not want to join the church after smelling sister lochhead's homemade bread? game, set, and match.
okay so i feel really stupid for complaining about the weather last week because WINTER IS OVER! february is supposed to be super mild, and yesterday it started raining and the snow is all melting! now there's the joy of trudging through slush everywhere, but that's better than having frozen body parts, so i'm not complaining. i was looking forward to having awesome stories of frostbite and revolutions to tell my grandchildren, but seriously it was all just hype. donetsk is not cold, and there haven't been any more protests or anything, so don't worry mom, it's all fine.
first off, i got mail for the first time since 2013 and i have some big thank yous! first, thank you mom, the under armour was a bit late and i probably won't need it this winter, but it's the thought that counts. thanks to the Lex's for the candy and letter! thanks to the ericsons, holloways, jacobsons, dials, branhams, walkers, johnsons, oakleys, and russells for the christmas cards! thanks to anna smiley for the letter! i can't believe you're going on a mission! you'll be awesome. and a big thank you to cub scout troop 952 (aka Sister Allan) for the drawing! thank you thank you thank you!
so this week was spent saying goodbye to everyone in mariupol and then meeting everyone here in donetsk. my favorite part about my last sunday in mariupol was that our favorite crazy babushka ludmila got up and bore her testimony about how drinking green tea is fine as long as it's not strong. all the members were just like, come on ludmila, sit down, you're crazy and she was like, no guys i promise, i prayed about it! hahaha oh, mariupol. i miss you already. the good news is there's an old man in donetsk branch who shakes everyone's hand and gives them a piece of chocolate, so i feel right at home.
okay i actually don't have any time, so we're just going to have to go right into this: What i Learned my Sixth Transfer:
-Just keep swimming. When life is hard and it is super cold and you have no investigators, etc etc your only option is to just keep working and things will eventually get better.
-I learned how to take correction. I learned that you don't beat yourself up and don't use it as an excuse to blame others or become bitter, but you just humble yourself and make whatever changes you need to.
-Don't dwell on the past. Look to the future with hope.
-Sometimes you literally do all you can and it doesn't work out and it is devastating but you have to move on.
-I am grateful to be from a country where women are respected.
-You can show others your love through simple, frequent acts of service.
-You have to make the choice to be a "good" aka obedient missionary every day.
-sometimes you quite literally fall down and have to pick yourself back up again (that darn ukrainian ice)
-missionary work and raising a family are the same work (think about it): helping people develop a relationship with Heavenly Father and prepare to live with Him again.
-Developing Christlike Attributes will help you develop Teaching Skills (compare chapter 6 and 9 in PMG)
-being sick is DUMB.
-when life is hard, find someone to serve.
-being obedient IS Walking with God.
-Ask for help when you need it!!!!
-Heavenly Father protects His missionaries, we are so important to Him.
-I love Ukraine. I am meant to be here.

okay reading through that it is somehow slightly depressing. yes i think this past transfer was definitely my hardest, but I toughed it out and i learned so much from it. I am so looking forward to this next transfer with sister nash! we are already such good friends and i am so so happy already. i will fill you in next week all about the area and our investigators, because i don't really know myself yet. i want you to know how much i love you! of course i miss you every day, but I am so glad that i am here. i can honestly say that i love ukraine and wouldn't want to be anywhere else right now. i hope you have a great week and watch the olympics for me!!!!

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