Monday, March 7, 2011

March came in like a lion...

Well hello all!
It’s been a good week full of lots of changes, stories, and things to tell about.
I’ll start out about telling you about the last transfer. I’m still in Novo-k with the same companion, but our sisters are gone! I put in a few requests to the Lord for him to help us find some more people to teach… and well I could almost hear his voice saying “Fine… YOU asked for it.” Not exactly the help that I was expecting.
But now we have the whole city of Novo-k and the outlying area to ourselves. I believe that means we should become a lot busier in the next little while. It’s a good thing. A busy missionary is a happy missionary, but so much for my lift of confidence for being able to speak Russian better than someone. It’s just me and my Ukrainian companion now.
We seem to be having a little success. The man we found last week has a baptismal date for this Saturday! He believes, he has desire, he’s humble, but he’s on parole. Dang. So apparently we have to wait until after his parole is up to get him baptized. So… maybe by the end of my mission?
We also had a former investigator show up to church this last week. He expressed that he believes the Book of Mormon to be true because the Bible and the Book of Mormon fulfill each others’ words. He has desire to get baptized but doesn’t feel quite ready. He also has a wound in his stomach from a bad surgery he had, and isn’t quite sure it can be under water. My suggestion is serane wrap.
We helped someone move this week… that wasn’t fun. 2 floors down and 3 floor back up. Big furniture… tiny stairwells. I had always wondered how they got all that big furniture up the tiny stairwells to the 9th floor of a building. Now I know… very carefully. Actually… they weren’t careful at all.
We also went to a Russian funeral this last week. At first everyone gathers at the deceased’s apartment and they carry them in a little wooden casket covered in cloth down the stairwell. Much like moving furniture. I hope they did this a little more carefully. Once they get them outside they set the casket on two construction horses and lets everyone have their final glimpse. After 10 minutes or so they they nail up the coffin and put it in the back of a van. Then everyone gets on a bus and they drive 30 minutes out in the country side to a rather large cemetery in the middle of nowhere. They pull the casket out of the van and lower down in the hole. Then everyone takes a few handfuls of dirt and throw in down in the hole. Shortly after the back-hoe comes and finishes the deed. Back on the bus and then they drive to the funeral home for some sort of service. We had a lesson planned so we weren’t able to stay for the service… but I’m sure it was pretty interesting as well.
We also had zone conference this last week. Talked a lot about obedience, obedience, eating healthy, working in unity with your companion and so on. I figured out a lot of things I can do better. It was pretty motivating. Applying it is the hard part.
We also had a rule change. We can now talk to women. Which means the cute girl on the bus. Not only CAN I talk to her, but I SHOULD talk to her. Nice. Actually, it’s really weird and we’re not very good at it. We’ve pretty much only started talking to bobooshki. (grandmas).
Speaking of obedience and women, we’ve been desperately trying to explain to our land lady that she needs a man to come with her when she comes to collect rent. This week is another one of those Russian holidays where everyone eats pancakes, and she told us that her granddaughter was going to come by to fix us pancakes for the celebration. Yikes. We finally got it worked out to where our land lady understands that this is against our rules. I was very relieved that her 18 year old granddaughter wasn’t going to come by to fix us breakfast. I was also a little disappointed…. I like people cooking me pancakes.
Well… I’m going to wrap this up. Quickly.
Love you all!
Elder Ellis

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