“…the candles are spooked”

ПРИВЕТ МОЯ СЕМЬЯ. 🙂 Я ВАС ЛЮБЛЮ! So, we have an hour and half to email on p-days, and i never leave myself enough time at the end to send a sufficent email to you all, so I decided to do that first today so you can finally get a good idea of what happened this week, something spiritual, and a good amount of funny stories as well. 🙂 that does mean I might not get to email you all back today, so I am very sorry. But thank you so so much for you emails. They just fill me up every week, I love you all so much my cute fam bam!

Okay. So I finally know the answer to daddy’s weekly question! haha (sorry pops) there are 14 Sisters, and about 60 Elders in our mission. And about 6 of them are native. Some of them are from Moldova, or Belarus and such too. 🙂 It’s super fun! There were 6 of us in our district in Кривой Рог, but this week we got two new Elders that were reassigned in the MTC! It’s so fun, because I knew them in the MTC. We got like 16 Elders that just came from the states I think, but 2 are in our area, and it’s wayyy fun! There is one native Elder in our district, from Kiev. I explained a little bit about contacting last week I think, hopefully I covered it all. Y’all have to ask questions when I don’t explain enough because I never know what I did and didn’t already say. 🙂 as far as members go…again, maybe i’m repeating myself, sorry! there are 5 members here in our area, and one is less active, mostly she just can’t come to church though because of health issues.We have church in a hotel, which is where we do english too. Sis B and I taught sunday school yesterday..it was very scary. but it was good.  So the first member in this area was Egor. He RULES. Oh my goodness, he is just the best. He is so so strong in the church, it’s incredible. And he’s way popular….we met a lady on a bus one night and we told her what church we were here volunteering for, and we asked her if she had heard of the church before, and she said, “oh yeah! my friend knows Egor!” hahaha. it was so funny. but that’s how incredible he is! People know the church because they’ve heard about Egor through the grapevine. He’s the best. Then we have Юля, Настя, Слава, и Света. I wish I could write each of their stories, they are incredible. We have a few investigators right now, and they all rule. Essentially, they all want to get baptized. And for all of them it’s mainly an issue of their parents wouldn’t be okay with it. One of the girls looked up mormons online before meeting with the missionaries though and foudn all this anti stuff, so she has some pretty crazy questions and ideas that we have to try and answer…haha it’s fun. Most of our lessons so far have been in English…which is kind of a bummer. One girl and guy said this to us (about all missionaries, not just us) “It’s easier in English, because we understand everything you say. But in russian….your accent, and you talk fast and you don’t finish your words, and it’s very hard to understand your russian.” hahaha. so that was encouraging. My russian is great, as you can tell. (SOS) no, it’s good though. I have to tell you about two more people, and then I’ll move on to other stories. One day we were walking and Sister Broadhead saw a cute little бабушка carrying like 3 huge bags, so we asked if we could help her, and she just dropped all her bags and looked up and smiled at us. haha. it was the best. so we grabbed her bags (which were SO heavy, i have no idea how she carried them all herself. these babushkas are superwomen i swear), and she just chatted the whole way, it was the cutest. I have no idea what she was saying, lol, but I’m sure it was really nice and cute. we forgot her name when we got to where we were going, so we asked her again, and she looked at us for a second, and smiled and then said, “можно бабушка маша” which means, ” you can call me grandma masha.” it was the cutest. we saw her again, and she gave us free apples. I LOVE HER. then the second person is Ivan. We were in the apt filling out forms and we had 30 minutes until a meal, so we just decided to do some things there and then go out after instead of try to contact for 30 min. so we were reading scriptures, and then i just got the strongest prompting that we needed to go see if babushka masha was on her corner selling fruit. so we jumped up and went! we didn’t really know what we were doing, where we were going, or why, but we did. I decided to just try and talk to everyone, because I didn’t know who it was God wanted us to talk to, but i knew there was someone! there was a man on the phone, so we walked slowly behind him to wait until he got off the phone..heh. as soon as he did we asked him in russian if he knew where the library was (we go to the library all the time..heh….woops! 😉 ) and he said “yes! i’ll go with you! I’m heading in that direction now!” so we walked, and starting asking him questions, and he asked us where we were from, then started speaking PERFECT English. tender mercies. Long story short, he’s the nicest ever. Gave us his number to call him if we needed help again, and he’s coming to ENglish practice this week! (he has a girlfriend, and he’s not creepy, so it’s okay mom. + the elders are always at english practice, don’t fret! haha) it was so cool to see how this random, crazy inconvenient prompting led us to a GOLDEN guy. People here are being prepared…it’s so so cool. It’s insane, really.   Another girl (she can’t meet with us right now because her husband is way anti, we are praying his heart will soften…) had a dream she was dressed in white and saw a baptismal font, and she wanted to go in the water so bad, but a man also dressed in white, put his hand out and stopped her. she received a BOM three years before this dream, so she contacted the missionaries after and told them about the dream and said she wanted to be baptized. IT’S SO CRAZY. THE LORD IS PREPARING HIS CHILDREN FOR THIS GOSPEL.

English practiceee. we have it twice a week. our contacting is mostly centered on english practice, moreso than church, and then from english practice we try to get people interested in the church there. Also, it’s interesting in this city..since it’s so new, president has directed the elders to be a little more selective than usual with who we contact and teach because we really need to build up a good branch. not selective as in we judge who would be good, but we invite people to english practice, pray that we’ll see them there, and get to know them more and take everything by the spirit as to who we should try to teach. It’s really different than most missions, and it’s so cool. I love the way missionary work is here. So for one hour at english practice we just speak english. we come up with games, we talk, last week we got president’s permission to watch disney movie clips in english, so that ruled. and we just teach them different vocab and grammer stuff, it’s so much fun! we have about 90 people overall come every time, and we have 3 groups. then we explain a little bit about hwy we’re here, and we invite anyone who wants to know more to stay for the second hour, and we teach a gospel lesson! then we usually hang out at mcdonalds with the people who stayed afterwards. It’s so much fun. I love English practice. That is one of our most effective ways to find investigators too so it’s real good.

OH, PS i got my packages! 3 christmas ones! oh my gosh, i nearly cried i was SO HAPPY. i already put the decorations up…heh heh. woops. we will decorate the tree in a couple weeks! I’M SOOO HAPPY. I LOVE CHRISTMAS AND FAM BAM MORE THAN MOST THINGS. thanks so much. 🙂 and thanks for all your letters ma and pa. 🙂

OKAY. funny stories. woohoo, get excited.

alright, first. CANDLES. HAH. so, my trainer’s trainer (my mission gma 😉 ) told her that we weren’t allowed to light candles, but mom sent me all these CUTE TINY YANKY CANDLES and i love candles more than most things so…..I lasted about a week or two and then i caved….I lit a candle after much inner struggling and then me and sis B just said, “it’s fine! what could happen anyway?!” so we lit it. it was pumpkin pie for heavens sake, how could i not?  and then about 5 minutes later we heard THE SPOOKIEST SOUNDS IN ALL EXISTENCE. (it’s fine it was just people talking and walking up our echo-y stairwell, but i didn’t know that for 5 minutes so it was very SOS) I shook and dropped in about 3 seconds, of course, because i’m more fainting goat than human. and so we blew out the candle. haha. then the next night, I was way too tempted by my fall candle, and we lit it again. and nothing happened, so we thought it was fine. THEN the next day, the elders told us that at the same time we had our candle lit, they had way spooky sounds in their apartment the night before! hahaha. it was so funny. i decided to stop lighting the candles and be obedient, and then i got my packages and there was a chirstmas candle…..so…..that ended pretty quick. woops! we finally just called the APs today and asked, and it’s not even a rule, so lol at that. CANDLES ARE ALLOWED! WOOHOO!

next one…two days ago we were on a маршутка (bus), and i felt like i should start talking to the guy next to me. so i asked him to write some words for me in russian that i could look up later, and he said he would do it when we got off the bus so he could write better. then he started talking to me a lot. half in russian, half in english, and all about his business, so in english he basically just said all the fancy business words he knew all in a row and it made no sense. I HAD NO IDEA WHAT THIS GUY WAS SAYING BUT HE WAS CRAZY. He said something about a cafe, and remember how my russian is way good? I thought he was just asked if i knew about the cafe, but later my comp said…”sista kane, why did you agree to go get coffee with that guy another time?” and i said, “WHAT. IS THAT WHY HE GAVE ME HIS NUMBER? I THOUGHT HE SAID CAFE NOT COFFEE. what have i done.” so that happened. SO FUNNY. it’s fine though because he doesn’t have our number so i figured i’d never see this guy again anyway. then last night we were meeting with an inv. at a cafe, and HE WALKS IN.  what are the odds. so good. he came and talked to us, and then he showed us our english card, and said he called the number there (elder houton’s number) and siad thta he was meeting with him in 30 minutes! we though it was cool, and then like 6 women came in and they all came and met us and i had no idea what was going on. our ukrainian friend helped us understand that it was a BUSINESS MEETING. they were meeting with the elders to try and get them on board with their company to open more offices in the states! HAHAH. so we left, and called him and told him evrything, and he had no idea. they thought they were have a meeting with just him about the church. we sat in mcdonalds across from the cafe and spied the whole time. eventually they texted us “SOS” and we called and made up a story of why they had to leave to come help us right now. they told us after that they had this protein shake powder stuff that they made them try in milk, and they were trying to sell them these protein shakes that clean out your whole system and also help your complexion, and showed him pictures of how they all used to be fat but now they’re not because of this drink. We were dying, it was SO FUNNY. also, one lady there offered our ukrainian friend a new job and her unmarried son. and she was like interrogating her about the church, so our poor inv. ended up hving to tell her the joseph smith story! hahahahha. anyway…so there’s that.

We are having way too much fun. Probably what I learned spiritually more than anything this week, is that there are tender mercies EVERYWHERE. when i was getting really overwhelmed about the language, or anxious about this or that, Heavenly Father always sent something to make me feel better. One time we ended up walking through a park and there were SO MANY fall leaves everywhere, and they were falling from the trees and it just made me so happy. Another time I was getting overwhelmed and a little homesick, and then I saw two horses that day. Y’all know I love horses, so it just made me feel close to home, and so loved by Heavenly Father. LOOK FOR THE TENDER MERCIES. I promise you that even in the worst of situations, there is something there to be grateful for. God woudlnt’ leave you without anything good. I promise if you look for it, you will see that God gives you one thing all the time that He knows will make you happy. I better read your emails now…..oh boy. I love you my sweet family! have a wonderful week! good luck packing!

hmm…this card reader doesnt’ work. so very sorry, no pictures this week! love you!

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