|Chernivtsi City Center|
Some news right off the bat, next week I will no longer be serving in Uzhhorod. I will be serving in the city of Chernivtsi! I am really sad to leave Uzhhorod, but I know my hard work will continue in Chernivtsi. The oblast it is in borders Moldova and Romania, cool huh? I am so very thankful for the opportunity I have had the last four months to share the gospel with the people who live in Uzhhorod. I am going to miss them, and they will always have a special place in my heart. They have taught me so much! I have learned how to show gratitude, how to be humble, how to show love by serving others, and I have even picked up some Ukrainian. I leave on Wednesday for Kyiv and them from Kyiv I will go to Chernivtsi with my new companion. I am really hoping that I will get a chance to go to the temple while I am in Kyiv, because after the next two transfers our mission will split and I will not get a chance to be in Kyiv again.
We were able to watch conference this week. We watched the five, two hour sessions in English, then we watched them in Ukrainian on Saturday and Sunday. It was nice to already know what they were talking about when we watched it in Ukrainian because it was easier for me to follow. It was a good language study though, just listening and trying to comprehend it all. I started out writing down words that I did not know, but I could hardly keep up with writing down every other word ha ha. I loved conference! One of my favorite talks was by Elder Cook, when he talked about how we can be at peace in a turbulent world. The commandments are given to us by a loving God who wants us to be happy. By being obedient we can have inner peace no matter what chaos is going on in the world around us.
On Saturday after conference we went to a park bench in center to do some weekly planning. We said a prayer to start and I felt like we needed to go stop by victor at his house. I told my Companion and he said yeah. So we got up and walked over to his house which was about ten minutes away. We knocked on his door and nobody answered. So we went to another park bench close by and started planning again. Within fifteen minutes we got a phone call from an unknown number. My Companion answered it and a guy on the other end said that he was walking through center and stopped by a bench. He stopped by the bench and saw a blue book on the bench. He sat down and waited thinking that somebody would comeback and pick up the book but then after a couple of minutes he opened it up and started reading it. He then found our number in it so he called us. He said it was super interesting and that we wanted to meet with us in 15 minutes. My Companion told him of course so we met up fifteen minutes later. It ended up that when My Companion and I had left Center to go to Victor's house we left our Book of Mormon on the bench and Vacil (his name) found the book and called us. What a miracle! We ended up talking to him for two hours answering his questions and teaching him every single aspect of the Gospel. He is about 20 years old and is just searching for God. While we were talking to him, Victor walked by and we talked to him and he was doing great so that was an answer to our prayer and Vasil totally met a member of the church. It gets even crazier though.
So we are teaching him and right as we get to the Restoration, right when we start talking about the first vision a drunk old lady walks up to us and starts talking to us. To back up a little we had already seen her earlier on a bus and she had tried to grab my crotch. To make a long story short, she is not a very good lady. We tried as hard as we could to get her away and eventually she left. Then we started talking about the Book of Mormon and right as we opened the book of Mormon, and right as we started reading another guy walks up and starts Bible bashing with us trying to prove to us that there couldn't be any more revelation other than the Bible. My Companion totally shut him down. Atta boy Elder! Then we had a super long conversation with him. We ended up giving Vasil, the elect guy, a Book of Mormon and invited him to Church, and then we left. And on Sunday he totally came, he loved conference and there were talks in that conference about a lot of what we talked about on Saturday. Lots of things that explained the Gospel. I received a lot of peace from President Uchtdorf, when he said that darkness is real but light will always win. We had just witnessed it. What a crazy crazy story.... We are planning on meeting with Vacil this week. I will probably get to teach him once before I leave.
I hope all is well at home! You are always in my prayers as I am sure I am in yours. For the last time from Uzhhorod,