Happy Fathers Day (yesterday)! I am so thankful that I have such a great father.
My week this week was good. We did not have a baptism, but we have one scheduled for this coming Saturday. The branch members have been key in teaching and fellowshiping Volodymyr (the one with the baptismal date). I will let you know how that goes next week.
We have been struggling with finding lately, so this week we spent a good amount of time searching for people to teach. We haven't really had any success yet, but we are not discouraged. We will just turn it up a notch and keep going. Keep us in your prayers.
We went to the celo this week (outside of the city) for a young men's activity with a family that we home teach. We did some work on their farm garden and we also played soccer with their son and the boys in the village. We had the four elders there and we played four vs four Americans vs Ukrainians. Sad to say we lost 14-7. After we lost I asked them if there was a basketball court in their village haha!
This morning I was reading in the book of ether and I came across this verse (5) in the third chapter (it is the brother of Jared speaking with the Lord) "Behold, O Lord, thou canst do this. We know that thou art able to show forth great power, which looks small unto the understanding of men."
That really made me think, how could God's power look small unto our understanding? It made me think of many things that we just take for granted ever day like the sun rising, rain, plants growing, and many other similar things. So many intricate systems working in harmony that bring us so many blessings. Some people may think that is just how it is, or that it just happens by itself. But the reality of it is that God upholds them by His great power.
There is a really cool mormon message about Fathers that goes along with this thought. As God's children, we do not often see all God does for us, as children do not understand all their eartly father does for them.
A funny story from our week that Elder LeBaron wrote:
Elder Hadfield and I have been having a hard time finding new investigators. This happens to every missionary at some time or another. Such has been the case with us. We pray on our knees every morning before leaving the apartment for safety, and to find those people who are ready to hear this message. Since it was raining this day, and our only method of finding investigators besides visiting members (who we didn't manage to get any appointments with), or english (we are on a 2 week break from english class), is contacting on the streets. When there is rain out, NO ONE will stop and talk. In fact, it makes people here kind of angry. So, since it was raining, we decided to make some awesome cake for some members who helped us on lessons recently, some older people, and anyone who has had some difficult circumstances recently. We had run out of flour. This meant going to the store. Okay! Time to leave the apartment. On our knees, Prayer.
This particular time, I was especially invested in praying for just ONE AWESOME missionary experience that day. Anything, please. I knew it was raining, and everyone out there was trying to get from one place to another, but anything.
Well, the rain stopped for a bit.
We went outside... and there, on a bench, was an old man eating some little bread thing and a can of tuna. Naturally, we weren't about to pass this one up. Elder Hadfield planted himself right next to the man, and began talking to him! It seemed like an awesome contact! The man even offered his half eaten bread thing to us. We kindly declined, because we had already eaten.
"So, we're volunteer's of our church, and what we do is meet with people, and teach them about this message! Would you have some time this week when we could meet and explain a bit more?"
"Where is your church?"
Elder Hadfield explained where our church was, and then tried to give some directions...
"Show me where it is!"
Elder Hadfield then looked at Elder LeBaron, and all I could muster up to say was, "I left the oven on."
"Will it be okay?"
And so we took this man across the city, by foot, to our church building. He explained about his life as we walked... He worked as a miner! He has a very large family. His name is Yura! He also has a strange love of pigeons. On our way, he found one hobbling around in the middle of the street, and went out of his way to chase it off to the side of the road, in order to save it's life (?).
Remember how I said it stopped raining for a bit? It unstopped. We got very wet.
At one point, we thought we lost him... but his just stopped to take a whiz in the bushes by someone's house. Cool. Do what ya want bud'.
Finally, we get to the Church. We've by this point (embarrassingly) realized that he was drunk from the beginning...
Seeing our church, he immediately turned stone faced. We gave him a pamphlet, and he bid us adieu. Awesome... wet and on the opposite side of the city. Adventures!
So we take a bus back home.
We finish the cake.
And we take off to deliver it.
SURE ENOUGH, back outside of our apartment, there he is again. This time, he is smashing a television set with his bare hands by a dumpster. He cheerfully greets us, we waved to him, and went about our business. I'm not sure what kind of missionary experience that was, but I assume that it's going to help somebody, someday. I think the moral of this story is two-fold; Always check the sobriety of those with whom you are conversing, and God works in mysterious ways."
A little add on from my end:
In the Bus home this really cool man named Rooslan sat next to me and we got talking and he ended up taking a Book of Mormon and promised to read it!
I love you,
Have a good week,