Saturday, October 11, 2014

week: 73

Hey there friends.  This week was a great one.  Our church got one 9 year old bigger this week, wooooo.  She is the daughter of an indian looking guy named felix who got baptized not too long ago.  I got to go over and interview her the other night, we got into their house and her and her little sister went nuts.  They were like, awe yeah missionaries came over, let me show you every toy and book that is currently in this residence.  That went on for about 45 minutes and then the dad finally got home we did a quick follow up and I went and talked to her.  It's amazing how simple everything is when you are a kid.  She knows a lot more about life in a lot of ways than some of the geniuses I've met out here.  Good kid.  Her mom doesn't really believe in God but she loves the church, and their family is super happy right now.  All good stuff.  Baptism number 3 I have witnessed in Russia! Oh, yeah to explain the title, transfers came and went and we are all staying here accept elder anderson, sad that he's heading out.  I'm glad, and the members were glad, which made me more glad.  It is nice to feel loved.  Camping out in areas for long periods is hard but pretty cool, you start to feel like you actually live here.  Other stories:  Taught a guy on a freshly painted bench and we all ended up with blue butts.  Had zone conference.  Wrote a song about sister missionaries running around sprinkling fairy dust on our efforts and making everything pretty in the end.  Ukrainian guy told me he thought some gay russian guy was calling him the other night when I called.  Taught people on the street about Jesus. YEAH.  Well, that seems like everything, I'll try to get pictures over soon but my dropbox is full so it has become complicated.  Bye, love you people.
_Elder Holland  
Week: 72

Hey everyone, sorry I couldn't write a ton last week, I'll try to make up for it this week.  So, this week was one I had been dreading for a while, the day of our ward activity that I've been planning for over a month.  All of you know I'm bad at organizing, planning, and throwing parties.  Which is why it is funny that I got put in charge of all of this.  The point of it was to help our members here learn simple ways they can invite their friends to learn more about the church and especially get them to this big shindig Rechnoy is putting on called open door night.  After a week of frantically planning, making programs, finding props pojectors and instruments; the day finally came.  We had called literally everyone in the area to come, and had a pretty good idea how few would be there, most of them cancelled on us write before, especially the ones that were supposed to take part.  So we got there and only the Bishop, ward mission leader, first counselor and his daughter, and some other lady showed.  It started off a little awkward because nobody was there but in the end we had a good time.  Pres wanted us to show off for them, so there were some people playing music, and then those of us with less gifts recited russion poems, they love that junk in russia.  At the last minute I signed myself up to accompany elder Anderson with a guitar and I haven't played in almost two years, it was pretty horendous, but at the end he whipped out his trumpet mouthpiece (he wasn't aloud to have a trumpet) and played the last verse of called to serve, they dug it.  I won't go into more detail about what went down, but the people that were there love us now, and Bishop told everyone on sunday that they can trust us with their friends and family and that we are sick and legit (paraphrasing).  I'm just glad that business is over though.  As far as the work goes, we have one new investigator who is a goofy kid from ukraine that moved here with his family cuz it's safer.  When I was talking to him after english club on wednesday he freaked out and said "Holland, why you so close man, you trying to kiss me or something".  Then he talked about how he thought another elder was gay. (that was fair he is a little lady like).  And then last night when we were teaching him about Jesus and repentance and forgiveness, he was like "Holland, I love what you're saying man but stop staring into my soul it's freaking me out".  So we have a new young homophobic investigator from the ukraine who doesn't like to be looked in the eyes.  I've been pretty fortunate to meet the people I have here, I know that nobody has been able to accept fully what we have to offer, but I count myself lucky for just being able to tell people about it.  Also I can say I've seen how people who act upon what we teach find out that it's true.  It's not easy to become a member out here, you give up a lot, I have a ton of respect for the people here that are willing to put everything on the line to do what they know is right, I don't think I could.  We get transfers next week, I think I might actually be staying for one more round here. Game on.  Miss you guys, thanks for all the love, see you later. 
Elder Holland.