It was a really hard week.
And also an incredible one!
Elder Trohkymenko is starting to blossom up, and is making jokes and laughing with me every day! We're talking with people, making friends with members, and getting used to the area.
Yesterday, they had me do that standy thing in front of everyone to let them know that I'll be acting as the 2nd councilour in the Branch Presidency. This is a lot of work.... being a missionary and trying to understand how a branch works. You know the complicated process that the church uses to make sure that every Kopek (cent) is accounted for here? I'm still trying to figure that one out. We don't have any real clerks here, so it's my and Elder Ballif's job to do the money. All things are done monetarily in the church here, so checks are NOT ALLOWED for tithing and fast offerings. Lets just say that you really become a penny pincher with the Lords money.
We gave a blessing to an old woman who is the sister's investigator, and she said that her eyes were magically healed by us. So, the sisters had us go over and explain the priesthood. It was a great lesson, and we took our good President Hawkins with us to visit her. Afterwards, she told the sisters, "They're really bright. It was hard to look at them, because they were glowing so powerfully!" So, we fixed her eyes, and then we hurt them. Not sure how that works, but the Lord works in his own ways. I won't argue.
I'd like to go ahead and tell you that the Lord always "prepares" a path for us. Sometimes, he literally just puts a path where you didn't see one before!
Elder Trohkymenko and myself just got to Chernivtsy, and we've been trying hard to catch on to everything that's going on, and get some good work done. The other missionaries here have been 100% supportive and helpful in doing so... but it's still tough to start from scratch, and build an solid group of investigators.
Well, the Lord dug up, set a foundation, and made a nice cobblestone path for us. As we were walking through the park after an extensive period of contacting, we were about to turn about and head home.
The road ahead of us was unusually empty, especially for a nice sunny day. A little discouraged, we trudged along, hoping for a miracle.
The, that miracle swung around a path on the right, directly into our path. When Elder Trohkymenko said hello, he went directly into it. He said, "We are representatives of Jesus Christ, and we'd like to talk with you."
"Sure!" The man said, "I've always got time to talk about Christ!"
One whole restoration lesson on a bench later, Illya, our new friend, left us with this beautiful statement,
"I just want to find the Church of Jesus Christ".
Oh, Illya my friend, you've come to the right place.
And we'll be meeting further!
So, don't worry. The Lord takes care of His servants, and we are blessed to be a part of his work!
Also, we had a waffle party at President Hawkins house with the Other Elders after all of the crazy sunday madness (fast sunday is killer here). When we told President Hawkins that we can't gather in groups without permission, he said, "Well, then it's a presidency meeting. I'm allowed to do those however I want." So we had a presidency meeting with waffles. It was so awesome. Waffle heaven. Like america! My little greenie ate himself into a coma. He ate so much, that at the end, he just set his head down on the table and just about slept through all the talking (getting trained is hard, people!)
We're going to have a massive conference with all of the members from Western Ukraine in L'viv on sunday! I'M SO STOKED TO SEE ALL OF MY FAVORITE MEMBERS!!!!
As a result, P-day will probably get moved. Just so you are all aware of that little fact. I don't know when it will be, but you'll get an email from me sometime next week.
Anyway, we're having lots of fun, working hard, and seeing miracles!
Thanks for all of your love and support!
Have a great week! Talk to you soon!