I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS IS ALMOST HERE! I NEVER THOUGHT THEY WOULD BE HERE... BUT YET, HERE IT IS, THE 22ND OF DECEMBER AND CHRISTMAS IS TWO DAYS AWAY! Which honestly means almost nothing to me as a
missionary. Ukrainians don't really celebrate Christmas on the 25th of December. Most of them
celebrate their Christmas on the 7th of January. (They follow the old, traditional Russian Orthodox church calendar with some holidays, which ends up being two weeks behind the modern-day calendar.) It's only the members of the church and some Ukrainians who know about American holidays who celebrate it on December 25th.
Anyway. Now that I've got the Christmas wishes out of the way. This week was crazy. And FULL of
miracles, out of the boong-yang. Okay, so. It ended up that last week, my companion, Sister Nielsen
had to be sent out of the country. Yup, she got deported to Bulgaria. Okay, she really didn't get deported, but she had to leave to Bulgaria for the week because of problems with her visa. So while she was living it up in Bulgaria for the week with her MTC companion, Sister Gottscheck, who had the same issue with her visa... and Sister Young, who is one of the other sisters here in Zaporozhye, was sent to Xherson to be companions with Sister Summers, Sister Gottscheck's companion... who was left alone to care and watch over all the lost sheep in Zaporozhye?
Sister Hansen and I. (Stay tuned for a picture of the both together next week.)
Yup. The two junior companions. We ruled over the city of Zaporozhye... maybe not with an iron fist. But we cared over both of our areas and investigators while both of our senior companions were away. It was awesome. I learned so much from Sister Nielsen. Even though she's younger than me (she's only 19!), she is really diligent in following the rules from the Missionary Handbook to a T. And she is freaking fearless when it comes to talking to larger crowds of people when we go contacting. So together, we were a pretty awesome, butt-kicking duo. We got a lot of stuff done. Like visiting less-active members and inviting them to the Christmas play that the branch is putting on Christmas Eve night; meeting with and keeping in contact (like dropping off treats and short spiritual messages with them at their home) with most of our investigators.
And that's about it for this week. I don't have much internet time left. I just want wish you all a happy, merry Christmas holiday.
I also came to realize that I get fed a lot. Sister Hansen and I had been fed, in some way or another, every day this week. Whether it be in the form of a small bag of oranges, tea, or vereniki (traditional Ukrainian dumplings -- usually filled with mashed potatoes).I had such an awesome week with Sister Hansen and I'm kinda sad that our reign together is coming to an end. We were told yesterday that Sister Nielsen is back in country and we'll be back with our actual companions later today. But it was great while it lasted. Maybe we'll get to serve together in the future. Or at least, I know that we'll at least get to hang out after our missions.
Spiritual thought for the week: Alma 7: 10-11