Ukrainians get so creative with their дом-decora
Besides graffiti and random sketches that kids scratch on the walls of the apartment buildings in Ukraine... I've come across quite of a array of cute, colorful paintings that make these drab-looking, Soviet-era government-built housing buildings look alive and colorful!
(The porcupine is holding a sign that says привет, which means "hello".)
(A budding anime-drawer lives on that floor.)
Hello family and friends and whoever just so happens to read my weekly letters home. I would first just like to give a leprechaun heel-click to the fact that the SNOW AND ICE IS FINALLY STARTING TO MELT! The weather has been so nice this past week! After two or more weeks of frozen-over snow and ice, fierce, bone-chilling winds, and below zero, Arctic weather -- I finally feel like I'm not going to freeze to death in Ukraine. It's a real-life missionary survival success story! Goodbye winter! Hellooo spring! and new contacts and investigators that said that they didn't want to meet until it was warmer out and in the plus!
In other news, Zaporozhye finally has a new branch mission leader! One who is more than devoted to getting baptisms and turning Zaporozhye into one of those missions in Brazil that gets 43782748 baptisms a week.
There's a reason why the missionaries here call Zaporozhye "the city of miracles". And I've only really just started to realize this during the past transfer and the first week of this new transfer. Sister Nielsen and I have found so many miracle contacts. Contacts that received revelation that the Bible hasn't been translated correctly and who had a dream about seeing ЦЕРКОВЬ ИИСУСА ХРИСТА (Church of Jesus Christ) in big gold letters. Contacts that literally sprint across the street and say that we have such "clean, angel eyes".
Yesterday was a great example. Sister Nielsen and I were going on a "spiritual adventure" and going dome-roaming in one of our areas. (Domes are what we call the tall, apartment buildings; and dome-roaming just means when we contact the people around the domes, instead of contacting on the street.) Anyway. We were on a spiritual adventure, and at one point, we were at a fork in the road, Beauty and the Beast style. If anyone remembers Beauty and the Beast, then you'll probably remember the part in the beginning of the movie where Maurice is traveling to the inventor's convention or whatever with the horse and they come to a fork in the road; one is a lit path, and the other is dark and foggy. Maurice picks the dark and foggy path and claims it's a shortcut... blah, blah, blah. Yeah. So, Sister Nielsen and I pick the dark, unlit path. There weren't any rabid wolves (although there was a big, black dog that scared Sister Nielsen). And right when we were going out of the darkness, into the light, we contacted these two young women and invited them to English. The miracle of the story is that they said that they were just talking about English practice, and here we came, out of nowhere in the darkness! We ended up giving both of these girls Books of Mormon! One of them even said that "this book looks interesting!" YAY! THE CHURCH IS TRUE AND THE BOOK IS BLUE! (a quote from Sister Nielsen's cousin)
I know that this church is true. I see it everyday. Everyday, I am planting gospel seeds in the lives of the people here. I might not see all of the blossoming fruits of my labor... that will take time. Everyday, I get the opportunity to talk with people with real problems and testify that the gospel and faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ can solve even the most impossible of problems. I'm so glad that I'm here in Ukraine, on a mission. I'm so glad that I get to wear the name of our Savior on my chest, over my heart. I love every moment... and I know that I will be so sad to leave -- whenever that time comes. This time on my mission is a moment that I wouldn't give up for anything... and for those people out there who are debating on whether they should go on a mission or not: STOP! There's nothing to debate about! The mission is the best thing that you could be doing with your time right now. School, relationships, and whatever -- that all can wait! Two years/eighteen months is nothing compared to a lifetime and eternity.
If you take time out to serve the Lord, the Lord will spend the rest of your life serving you -- via blessings.
с любовной (with love)