Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Last Weeks Post (Just a little late :)

Sister Willerth here, reporting on what has probably been the best week of my life. Also I never got to finish talking about last week, but I'll try to cram everything in with the time I've got.
The two big things about last week were 1 - we got to do this really awesome service project and this lady's Dacha, where we pretty much just helped her clean out her garden and then picked enough cherries to make even Deana sick. It's a great time of year for cherries, they are everywhere and SO CHEAP. Anyway, it was a really fun experience to just be at this little cottage in the middle of nowhere (the town's population is 25 people) and sit and relax and see the animals.
While I'm on the subject of animals- everyone is scared of them here! Granted they are a little sketchy and dirty, but so are the buses! My motto is, if you always have some hand sanitizer on you, then you've got nothing to worry about.Plus there are so many kittens right now! They are so cute, I just want to steal them and take them home. But unfortunately, pets are нелзя so I just have to play with the ones I see and gross out my companions. жалка.
Speaking of companions, it was Sister Reece's birthday last week, and so we all went out to eat at New York Street Pizza. Yup, authentic American grub. really though, it was pretty dang good pizza. I haven't been away from home TOO long, but it's still nice to taste some greesy cheeze. Also, it's great having a companion with a birthday because you do everything with them, so it's basically your birthday too. It's kind of weird spending literally EVERY second with someone, but I love my companions so it hasn't been a problem.
We have a few black brothers in our branch, and one that we're teaching, and let me tell you - they are probably the most spiritual people in the world. One of them has the most amazing story - he left Nigeria when he was 17 to escape gang connections, and hasn't seen his family in almost 10 years. He's lived in India, Singapore, Egypt, China - you name it. And he met missionaries his first week in Ukraine. What are the chances of living in so many places, having so many experiences, and finding the church here? I just can't believe some of the things put in my path sometimes.
Like I said though, these guys are so cool. One came on a lesson with us and was preaching all about how people who read the book of Mormon and say it's not genuine aren't Christian. He just kept saying "How can you say a book about Christ isn't GENUINE! This is GENUINE!" Woooaaaah there take a breath man haha. (although we really do love the support when we can get it. A testimony means so much more coming from a peer rather than a missionary). Sister Reece and I haven't been able to stop saying "genuine" ever since.

I've been learning to cook all kinds of new cool stuff, not the least of which was some AMAZING борш! We met with a lady in the branch who taught us and it was sooo good. I couldn't stop thinking of Mr. Walsh... Does he make борш? I would love to try his, or teach him how it's done when I get back.
Oh, and the Chameleon face is still doing me good. The other day some lady stopped us on the street and was convinced we had talked before. (We hadn't, I DEFINITELY would have remembered her.) She was so funny though, a self-proclaimed "псих" which from what I understand is a lunatic. A fitting word. I hope we get to meet with her. She loved my name though. People here are so funny, they just blink and fall backward a little when they read my tag. They all say "Oh, American names are so different and beautiful..." My name and the fact that I'm from Chicago are like the only two "cool cards" I have to play.
Also have I mentioned that I'm the relief society pianist? Yup. I'll admit, using "I'll never be a missionary" as an excuse to not practice has come back to bite me. But it's a really good opportunity.
Speaking of opportunities, I had probably my favorite experience so far this week. We live above a bakery and we walk by smell it EVERY day. The other day we were on our way back in for dinner after a meeting, and we just decided to walk in and ask if we could help, and they let us right in and taught us how to make all these awesome bagels and rolls and crescents. it was SO fun. We were all working on different things, so it was just me alone with some lady trying to understand what she's telling me to do and her questions about my life at home and her telling me about her family. Sometimes I feel like I'm living in a movie.
Speaking of Movies, probably most of you are not familiar with the district videos they have us watch, but for those of you RMS out there, I've got a funny story. First, I have to tell you about Tamara. She is the sweetest, most wonderful thing ever. We invited her to be baptized, and she enthusiastically accepted, but when we tried to put her on date she hesitated. She was saying that she still had lots of friends that were orthodox, catholic, etc... After talking with her, we realized she thought that as a Mormon, she couldn't have any other friends. We assured her that we could (and did personally) have many friends of other faiths. She could not believe it. She threw up her arms and cried "слава боже!!" haha I felt so bad for the misunderstanding, but I couldn't help but think of German, and how he "broke it." I hope at least someone out there appreciates this story. But for everyone else it's still exciting, because she will be our first personal baptism. Woo! I love her and am so excited. She also didn't want to come to church because she didn't have any nice clothes, so we told her we'd give her some. I was being so dumb, because I was so hesitant to give some things away. Then Matt 10:8 came into my head and I decided to just put myself aside, and give. I have never seen anyone so grateful for anything as she was when we gave her our clothes. I really need to just remember that none of our material things are as precious as the lives we can touch by giving them away. I'm so grateful I am able to learn that lesson here and now, while I'm still young. I hope I can remember all these things when I come home too.

Okay for a funny story: we've had lots of encounters with drunk men lately. One tried to follow us home the other day, which would have been a tiny bit scary except for the fact that as soon as we started to run a little, he tried to too and fell over. haha. Plus Sister Helsten is so hard core. One tried grabbing my hard while we were on the bus the other day and she all out karate chopped his hand away. Don't touch my greenies!! haha she's so hardcore. I'm glad I've had at least some experience with people like this because it doesn't bother me so much, but Sister Reece is a little less used to it. The funniest part is that yesterday some guy grabbed her hear and tried to kiss her and sister Helston just jumped in front of her and slapped his head away. So that's what we're doing here: Kickin butt, and takin' referrals.
Well this has been a pretty hefty update, so I'm sorry that I can't write more individually. But I'm thinking of and praying for you all and know that I love you!! I'm so grateful to be here and every day be having these life-changing experiences. Thank you all so much for the support and love as always!
сестра виллерф

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