He gives you a situation, and you think, "Oh, this is great! Woo, I hope things stay like this forever!"
Then something happens. And you think "Woah, this is tough. But, it's fine! I can get through it. Things will be the way they were." And then something Ironic happens while things are hard, that makes them harder. And you think "Well, I just HAD to say how good things were. God sure has a sense of humor. But at least this must be the worst of it" Which is kind of like the moment in the movie, where the hero says "Well, at least things can't get much worse..." And then it starts to rain. For the hero, this can seem terribly frustrating. But what he doesn't realize is - he's in a comedy! It might not be that funny to him, but to those of us watching, we are just laughing at the irony - because we knew the rain was going to come the second he said things couldn't get any worse. And that's how God's sense of humor works. He watches and laughs, because He knows exactly whats going to happen. But it wouldn't be funny if things didn't work out in the end. So as heroes of our own stories, we can take confidence in the fact that we're living in a comedy, and when things get bad, someone is laughing - so we might as well laugh with Him.
Here was the theme of this week:
Plan at night the next day. A day packed full of teaching and awesome plans. Next day, EVERYTHING falls through. Stay in spending hours calling people on lists of former investigators. (We found a few huge piles here and we're trying to work through them.) Maybe, MAYBE get something set up. With a man. Can't go without a Woman. Call EVERY woman in our branch. ALL busy. Call back and cancel, or give the lesson to the Elders. Spend the rest of the night contacting and finding less active members. Repeat.
That was the theme of this week. It was pretty stressful being responsible for calls and setting up all our own stuff and constantly worrying when the phone rang, haha. Not to mention frustrating spending so much time inside. But in between the lines of this less-than-encouraging schedule, there were some pretty great gems:
We had a lesson with Ludmila, a less active we've been working with forever and we spend the whole night laughing. And we became her friends. That sounds so simple, but I guess you have to know her - she doesn't really warm up to people, and I'd be understating it if I said she didn't like us at first. But this week, she became a dear friend to us.
Anatoli. An old man we found on a list. One of 2 lessons we had this week, haha. Mostly he just wanted to talk to a couple Americans. He knew so much about American Sports and History, and then he started talking about Jazz. Do you know Duke Ellington and Luis Armstrong? Psh, Do I know Duke Ellington and Luis Armstrong?? hahaha Oh Anatoli. And right there, he starts scatting this old Jazz ballad for us. His smile/laugh afterward left a picture in my mind that I don't think I will ever forget. If I didn't know it before, I'm realizing now - it's all about the moments.
And Makeevka day!! We walked out of our district meeting into a giant carnival/parade. It was so cool! Sister Reece and I got to watch the parade, which started out with a huge line of motorcycles (shout out Dad- you would have loved it) And then tons of little girls in awesome costumes and I've never seen so many children in one place all dancing and playing! But the best part was, though it had the same energy as a regular American parade - the music was SO different! The marching band was playing classic Ukrainian music, minor and kind of haunting. Also, no one clapped or cheered as the parage passed. SO interesting seeing a celebration like this in a different place. But it was so fun. And then when we were in for the night there was a firework show right outside our window, and a concert going on with all sorts of Beatles and Michael Jackson covers. Just when you start to miss music too much... :) Tender Mercies. Also, Rasputin (the classic JD2 song) played several times. That was a weird, full-circle moment for me, haha. Some things just follow you wherever you go.
SO lesson of the week - be patient. Hope is hard, because it's something you can't control. But if you are patient, knowing that things will work out if you just try your best and wait - is that not hope?
I love you all.
Our district at a service project we did
Our Dear Lidia and Victor (yes, the one with the coins). They are our second grandparents here!