Monday, December 9, 2013


Well it is officially here - the winter of Ukraine. And you know what? It's not that bad. Cold wise at least. But lets just say that the roads/sidewalks are more like ice rinks. So you can imagine how that's going for me.... ha ha. BUT I'm loving the snow and it's perfect for packing snowballs :) So no worries.

On Monday we had an FHE with this young girl from out branch and we made Christmas advent calendars! Just over 2 weeks left - I can't wait!! Plus Yulia is the cutest/coolest thing in the world. She's about our age and Sister Walker and I could hang out with her all day. If we weren't missionaries fulfilling our callings, that is...

Tuesday we had a pretty awesome good Samaritan moment. There was this woman who got off the metro in front of us while we were walking by with blood all over her face, and then as she was walking she was stumbling all over the place. Then she fell to the ground right in front of us. We helped her up as everyone walking by just stared, or looked away and walked fast. We found out she was pretty drunk, and since we're not supposed to talk to drunk people, we just helped her up, let her go, and followed her a little while to make sure she'd be okay. Soon she fell again. So we helped her up again. Then again. To the point where she could hardly walk anymore. So, not being able to talk her into sitting down somewhere, and not wanting to leave her sitting on the ice in the middle of the sidewalk, we each took an arm and started walking (well, more like dragging really) her down the path. We weren't really sure what to do, because we didn't know where she lived or if it was bad to be dragging this stranger around, but I just couldn't stop thinking about the good Samaritan, and how when the man was abandoned on the road the levite and all the other holy people passed him by. Not these missionaries! So we dragged her down the path for a while and finally someone who knew her saw us and shocked asked "Sveta, what happened??" "You know her?" "of course!" "Thank goodness!" So we passed her to familiar hands. It was a cool experience, but so sad to see how many people just passed her by...

Wednesday we went to Babushkas house to run her errands and she yelled at me a lot for my coat not being warm enough. (Happens every day now - these people don't understand Northface technology!) and then she gave me this ugly tweed skirt that was supposed to be warmer, and said "Put it on right now!!"
"We're running late and we have an appointment after this..."
Sister Walker: "nah, we've got time. Put it on! You'll catch a cold!" So I gave in, put on the skirt, and got to walk around while people judged us all day for looking like Amish people. That Sister Walker...

Thursday we met with Wally again and followed up on a Word of Wisdom lesson we had taught earlier in the week. He really loves Tea, and didn't understand why we wouldn't be able to drink it, but we just promised that as he lived the word of wisdom he would notice a difference in his life. Sure enough, when we met again he told us that as soon as he went home, he started the hot water and was about to drink some tea when something inside of him just told him - You don't need it. So he left it. So cool! Wally is Solid, I love him so much. 

Friday we went to a members house and I unknowingly tried caviar for the first time. After Sister Walker had taken a bite, when the man had his back turned he gave hers to me saying I can't eat this I'm going to throw up. SO I had to shove the whole thing in my mouth before he turned back around. Yeah, I don't think I like Caviar very much... Then we went to English practice and afterward had a huge snowball fight with our district. Who says sisters aren't fun?? ;)

I hope everyone else had a great week too and is enjoying the snow! 2 more emails and I'll be talking to you!! As sister Walker and I always say "Psh, too easy!" ha ha I love you all and I will talk to you soon!

Sister Willerth

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Double diminutive...

Happy thanksgiving!! (belated) for those of you wondering I had the BEST THANKSGIVING EVER but we will get to that in just a bit :)

We had a really fun FHE at a members house where we played Jenga and likened it unto the great apostasy. The tower was the church and as we took out blocks, one of the members started naming actual specific doctrines people changed with the fall of the church of Christ. Things got pretty intense ha ha - it's kind of sad how much some people here hate the Orthodox church. BUT the reason I mention this is because it reminded me of reading about the apostasy in Jesus the Christ. If anyone wants to read some really critical literature - I recommend some sassy James Talmage. 

We had an awesome lesson with Wally, but I'll be talking about him in a bit.

We had another lesson in Garden house! I wish the picture could fully depict it's majesty... Also Sister Walker and I started working on a rap. Our Elders wrote one and said that Sisters can't rap so.... stay tuned to hear some QUALITY work ;)

WOOO THANKSGIVING!! We began the day by teaching Vladimir, who is SO awesome and sincere. The lesson was so great too - the first time I've felt that it was just a lesson by the book, the way they're supposed to be. He listened, asked questions, felt the spirit, recognized it, and accepted an invitation to be baptized! Sister Walker and I danced around the apartment when we got home - we were so excited!! THEN we got to go to Thanksgiving lunch with the zone! President and Sister Lochhead had even come up from Donetsk, so there were actually REAL turkey and pie! I ate so much food, and even MORE pie (probably twice as much as any of the Elders... but really...) and then I went down to get my mail. To my great delight, CHRISTMAS PACKAGE was waiting for me! woooooooooooohooooooooo!. So we had the Elders carry that thing back for us, opened it, used some of the stuff inside to deck them halls, and headed out for another lesson with Wally. The lesson was awesome as always, and he also accepted the invitation to be baptized! we;re having 2 baptisms this December!

The day of all the repentance. Ohh man. We had a zone conference, and President Lochhead cracked down on us for lots of exact obedience stuff. Not that we had been disobedient, but there were a few things (like going a little over time on meal hours and talking to everyone on the street everywhere we go - my biggest weakness. ugh.) that we needed to improve on. So we felt really guilty, repented, and moved on. Look at that - atonement in action! The rest of the Zone conference was really great though - we got in the spirit of Christmas by singing some Christmas carols, and then the Lochheads let us know that as a Christmas present, they will be taking all of us to see the NUTCRACKER! oh man I could not be more excited! An original Russian ballet performed by world-renowned Ukrainian ballerinas. Once in a lifetime experience. We are so spoiled :)

Got some Christmas lights and did some more decking the halls! Christmas!!!

"The day of wildin Babushkas" as Sister Walker would say. But it began with Church! So Wally only speaks English, and our entire branch is Ukrainian. SO guess who got to translate for him? This sister. That's right, 2 hours of translating. (The third he went with the Elders) I had a huge headache by the end of it all, but it was really awesome and so worth it! We were so worried that he wasn't going to like it because he didn't know what was going on, but at the end we asked if he had any questions, and how he was feeling and everything, and he said "I've decided I want to go through with the baptism". Best moment ever! THEN we got to go to Babushkas and sing with her again. Was as hilarious as always. We've also decided that she's a vampire because she hates the sun, and people. But really, we do love her despite her crankiness :) And finally we had a lesson with a senile old lady who repeated the same 2 stories 6 times each before we decided to just go. She sure was sweet though :)

As you can see, Sister Walker and I are having as much fun as ever. She'll be cutting my hair today, and we'll be doing some more hall-decking, so we will let you know how that goes :) THANK YOU mom and family for the Christmas present. I am so spoiled! And in every other way I am doing well and having a blast. Hope everyone is having a great December!

Love you!!
Sister Willerth

REPENT! (From Nov. 25)

Oh man, where to begin on this week...  Monday was awesome. We spent it playing some (American!) football and practicing for the turkey bowl this week!  (We won by default, since sports were banned in the mission not long ago. But that's a different story...) Then we had FHE with Yulia, who had found real American peanut butter somewhere here! I guess it was at some French store in Kiev but there is hope yet! Anyway Yulia is from Russia, and our age, and so cute. We played Uno, and it was grand.

Tuesday we had a zone conference and made cookies. (Sister Walker and I eat cookies every day. We've got a good thing going :) )

Wednesday we had a lesson in garden house! One of our investigators lives in this house of bunches of windows with tons of plants. It reminds me of our living room in the wintertime :) By the way I don't even know what our house looks like anymore! Someone send me a picture!

Thursday we met Wally! He's from Nigeria, and he's been studying here for 4 years now. He's SUPER sincere and asked awesome questions and is really just ready to do whatever God wants him to. Doing a lesson in English was pretty awkward seeing as I haven't had to make small talk for about 6 months now, and the only English speakers I ever talk to these days are all teenage Americans, so I sound like a ditz (true, sad fact) but it was cool because Sister Walker is still the best and she saved us both! Whew.

Friday we went and ran some errands for this really old grandma who lives nearby. She can't walk, but wont simplify her life and so she makes everyone else get her groceries for her. This sounds mean, but it's really just honest - when we were out at sisters conference, she couldn't wait a day to get her milk and cheese so she stood out on her balcony and yelled until someone came by and went to buy it for her. Ha ha she's the grumpiest most vain old lady in the world and it's hilarious. When she met  Sister Walker and heard about her big family she looked at us and said " you and your huge families! What a nightmare! That's horrible! I can't imagine!" But the BEST part was when we started to sing hymns with her, and she's way tone deaf and was singing super high and all over the place and sister Walker and I LOOSE it laughing, and she didn't even notice. She couldn't hear us. So she finished the song her self, while we laughed ourselves to tears.

Then came Saturday. Ohhh man. Well we were on a former investigator hunt, and we get to the house of this guy who had been an investigator FOREVER. He is practically a member, he knows EVERYTHING (and I do mean everything - including things he really should not know if you know what I mean...) but he couldn't ever stop smoking so he's never been baptized. WELL when we get there we didn't know what to expect but he answered and was so nice and let us in. He said "oh wow sisters, I've only ever met with Elders before!" and then started asking us the craziest questions about women and the temple and stuff! Ahh! Changing the subject we asked him about his work and he was telling us about how he is some sort of Internet councilor and how he helps people find their goal in life and usually he points them towards God. Well, Sister Willerth sees that this could go a good direction and asks a perfectly innocent appropriate question - "So what would you say is your goal in life?" To which he responds - "Well, I want to go back to Chicago and marry you." euhhhhhhh.... "Whatever ha ha funny." Lesson ends there! We close it up and are about to leave and he says wait! goes into the next room and comes back with a ring! Takes my hand, puts int on my finger, and insists I keep it(he has a matching one just like it). "I can't take this. That's not right. That's inappropriate. NO thank you." Him - "It's fine it's fine! I promise it doesn't mean that I have to go back to Chicago with you. It's not made of gold, I won't make you pay for it, it's a sign of our friendship, I won't take it back, if you really don't want it, throw it out on the street - just don't tell me about it." Okay so were out of there. We leave, and he's standing by the door as we wait for the elevator to come. Our backs are towards him and Sister Walker is saying "we just have to wait for the elevator to come... then we can freak out..." Elevator comes, we get in, the doors close, and she starts screaming and jumping up and down - "YOU'RE ENGAGED!!!" (She still won't let me live it down, days later). Oh my goodness what a nightmare!!! Needless to say, we will be passing him.And That's probably the craziest thing that has happened to me so far here. I hope you all enjoyed it.

Things we're still looking forward to: We'll all be doing thanksgiving together as a zone, so it'll actually feel like a real holiday :) The weather has been surprisingly nice for this time of year - between 5 and 10 degrees all the time (hopefully this means a mild winter - fingers crossed!) and Sister Walker and I are preaching repentance right and left and making Holiday chains for every event we can think of. 30 days til Christmas!!

I love you all! Thank you for everything, and have a happy thanksgiving!
Sister Willerth

Bokep! ( Sorry - This is from Nov. 18)

Well transfers have come and gone, and we have the most EXCITING news! I will now be serving with SISTER WALKER! If you are thinking "that sounds familiar... Did she talk about a sister Walker in the MTC?" Then you would be SPOT ON! haha she and I will be serving together for this shortened transfer and HOPEFULLY (fingers crossed!!) President will just keep us together for next transfer and Christmas!! Best Christmas ever! haha I really love this new companionship though, it's nice to be a little more evenly yoked with someone and every day it feels like we're just kickin it and having the time of our lives together on this escapade in Ukraine. So yes. Living the dream. :)

So this week we had a lesson with Salim, who I think I have mentioned in the past. He is 20 years old and a bible PRODIGY and basically just a way cool kid. Anyway he has all these crazy questions (that he just asks to spark conversation - but he already knows the answer) and he is SO smart and an amazing teacher and every time we talk to him I really feel like HE's the one giving US a lesson (reinforced by the fact that at the end of the lesson he made us review everything we learned. haha.) Anyway so after getting WAY off track about the thing we were originally talking about (prophets and the apostasy) he goes to Genesis and says "in the beginning God created light... but he didn't create the sun and stars until verses later. So what did he create in the beginning?" And  he asks us where God lives and so... we start talking about Kolob. But it's fine, because he whips out this analogy and somehow he's known about Kolob all along (he just didn't know that he knew) through his own studies of the bible. He is awesome, I love him.

We also went on a gypsy hunt, Sister Walker and I. We had this old form of there people who used to be taught by missionaries and it had 3 addresses and the number didn't work. So we embarked on a grand journey to find Ludwig and Luisa! Unfortunately, we did not find them, but we met some VERY interesting people in the mean time: Ok Dima! (we asked about Ludwig at his door and he pointed to the shirt he was wearing that said "OK!" on it and said, no no I'm not Ludwig - I'm ok Dima!) Judas Kisscariot (A Jehovah's witness that stopped us on the street, said we were going to burn because we were a cult, asked for some money, and after all of this we having never said a thing, just looking at him speechless he laughed and kissed us both! Betrayed with a kiss!) and this really tough guy wearing fur on the back of the trolley, who we assumed was a part of an organization that I will not here name, for fear that the filter will block my email. But yes - you probably know what I'm talking about ha ha.

We also got to sit in on a ward thanksgiving activity. It was really cool hearing them tell the story of how thanksgiving got started and then having this "feast" of some Ukrainian food. (I don't think they understand how much we eat.... ha ha. But I did want to take a nap afterward, so I guess that's kind of the same feeling!) I loved it though. Gratitude across the world:)

In other news the skinheads are gone and all the danger is totally over for all the international people. So no worries there :)

Well I think that's about it, other than getting way pumped for Christmas! WOO :D Anyone else excited?? I am!

Well I love you all and as always thank you for your support and you are always in my prayers!! Happy holidays!

Love always,
Sister Willerth