Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Month of Posts!

Catastrophe week! 1/13/14
OH the drama....You thought 2 weeks ago was bad, just prepare yourselves!

*disclaimer* I talk about some gross things here sooooo there's that...

The real action of this week all started Tuesday. remember how at home I never ate tacos because they made me feel sick and you all just thought I didn't like them? WELL Sister Walker and I were SO excited to use the taco seasoning that I had just gotten, so we made these really good burritos... and then about an hour later I started getting these stomach pains. but I ignored it because it's happened as long as i can remember, and we went on with the day as usual.

THEN on Wednesday, while I was washing my hair, GUESS WHAT I FOUND. Remember how I'd been complaining about my itchy head? yup - I wasn't being just paranoid. I had lice. So we spent most of that day just taking care of all THAT drama. Luckily Sister Walker is a good sport and combed everything out for me. When she did we hardly found anything, so it turns out that it hadn't been a big problem and I probably caught it early. Also, the medical person in our mission said she wasn't surprised I had it because it's been going around (GROSS) so it's not my fault, and thanks to my paranoia we caught it early :)

The next day I was still feeling stomach pains from who knows what, and Sister Walker had told me that she was getting them too. We called the Doctor for the Europe east area missionaries and he couldn't really tell what we had from our symptoms, so he put us on a diet of clear fluid only FOR 24 TO 48 HOURS!! haha we just drank a bunch of water the first day but by the next day we were DYING we were so hungry so we called him back asking for other options and he laughed at us and told us we could eat bananas and applesauce. So good thing I like bananas now! What a relief :)

So unfortunately I have very little missionary work to report on. Wally got back this week and he's all ready for his baptism this Saturday! We are so excited :) Also we met his friend on the metro and invited him to church and he came! We had a lesson with him afterward and I was so proud of Wally - just teaching like a pro :')

OH and latest update on Babushka. We were at her house, when someone called to say that she was dropping something off. She hung up and told us it was a less active from the church. we thought, cool lets meet her! but when Babushka got up and left the room she closed the door behind her. When we came out she saw us and yelled at us saying "No no! it'll just be 5 minutes she doesn't need to know you're here!" Then she shooed us back into the room and closed the door again. HOW RUDE! haha that wild woman. But we love her, I guess...

Well I hope everyone had a wonderful week! I love you all and will talk to you soon!!

Sister Willerth

Heppy Newey! 1/6/14
This week has been both eventful and not. Most of the exciting things we did would be horribly unexciting to you all probably (crocheting, making BOX macaroni and cheese - woohooo so orange!! Thanks mom! - and taking lots of really dumb pictures with some cool features we found on my camera. I'll send some of those along ;)

Things of note - I finally tried Holodets this week! For those of you who are wondering, that is the meat-jello they make here. Ours wasn't too bad - she used Chicken Turkey and Ham. I can't imagine it made of beef or the solid fat that they sell  all over the place here. So it wasn't bad like I said, and it was a good, traditional way to celebrate the новый год!! (though I don't think I want to eat it ever again)

New years was WILD, there were fireworks going everywhere all night long! It was dark around 3 and we were inside by 4 for the rest of the night so we just watched the Seminary new testament videos. Fun times, haha ;) And we went to bed at 10:30. We weren't planning on waking up, and miraculously none of the fireworks woke us, but then our Elders called us at midnight! Those punks! haha so that was the extent of our celebration.

The next day was SO weird. There was almost no one outside! It was like a giant ghost town. Also there wasn't much for us to do because of some Ukrainian superstition that Women can come over to your house on new years, or you'll have bad luck all year long. We couldn't even help Babushka with her milk! But she had the elders come over and drink apple juice with her, so apparently she'll have good health this year (I know there are certain superstitions in every culture but these people actually follow them - it's so funny.)

We also went on an exchange with some other sisters this week, which meant I was reunited with Sister Rohrbaugh! It was so cool, because back in the MTC we would always talk about how "One day we'll go on a split and actually be able to talk to people and teach together!" Fulfilled! It was way fun being with her again. But I missed that Sister Walker. I'm so blessed to have served (and to be serving with) so many AWESOME people!

We also had a Christmas party night with our branch. It was so fun! It was like watching a really bad home video haha - there was a nativity skit with a bunch of kids that couldn't remember their lines and old men that way overplayed their characters. Then a talent show with everything from Ukrainian folk-Christmas songs to a hardcore rock performance of "Mary did you know?" Even the missionaries performed oh Holy night. We're not the most talented group, but they sure do love to hear Americans sing.

Other than that, not too much is new. Wally is still doing great, and we're counting down the days til he gets back. Our best friend in Ukraine :) Plus, it's not even freezing here, and it's getting lighted every day :) So all is well.

I love you all! Stay warm!
Sister Willerth

Drama Week 12/23/13
2 More days til Christmas! WOOOOOO! Since I will be talking to everyone soon, this will be short, and I will not mince words:


Sister Walker and I were really really torn up about Wally not being able to be baptized, and that plus the constant darkness here began to take a toll on us. We were pretty unmotivated this week but we still tried to get out there and go despite hating life. Crowning event of the week though was when we saw the branch president and he asked us if Wally would be getting baptized this week. 

"what, he can?"
"Well I just didn't know. So will he?"

We didn't know what to do so we called directly up to President Lochhead to talk to him about it for a few minutes, and then worked some stuff out and got through everything we needed to do to make the baptism possible. Then we called Wally and asked if he could meet really quick. While we waited for him we were SO excited to tell him - he was really really looking forward to his baptism and was really sad when we changed the date. But when we got there and told him about everything, he said he wanted to wait. WHAT? We told him to pray about it and sleep on it, and that we'd call him in the morning. That night was a MESS, under the direction of our inspired district leader we went out and got some cookies and then came in and did yoga and read our scriptures for the rest of the night haha. I woke up the next morning, and felt like someone had broken up with me. Seriously, I haven't felt that was since the last time I was dumped... so that was weird. We called Wally, and sure enough - he still wanted to wait. So we hung up the phone and just sat in a catatonic state for probably like an hour. Of course, we got over it and recognized that it probably was for the best. But it was so amazing to just be able to feel this Godly sorrow for another person. 

So that was a sneak peek at drama week. ugh. Glad that's over. And now it's Christmas week! WOOHOOO!! I hope everyone watches lots of movies and listens to lots of Christmas Music and goes Christmas caroling for me! (All things we're not allowed to go here) I love you all and I'll talk to you so soon!

Sister Willerth

Dat Heartbreak 12/16/13
Hello everyone!! On our countdown we are at 9 day left til Christmas - oh-ho! (As Wally would say). Hope everyone's as excited as I am!!

Monday was THE BEST, we went to FHE at a senior couple's house and took Wally with us. It was SO fun, and he loved it! We all ate pancakes for Dinner and sung a lot of Christmas carols. Pretty much the best night ever. Also t was snowing like crazy so we slip-slided all over the place, all the way home!

On Tuesday we took some time to go into the center of Kharkov to see the art markets and get some Martrushka dolls! But unfortunately, because of the snow no one had their stands up :/ Still it was nice to see some more of the city, it's SO beautiful there especially with all the snow. Plus, we had McDonald's for lunch. Chicken Nuggets = taste of America. Also, side note - whenever I eat food that tastes American nowadays (even if we just make it ourselves) I get goosebumps... So no one's allowed to say our food isn't good or that it's boring ever again!

Wednesday was the day that I have been waiting for for a while. Someone FINALLY brought me to tears. I mean, of course I've cried on the mission before, but it's never been directly caused by another person until THIS week. We were talking to this man who kept telling us about how we were slaves to God because we believed and followed His laws without ever thinking for ourselves and that we were brainwashed, and I was kind of laughing in frustration about the fact that we couldn't even defend ourselves because he wouldn't listen anyway, when I caught this lady staring at us, and I smiled at her but looked back at the man, and he asked me a question that I didn't fully understand and I just stopped for a minute, trying to translate it in my head (something along the lines of Where was God during this time when all these horrible things were happening here - but he was using really specific soviet examples) and I just said "uhh..." as I was trying to come up with an answer and this lady says, "Well answer him! You're the ones preaching this stuff." So there you have it. Nothing like a condescending comment from an old, wise, experienced Ukrainian Babushka to make you feel totally inadequate. But I held myself together until we walked away. Sister Willerth's such a baby...

Thursday Sister Walker got the FLU! And I was pretty sick too, so we took it easy, taught one lesson and then made a popcorn chain while watching Mormon Messages. Best.

Friday we went to the Dermatologist! WOOO hahaha so Sister Walker has leprosy (Actually its just ringworm) But we wen to the doctor to get some tests done. Then we went and got her some medicine, and One the way home after all the drama we stopped at this "bubble tea" Place and got some juice with bobas :) WORTH IT. Plus, this place was basically like Jamba juice and it was really clean and there was REAL MUSIC playing so that was weird... My biggest fear is that I'll come home missing music so much that I'll even like Taylor Swift. SCARY!

Sunday was the day of heartbreak. There hadn't been very good communication about Wally's baptism, and the Branch President doesn't know him very well so we were talking about it 5 minutes before Church and he said "He's not even here now. If he doesn't get here before sacrament starts, he's not getting baptized." Wally got there 10 minutes late. So even though he's come to church 3 weeks in a row, since we started meeting with him, we had to tell him that he needs to wait to be baptized. He was so sad! And I don't think I've ever been so heartbroken, because he kept talking about how he was going to be a new person this Christmas. But the good news is, he already is a new person - you can just tell. It's so amazing seeing the literal change that happens in people as they start to accept this doctrine. Wally is way solid though, We just love him!!

So that's our week. It's been a good one :) as was, I hope, everyone elses? Thank you so much everyone for the emails and the support and love! I love you all and I hope you're all enjoying the season!!

Much love,
Sister Willerth

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