Thew first half of the week consisted mostly of packing and cleaning. I didn't know I had so much stuff, but I guess that's what happens when you live somewhere for 6 months... you forget what you have, and acquire more somehow. Eesh. But, after packing and re-packing probably a million times, my entire life was once again sucked into 2 suitcases. It's still weird to me that that's how we live... But I kind of love it.
Goodbyes were hard - I didn't expect them to be so hard. I've made so many friends here that I know I will be friends with forever.
Since transfers things have been CRAZY! I don't think I've been so exhausted/sore in my life! (Why sore, I'm not sure - but probably from all the power walking. We walk so much more here than we did in Kharkov, and we always seem to be running late... ha....) But it's been really good to be home again, and to be busy and have so much going on!
On Thursday night we went to English practice and met some ward members and a new Elder who is a native Ukrainian! He's really cool and I'm hoping he can help improve my Russian... Also after we met, he said I look like a goth so that's cool I guess... If anyone was wondering how I've changed in the last year - there you have it! :)
On Saturday we got to do a service project for an investigator of ours who is building a castle in the middle of nowhere. In principle, the castle is built - and right now he's digging out a pool in his basement.So we spent the day hauling dirt out of what was pretty much a castle dungeon. It was so cool!!
On Sunday, meeting the new branch was SO cool! I've never seen so many kids in one branch! It was so loud - I felt like I was back in America! :D really though, I love the branch so much already. They are already so helpful.
Favorite experience of the entire week:
A Vietnamese man walked into church yesterday, who didn't speak English OR Russian, or really anything. He just sat in the back and listened. He had come last week and stayed all 3 hours too. So we tried teaching him a little, or at least just finding out more about him. We had a member with us that spoke Russian Sign language (which is SO cool!! She's teaching us a little too :) ) and so she tried communicating with him like that, but mostly it was all gestures. Most interesting experience ever. Though we couldn't really explain anything with words - I could ell that he was feeling the feelings that he needed to feel. It just served as proof that you really can teach with no language at all. So cool.
Afterward, a member was trying to talk to him by translating things on his Ipad and told us "He's a member - I know him from somewhere." After translating back and forth, he said "You were baptized, weren't you? With me. I was really little then though." Turns out that 20 years ago, the man had been baptized on the same day as this member. He was only 8 then, and the man had never come back until now, but he still remembered him. Power of the spirit!! Sometimes I can't believe the long lasting, life-changing effect that the gospel has on people - but it just does! I've seen it in me especially throughout the last year. I could never express my gratitude for this experience...
So needless to say, I'm loving my new area,loving my companion, and loving the work as much as ever. I love you all and hope you all have an amazing week!!