September 29, 2014
This week started out very well with regard to progress in missionary work. We had a lesson scheduled for Monday, but when we called an hour before the meeting to make sure he could still come, he said that he was in Kiev and that it would not work out. This is the second time in a row that this has happened with this particular person, so when he offered to reschedule for nine o’clock the next morning, I was a little uneasy about it.
Much to my surprise, both the investigator and member who said that it would probably not work with his schedule were able to come. Even more surprising, many of the difficulties that plague member-present lessons here were not a problem. Such as the member taking over the lesson entirely and talking about football or other unimportant topics. Another one that has happened occasionally is they can be offensive when someone does not understand something, or my favorite is when they just want to talk about the war. This lesson was rid of all these problems and went exactly as it should. I was in absolute shock walking out.
Later that day we had another lesson with a person who we met on the street a week before. He gave us a very unlikely yes in coming to the appointment, and the member also said that it might not work for her. Things worked out that they both came on time and the lesson went as good as the first one in the morning. Waking up that morning, I thought to myself that there is no way that either of our meetings were going to work out, and while going home that night still couldn’t believe it. That was a very good day.
President Packer decided it would be useful to hold a specialized training, so our entire day on Wednesday was spent traveling to and back from Kiev. It really surprises me how much of missionary time can be spent on housekeeping items like travel. To get from Chernigov to the mission office takes at least three hours, and as much as four and a half, depending on your luck in making it to the bus station. We left from Chernigov at nine A.M. and made it to the mission office at twelve thirty P.M., even using a taxi once we made it into the city. The meeting lasted for three hours, which brought us to four o’clock and then waiting for another taxi to come took another hour. In the end, we did not make it back to the city until eight o’clock at night. At the beginning of my mission, I thought we would always be out working, but it has become apparent to me that you can easily lose a lot of time to menial tasks if you are not careful. To a large degree, it has been a bit of a challenge for me to get a hold of.
On Thursday, I managed to make my best score from a second hand store of my whole mission. We ate out for lunch and had twenty minutes afterward, so we decided to stop in at a local second hand whose daily price was only 66 cents per kilogram of clothes. It is the last day before the store restocks, so most of what is left really isn’t that good. But I just decided to look at the suits for a second and found a European suit still in very decent condition that looked like it might fit. In the dressing room I tried it on and everything about it formed right to my body. Not only is it a good quality suit in the first place, but everything including the pants was right to form. We walked into the store and out in only eight minutes and I spent a total of 72 cents on a suit and white shirt. It was about as lucky as I could have become.
Unfortunately, Elder H fell sick on Friday which we thought would be nothing, but as Saturday night came, it became clear that he was is in no condition to walk the streets. Fortunately, we were able to go to church on Sunday which was needed, because we found out that no one was prepared to teach second hour. I volunteered to get it ready and spent Sacrament Meeting reading Gospel Principles in preparation for what would turn out to be a real train wreck of a lesson.
I planned on using some things for an object lesson that I thought would be around the church, but in the ten minutes between meetings none of them were found, which left me to rely on my mediocre artistic skills and a black board to illustrate my thoughts. Really did not work out as well as I had hoped it would. Those forty minutes moved by as slowly as they possibly could, but by some miracle, a couple of the people learned something and commented to me after the lesson.
After church, we went home so that Elder H could get more sleep, though it would not last for long because a member called saying that we did not have permission to not come to her farewell dinner before she leaves on a mission today. The dinner was held out the Gs, who are probably one of the coolest families I will ever meet, and it really was a cool evening. We talked and ate food with twelve people in a small apartment. The person who is leaving on her mission and I were able to develop a really good friendship while I have served here, and honestly I am sad to see her go. We woke up this morning at four to see her off with her family at the train station.
That basically sums up the highlights of the week.