Archive for October, 2010

Week 2 in Ukraine!

I can finally seperate all of the words that people say when they talk…haha. I don’t understand everything, of course, but I have pretty good luck reading the gist of what people mean based on their body language and the words I do know. I have actually learned a few words just picking them up in context, so that is pretty dang cool πŸ™‚

A lot of cool stuff happened this week. We were signboarding (We have these signs we set on the street, with info about the Book of Mormon, and talk to people as they walk by) and as we were finished and walking back, this babushka walked past us. We were in a hurry, and she took like ten steps, then turned around and called out to us. Her name is Anastasia, and the first thing she said was "The Lord is with you. I can see it in your eyes and could feel it when you walked past me. You are glowing." That was pretty dang cool, and I understood every word that she said, so that was also pretty awesome. She is having a surgery tomorrow, so she asked us to pray for her, and she wants to meet with us after he surgery.

Some things I have grown to love since I went into the MTC:
1. Studying – yeah, IDK what is going on here, but I love learning? Maybe I’ll get better grades and actually apply myself in school when I get back πŸ™‚
2. Writing in my journal – it’s so therapeutic, and just really awesome. I think about my future kids when I write a lot, and try to think of what I would want them to understand as being important from that day. ha, nerdy, but it really helps my entries be meaningful.

They have some awesome graffiti in this city, if I have some time at the end of typing this I’ll attach a picture or two!

Going back to old ladies, our branch is full of bobs (babushkas). Naturally, they all love me. haha. They ask me how to say words in English and call me the "New Little American Boy". They are great!

My favorite family in our branch is Sister Svetlana’s family. She is a single mother with 3 sons. We had FHE with them last week, and afterwards she made us dinner. Oh my gosh. The borsch she made was just about the best thing I have ever tasted in my life. I need to get the recipe from her, because it was so dang good. She also made amazing Strawberry Kompote and a Straw pie/pastry thing, I don’t know what the English word is. Kompote is a fruit "tea" I guess you could call it, I’d never had it before I got here, but basically, she boiled down fresh strawberries water and just made a hot drink out of it, and it was wayyyyy good.

We have been working with an inactive guy name Valera. He finally came to church yesterday! He is a really cool guy, he just got a new job, so he doesn’t work on Sundays any more and came to church! He had a great time, and really liked it a lot. In the last week, he has read almost to Mosiah in the Book of Mormon, so that was really cool.

I have been reading Jesus the Christ a lot lately. Holy Cow. Dr. Talmage is a genious. The level of rhetoric is astounding. Other than what it is teaching about Christ’s life, half the time I’m in awe of just how smart he was!

haha, I’m in an internet cafe, and a Ludacris song just came on. Oh Babylon πŸ˜›

That’s about it. I have one request from each of you though!

I didn’t bring [any] pictures with me, so I would like each of you to email me your favorite picture of us together, and if you don’t have one, then just send me a picture you really like of yourself! I can put them on my camera and print them, so all you have to do is send them! I want to put together a little photo album of all my American homies (And my one Mexican one….RICARDO!)

I miss you all, thank you for all the love and support, keep the prayers coming!

Elder McClintock

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.


Hellooooo From UKRAINNNEEEE!!!

Okay, So I paid 9gph for an hour and a half of internet, but the computer (meaning myldsmail) was being uber stupid, so I don’t have a full hour and a half like planned! Oh well!

So the run down!

We got up at 4 AM last Tuesday, because we had to be at the travel office. We were driven up to Salt Lake, then flew to NYC. Our two hour layover seemed very short, considering that we had to go to a whole other terminal, and re-go through security, blah blah blah. It was a pain. Plus, Austrian Airlines was having trouble tracking our bags, and they wouldn’t let us have our bording passes until they were sure that they had received our bags from Delta, who hadn’t put them in the computer yet. Stupid Delta (as always.). The flight to Vienna wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought. The plane was in AMAZING shape. It was basically the 20 or so of us going to Ukraine (To Dnepr and Donetsk), and a bunch of Jewish people going to Israel. The plane actually had a little room for them to do their prayer service, that was pretty interesting.

The food on the plane was 5 Stars compared to the MTC. It was really good. And the stewardesses looked like the little people on the Matterhorn at Disneyland. Haha. They litterally brought the drink cart by every 10 minutes. On the plane Elder Walton and I enjoyed a few fine games of Chess and mini-Golf on the little TV. We thought using the on-board phones to call other missionaries from across the plane was just about the most entertaining thing we had ever done, too bad it was $9.95 a minute to call people, otherwise I would have debated call y’all just to say that I did! haha. The text messages were only $1.50, so I figured I would just do that instead of calling in Vienna, since it would be like 20398572845729845 dollars there!

In our layover in Vienna we talked to this girl for like an hour. She works for the State Department, and is moving to Albania to work at the Embassy. She was asking us about studying Russian, because she has to go back to the US and do a 9 month program to learn Albanian. She said the Russian program is 12 months, and we speak better than the people do after a year. Take that world! You can’t stop the gift of tongues!

When we landed in Dnepr, we were met by 2 guys, in full military gear, holding AK-47s who escorted us in immigration. The nice guy at the desk, then proceeded to swear under his breath at me for being American, and coming to Ukraine. Hello to you too πŸ™‚ We got through customs, and President and Sister Nielsen met us on the other side with the AP’s. They took our stuff back to one of the Branches in Dnepr, and we split up with the AP’s and went contacting. Elder Mills and I were with Elder Stachitus (Who is actually from Ridgecrest?!? haha.) The first lady we talked to was very interested, so we just basically listened to her and Elder Stachitus talk, then she asked why weren’t talking, and then when she realized that we barely knew Russian, she slowed down, and thanked us for trying to understand her native language. It was pretty cool.

From there we went to the AP’s apartment, and just relaxed because we had about 45 minutes until the Ukrainian Culture Night the Center Branch in Dnepr put on for us. It was great, all the members were there, they made us an entire Ukrainian meal, danced, sang traditional songs, it was really fun! Things about food:

Borscht is great, I love it.
Sala (Cured Pig Fat) is the most disgusting thing I have EVER tasted in my life. gag me.
Dinya, is a melon native to Ukraine, it tastes like a cantaloupe crossed with a pear. It’s way good.
The juices here are amazing. They are all organic, with no added sugar and are ridiculously cheap.
They love different types of "Sauce", which are basically all Ketchup, but they aren’t made with Tomatoes, they have other flavors. The best: Paprik, which is made from presh prapika, it’s bell pepper ketchup. Maybe sauce is a better word, it has no tomatoes. Maybe I’ll send you some Drew, I know how you love your paprika πŸ™‚

We got split up after the dinner/party, Elder Rhodes, Mills and I slept at the AP’s, while Elders Hagee, Walton, Merrick and Hansen slept at the mission home. Thursday, when we got up, we went to have breakfast, and have our initial interviews at the Mission with President Nielsen. The Mission home is just about the sickest thing ever. If you look up at picture of Dnepropetrovsk on google, and find one with the river and two GIANT towers, its in the tower on the left. They are considered the nicest place to live in the City, and the view is amazing (I have attached some pictures!)

So we had our interviews, and I found out that my first area will be Nicolaev! It was a six hour bus ride to there from Dnepr, so I didn’t actually get there until 2 AM Friday morning. It is shaped like a dragon, and was the shipping/naval port for the USSR back in the day. It is a really cool city. My trainer is Elder Berndt. He is an…uh, interesting guy. He is from Fresno, and has been out a year. Lisa, I now understand why you said I was so freaking weird when I was 14. I understand and agree completely.

Our district is great, it’s just the 6 missionaries in our city. It’s me and Elder Berndt, Elder Condie from Parma, ID and his companion Elder Sarkisian from Moldova, and Sister Burroughs from Springville, and a native Sister, Sister Smirnova, who was in the MTC with me for 4 weeks. They are all great. Elder Sarkisian is the funniest person ever, he is a professional comedian, and that is how he paid for his mission was doing stand-up in Moldova. He moved there from Armenia when he was 13, and his family got baptized in Moldova when he was 14. Apparantly Americans butcheor the name Sarkisian, it is supposed to be "Sarkees-YAWN". Haha, he said "Just because there are more Armenians in Los Angeles than in Armenia doesn’t mean they get to change how you’re supposed to say my name!"

Church was good yesterday, There are about 50ish active members in the branch. The problem, though is that there are only two Melchizidek Priesthood holders, so that poses a problem. It is full of old ladies, who all think I’m Armenian? Haha. like 7 out of 10 people I talk to think I am from Armenia, apparantly I have an accent, and look Armenian. Elder Sarkisian even asked me (as well as a sister missionary in our mission from Armenia) if I was part Armenian. It is really weird, but oh well, that’s better than an American accent I guess πŸ™‚

We have two investigators right now, their names are Micah and Leksi, they are both black, and from Nigeria, and speak English. I basically have all sorts of street cred because I know the two black guys that live in Ukraine. haha.

That’s pretty much it, today is P-Day, and life is going good! I’m still alive and well, and people are starting to sound slower when they talk, so that is good! If you want to send me emails, that would be the best way to get a hold of me, I will only get DearElders anytime someone comes Dnepr, which is basically once a transfer. So yeah. And Kelsey, I just got your letters, that is where they disappeared too…you sent them here instead of the MTC on dearelder. haha.

For packages and written letters, the address is:

Elder Garrett J McClintock
27-A Karla Marksa Ave 5-FL
Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine 49044

That is 100% the write address, I’m not sure if the one I posted before was the exactly written like that, but that is the way to do it!

Thank you for all the support and love and care and all of that good stuff! You are all the best!

Elder McClintock

Notes: The first picture is the view from the Mission Home, the second is our welcome dinner from the members.

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

New Address!

Elder Garrett McClintock
Ukraine Dnepropetrovsk Mission
27-A Karla Marksa Ave 5-Fl.
Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine 49005

Love you all!

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

Last Week!

I have my travel plans! They came on Thursday!

I leave the MTC, next Tuesday, October 12th, at 5:00 AM. My first flight is from SLC to JFK at 8:45 AM. Then I switch from Delta to Austrian Air, and fly to Vienna, where I have another 2 hour layover, and then finally I fly from Vienna to Dnepropetrovsk. My plan lands in Dnepr at 1:55 PM on October 13th. With the time change, it’s roughly 24 hours total for the trip. I am super excited! This last week is pretty relaxed here, we have a lot of safety meetings, and health meetings, etc. So It is a change of pace, that is for sure.

The church is doing so really sweet stuff for missionary safety. They took the missionary water bottles they already have (With the purification system built in) and shrunk it down, and made a straw with a built in filter/purification system. So when people give us stuff to drink, that we aren’t supposed to, we can just use that and not have to tell them no. They also just finished a hand sanitizing lotion, that has a kill time of 60 HOURS! and lasts through washing your hands 5 times. Missionary Medical is presenting it to the Brethren next week, so if all goes to plan, it should be to me in Ukraine around Christmas time. If they market that stuff publically, they could make bank, they are both way sweet.

One day last week, Elder Vargin came up to me and said "You know song ‘Amazing Grace?" I said yes, and asked him why. He replied: "It write for me, because I was lost, but now I’m found!" I started laughing, and asked him why, and he said that he was from the tribe of Naphtali. I thought it was really really funny. Haha.

Conference was great, I loved it, it was a lot more meaningful as a missionary, I have a much longer attention span now πŸ™‚
Trevor Casey was in the PH choir, I didn’t get a chance too, they didn’t tell our Branch Presidency about it until after it was too late. Needless to say, President Harrison was livid. Haha. So I didn’t get the chance, but it was fine. Much less stress, and I got to pay attention more on Saturday. I really liked Elder Andersen’s talk, especially because he gave a shout out to my mission! And President Uchtdorf’s talk in PH Session on pride, was AMAZING. It was a really great conference all around.

This morning, we did sealings (In Russian!) at the temple after our session, so the natives would have a chance, so my P-Day is short (I had to get my "obedience cut", the required haircut within a week of your departure). So if a letter doesn’t come, I’ll try to mail you one from JFK if I can! Thank you all for all the love and support, I love hearing from you all every day!

Oh, and Jordan, I lost your address, so that’s why I haven’t written you back yet! I’m sorry, I know it’s been like 5 or 6 weeks, but I haven’t found it yet! Send me a DearElder and I will write you ASAP!

Also, Bailey, I need your UCSD address, I only have your one that’s in Danville!

I love you all,

Elder McClintock

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.