Miracles Miracles.

Elder Hammon and I are doing absolutely wonderful. I don’t remember if I told you all, but we have been reviewing our weekly goals in companionship study and our daily goals before we pray every time we leave the apartment, then checking up on them in our daily planning session. This has led to amazing success. We were able to achieve all of our weekly goals last week, except for contacts, which we got a little to ambitious when we set. The apartment search took a more time than we expected because of looking at different apartments, so we didn’t get all of those. More about the apartment later 🙂

One thing I have learned this week, is how when we lay everything on the line, the Lord will make those goals become reality. It seems like every day this last week, we would have our contacting time with some success. Then as we are heading in for the night, or riding the tramvai across town, someone would pop up who is very interested. As we have really devoted our focus to our goals, I have seen more "great potential" contacts this week than my first 2 transfers combined. The next step is get rid of that potential. I absolutely hate that word. A life full of potential is a life empty of success. So Elder Hammon and I are going to flip that potential into results.

We have been focusing on families, and starting every contact with asking to share a thought about the family. We are getting a lot of success right now. We are currently teaching an older couple, who are setting the commitments for themselves. They said that they "need a copy of the Book of Mormon to read, because reading and praying about it is the only way they will know whether it is scripture or not". Nick and Nina are their names. She is an English teacher, and she is bringing her class to English tomorrow because she loved it last week. We are also teaching a man named Max, who I have only met with once since I have been here. We are really working to get to work with his whole family together, but haven’t been able to yet. The feeling of teaching a family is completely different than a single person. As they talk amongst each other, you can see the understand of what we are teaching, and their testimonies of it also being strengthened. It is an amazing sight to behold.

We also had an interesting lesson last week with a man named Alexander. We met him on the street, then he said "yeah! you can come over now and we can talk if you want!". Man oh man am I glad that I’m a missionary and feel protected. He seemed completely normal on the street, then we got there, and he started making some tea (we always carry our own so we know it is only fruit or herbal tea, and not green or black, so no worries 🙂 ), so it was just like a regular appointment. Then he asked us if we smoked something. Neither of us knew what the word was, but we are assuming it was marijauna he was asking about. My knowledge of slang terms for Cannabis isn’t nearly extensive in Russian as it is in English, I just haven’t gone to High School here. hahahahaha. Well, that was weird. Then we started teaching him about the Plan of Salvation. Then in the middle he stopped us and asked us if we had any cocaine. At this point, I wrapped up the lesson, and said we had another lesson to go to. Needless to say, we didn’t schedule a return appointment, so don’t freak out mom!

Now to our apartment situation……drum roll……..WE ARE MOVING IN TOMORROW! This was a miracle in and of itself. We got a bunch of classifeds, and made some calls, realized we should probably quickly study some real estate jargon, then made some calls again, and then went and looked at an apartment. It was okay, nothing great, the landlady was really nice, but it didn’t have a microwave, or a washer, and the stove only had 2 burners. That was a "well, we are still looking" moment. President said it would be great if we found an apartment with the other Elders in our branch. Their landlord is awful (he goes over there all the time while they are gone.) and their apartment is a dump and he won’t fix anything. So we called another ad, and the number was for a realtor. We talked to her, and said we wanted an apartment for 4000 griven if 4 of us could live there, or only 2000 for 2. She misunderstood us, and showed us nice apartment for 3500, but it would only be two of us. Her boss was there too, and when we explained that we wanted an apartment for four missionaries for 4000, he started laughing. He said that people don’t want to rent their stuff out to teenagers, let alone foreigners who are coming an going all the time. Understandable. He said he’d look for 2 people apartments in each of our areas and keep his eye out for a 4 person.

Well, 35 minutes later, I got a phone call. I answered and it was the realtor, he asked if he could show us an apartment for 4. It is nicer than the way nice apartment that was 3500, and it is in one of the nicest parts of town. It is a block off the main street of the city (where the Center Branch is, and the mission office). It is 2 blocks from where the new chapel will be, about 4 from the train station, and 3 from all of the nice restaurants in town (They just opened up a TGI Friday’s!!!). Both companionships only have to walk a block, and we can get either a shuttle or take a trolley to anywhere in both of our areas. It is an absolute miracle. To top it off, the landlady said that the whole first and last months’ rent was too much, so she only wanted a month in a half, and she had no problem with her having to help register the new missionaries who live there. Today we went back over to look at it, and had Vova our mission lawyer come to check all of the contract stuff. After we talked to the landlady some more about why we are in Ukraine, and explained that we wouldn’t have the money until Thursday (the mission has to send it to Salt Lake, and then they make the deposit, so it takes a few days for everything to happen) she said "well, I trust these boys, they are honest young men. I’ll come by Thursday morning to pick up the rent and the realtor fee" then handed me the keys.

The last time Elders in this city needed an apartment, it took them almost 2 months. It took us 4 days, and we have an amazing apartment, in the best part of town, with a great landlady. Heavenly Father must really need us in that spot, because for all of that to happen like that, is a miracle. An absolute miracle.

I got a Christmas card today from the Greenwood’s. It even included some Dewar’s Chews. My, were they wonderful! Thank you so much!

I’m glad everyone is doing well, I love you all,

Elder McClintock

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