Well, that was quick.

I can now chalk up 6 months of being a missionary. I can’t believe it’s already a quarter of the way over. I celebrated in grand fashion. There is a lady on the renok (bizarre/market type of thing) who normally sells ties for 70gph, but she gives all the missionaries a discount. Elder Mills, who is in my group, is also in my district now, so we met up and bought matching ties in honor of the occasion. They are pretty classy if I say so myself. And no worries, I kept the age-old tradition alive of burning a tie on my six month mark 🙂 The stove in our new apartment is like a flamethrower, so it went up pretty quickly, haha. I’ll talk more about that in a little bit.

On to my week! Last monday for P-Day, we went Laser tagging, it was pretty fun, after that we had a lot of work to do so our day got cut short a little bit, we saved time to go and get that tie on Friday. The renok isn’t open on Monday, so if we need/want to get something, we have to bank some P-Day. On Tuesday, we had a way fun English class. We had planned to talk about movies, but instead we ended up talking about Oreos, and how great Ukrainian babushkas are. haha. It was quite the party. When we get people laughing in English class, it is always a good time. I have noticed that if we get them laughing, we usually get them staying for the spiritual thought afterwards.

On Wednesday, we had a great district meeting about receiving revelation through prayer. The first step in the gospel being restored, was a prayer by a 14 year old farm boy. It really is the basis of our spiritual well-being. In the Bible Dictionary it says that as soon as we realize we are literally children of our Heavenly Father, prayer becomes instinctual and natural. So true it is. I have really been working on making my own prayers more meaningful. One thing we always say to people is "Молитва – разговор с Богом." it means "Prayer is a conversation with God." The more I think about what I am saying, the more I realize that a conversation is a time where you say something, and then you wait for a response, then you repeat the process. That realization has helped me really develop the habit of having meaningful discussions with my Father in Heaven.

On Thursday, Elder Hammon and I were on splits with Elder Jessen, one of our zone leaders. I really like him a lot, he is a way cool guy. We taught a lesson to Nina. She is reading a lot, and is in the Isaiah chapters of 2 Nephi, so she had lots of questions (don’t we all?), but after we answered those, we gave a quick run down of the Plan of Salvation. We gave her a pamphlet to read in preparation for our next meeting, so it will be really good. We are shooting to put her and her husband on date for the end of February, we are very excited with their progress.

Nothing really happened throughout the rest of the week. Our contacting is going well, we have a massive pool to start pulling people out of to teach. We just need to get people to actually show up when they say they are going to 🙂 Yesterday at church I was talking to a member about how I celebrated my 6 month mark. She started freaking out about how I had only been here for 6 months, and that she thought I was about to go home. I guess that means the language is picking up. I wouldn’t consider myself totally "fluent" yet, but I am on the edge. Or at the edge you could say, haha. Ukraine means "At the edge" in Russian (and Ukrainian too, haha). It comes from it being the outer edge of the ancient tribes that lived in Eastern Europe. I’m starting to learn a little Ukrainian just from talking to older people who speak in Serjic (mixing the two). When I get really comfortable in Russian, I will ask President if I can start studying Ukrainian a little bit.

So now for my 6 month review. Well, I have learned a lot, and grown a lot more. There are a few things that I have been especially taking note of:

1. If we understood how much our Heavenly Father loves us, we wouldn’t have any agency, because we wouldn’t want to do anything wrong.
2. The power to understanding our purpose on Earth, and the way to return to live with our Heavenly Father lies within the pages of the Book of Mormon.
3. When you are trying to fulfill a calling, you will always be given "super powers" so to speak. If Heavenly Father needs it done, he will make sure you can get it done.
4. There are two key ingredients to a successful companionship (or marriage too I guess, it’s sorta the same thing.) : Service and lots of Humility.
5. Молитва – разговор с Богом.

I hope you are all doing great. Especially my NEWLY ENGAGED sister 🙂 I’m glad that my family is going to practically double in size by the time I get back!

Elder McClintock

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