A Girl Named Dude.

I really love the members of our branch, both old and new. It is a great branch, and I really hope I have the opportunity to serve here at least 1 more transfer. Our branch is in charge of throwing the culture party for the new missionaries on May 11th. It is going to be a feast, and I don’t think I have seen so many excited women as when we told the Relief Society and asked them to make food. They truly understand what is important, and that is feeding the missionaries 🙂 They asked us what OUR favorite foods were since we would be eating too, and then asked us what we thought was the most disgusting so we could make the greenies eat it and laugh at them 🙂 They also asked us to do "service" and come help them make all the food, because they want to teach us how to be "Real Ukrainian Cooks". Needless to say, I am very excited. I am also singing the National Anthem, which means I have to sing in Ukrainian. It is essentially the same, but it is just weird not speaking English or Russian.

There are two ladies in our branch who always have something to laugh about. One is Sofia. She turned 84 two weeks ago, lives at the very edge of our area and comes to absolutely everything. She dies her hair to be about the color of a carrot, and loves the missionaries. She told me that she got baptized because she walked in one Sunday, saw two clean cut, handsome young men, and knew that it was a good church. She refers to Elder Adams and I as "beautiful little boys". So anyways, yesterday in Sunday School, I was sitting next to her, and the teacher said something then asked if everyone understood. She leaned over to me and said "The only thing I understand, is that I don’t understand anything, and that’s the Gospel truth" and starts busting up laughing.

There is also Sister Natasha. Well, we have 5 active Sister Natashas, but this one is great. She is about 75 and giggles at everything like a little school girl. She got interviewed and it is looking like they will be making an "I’m a Mormon" video about her soon. So that will be pretty cool. She is one of the many old ladies in our branch who bring candy for the missionaries every week, and sneak it to us on Fast Sunday so nobody sees.

Speaking of little school girls…We were tracting this week and we saw this little girl playing in her yard and asked if her parents were home. She ran inside and then was relaying the conversation back and forth until they said they weren’t interested. After that, she told us that she knew everyone on the street and then knocked every door and rang every door bell and and told them that we had a message about Christ restoring his church to the earth through a living prophet. If they didn’t answer, she would climb over the fence and run into their house to see if they were home. It made it an easy street to tract, and it was pretty funny. She was quite enthusiastic about it.

Last Tuesday, Elder Adams and I were walking down the street, and a girl walked up to us and said "LDS right?" in English. Her name is Dooda and she is from Fortaleza, Brazil. She is doing a work exchange program and has been looking for the branch but couldn’t find it. The first day we went coatless and just had our classic-mormon-missionary get-up of short sleeve white shirts, she found us. She came to church yesterday and to our "family dinner" at the Roach’s last night. I think she was glad to have some people who speak English to talk to, haha. It was a random miracle, but miracles really aren’t all that random, now are they?

We haven’t had a chance to get out to Anatoli, the man with the ancient Bible, again. We are going there tomorrow. We had a busy week, and he lives quite a ways away from us. It takes about 45 minutes for us to walk to his house and as far as we know there is not marshrootka that has a route out to where he lives.

George is on a backpacking trip with his friends in Crimea until the 8th of May, so he was unable to come to church yesterday. On Thursday, however we got an unfortunate text message from him saying that he didn’t want to be baptized or join any church right now, but wanted to keep meeting with us. I’m not worried about it, it is just a set back. He hasn’t had a whole lot of time to read, and hasn’t come to church, so there isn’t really anything there to give him a solid answer of the truthfulness of the restoration. We will keep meeting with him, get him to activities and get him on track. It seemed to me as more of an unsurity of things rather than a straight "no". He understands the importance of baptism, and that it is a necessary covenant to make.

Our landlady came to get our rent this week. She is hysterical, and just about the nicest woman ever. She never comes without bringing food of some sort. This time she brought us three bottles of juice and blinchiki (thin pancakes wrapped about fruit, or chicken, etc. sort of like crepes, but not). She cleaned everything for us, and told us to call her if we are ever in Kyiv and she will takes us around the whole city, and show us everything. She said she’d let us stay at her house and she would stay at her sons, so we didn’t have to pay for a hotel. She has rented our apartment to the mission for 9 years, and absolutely loves us. I’m going to miss her when I get transferred. One thing she brought too was a "new" washer. Ours had a leak, so she got us a little "automatic hand washing machine" that is ultra-Soviet era in every way. It is basically a five gallon bucket with a motor attached to it. You have to fill it up by hand and then it has a time. Although it does clean shirts better than a regular washer, I will give it that much.

That is about it for the week. Thank you for all the love and support. Spring is in the air, ENJOY IT!

Elder McClintock

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