Jevoon Jevah

That is to say, "Bad Weather" in the dialect of Crimean Tartar that they speak here in Yevpatoria. We actually got a little snow this week and it was cold. That isn’t allowed to happen! I also learned how to say "My name is Elder McClintock, I’m from California" in the dialect. It is a cool little language and they now use the Cyrillic alphabet, not the Turkish/Arabic script. So I may buy a textbook just to dink around with. The Tartars are like the Indians of Ukraine. Basically the white man showed up, took over and made everyone leave. It is really crazy though how there is a separate dialect here in Yevpat that is very very differnet than the litarary, official Tartar language that is written in books….considering that the "Captial" Tartar city is Bakchiserai, which is about an hour drive away. The language they speak there is what is in books and such.

We found out that the Oleg that called the branch’s fax machine is an inactive member who came to church. He came for the first two hours, but unfortunately didn’t stay for priesthood. Everyone in the branch seemed to 1) know him and 2) welcome him back. We set up a lesson with him for this week to go over with President Nozhnikov. He gladly accepted, so it appears his time for a triumphant return as come. He is a classy guy, but seemed kind of sketchy. He was dressed like a mafia man. haha.

We met with the family we started teaching again. This time with had both Vova (He came down from Dnepr to meet with the minister of religion) and President Nozhnikov with us. The lesson went well, but it went long. All the members of the family are very talkative and like to share long orations after every thought. It is quite difficult to control. We discussed it and we feel like we will need to take a much slower pace with them so that we can make sure they understand everything. They have been reading in both the Book of Mormon and the Liahona and enjoy them both.

Aleksandr, the faith healer, is still coming to church every week and says he is reading the Book of Mormon. However, he doesn’t feel ready to pray about the truthfulness of it all. We also have been keeping in contact with a young man named Sasha, who is a friend of Oksana Kushalieva, the tatarka (girl Tartar) who was baptized last transfer. He originally came to English and now comes to institute. Last transfer, Elder Bodily and I met with him, but he wasn’t interested in the church, just English (he is slightly obsessed with the "Hollywood-Dreamland-Not-Reality America he sees on TV). Yesterday he came to church to hear Oksana speak and enjoyed it. He is also friends with Grisha and Elmira and asked Grisha to help him start doing family history work. We will probably meet with him again to see what his feelings are towards the church, but they definitely show more interest than before.

We met with Oksana this week to see how she is doing and to talk about her new calling as a counselor in the Primary. She is reading roughly 20 total chapters a day from the scriptures as well as studying the Teaching of George Albert Smith, Gospel Principles and Primary manuals. She said she reads anywhere between 5-7 chapters a day each in the Russian and English Book of Mormon, and 10 or so chapters from the Old Testament, for institute. We talked to her about a mini-mission, explaining what it was and why the need occurs. She expressed interest and if the need arises she is a option. She also said that she made a financial plan (of some sort) of how she was going to save money to pair for her mission. She is planning on turning in her papers next April after she graduates from college. I’m starting to understand more and more the fact that you will never see all the result you can make in the world. Who knows what will happen on her mission, but all of that wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for all of the missionaries who served her and the members of the branch.

The work in Yevpatoria is moving forward. I really am blessed to be serving in the this branch, I am becoming very attached. I really love the members, this city, and the lack of snow. I have been having very good studies lately and am really enjoying the Old Testament. I have been working through the seminary manual and am amazing at the little things I have been learning. There is so much symbolism hidden in the passages that it really makes you wonder what the Israelites were thinking and how they couldn’t get things figured out. I found a scripture that I would like to share with you all. It seems like the Old Testament is ridiculously boring, but then God blesses you by having you come accross an immaturely-really-really-funny verse such as the following:

2 Kings 18:27
But Rab-shakeh said unto them, Hath my master sent me to thy master, and to thee, to speak these words? hath he not sent me to the men which sit on the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?

I started busting up laughing when I read that, then Elder Garrett asked me what was going on, so I told him. We both laughed for a solid 5 minutes. I felt like I was in first grade again.

As for my housing stuff, I made an account online for the place where we want to live. It’s all fancy pants online and stuff. I think it will probably just be easiest if you just put the money in my Zion’s bank account (Lisa has the info, or I can send it to you) and I will pay online, that way my card info will just be there and it will be easier to set up direct deposit later.

Also Mom, I checked, and for some reason my Chase account is overdrawn by like $5, I think they may have raised their international transaction fee or something? I pulled off the rest of my tax return and it was there.

Thanks for everything, I love you all!

Elder McClintock

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