A few things we did this week:
*We tried a new way of creative contacting and it was amazing. We grabbed a few Ukrainian Hymn books and our district and then we headed to Park Alexandrea. This time we walked up to people and asked, "We are here to lift your spirits. Can we sing a little song for you?" People responded in many different ways but when they let us begin to sing they soon felt peace and the Holy Ghost. It worked miracles! At first people did not really want to talk to us-as per usual- or they were even angry at first, but when we sang 1 verse they usually wanted to hear more and more about what we are doing her and about the songs message. EVERYONES attitudes changed. We left people and they were smiling and their day was better and they actually were lifted by us. It was magical. It was a really fun way to contact.
*Did I mention recently how much I love Ukraine and Bila?! you just walk around and eat fruit off trees that are literally EVERYWHERE.
*Almost bible bashing with Stan's wife's sister that is not a member. Don't worry I did not bash. I just said lets stop talking and pray and then I left. Because I wont fight with people over the gospel. It is not worth it. Those kinds of conversations drain me.
*Stan doesn't really speak Russian but his mother in law doesn't know any english. She was sitting in her wheelchair and Stan wanted to try to say "I need meat." Well in Russian you have to put that into a whole bunch of cases in order for that to make sense. He could not figure it out and then his mother in law (Grandma (Baba) Ana) was laughing so so so so hard she started to cry. So funny!
*We walked almost 2 miles through a forest barefoot because a member told me to pray and let the Holy Ghost guide me to their house in a village through the forest and I thought that this is what she meant. It still shows my lack of understanding of the Russian language.
*Amazing lessons but sometimes frustrating investigators. so close but yet so far away.
*Sister Baker is doing great. Her Russian will keep improving and we will keep working. She gave her first testimony in sacrament meeting yesterday.
*We were welcoming everyone before church like we always do hugging and kissing cheeks and I LOVE IT. I was waiting and waiting with a giant prayer that Daynara would come to church with Dima. 6 weeks was long enough to be away she said. She is hurting physically with the pregnancy which makes it hard to come but then after missing church for weeks she began to spiritually hurt also. She said she was coming, but the time was running out and I was not sure if they would make it. All the sudden in walks Daynara and Dima. I do not know if I have jumped so fast or smiled so big and I rushed to hug my sister Daynara. I could have cried. She came and the whole branch just beamed and hugged and loved on her. Twice Stan hugged her and challenged her to baptism over and over. "Get baptized! Soon." He would say the soon part in Russian and the rest I translated to her. He told her not to wait that it will show her husband the commitment to the lord if it happens now before the baby and before him. By the end she really listened to him and was going to pray. Her leg is hurting and a tooth too. Her belly is big, but she was there! She felt the spirit. She testified. She had light in her eyes. The whole branch saw it. She is ready for baptism. And today we will meet and we will set a date. Please pray that the Lord will soften her heart and the heart of her husband to let her get baptized.
*We had some commotion happen in second and third hour of church because a preacher we had talked to on the street came and started to Bible bash and argue. There was a moment where I was translating for Stan as our teacher in gospel principles struggled to teach over him and all the sudden I was on my feet in front of everyone. My mouth was open and words were coming out of my mouth that made everyone even that man be quiet. I do not remember what I said. Something about Jesus, something about our church as orderly and something about our teacher. Then I sat back down and was tired. The whole ordeal carried on. We finally prayed at the end to all be humble and teachable and we closed the lesson with a solid testimony. Later I was told that what I said when I stood up was inspired and from the Holy Ghost. They told me the Russian was perfect and big words that the elders did not even understand. I wish I could remember what I said! A gift of tongues moment.
I love you all. I want to make this last 6 weeks the best ever. I love this place and all that I am called to do! god is working hard and we get to see it all. I love it. I know the church is true and the Book of Mormon is the word of God. READ IT DAILY.
Sister Baker and a dead fish in the middle of nowhere. Ukraine randomness!