Monday, December 4, 2017

#Осиетиэтотмир / #LightTheWorld . . .again.


A busy week and another to come.

Elder Roylance is pretty much as I remember him over a year ago. 
We got some new missionaries this week and they are awesome! We have so many missionaries getting trained right now. 
It's December now. 
I don't have any time to write very much today because I have super secret office stuff that has to get done by the week end. So here are some pictures to cover up my short comings. 

Старейшина Класон / Elder Clawson

The Kiev, Ukraine Temple on the day of first snow. 

Transfers, Thanksgiving, and Irrational Fears


We had a pretty good Thanksgiving this week if you were wondering. We had a very special combined Zone Conference with both the Kiev East and West zones. We got to learn so much from President and Sister Kumferman and then had a short snack and then the Zone Leaders from both zones taught and then we had our Thanksgiving dinner. We actually had it on the 23rd so it counts as real Thanksgiving dinner. Right before the closing prayer me and my companion got pulled out by Sister Bingham and she said that she needed our help. She lead us into one of the primary rooms and then we saw the reason for the interruption. There on the cute little kids table two nurses had set up their vaccination station. Now, if any of you are at least slightly informed on my relationship with pointy metal things that go into your body you will understand my discomfort. The ladies had us take a big stack of agreement forms and a list of people who had signed up to get their flu shots. A few months earlier when the signing up was going around the mission I signed up to get mine not necessarily because I wanted the vaccination itself but the process of getting a shot to help me get used to needles. At this point I had either forgotten or was hoping that I wasn't on the list but upon obtaining the list I found my name to be the very first one. Luckily I was too busy handing out the papers to sign to everyone that I couldn't get my shot. Then I finally got to have Thanksgiving dinner after everyone was basically done. But then I was told that I and Elder Glade were the only ones who had not gotten their shot yet. So I went and took off my jacket and rolled up my sleeve and was all ready but then Elder Glade had to go to the bathroom so he left me outside pacing the hallway waiting for that fateful moments. But then the moment came and it went well actually. This was probably the first time in a long time that I haven't almost or actually passed out. 
On Tuesday Elder Glade, Elder Hatch, Elder Lundquist and I went to the Temple. That was a very special time. 
Well as many of you are probably aware, Elder Glade goes home this week. In fact early tomorrow morning. Due to the fact that my companion is leaving I will be getting a new one. Anyone remember Elder Roylance? My MTC companion? Yeah so he is going to be my companion again and this is going to be one of the funnest transfers ever. 
So it snowed last week a good amount that was sticking but it has gotten a little bit warmer so it all melted. But today it has been pretty cold and rainy. Since all of the departing missionaries have a special departing missionary meeting and exit interviews with President Kumferman I am left companionless until tomorrow. So I have got to hang out with the Zone Leaders here. Elder Lundquist and Hatch. We tried to pick up some slacks today for Elder Lundquist but the lady wasn't done with them yet. So we just ate lunch and picked up my drycleaning. Now we are in the family History Center in the Temple Accommodations on the Temple site. It was just us three but now it is us and the Borschagosvsky Sisters and the Svyatoshensky Sisters. So basically a party. 
Also, after the Thanksgiving Zone Conference we had our PA guy (Public Relations) for the church her come and make a video of us missionaries telling what we are thankful for. The video is on the mission's Facebook. So yeah. 
Friday to Sunday were pretty crazy days. Elder Glade had to pack everything and it seemed like one problem after another came up during those days in the office. And it didn't help that the Andrus's were in Chernigov on Friday. But we all survived. 
Also, Elder Glade as a last hurrah "slammed" (the act of drinking milk through a specific cookie called Супер Контік) with Tabasco sauce. Yeah he needed to go home.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot another thing. At the beginning of Zone Conference when President Kumferman announced our topic for the day and how it was on the Holy Ghost and Personal Revelation and was doing all of the announcements he stated that he was giving missionaries a gift of being able to attend the temple four times in a year as opposed to the previous three times in a year. And he also said that he was giving us an hour ti Skype home to our families and explained that when his son was on a mission that they were chatting away with their missionary son and after three hour he said "Oh, I guess our ninety minutes are up then." Then he said to us that he trusts us and explained that this was principal of parenthood that when a child shows that they can be obedient then you give them more freedom and that we were kind of like that child who had shown that we can be obedient and then turned to Sister Kumferman and asked if the hour was agreeable. She simply said casually "You know as a parent I would like ninety minutes. . ." then President immediately turned and announced "Ninety minutes it is then!" After some laughter and shocked sounds from the missionaries he said "Here is an example of how revelation can come." That was pretty funny and just great. 
One more thing. Elder Lundquist next to me is writing his email this week in the style of a teenaged girl. Which means no capitalization and lots of random emojis. 

Старейшина Класон / Elder Clawson

We went to the Temple

And I left Elder Glade. 

Departing missionaries. Elder Glade, Elder Konstantynov, Elder Isom, Elder Western, and Elder Carr.

Armen from Armenia and the beginnings of the first Ukraine Nigerian Branch


So some of us broke the Word of Wisdom this week.
Our investigator Armen from Armenia came to church yesterday. Well actually he came to the end of sacrament meeting . . . of the International Branch . . . Armen from Armenia doesn't speak English. 
But he did bring a cake for us that he apparently promised Elder Glade that he would bring for whatever reason. He probably bought it on Sunday. We have only had the first lesson with him so we doesn't really know about Sabbath Day observance yet. Finally after all of our meetings and trying to not fall asleep in the Ukrainian sacrament meeting we were as the scriptures say "an hungered" and realized that we had some tasty refreshments in the refrigerator that Armen from Armenia gave us. We popped of the lid and started cutting pieces out for all of our district and it was only until Elder Hatch was basically done with his piece that we smelled something suspicious. Upon investigation we found out that it was in fact an actual coffee cake. So Elder Hatch is basically the worst ever and yeah. It was actually somewhat of a tough situation for us. We were hungry, it looked pretty good and Armen from Armenia brought it for us. But we decided to just through it away in such a way that know one would know. Because if any babushkas (grandmas) found out we would get destroyed and they would probably just eat it. 
Today was Elder Glade's last P-day. He goes home next week and has been packing. Well more like just laying out all of his stuff and admiring it. He is a great missionary and I have really really enjoyed this time with him. And to kind of celebrate his last p-day we went bowling in Center Kiev in my old area. It was supposed to be only a few other missionaries but it turned out to be 14 Elders. Does the rule for missionaries to gather in large groups apply to when you are bowling? We rented four lanes and had a blast. I found out that I have gotten much more consistent with my bowling but not necessarily in the right direction. I was very  consistent in barely mission the pin on the end. It seems I have gotten a lot worse at bowling since last time. However things started to look up as I started aiming for the gutter on the other side. 
We had this pastry dough in the freezer that has been there ever since I have been here and we (I)decided to just use it to get rid of it. So I let it defrost and made various types of "pastries" some of which were apple, honey, apple and honey, raspberry jam, sugar cubes, and Tabasco. They weren't the greatest but the Tabasco one was fun. 
We have Zone conference this week coming up and we in the two Kiev zones are going to have a special combined Thanksgiving Zone Conference. 
Oh yeah. We also had another Baptism on Saturday. Mercy Rejoice Momodu the sister of Blessing decided to get baptized and it was a wonderful thing for her. And the funny thing is that there are now like three more Nigerian investigators that the Zone Leaders have. You baptized one and two more show up. 
So basically it was a great week. 
Also we had another FHE with the Borisenkos. I was Lemuel again. 

Старейшина Класон / Elder Clawson

First Snowfall and the Jumpers


Good day to all of my readers. I hope that if you regularly happen here or even if this your first time that you will find something interesting and of use. Hopefully.
So if you are one of those regulars then you might remember what happened last week during Priesthood meeting. Brother Marchevsky the Elders Quorum President set us up with a whole bunch of lessons with members for us to teach them and then eventually have them invite some one over to have them in their homes and have us teach them with them. This week we had probably more lessons than I have had in any other week of my mission! Also, do you remember Oksana? Sorry that is a bad reminder. Every women in Ukraine is named Oksana. But the one Elder Glade's neighbors had as a foreign exchange student in America and then came and did a temple tour with us? Yeah so we met with her and she is now an investigator! The lesson was actually mostly in English because she knows English better than we know Russian. And she also thinks it is kind of weird to talk to us in Russian because she is so used to talking with Americans not in Russian or Ukrainian but in English. We had a lesson with this one family the Parhomenkos. They have two little girls that are about 9 and 13. There is also a mom who has some problems and some others who are also members. We heard that when ever the Sisters go over that it is a nightmare trying to get the two little girls to focus and that they have been teaching the commandments with them and left off at the Word of Wisdom. So we devised a plan of how to take charge and get everyone involved. So we went over and brought over colored pieces of paper. To engage everyone and especially Dasha and Leya (the two girls) we did origami and we showed them how to make those fun little springy-thingy toys. And as we were going along we stopped and wrote on the paper things we are not supposed to put into our bodies and then a little further with the folding and then write those things that we are supposed to eat and the blessings we can receive from obeying this law. It worked perfectly. I am either a genius or just or just think I am and they were just behaving because we were new. After we made our Springy-Thingies I learned the Russian name the Leya the 9 year old gave it. She called it a Пригнтчик (prignutchik) which being translated is a jumper or something that jumps.
On Saturday we had English Practice as usual but then after we had an awesome meeting with Armen who is now another of our new investigators. The meeting went a little long mostly due to how he likes to talk a lot a tell long stories. But everything went great with him. 
Yesterday Armen unfortunately didn't come and neither did anyone else's investigators. But that's okay because we got our first snow. And Brother Marchevsky the Elders Quorum President that you have already heard about followed up in 3rd hour with us about all of our meetings we had this last week and set up even more for this week! 
Do you remember Anthony and Blessing who recently got baptized? of course you do. Blessing has a sister who was also taking the lessons from Elder Lundquist and Hatch but didn't feel quite ready as Anthony and Blessing were. But great news, yesterday at the end of church we interviewed her for baptism and she is super ready. By the way. Her name is Mercy in case you forgot. 
This week we decided to bring home one of the huge 12 liter pots form the office so we could make a big pot of borsch that would last us the whole week. It was pretty fun and turned out pretty good too. But after it all it looked like Vietnam in our kitchen because of all of the beets. 
last night I was using Elder Glade's phone because some one called him on that one thinking that it was me (we have two phones in the Office) and after I was done I went to toss it onto his chest be I accidentally threw it way too hard and hit him in the face with his own phone. I felt so bad but he says that he just thinks it is funny. And this morning when we woke up he had a big bruise over the bridge of his nose. Man, no wonder I get moved around so much. 
Another interesting thing that happened this week. President Kumferman has a desktop computer that he uses at home in his office and at a scheduled time it makes you change your password. We got a call from him one day and he was a little bit anxious and he explained that he had got that message on his computer but due to the busyness with interviews (oh yeah, we also had interviews this week) that he hadn't had a chance to change his password and now the computer is locked. So we went over prepared with couple of things we had prepared at the office to hopefully override this lame password changing thing. We got there and spent some time there but to no avail. We had an idea of something that might work but needed to know another password to something so President Kumferman called up President (well I guess not President anymore) Packer. Right he initiated the called Sister Kumferman got an important call from another mission President that he was also supposed to be a part of. So Elder Glade and I we left alone in the Mission President's private office talking with President Packer trying to hack into his computer. 
So thins week was an eventful one filled with meetings and rain and snow and sunshine. Sometimes all at once. Pretty much a great week. 
Also. Our milk is going to last longer than Elder Glade is according to the expiration date. 
Today is Elder Glade second to last P-day. 
We have two family home evenings today. 
Winter is here.
I have an orange on my desk. 
We accidentally put 200 grivens worth of rides on my metro card.

Старейшина Класон / Elder Clawson

Elder Glade's bruise

An advertisement we saw on the way to the temple. It says Хщтите такую рекламу? Which means "Do you want this kind of advertisement?" 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Blessings of the Temple and Member-Missionary Work


I think it is a pretty huge blessing to have a temple here in Ukraine. We are the only ones with a temple in all of Eastern Europe. So that is a pretty giant blessing to be here and serve in this area where we see it and walk by it everyday. Another great thing that comes from having a temple here is that everyone who drives or walks by also sees it. The temple here isn't exactly in a discrete spot so everyone sees it and knows about it. And that means that almost every week we get some one who just walks in because they felt something or were just attracted by the beauty and cleanliness of this place. 
This last week we got a call as is usual from the temple front desk saying that there was a man there who wanted to know more. So we hurried and put on our coats and walked on over to the temple and met Armen. Armen in Armenian which fits his name and he is probably the coolest guy I have ever met. He is so nice and so humble. He looks a little like a member of the mafia but he is the kindest person ever. He told us about how he has relatives who live in LA that know about our church and told him about how we are all really nice and how we don't smoke or drink or any of that stuff. And after he was in a pretty serious car accident he was told by doctors that he was going to be paralyzed for the rest of his life. But through some sort of miracle he said "I walked here on my own to feet." He also told us about how he has found that he is happy when he serves other people. When he sees someone who is in need and helps them not expecting any compensation. We game Armen a tour around the grounds and inside the church and talk about what we do and what happens here during Sundays and what is the Book of Mormon. He seemed really genuinely interested and we have great hopes for him. On Sunday he came to church and was talking with the Temple President, President Roth. Armen came in a suit but didn't have a white shirt on, but a black turtle neck which made him look even more like a mafia member. But it was good to see him make an effort to come prepared. He stayed for sacrament meeting and he was very interested in everything that was going on. We introduced him to Bishop Aleksey and everything went perfect that day with him. He said he is going to come next week and hopeful if not on Sunday but during the week as well we are going to meet with him. Another thing he said was. "Yeah I like reading the little books (Brochures) but I like talking with you guys more." 
Another awesome thing that happened was that we had two baptisms on Saturday where two investigators the other Elders were teaching got baptized. Now every baptism is special but these were extra special because these baptisms were in the Kiev International Branch where all of the temple missionaries and Senior Couple attend. Anthony and Blessing are a couple from Nigeria who live and work here in Ukraine as Doctors. Their friend Emmanuel who is a member and also from Nigeria living here helped them get interested and then eventually they got baptized. Another cool thing is the connection between them and President Kumferman. President Kumferman's son on his mission baptized Emmanuel, Anthony and Blessing's good friend. So it was a great honor for President Kumferman to be apart of those lessons and to baptize and confirm them. 
Sunday was an interesting day. Since it was the beginning of the month that meant that there should have been fast and testimony meeting. But we only had fast and testimony meeting during the Borschagovsky ward. But during the International branch we had branch conference instead. That was okay though. There was one talk that was pretty funny during branch conference. President Podubny got up to speak at the end and introduced a scripture in John 1 talking about Nathanael. "45 Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses int eh law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.
46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, come and see."
upon reading this President Podubny explained that it wasn't normal to have some spiritual thing come out of Galilee, and then he said "Like an Apostle from Odessa." We all got a big laugh out of that. 
There weather is getting a lot colder here but today we actually have blue skies. Ukraine is a strange place but is filled with lots of wondrous things. 
Elder Glade is a great missionary and friend. He is going to be leaving soon for home and he will be greatly missed here in Ukraine and especially here in the office. But he needs to get on with his life.

Thank you all for your love and support.

Старейшина Класон / Elder Clawson

From left to right on front row: Emanuel, Blessing, President Kumferman, Anthony, Mercy (Blessing's sister who is getting baptized in two weeks!), and Emmanuel's wife (I do

Monday, October 30, 2017

President Martino, Sloppy Joes, and a huge wall of Dimitri


There is a special place in my heart for those who serve down in Odessa. Their trials and travels are no alien thing to me. I know because I have experienced it myself.
This week we had another special Zone Conference. But this time the special Zone Conference was extra special. We had not only both Kiev Zones together but also with the Odessa Zone. Those poor Odessa missionaries had to get on a bus at 3:00am and ride for 6 1/2 hours up here to Kiev in order to make it here by the conference at 10:00 am. I understand this because this was me. But it was awesome for me because I could pay attention probably unlike them. 
Also what made this a super special all mission conference was that our Area President, President Martino came and taught us. That was a really neat experience. And then for lunch we had sloppy-joes which was made by Sister Mitchell as one of her last hurrahs that would continue even after she left. She made everything and then froze it about a month ago and then left and then we got to partake of her dedication to us. Another one of her "last hurrahs" was completing (we actually did most of the work) the cook book for the Senior couples here. The title is "Family favorites with a touch of Ukrainian". Probably my favorite recipe in there is called "Sloppy-joe meat for a 100 people". 
After that there wasn't much that went on. I got sick and was out for four days and am still by no means in the clear. But despite that I was so sick we still didn't get home form the office until after 6:30 pm which probably aggravated it.  
But one thing that is noteworthy is that among all of the many special conferences and meetings we had a special area broadcast on Sunday. There we heard from Elder Golden on the Area Presidency, Elder Martino the Area President, Sister Bingham the Relief Society General President, Elder Kearon of the Presidency of the Seventy, and finally President Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
This week while at the office we got word that there was "a big man who wants to learn more". We walk over front he office to the church part of the building and the first thing we see is this huge wall of person. The guy was a giant and not exactly thin either. We talked with him for a little while and for a little longer while with Brother Rudenko our MCL. Dmiti (the guy we are talking about) came on Sunday and watched the broadcast with us. While Elder Glade was doing something I got cornered by him and he just talked to me. He has a lot of strange ideas but there are those little glimpses of promise. So we'll see what happens. 
Before we watched the actual broadcast on Sunday we heard from our local leaders. During this period the International Branch and the Borschagovsky Ward were together and we first heard from the Branch President of the International Branch who spoke to us in English while our Borschagosky Bishop Translated into Russian, then President Podubny our Stake President Spoke to us in Ukrainian and the same Bishop who translated before translated for him into English. That was pretty impressive.
Elder Glade is Elder Glade. He made me chicken noddle soup. 
Things are going to get pretty difficult here in a little bit due to the fact that we are loosing even more missionaries and not getting enough in return. But as a mission in response to that have decided that we are going to need to compensate somehow. And that some how is Spiritualhow. So we are all going to read the Book of Mormon from Nov 1st to Orthodox Christmas. This is going to be a really cool experience for us.
That is all.

Старейшина Класон / Elder Clawson

New Missionaries and a Whacked Head


I hit my head pretty hard this week. We were doing English practice and I dropped something and went to pick it up and while standing up I hit my head on a shelf pretty hard. And it still hurts pretty bad even today. 
We got new missionaries this week and they are the best ever! Even before we met them the Spain MTC called us just to tell us that we are getting the best they've got. And we saw that immediately when we first met them. In our district we have one of them now. Sister King. She's pretty cool. It's kind of exciting to have this kind of opportunity to work along side a new missionary. 
This week end we had Stake Conference and since we have some new Senior Couples we lead them to the different buildings where the meetings were at. So Saturday we were traveling with them as well as Sunday.
In our ward building there is a keyboard right by the bathrooms. So whenever Elder Glade has to go I practice. I started learning an Organ Fugue by Bach. It isn't the easiest for a binning piano player. 
Last week the weather was very much Autumny. But this week felt like January came early this year. Last winter I somehow managed without a scarf. I am not sure how. But with the new weather we have been having we went and got me a scarf today. 
On Wednesday we are going to have a special mission conference with Elder Martino the Europe East Area President and we are all super excited for that. I'll let you know how it goes. 

Старейшина Класон / Elder Clawson

Special Conference and Special Transfer


This transfer was somewhat of a strange one due to the fact that it was a seven week one and the end of the transfer was going to be on a Monday instead of the usual Tuesday. And that was already strange because we as a mission were used to transfer day being on Wednesdays. It was also an exciting transfer getting to be here in the Mission Office and finding out that we are getting a new group of missionaries coming in! Our mission has been really struggling with departing missionaries and none to take their place. Yesterday was that transfer day and we had eight end their missions and leave this morning. But the good thing is that we have nine arriving today from the Madrid MTC which is a huge blessing to us. 
Yesterday we had a special missionary conference that involved most but not all of the missionaries. Just those who could come and were coming up from outlaying areas for transfers. This conference we had Elder and Sister Golden from the Europe East Area Presidency come as well as Elder Kearon from the Presidency of the Seventy. They spoke to us and we had a wonderful time there with them. It was kind of fun because they all had British accents and it was a relief for one of our missionaries who was departing who was from the Isle of Mann. 
Right after the meeting our transfers went into effect. I as expected am staying here in the Office with Elder Glade. A lot has changed here in the mission but not much between us in the office. We are probably going to switch roles though so I can get trained on what he does so when someone new comes in I will be able to cover all bases. 
This week we got our new office couple in to replace the Mitchells who leave on Thursday. Elder and Sister Andrus are from Orem Utah and are so great. 
Other than Monday, Saturday was a crazy day for us. Earlier in the week which was yet another crazy day, one of our members brought her neighbor who is deaf to learn more from us. I having been trying to learn Russian Sign Language was able to talk a little bit with him but we were so busy that day that we couldn't really do anything else besides give him some pamphlets. But we planned to have a meeting with him on Saturday morning. It didn't end up happening because the man came about an hour and a half earlier and then left after not finding us here we later learned. 
Church was good as usual and we had the Cherkassy Elders come up and stay with us again over night because Elder Mattina's companion Elder Johnson (the one from the Isle of Mann) was going home. 
Things are going to get busier and more stressful but that's all part of the fun. 
I just want to say that I have a firm testimony that Jesus is our Lord, our Savior and Redeemer. He is the way. A testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ is the first gift of the Spirit and Charity is the crowing gift of the Spirit. The Book of Mormon is the word of God and it contains the fullness of the Gospel. Missions change people and this work saves lives.

Love you all!

Старейшина Класон / Elder Clawson

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Gen. Conf. Rockets and a Baptism plus a few Miracles.


So today I started wearing my thermals, boots and coat again. It's kind of weird because when I first came here I was wearing these things and now here I am again. 
This week was fun because we had a few events going on. On Saturday we had a ton going on. Seryozha the Zone Leader's investigator got baptized! He has changed so much from when I first met him. He is an example of how the Gospel changes lives. His baptism was a ten-o-clock which went that we had to be here at eight to start filling up the font as it takes about two hours to fill up. We got here with the Zone Leaders and we realized that the font was in desperate need of cleaning. So we vacuumed and moved it and then started filling it. The problem was that because we took the time to clean it we didn't have as much time to fill it up so when it came time to perform the actual ordinance, the water wasn't quite up to the waist like it should but more like upper-mid thigh. And due to that it was a little tough for Seryozha to bend down low enough to get all of the way under the water and had to do it again. But it worked out the second time. After that he was just glowing and had the biggest smile on his face. After the baptism we as a ward were going to watch the Saturday Morning session of General Conference. So during the time before the baptism we were setting up chairs and the big projector screen. In the room where the projector is we found that from the last event they did in this building that they had not yet taken the sound equipment back to the center Kiev ward building. At that point we got an idea. We set up the big speakers and pulled out the mixer and everything so our movie night would be even more of a movie night. And so General Conference and the movie both had good A/V (Audio/Visual). It was a happy moment for me to do that kind of stuff again and everything worked out perfectly. Between us watching General Conference and watching Meet the Mormons for our Movie night we had English Practice. So basically we didn't do anything else besides what was listed on Saturday. 
We had a miracle day on Thursday. While we were busy working in the office at three different points random people off the street walked in and wanted to learn more about the Temple and our Church and what we believe. The coolest ones were Nadezhda and her son Roman who came in and said that they tried to go into the Temple but someone told them that they couldn't go in unless they were members and had a temple recommend. She asked after that, "How does one become a member of your church?" And after that she was tearing up when I started to explain everything and show her around and when I showed her the Book of Mormon and the little video on temples that we have. They were both so awesome. And later that day there was a guy named Valeri who walked into the temple and we got a call from the front desk asking us to come over and talk with him. He wanted to stay in the lobby and talk but we explained to somewhat of the relief of the temple worker who was talking to him that we try and keep the quietness of the temple there and keep it a holy place but that we could talk in the church. We had a mini lesson with him but after that we sensed that he really wasn't super interested but still a super nice guy. On Sunday Valeri, Nadezhda and her son Roman and her other son who wasn't there on Thursday Rustam all came to church. That was a huge miracle. We couldn't stay the whole time because of other responsibilities but we had another member who is super excited to "relive his missionary days" to sit by them and become friends with them. Yeah, this week we saw lots of cool things happen. People came to church that got to watch Some of General Conference and see someone (Seryozha) get confirmed a member and receive the Holy Ghost. Members brought their non-member friends and less-active friends to the Meet the Mormons movie night and I got to mess around with expensive sound equipment. 
So a pretty successful week I might say. 
Another cool thing was during Elder Rasband's talk on Saturday he talked about this Granddaughter who was taking some kind of church tour on the east coast who realized that she was going to be in her brother's mission. They asked her brother's mission president if they could meet up but even after he said no they by chance got to see each other for a second. We were watching this with the Zone Leaders and Elder Lundquist shouts "I was on that bus!". So apparently he was on that tour with that granddaughter and then he told what he remembered form that. Then on the talk they showed a picture from that event and I realized that I had a part in this to of sorts. That missionary was my first Zone leader and then Second District leader in the field! That was crazy. 
Also, Elder Renlund showed some cool stuff at the beginning of his talk. The first rocket he showed is called the Soyuz which is one of my favorite ones. So yeah. 

Старейшина Класон / Elder Clawson

Seryozha's Baptism

Our set up for General Conference
This already after we cleaned up a bunch so it isn't the whole thing. And behind all of the rows of chairs we had the couches from the foyer for the old people. 
I was excited to play with all of the equipment.

General Conference . . . and basically nothing else


This week was pretty all over the place. We had some days were we practically had no time to breath because of all of the things we had to do. 
We had interviews with President Kumferman this week which were amazing like they always are. President Kumferman is so funny, he always is saying to Sister Mitchell that he doesn't need to schedule more than 20 minutes for each missionary when she asks him if he wants more time, but he just goes over on almost every single one anyway. Maybe there is some mission-president-thing that we don't get that makes us think that way. 
We were supposed to have our office staff meeting on Wednesday but that didn't work out due to President going over on his interviews. But we did eventually have it a couple of days later. 
One of the saddest things happened to us this week. We were in the office like usual on a normal Tuesday and we were finishing up somethings that were kid of urgent the next day so we had to stay a little later. The Zone Leaders in our district called and asked if we could order some pizza or something so when they came in about 45 minutes we could all eat and then go home for the night. This was a very exciting time for some of us and we leaped on this opportunity to order Domino's. And it was even Tuesday where there are really good discounts at Domino's. So we used our computer skills and order online and were attentively watching the pizza tracker they have on the Domino's website like a pot of boiling water. Perhaps it was because we were watching it but it never moved from the "Processing order" to the "In the oven". Then the Zone Leaders got a call from Domino's and they said that unfortunately they would only be able to get it to us in an hour and a half. At that point we would already have to have been home and we had to tell them to say no. After that we went home and cried ourselves to sleep. But there might be a chance tomorrow to let Domino's redeem themselves.  
Sunday was great. There were a lot of great testimonies born that were carried by the Spirit. We went to the International Branch as usual. But we had one of our recent converts from the Borshagovsky ward come and he asked me to translate for him. It was kind of weird translating for someone into Russian instead of English. It was especially hard once the very wise and seasoned members got up and started telling a story from their life and unseeing words that only an 19th century professor would have known. But other than that everything went great. Unfortunately due to the fact that we aren't in America we didn't get to watch General Conference. We have heard all about it and are super excited for next week when we can watch it. But perhaps we might try to sneak a session or two here and there. 
Fall is basically here. You can not only fell it but see it on the trees and on the ground where the trees dumped all of their leaves. This is the awkward time were it is not cold enough yet to were your normal winter coat but definitely to cold to go outside with only a shirt on. 
We got roped into yet another choir performance but this time it is the whole stake. I am fine singing but I don't like it when I get signed up left and right for things like this without asking us beforehand. And then get super mad when we try and explain that we have other plans. "Yeah just use the missionaries. I mean they don't have anything else to do." I am sorry. I really do like singing and helping them out. But I just wished that they would organize it a little bit differently. 
I feel like my emails are getting more and more boring each week and you would probably understand if you read this far. I guess I'll try and do more interesting things each week so I can report on them. But there isn't a whole lot of exciting things that go on here in the office. 

Старейшина Класон / Elder Clawson

Here is something interesting. Some of the pictures of the Kiev Zoo.
I found my people (the sheep and llama)

And also My companion with a snipe. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Zone Conference and Zoo


So there were two major highlights from this past week. Both of them start with a ZO. One ends with ne Conference and the other o. 
On Monday we were invited to go to the Kiev Zoo with a family in the ward for one of their kid's birthday. So that was fun. And what was even funner was the fact that the Cherkassy Elders were coming up to stay with us for Zone Conference and they just "happened" to be there as well. IT was all super fun. There wasn't a ton of people there at the Zoo which meant that we could do just about whatever we wanted to. It is somewhat of a small zoo compared to what we have in Salt Lake but it was a good one none the less. The highlight of the zoo for me was probably when I got to see the Alpacas and Sheep. It was like I was returning home. At least with their heir. I just wanted to hop into the alpaca pen and sheer all of their hair off and start spinning. 
On Tuesday we helped with the Kiev East Zone Conference and had an awesome district meeting. 
On Wednesday was our own Zone Conference, the Kiev West Zone Conference. The only thing I can say is that President Kumferman is a wise man. It was a wonderful time to have the Spirit there in abundance and be taught be a wonderful teacher. 
This last Saturday was President Kumferman's Birthday and us missionaries wanted to do something special for him. So each Zone during their Zone Conference did something special. For example our Zone had each missionary companionship find something under 15 Hrivna that remind us of President Kumferman. Elder Glade and I gave him some Grammcrackers that Sister Mitchell got from America and some milk. Because when we had our first Zone Conference with President Kumferman he told us a story of how when he was considering getting baptized his friends were trying to talk him out of it and one of the things they told him was that if he got baptized that he couldn't have grammcrackers and milk anymore. And apparently this caused some serious second thoughts for young president Kumferman as his just absolutely loves grammcrackers and milk. As well as each missionary's individual gift, all of the missionaries in the mission pitched together and bought him a nice suit case. President Packer in his last little bit before returning home bought this same suit case and was known for saying how he wished that he had bought it sooner on his mission. So we with the help of Kolya the mission secretary got the same suit case for President Kumferman. He was absolutely ecstatic when we presented it to him and took a little glory walk with it around the chapel, waving his hand and smiling like he was royalty. a day later we were talking to Maggie and Emma, President and Sister Kumferman's daughters her in Ukraine and they were telling us about the that night after we gave him the suit case and all of those other gifts. They said that he was so excited about everything and was showing them everything. One companionship gave him a potato with a face drawn on it and said that it was him as some kind of joke that went along with an other gift and his daughters said that he excitedly pulled it out an said "Hey look, it's me!" 
From Zone Conference to Saturday we were busy with the usual things but one thing that was special was when we got to do a Temple Tour. Elder Glade's neighbors in Washington had an Foreign Exchange Student live with them for a year who was from Ukraine. And for his whole mission he has been trying to set up some kind of meeting with her to not just meet up but share the Gospel. And this last week we got to do just that. She came and had invited her friend as well and we had a great time showing them around the temple, the family history center, the mission office and the church here and they seemed to be pretty interested. And just today we got a Viber (a messaging company here) message from her thanking us for the awesome tour. 
Saturday was super busy for us. We as a district planned to surprise President Kumferman on his birthday with breakfast. So the night before we got everything set up and the morning of got the food all ready. We were collaborating with Sister Kumferman to get him to the church and 10:00 and what we didn't realize was that she had told him that the Sisters needed him on a lesson that morning as a way of getting him there but she forgot to tell them that she had said that. And on Friday he had made a comment to our sisters about how he was excited for the lesson the next day. Their confusion led to his suspicion. But none the less we had a great time putting on breakfast for him. Right after that we set up for a Baptism that Pechersky was having and then immediately went in to English Practice. Then immediately after that we had a quick practice and sung for the Stake Concert that they do every month. It was a busy day but of all good things. 
We had a good and mostly calm Sabbath day with attending the International branch and the Borshagovsky ward. 
So we had a busy week. lots of things were learned and lots of things given. I just can't wait for tomorrow when we get to have interviews with President. It is always a very special experience. 
Until next week!

Старейшина Класон / Elder Clawson

Monday, September 18, 2017

Missing Towel and a Jungle Cruise Guide


This week was a pretty interesting one. 
Well first things first. I mentioned in my last email that our Kiev Temple was getting a new Angel Moroni. This week they told us that they were going to do it. So from the first of the week we were watching intently, checking up on the progress of the scaffolding and such every once in a while. But it was on Wednesday that things started looking interesting. We saw that they were putting scaffolding way up above the Angel Moroni and were seeing if they would change him that day but it didn't happen then. But the very next day we get up and get out a little earlier to go take pictures of this historic event as part of our responsibilities as Office Elders. We were walking and then once we turned the corner onto the street were the temple is located we look up and see that they had already taken the old Moroni off and was half way down the spire. We ran as fast as we could to get into the office and grab the camera so we could take pictures. We ended up not needing to hurry all that much because it was a pretty slow process moving the Angel Moroni. So for the next little bit we were out in the rain and taking a whole bunch of pictures of the whole thing. It was a very interesting thing to see. We got to see the unboxing of the New Angel Moroni and him get put up and the old one come down and get set on the ground. After that we got to see more up close what happened. His arm,face and ankles were all blackened and even had a gash in his ankle. That day we had a training for the new missionary who just came in. So when it came time for the them to put on the Angel Moroni we let them know and they all came out and watched him be put on. 
We had our English Practices as usual but what was unusual was the fact that we had Elder and Sister Foley come and help with our English Practice. At the end of our practices we usually had a story we tell in English and have one of the natives translate. So this time Elder Foley got up at the end a told the story. He told us about how he was for a few years worked at Disney Land as one of the Guides on the Jungle Cruise ride at Disney Land. Every one loved it. 
We had an exchange with our Zone Leaders and had some interesting experiences. Elder Lundquist and I came here to the ward building early to help with a baptism that the Pechersky Elders were doing. It was fun trying to deal with all the little problems that kept coming up. Like for example the power kept going out and we didn't have any towels in the building for the baptism. AS far as the towels go we looked and looked and could't find anything. So in the end we just put a couple extra jump suits out for them to dry with. What was interesting though was the fact that after the service we went into the changing room to grab the suits and only the one that the recently baptized person wore was wet. It is still a mystery what they dried themselves with. 
Yesterday we went to go help a member get to church. Everything was fine for the fact that she never showed up to our meeting spot or ever answered our calls. We waited for a while and  tried to get a hold of her but eventually had to just leave if we wanted to get to church. When we got there she was already there and had a disgusted look on her face that she shot at us. We still don't know where on earth she was waiting for us to take her. I gave a short talk in church which was a huge success because there are so many members in this ward that the missionaries get drowned out most of the time. Afterwards every one would come up and congratulate me and compliment me on how good my Russian was. I have a feeling that the only reason why they all complimented me on how good my Russian was because they all think that I am just fresh out of the MTC. In that case my Russian would be really good. 
So another week here in Ukraine and the work is going forward. The Book of Mormon is the best ever and being a missionary is one of the sweetest things a person can do. I love this work and the Lord Jesus Christ. The office is fun too.

Старейшина Класон / Elder Clawson

p.s. I don't think I can send pictures of the New Angel Moroni yet because it hasn't apeared on the official church sites yet. 

Traveling in Time and Metting a Viking


Hello everyone!
This is Elder Clawson again. 
You probably already knew that since my name probably comes up before you opened this email.
Or you might have seen the beginning of the email just in your inbox before you opened and saw my name in the beginning of the email. 
This week I got sick for a day, we went back in time, then back to the future, and met a viking. 
Sunday was great. Besides the fact that I got a cold that luckily only lasted that day. 
We went on splits with the Zone Leaders because they had too many lessons that day. I went with Elder Burek and that was the first time I met a viking. The first look at his front door made me think that we were going to have some kind of special experience and then the door bell confirmed that impression. The door opened and there was a viking standing in the doorway. Super blonde and hairy. He was shirtless and had Long braided hair and beard. He was super nice though. 
On Monday we went for P-day to something called an escape room. Basically it's like one of those puzzles online where you are stuck in a room and have to figure out how to get out but in real life. The one we did was pretty cool. We went back in time and had to find a mind reading device and then go to the future and read someone's mind and then get out. We had an hour to solve it and we finished with six minutes left.  That was fun.
Things felt kind of slow this week but things were still good. And despite things feeling slow here we saw many many miracles. 
Also I got some pictures finally from last week. So yeah, here you go. 

Старейшина Класон / Elder Clawson

We had a family home evening and we acted out some of the Book of Mormon stories. (They couldn't find their "Nephi hats" so I wore a regular hat). I was Lemuel and she was Nephi

Here is the picture of us after we escaped the room (It was actually two rooms). I am holding the mind reading device (they called it the "Milophone"). 

Elder Lundquist had us take a selfie as we were helping the Temple Accommodations here on the temple grounds to make all of their beds. 

Just another 9-5 day at the office


I never thought I was going to have a desk job. Let alone on my mission. I guess it has its perks though. I mean I get to know tons of stuff. And I also get to work a lot more closely with President Kumferman. 
This week I came up from Cherkassy and met my new companion. Elder Glade is from Washington state and is like an old grandpa with all of his terrible puns and dad jokes.
After I met Elder Glade, Elder Mattina grabbed Elder Johnson whom I was replacing and then they head down to Cherkassy, after they had Domino's. 
At first it was kind of awkward for me because I had these things to do but I didn't really understand exactly what I was supposed to do. That was mainly due to the fact that my companion had other responsibilities as well and therefore wasn't able to help me a ton. But the next day I read the little PDF manuals for us Office Elders and a few videos and then got to work. Now I know what I am supposed to do and what is expected of me. Even though the assignment of office elder is pretty cushy it is pretty crazy and involves a lot of work. A lot of work, as in trying to complete all of our different assignments, complete weekly and monthly reports, help the office senior couple what whatever they need help with as well as every one else,  translating things, setting up for meetings and things like that. And by cushy I mean that we have probably the nicest missionary apartment in the mission and the biggest ward and the most on fire members. We also have comfy office chairs too. 
Here in this area we are at the mission office almost everyday from about 9-5 but on Saturdays we get to weekly plan and do some good proselyting. This past Saturday we went out with our district which consists of us, the Zone Leaders and the Sisters along with five other members from our ward and went balloon contacting. Balloon contacting is when you contact people on the street with balloons. We went to this big park that had lost of kids and families and handed out a ton of balloons. One of the members that came with is was a recently baptized eight year old boy. He is the smallest cutest thing, and he is the best missionary out of all of us. He would always come up to us and ask for a stack of cards and then we would see him run of into the crowd and hand them all out. No one could say no to him. 
Here in this building we have the only building where two units meet in this mission if not in Ukraine. We have the International Branch and the Borshagovsky Ward. We go to both so we get double the fun. Usually what happens is that a senior missionary or another non-Russian-speaking person comes and we have to trans;ate for them but what happened yesterday was the opposite. We were at the International branch and one of the members of the regular Russian/Ukrainian ward came and then I had to translate everything that was going on to him in Russian.
In other news. The Kiev Temple is getting a new Angel Moroni. What happened what a little bit ago the Temple got stuck by lightning and it hit the Angle Moroni. After that the under side of his arm and the trumpet got blackened. So for the past week while the Temple has been closed for cleaning, they have had workers up on top putting scaffolding up to prepare for when hey will replace him with a new one. Other than that it is pretty quiet here most of the time. We do English practice as normal and District meeting and even had my first Office Staff Meeting. Life is good as a missionary. 

Старейшина Класон / Elder Clawson

   Companionship Unity.
This is with Elder Mattina when we went down to Smela to that crazy hospital. Don't freak out that we aren't wearing name tags. It was just not allowed down there. 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Pita Bread and a Cross Stitch


That was one of the most stressful weeks of my life.
Let us begin.
So I had the super cool cross stitch project that I was assigned to complete before our Jewish Cultural event on this past Saturday. It was this cool picture of the Star of David with some Jewish embellishments and the word "Shalom" in Hebrew in the center. Everyday it was getting closer and closer to being Saturday and everyday I saw more and more the amount of time it was going to take to complete it. So what had to happen was I had to start devoting every spare second I had to this project and that even didn't seem to cut it. Then came Friday. The day we planned to finish up all of our cooking and preparations for the event the next day at 3:00 pm. So what we did was from the earliest time we could get there, we went to the church and Elder Mattina put on his Italian pants and got cooking. Then the sisters came and started doing the same. All the while I was in the corner embroidering away. Evening came and there was a lot of pita bread left that couldn't be put off because of the stage it was in and we won't even mention the cross stitch project. So what happened, and now, we realize that this was probably not the most missionary like thing to do, was we stayed pretty. Long after the sisters left for home Elder Mattina and I where still going full bore. He on the Pita for everyone that would come the next day, and me on my cross stitch assignment. Then the time came that Elder Mattina finished all of the pita bread and we left for home at 3:00 am. At this point I had a decision to make. My cross stitch was still too far from being completed to do it in the morning. So I settled down for a nice long cross stitch session. The whole time I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to finish it in time for the party and for getting ready. But I kept going despite the pain in my arms, the sleepiness in my eyes and the growling in my belly. This was one of the craziest experiences I have had in my life. Looking back on it I saw a lot of miracles of God taking pity on me, a little apostatizing missionary (not really). It was good and evil warring around me in my head. I was probably mostly delusional because of lack of sleep and food but it was a very interesting experience. Then what happened was I was on my final stretch but still a ways off and the time was ticking on on my clock, but I was either determined or just plain stubborn. Elder Mattina was cheering me on and getting things ready so that as soon as I finished I could immediately hop in the shower and get ready as fast as possible and shoot out the door. The time was getting closer and closer and I was having a panic attack. I was on my way but my thread wouldn't stop knotting up which cost me those precious seconds. But then it happened. I finished it at 2:25 pm and then got ready faster than lightning and was out the door.
We got there even a few minutes early and had a great time at the party. We had our Branch president, president Kokorev give a spiritual thought on the history of the church in Israel and then a musical number by us Elders and president Kokorev. Then the sisters led us as we learned some Jewish dances and songs and then we played a game called "Three Sticks." It was fun and everyone enjoyed it. But the whole time I was just glad that I didn't have to do anymore embroidery work. After the game we all piled in and ate the delicious Israeli food that we all prepared. We had Pita bread, Fallafel, Humus, Salad, and some coconut covered dates that was all done by us missionaries. It was all super good and everyone was super impressed, especially with what Elder Mattina did. But the thing was, none of the people who came knew how to eat fellafel with pita and humus so we had to show them after they already started. After that it was all over and we cleaned up and went home. I went straight to bed as soon as I ate something. I had stayed up for 36 hours and 30 of them were consumed solely by cross stitching. 
So that is the story that I ran a timed marathon of cross stitching and became apostate. The End. Ha ha. 

Other than that, We had an awesome day at church and even had Elder Podvodov of the area seventy visit and speak after I spoke. Oh yeah. So this transfer was a five week transfer because of the missionaries who are going home a little bit early to get to school so we got our transfer calls. So to our surprise and despite what President Kumferman told us, someone from our District is leaving. It's me. I guess President Kumferman found out about my midnight project. But I will be heading up to Kiev again, but this time I will become one of the Office Elders who serve in the Mission Office. So in our mission we have a set of missionaries who are assigned to do all of the computer work besides the finances for the mission as well as lots of other little responsibilities. That's me now. And what is funny is that the Elder I am replacing is coming down and taking my place here in Cherkassy. He's British so everything's fine. And also on Sunday we finally got to meet with Vanya who we have been trying to meet with for forever. The lesson was a little bit all over the place but it was still very good. He has lots of questions and lots of desire. Oh yeah. My companion will be Elder Glade. 

That's it for this week folks!

Старейшина Класон / Elder Clawson

Monday, August 21, 2017

We're going Jewish


   It felt like we were super busy but I honestly don't have a ton to report on. So this email might be a shorter one. 
   This last week we got a call from the Sisters here in Cherkassy asking if we would go with them down to a place called Smela outside of Cherkassy. After a long bus ride, and a super drunk guy dropping his alcoholic beverage that emptied all over the floor of the marshrutka and my pants, we got to Smela. There we went with the Sisters to visit a less-active and then we realized why we were brought along. Our less-active friend is a patient in a mental hospital. Now if you can imagine in your mind an old scary looking mental hospital from the Soviet Union, with crazy looking barred rooms inside, you would have imagined that hospital we went to. Luckily right before we went in we got a call from someone that decided to talk for a long time. So while the sisters went in to talk to the less-active in the crazy soviet hospital, we got a new potential investigator. We eventually did go in but it wasn't for very long at all. Good thing we have good, brave sisters here.
   We have coming up on this Saturday, our Branch Jewish cultural night. it is going to be so much fun! We have been working like crazy on top of our regular missionary activities to prepare for this event. We are going to have games and songs and even food. Sister Slight lived in Israel and actually finished school there before going on a mission. So we have so good sources to make this Jewish night as pumpin' as it can get. 
   We were planning on going down to a place called Znaminka this week to meet with some less-actives and some potentials investigators, but that got vetoed due to the fact that we have our interviews with president Kumferman this week. So we'll see what happens with that.

   Das it. 

Старейшина Класон / Elder Clawson

ps - Today as part of our assignment from our mission president, in our weekly email we were to choose our favorite quote from President Monson to celebrate his birthday. The one I chose was one that I have liked for quite a while. "May we ever choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong."

Monday, August 14, 2017

Zone conference, and church with the Kumfermans and friends.


This week we went up to Kiev and stayed overnight with the Elders in Pechersky, my first area in Ukraine. It wasn't the apartment I lived in but it was fun getting taught the Bible by a slightly crazy babushka. The next day we had an amazing Zone Conference. President Kumferman knows his stuff. It was one of the most mind blowing Zone Conferences I have been to. After that we went immediately on an exchange with the Zone Leaders since my companion is the District leader here. And guess where we stayed over night? That's right my first apartment here in Ukraine. It has been a while since I have been there and it was really weird going back and staying the night there. After we had one of the shortest exchanges of my mission, we went and got some quick food at the Kosher food truck by the synagogue that Elder Carr and I would like to go to. There we met these Jewish guys from New York one of which looked like the Jewish/Gangster harry Potter. The reason why we had to end our exchange early was so we could get back to Cherkassy in time to do English Practice. So we get on our bus and head down. One interesting thing about serving in Cherkassy is that the only way to get into Cherkassy is on a bridge that goes over the Dniper. And the said bridge is the only one and is currently under construction and is only open two times a day. One in the early morning and once for about two hours during the day. So you might see the problems we run into sometimes. So we head down on our bus but right as we are about to approach the bridge the driver tells us that it is closed and that we will have to take a detour that will add another hour and a half to our trip. So we didn't make it to English Practice that time but we did get there barely in time to do an awesome spiritual thought. Fun.
My companion was sick for a little bit this week so that compounded with everything in Kiev meant that we didn't get to do a whole lot of work this week. 
Sunday was awesome. President, Sister and Maggie Kumferman came down as well as Elder and Sister Bingham and Kolya. That also happened to be the week I was conducting sacrament meeting for the first time. President Kumferman talked for a bit and not only introduced himself but also went into some deep stuff about the Savior's Atonement. That is a wise man that President Kumferman. After all of our meetings we had a short lesson with our investigator Andrey with President Kumferman. I think it went very well. President Kumferman told us afterwards "You get that man baptized. He is going to be a strong member here." 
Coming up in two weeks our Branch will be putting on a Jewish/Israel cultural night. We have been planning up a storm and it is going to be awesome. 
That's about it for this week. Love you all and I want you to know that this Gospel is the true gospel of Jesus Christ and this Church is his Church. There is no other greater work than this work. 

Старейшина Класон / Elder Clawson

We were waiting for the Elders to get to their apartment and found found some graffiti that our recent convert probably would have liked. And also the Temple.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Our Branch president was a bartender on TV.


 Yeah so this week was apparently the hottest week in Ukrainian history.  
 I recently got some new shoe polish because the stuff I came out with finally ran out. While I was polishing my shoes I noticed that it had a very strong smell. But it polished fine. But when I put them on and started out on the streets my feet started to get pretty warm. By the time we got half way to the church building my feet where burning! So we got there and I had to take my shoes off. My feet didn't stop burning for a while after that. We got home after that and I had a little pity party in the bath tube sitting on my stool trying to get the videos to work on the little player we have to learn more Russian Sign Language. 
On Friday we decided to spend the day outside and it just so happened to be the hottest of all of the days. We went down to one of Cherkassy's many squares and with chalk drew English practises advertisements. I have never had my shirt get so wet without putting in the washing machine as it did that day from sweating. It was pretty awesome though, lots of people were interested even while we were drawing them. 
 On Saturday we headed out to a village outside of Cherkassy to help on of our members repair his roof. We got there and we had others there as well to help. They started working on putting more boards on the roof and securing them. We went with Brother Yuri to buy some more supplies while they were working on securing the boards. We grabbed our little cart and headed off. We went to the hardware store and bought lots of nails and two big heavy rolls of tar shingle stuff to put over the boards on his roof. We paid and loaded up the cart and waited at the bus stop for the marshrutka to takes us back to the house. We waited for an hour and a half and when it finally came we were so relieved. We muscled the cart up onto the marshrutka but the driver got made and yelled at us to throw it off. So we got off and started on foot back home dragging the load behind us. Eventually the roads got too bad and one of the wheals broke on our little cart. So Elder Mattina and I each grabbed one of the heavy rolls and swung them onto our shoulders and started off. By the time we got back we our shoulders were so sore from the two kilometer journey. But we got it done and everything is great. The next day however wasn't too fun for us. 
 Church was awesome and we had awesome testimonies born. Our investigators came and they had great time. Our Branch President is so awesome. He is not only super funny and talented but also understands his calling and fulfills it. He served his mission is Saint Petersberg and is n actor and a musician and lots of other cool stuff. 
 Anyway. Cherkassy is great and so is Elder Mattina. 

Старейшина Класон /Elder Clawson