Yesterday was the start of the week long celebration of Maslenitsa (Масленица). Also known as the pancake festival. So time to make Blini!!
This week it seemed like we were just running around with our heads chopped off. Not knowing what was going on.
On Monday we visited Sister Vera (Faith (you address the members here by Brother/Sister and their first name) ). One thing that we didn't think to check on was how far away she lived though. It ended up being closer to the Temple than we thought. It took quite a long time. . . but it was a great evening in their home. If I learned anything that night, it was that Sister vera knows how to bake! She gave us a loaf to take home and ohhhh was it goood!! I don't know what she did but I can't live without her bread!
Usually for English practice on Wednesdays we have three companionships out of the four teach the three english practice groups we have. When I was with Elder Carr, we taught while Elder Roylance and Kovalyov did other things. Since being with Elder Konstantynov, we haven't taught English Practice. This last Wednesday we had a lesson with Anton, our investigator who I have only met with once before hand with Elder Carr. He is very knowledgeable and seems to understand a lot about how God works and our Purpose here on earth. He actually runs a Philosophy Society thing and talking to him it was very prominent. He uses lots of big words and make lots of big analogies. It was a little bit hard to not fall asleep while in the lesson. Even in English it's difficult, not to mention in Russian.
that evening we got a strange call from a man whom I could understand at all because he was either mumbling or the phone was muffled. Thank goodness for Native companions! Long story short, later that evening we met with "Yuri" and he is now our new investigator. He is so humble and ready to receive the goseple. On thing he kept saying was that he recognizes that Satan is trying to tear his family apart and that he just wants to serve God.
We got to meet with on of the Sisters in our ward who is deaf. She and her husband both are deaf and use Russian Sign Language to communicate with each other and their daughter and granddaughter. It was a humbling experiences to be in their home and to not be able to communicate they way we would like to. This week We also came in contact with, on multiple occasions, deaf people. both in groups and alone. I got prompting to start learning Russian Sign Language (РЖЯ). So far the only helpful resource I have found was a Provoslovny Priest Handbook thing for the Provoslovny Priests learning РЖЯ. In the beginning it was all mostly basic things like "Hello." "Nice to meet you." "I serve here as Priest, and you must call me 'Father.'" Then it started going into the more sensitive doctrine parts. For the most part it was all pretty good. like "Christ died so we can get back to heaven." and "We need to keep the Commandments." But it eventually turn a little bit "sour". I now know what the Provoslovny people do to receive forgiveness of sins and all that. Right now, when I don't know a lot of РЖЯ, I've got to be careful or else I might Sign someone out of the Church or something. The professional level translator in our ward who translates for our deaf Sister gave me an address of where I might find some more useful materials. Hopefully I'll be able to find them soon.
yesterday on Sunday, our investigator Vladimir came to church! I was so happy. We haven't been able to meet with him for a while and now he seems a little more open now.
Also. One day this week, I don't remember which day. We met with a Potential Investigator named "Sigismund" (Сигисмунд) (Pronounced "Sihismund" in Ukrainian). We met with him on a bench on Khreshatuk Street. He spoke all of of Ukrainian which I didn't understand at all. It was very hard. Right after that when we said goodbye, we bought some honey from a lady on the street. While Elder Konstantynov was paying, A man walked up and started commenting to me about some of the items the lady was selling. After Elder Konstantynov finished, we ended up talking with "Fyodor" for quite a while and ened up helping him find his lost telephone. He is pretty cool and spoke 100% Ukrainian. I had no clue what so ever about what he said. But I still have grown to love him and hope the best for him.
All in all everything went well this week. Nothing too crazy outside of our normal level of craziness.
Till next week.
Старейшина Класон / Elder Clawson