Monday, December 27, 2010

New Year's Greetings 12/27/2010

Branch in Vinnitsya

A Christmas Feast

Branch Christmas Party

A yummy Christmas meal... good food, good company

Alright so, the rest of this week went really well! Christmas was really fun. After I talked to you, we had some breakfast at the Ewarts and then spent the whole day cooking and preparing the meal for the Christmas party. Elder Munzer returned back to the Ewarts for his Christmas call. So I went on exchanges with Elder Hackett to make sure that both of our apartments didn't burn down because each apartment had like 3 chickens in the oven. After the chickens were finished, we went over to the church at 4 and prepared the rest of the food and set it out. The party started at 5 and there were soooo many people there. A lot of less actives came and some of our investigators came. Members and investigators even brought friends! We ended up getting like 4 new investigators from that party. Everyone was really impressed.  I hung out with the members and some of our investigators during the party.  Before it, while I was setting up Tanya and Zina approached me and told me that I should be sitting over at the little kids table. They told me it was the perfect size for me. They started laughing after that. I was like "You're not gonna be laughing when I beat you in Ping Pong on Monday". But I don't know if I can back that talk up. Our investigators had a really good time as well. One of our investigators, Olya, introduced me to her husband and his sister and her daughter that came. They became some of our new investigators. Our other investigator, Nastya, the ten year old girl that I told you about had a lot of fun and she was showing me some of the things that she got from the party. She got this tiny stuffed penguin and a couple of wristbands. Gena stole my camera and he started taking a few pictures with it. I'd show you, but I just realized I forgot my camera. I left it back at the apartment. I'll send you some next week and I'll have the Ewarts send you some this week because they took a lot. The Christmas party went as follows: it started at five. We had a skit, Elder Hackett was dressed up as Santa Claus, or as they call him: Grandfather Frost. Lena conducted the skit. The older woman sang some traditional Christmas songs, we read some riddles,  and then we ate. After dinner, we took a Branch Christmas photo. 
So even though we felt like we've been ditched a lot this week and we haven't been that successful.. I suppose numbers can't lie that we had some success this week. We got five new investigators and five investigators at Sacrament Meeting. We just had a lot of miracles happen this week. 
We did drop some investigators though. One of them, her name is Yana,  was engaged to one of our recent converts, Chidi. He was one of the Nigerian soccer players. But they had a misunderstanding and Yana realized that she wasn't ready for marriage quite yet. To make a long story short,  she broke it off. Since Chidi was the only reason she came to Vinnitsya, I doubt she will be coming back. She works and stays mostly in Kyiv. We went over to him on Christmas Eve and talked to him and read some scriptures. We read D&C 121:7-9 together which gave him a lot of encouragement. He said that he was confident that God would take care and he knows what's best for him.  Chidi definitely has a strong testimony and is one of our strongest recent converts. Our other recent Convert is Katya Solinko. She is starting to question the church a lot and she is starting to question the temple. She's getting really mad because we won't tell her all the details of what goes on in the temple. She apparantly read some anti-mormon literature on the internet about the temple and it scared her. We're trying to work with her, but things don't look so good for Katya at the moment. Elder Hackett and Elder Fudge told me that she mostly got baptized for Elder Gregoire, the missionary that taught her. Just cause she really likes Elder Gregoire and will do pretty much whatever he says. 
So yeah.. It ended up being a really good week.  As for today, we are going to eat out at our usual place after this, at El Paso, and then shop for our weekly groceries and then relax for the rest of the day. Oh, Gena called me this morning and told me that I am giving the lesson for FHE. I came up with a short lesson about enduring to the end during my studies this morning. 
Love you!
Elder Zach McEntire

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