Monday, February 7, 2011

"I still feel like I'm teaching crazies...but it's getting better." 2/7/2011

Sweet Graffiti

Ukrainian Freedom Parade--The flags say "svoboda" which means freedom.
Zach is talking on the phone at church, trying to make appointments.

What???  Someone is speaking really fast in Russian and Zach definitely doesn't understand a word of it.

 This week has been alright. It started off pretty depressing but it ended really well. Since we dropped all of our "crazy investigators", we now have hardly any one to work with. So we spent most of the week trying to find people. Everyone one that we met with was either totally psycho or just dogged our meeting.. didn't show. So yeah, this week was full of no shows and psychos. I'll give you some examples:
On Thursday we met with a former investigator, Igor. His number was in our phone and we had no idea why, so we called him and met with him. He was contacted by the missionaries earlier this year when he went on a business trip to Russia. He seemed pretty normal at the beginning. He said things like he wanted to find a church that wasn't influenced by Government and was God's true church. He has been trying to find God his whole life. But right after that he started talking about communism and how much he loved Nazis and when he was a soldier in Afghanistan and about how many Americans he killed. He then went off about how much he loved to kill Americans and how much he hated democracy. It made me... well a little unsettled to hear that he loved killing Americans. He then talked about his concept that God is everything. He said "God is everything. God is you guys. God is me, and God is this wall." He pointed to one of the walls in the church. He then addressed the wall as God. We then closed in prayer and asked him if he could pray, but he replied "I will sit here and observe you and feel your vibes while you pray." After the prayer he then extended his arm towards Elder Muzner, two feet away from his hand and said "I can feel your energy.  I can feel your hair. I can feel your skin. Do you agree?"  Elder Munzer responded "No. You can't feel anything."  I invited him to church, but after he left I thought "Why did I invite him to church? I hope he doesn't come."  So... we aren't meeting with him ever again. The week followed in that fashion... psychos and no shows. But Sunday came and I fasted and prayed really hard for God's help to find new people to teach and... we found two new investigators! One was a friend of a member whom she brought to church. We met with her after Sacrament Meeting and she said she wanted to know more.  The other was a former investigator that we stopped by to visit and we taught a little lesson and set up another appointment.  It shows that the Lord does grant us the help we need and when we exercise faith God will bless us and reward our hard work.

Another cool story that happened was that during fast and testimony meeting, one of the members, Katya Mady, got up and bore her testimony about the power of the priesthood and shared a story. So the story goes like this: Two weeks ago, Katya requested us to come over and give her family a blessing. She was sick, as was her kids. She has three little ones; Angela, Fate, and David.  The husband, Collins, requested a blessing because he didn't have money to continue school. He needed money to continue to get a good medical career. We blessed him and his family that everything would be alright and that the Lord would guide his family and help him. What we didn't know, and what Katya said was that two days after that happened, Collins' dad called him and said he had money for him to continue schooling and that everything is going to be alright. It was really cool to hear that from Katya. It was also cool that I understood it pretty well. We went to their house earlier this week and helped Katya clean and organize her apartment because last time we were over there everything was in pieces and a mess. I guess when you have three crazy kids running around... you don't have time to clean. So we went and did that. She was really grateful and we felt glad to help out. Katya and her sister Tanya(mini missionary that came back to Vinnitsya with us, remember? She lives with her sister, Katya) really wanted to play Uno for some reason. They fed us lunch afterwards and then Tanya was like "Hey check out my photos!" She showed us photos that she and Zina took together. Then Katya's kids must have thought that the house was too clean cause they then stomped Grechka(oats that everyone in Ukraine loves to eat) into the ground. Oh well...

Oh, by the way... whenever I show pictures of the family, people always say that mom and Erin look like American actresses and that Dad looks like a professor and that Tyler looks like a cowboy/thug.
So the week ended pretty good. We have combined District Meeting this week on Tuesday in Zhytomyr and then the Zone leaders are coming over for exchanges on Thursday. It's gonna be a busy week.
Love you!
Elder Zach McEntire

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