Monday, March 7, 2011

The White Church 3/7/2011

Thai pineapple juice--Awesome!

Ukrainian money

The White Church in the center of town--Bila Tserkva is named after it.
Everything has been going well. I'm starting to like Bila Tserkva a lot. It was a surprise that I got transferred here because I never thought President would consider sending me here. Bila Tserkva doesn't have the best reputation among missionaries. When most missionaries think of Bila Tserkva, these are the words that come to mind: dead area, serjik-ville, small boony town. So it's not the most coveted city in the mission. I think the most coveted cities in the mission or areas are either center Kyiv, L'viv, Chernivtsi, or center Odessa. For Ukrainian missionaries it's usually L'viv or Chernivtsi and for Russian missionaries it's usually center Odessa. And center Kyiv is just an all round fun area to be in from what I hear. But despite the bad rep and rumors, I'm really growing to like Bila Tserkva. It's close enough to Kyiv that we can go on P-days, but we're not in Kyiv so we don't have to deal with the expensive... well everything. Everything in Kyiv is waaay expensive. Everything in western Ukraine is really cheap from what I hear. Bila Tserkva is not too bad money wise. It's a little bit more expensive than Vinnitsya, but not too bad. I think it's more expensive cause it's closer to Kyiv. The closer to Kyiv you get the more expensive things seem to be. As far as finding investigators, there are no restrictions on what we can do, which is great. But being a dead area, it is still really hard to find people. In my opinion it is harder to find people here than it is in Vinnitsya. But we did end up find a couple of new investigators last week.

So, our Baptismal candidate, Vadim, is doing good. He is a very polite man. Yes, smoking is more common here. Ukraine is trying harder to crack down on smoking.  We are starting to see more anti-smoking ads, but it will be a while before there's any real progress. Vadim did except a baptism date after only hearing the first lesson(message of the Restoration). Normally most people don't except a date after the first lesson, so we take that as a good sign.

Not a whole lot has been going on this week, just slaving away. We don't have very many investigators, like 4. So we are trying to find people. In Vinnitsya, we did a lot of teaching. Giving active members lessons and asking for referrals was basically the only way to find investigators. Now here in Bila Tserkva we are doing a lot of finding.... a lot of knocking on doors, street contacting, stop byes, phone calls, and so forth. It gives us a good opportunity to explore the town though. We just walk everywhere, throughout the town and talk to people as we go. That's basically our street contacting. A couple of strange responses I've gotten was that one guy yelled "Glory to Ukraine!" at me when I tried to offer him a pass-along card. I'm not sure what that was all about. I hear the phrase "Go away, Satan" quite a bit too. By Thursday, we had no numbers, only one lesson, and the week looked depressing. We worked and slaved away like mad men and got hardly any results. But on Saturday we ended up with like four phone numbers, and one of the recent converts, Sasha, brought one of his friends to a lesson we had scheduled with him, and was like "Hey, I was wondering if you could teach my friend?" We said "Of course!" He asked us what we thought about prophets and we tied it into how God has always worked in a pattern, restoring the Gospel through prophets, and he has done that again through Joseph Smith. He seemed interested so we scheduled a return appointment. Sasha then called us yesterday when we were visiting less-active members and said "Hey, I have another friend who wants to hear what you guys have to say. Can we meet tomorrow?" We told him we could. So the week ended really well, Elder Carnes said that this has probably been one of the best weeks Bila Tserkva has had in a long time. The week ended with some really good active member lessons and a good testimony meeting. Wherever I go and serve, I thank God for putting me there. I thank God for putting me here in Bila Tserkva and for the opportunity to serve here and for the people He has placed in my path.

Oh, so tomorrow is "Women's Day" in Ukraine.  Kinda like Mother's Day, but just for women in general.

Just to let you know, because of that trip last week, I am now a registered citizen of Ukraine. So everything worked out with my passport and registration. The trains in Vinnitsya always run at weird late hours. So trips to Kyiv and zone conference and such are always at late hours. I've lost a lot of sleep since I've been here.

Love you!
Elder Zach McEntire

No comments:

Post a Comment