Monday, April 11, 2011

Pray for Four 4/11/2011

More graffiti

Zach goofing around in fake glasses

A lucky frog statue--you throw a coin into it and rub its nose for good luck.

Wooded area
I'm glad that we don't get snow anymore here in Ukraine. The winter and cold here was definitely very hard to deal with. It's kinda cooled down a little bit. It has been raining a little too. Not too bad. I hear it has been down pouring in Western Ukraine areas though. In Bila Tserkva it hasn't been too bad.  It has been very windy lately, with a little bit of rain and temperatures around 6 - 9 C. Not too glamorous, but not too bad.

Missionary work this week has been kinda slow. We've gone this week without planners because our District leader, Elder Hirt, forgot to get Ukrainian planners for us at Transfer meeting. It's kinda hard to do missionary work when you don't have a written plan. I feel like we have been doing aimless work this week. We are planning on going into Kyiv today to the office to pick up planners, so that should change.

We had Zone meeting on Friday. It was fun to go into Kyiv and meet up with other missionaries for this meeting. We talked about the things Elder Lawrence spoke about at Zone Conference. President Steinagel also spoke about symbolism in the scriptures and the symbols that point towards Christ and his Gospel. The Mission is definitely becoming more unified in our goal of 200 baptisms in 2011. President Steinagel as been putting all of his ideas into motion. We have a Mission song, a Mission banner and we all got these cool little cards that say 200 in 2011 and have four slots for baptisms. President Steinagel and the assistants want each missionary to get four baptisms on their missions. It was weird cause prior to these I did a little activity during personal study. I thought about the things Elder Lawrence said about establishing a goal and exercising the faith to hit a goal and being willing to sacrifice whatever we need to. I thought about the goals I want to accomplish on my mission. There was this activity in Preach My Gospel that said something like "Think about your last day in the mission field.. then answer these following questions: What do I say I have done as a missionary? What do I want to say I have become? What differences do I want others to notice in me?" I wrote down a huge list of things. Then I made plans on how to accomplish these goals. Some of them were a list of souvenirs I wanted to buy, feeling like I mastered both Ukrainian and Russian, know the standard works really well and etc. But at the top of the list and the most important goal to me on that list is to achieve four baptisms on my mission. Then I heard all this talk about every missionary getting four baptisms on their mission. I thought about what I needed to do to achieve this goal, about what sacrifices I needed to make. I kept hearing the slogan or phrase "pray for four".  Elder Lawrence talked about the need to always pray for our goals. He said that the Lord will grow weary of hearing our pleas. So, basically, I 'm asking you to pray for four for me. Please help me and pray for me that I can achieve this goal. I have confidence and faith that it will happen.

In other news, after we returned from the meeting we discovered that our water had been turned off. The city water that is. So we had to turn on and use our water heater. We now have warm water, but it does smell a little funky and we run out and have to wait for it to reheat from time to time. We think that our landlord isn't paying the water bill. Last time we payed rent he complained about the water price going up and asked us to pay him more, because he soon wouldn't have money to pay the bills. He said it was still a reasonable price for the apartment(he asked for a thousand hryven increase, which brings the price of our rent to 4000 hryven, which is like 480 dollars). We knew he was lying through his teeth because no Ukrainian can afford an apartment for 4000 hryven. Just because we are Americans he charged us more. It's not that big of a deal, since it's still a pretty good price for an apartment, compared to good apartments back home. The apartment we have is way nice... hopefully the water will get turned back on so we can go back to city water.

Oh, we also got Conference on a cd. We listened to it on the weekend. I feel like I heard a lot about marriage this conference. Maybe it's just because I'm starting to become that age. I felt like I heard that returned missionaries should make it a goal to get married like a million times. I remember President Monson talking about it both at Priesthood session and on Sunday morning session. Both were good talks, and I also liked Elder Scott's talk on marriage.  I also really liked Elder Anderson's talk in Priesthood about serving a mission and preparing the world for the second coming, and giving it your all on a mission. I also enjoyed the "road to Damascus" talk by President Uchtdorf. I actually read that story in Acts a couple of days before listening to that talk.

Anyways, I hope things go well this week and everyone keeps safe.
Love you!
Elder Zach McEntire

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