Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Learning Ugandan from Enoch and Moses & The Secret Reactivation of Anya

Our oldest son, Elder S., has been on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints since December. He's been in the field for 17 weeks now. He is serving in the Ukraine, Donetsk mission. Here's an update from his latest letter (All of his letters are on my private blog thinkhappythawts - holler if you'd like an invite!)

Saturday! we did Sister Mark a favor and helped her with her childrens english class in the morning, i was the big bad wolf. huff puff. then we headed out and contacted for a while, then planned and shopped a bit. afterwhich we went and worked some more. then in the evening i had one of the greatest evenings of my mission. the Crittendons have made a lot of friends, all of whom are from Africa, these 19 that were there on saturday all speak decent english and 18 are from Uganda. 4 of them are from our area which is why we were there. i talked with two great guys. enoch and moses. they taught me a few words in ugandan, i love languages. enoch is actually a double major in engineering and sign language. moses only has one more year before he goes home. he is a physics major. but it was a pleasant evening with a truly humble and god seeking people, the evening proceeded with a gospel study with questions posed such as, what is the purpose of life, how can God be both just and merciful. our specialities. the discussion went late and we had to leave early. but they kept going with the senior couple. the whole time i had the thought in my mind alma 32:6-8. alma 32:6-8. he is preaching to the people but then a group comes to him who have been ridiculed and cast out and are truly humbled, ready for the gospel. Alma turns around right then and begins teaching them, because they are ready. thats what we are going to do. these people are ready so we are going to help them. our main focus will be on Michael and Gilbert.

Elder Shipp & Elder Eckersly - July 8, 2009

Photos courtesy of Sister Mark!

oh and a side note, we left right in the middle of a kharkiv typhoon as the missionaries call them. 10-20 minutes of havoc, the streets flow like rivers that i could easily take a kyak down. then its over and gone. but since it was in the evening the sun wasn't around to disperse the clouds, so this was a couple hours of rain. it was great. i had the little umbrela Uncle Aaron gave me. which did the job till i made it under ground in the subway. and it wasn't to bad when we came out on our side and were walking home. hoorah for always keeping an umbrella in my backpack.

Sunday. Church is in an old institute called the institute of extreme cold tempuratures. it had a massive mural of lenin on the side too. its great but we use the first floor. it has been renovated really well and looks really nice, i really like the sacrament hall. the branch was nice enough, they accepted us well and i was quickly fellowshiped by an African from Tunsinia. he is very cool and is the young mens president. church went well, after church we went and taught a lesson to an older sister named svetlana who has a daughter that is inactive, she told us to go and visit her but pretend that we were just tracting and ran into her. we went straight there and she let us in! she speaks amazing english, so everything but her most complex thoughts were in english, it was odd, it felt really good to be there with her, like she really needed us to be there right then and the Spirit just kind of settled into the room and said, "Ah... thank you for listening" we just talked for a while and then she ASKED for a spiritual thought, so we whipped out 2 Nephi 32 and talked about studying the scriptures and prayer, which is something i know she hasn't done in a long while. she accepted our commitment to read from mosiah 15 and she said that she would like us to come back some time, but not to tell her mother. so thus begins the secret reactivation of anya sergeov velikovisk. after our impromptu lesson with her we went to the crittendons to have a lesson with michael on the plan of salvation and we ended by inviting him to be prepared for baptism for the 1st of august. he excepted to begin preparing. the main obstacle is that he has class right when church is and he MUST attend at least two meetings before we can baptize him he can miss class this next week because he asked his instructor but every week is going to be tough for him until august. so we shall see.

until next week my dear brothers and sisters.
goodnight and good luck
elder s

(some names have been changed to protect people from Googling themselves and finding out there's a conspiracy to reactivate them, LOL!)


Kristina P. said...

I have a couple of blog friends that served in the Ukraine. They must be doing a lot of great work there!

KATE said...

He is such a stud! I love your posts of his letters! Love them!!

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