Thursday, June 27, 2013

Ukraine Week 48: The End of the Kiev Mission

Dear Family,

Well I think I will start with your questions this week.
What are the summer like in Ukraine? Then are really hot and it stinks being inside and out because there are no air conditioners but thats whatever. 

 Who is your favorite person to teach right now? Well we dont have a very big pool of investigators so I would say Ihor he is a new member and  I like him alot he is really humble and wants to learn.

 Is your companion gaining the weight that you are losing? No my companion cant gain weight he has actually lost some because this last week he was sick. 

 When will you get to meet the new mission president? In about a week he gets into kiev on the 1st and then down here on the 3rd so thats exciting. 

Something else cool this whole new announcement of the missionaries becoming more tech friendly is that this last few week we just had our ipods and ipads and tablets banned from use but with this whole new thing it will be interesting and also the fact that we will be on facebook and stuff like that where our families will be so that will be really interesting how they handle that. 

Second, Erik you have a girl friend how come every time you get a girlfriend i hear from mom and dad first I mean come on its not that hard to write me and now i will be on facebook for 1 hour a day so you will have to hit me up.... Ok not really. 

So like the title of the email says it is the end of the kiev mission as it now stands and its sort of sad, I really liked going into kiev and seeing the big city, now we just come to lviv where its big but nothing like kiev. 

So earlier this last week we had exchanges and it was way fun I was with elder sweeten is his name and well we contacted all day.... all day and it wasn't cool earthier actually it was like 28 deg C. We walked around all day and had a fun time we had some really good conversations and the one that sticks out to me most is the one with a girl named katya she is about 23 and he when she was 17 lived in Oregon with a mormon family and basically got converted there but something happened and she wasnt baptized so the sisters are now working with her. 

We then in the middle of the week went to chervonograd and stayed over for the night and played football and it was way fun and super effective we now have a few people to work with when we get out there this week  and who knows what will happen but I have faith that we can have it grow big time.

Then the main part of our week was getting ready and having our last zone conference with president klebingat and it was way sad to have to say goodbye but then i thought oh  wait i will see you tomorrow at church. the zone conference was way awesome he didn't really council us on finding and learning and stuff like this but more applying after the mission.

He gave us his farewell speech that every boy needs to know before becoming a man and it was way awesome the things in it were very applicable for life outside of the mission. Well Not much else happened this week everyone but it was a good week with sad moments, Said goodbye and now in 1 week we will be on a different mission.
Love Elder Naumann

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Patriarch week

Dear Family,

Well sounds like everyone had a fun week full of sand and soon to be on other fun camps. Mom you are not aloud to steal Roan give him back he is not yours :)  Im glad you got on the plane with him but seriously you cant keep him we already have enough children in our family. Happy fathers day dad, I think its my tradition to make everyone hug you at this time so go ahead everyone hug him now. go go go go alpha squad. 

Well Family this week was really fun ok maybe not really fun but fun enough to say fun. 
Monday we had a nice lesson with an active family in our branch we wanted to do it at their house but we called the mom and she told us how to get there and we had no idea how and so she said well the dad is at the church right now go get him and he will take you to our house. So we got there and he was like she said what, I cant make it back because im working so he called here and she was in center so we waited at the church for her and then we just had the lesson at the church which was good we talked about helping them and they invited us over for a picnic with shashleeky that is ukrainian shishkabob/ BBQ.

Tuesday was funny, so we are supposed to weekly plan on Friday but didn't get it done until Wednesday but we planned it for Tuesday. That didn't happen as you can imagine. We tried to go visit this less active woman in the branch who is in the hospital and so we did, when we got there the woman at the front desk was like yeah you cant go visit sick people without an apt. so we call the sister but she wouldn't pick up the phone and the whole week we tried to visit her and it just didn't work out because she never answered her phone but its ok she showed up to church this week. 
We then had district meeting and I think I like the way elder bailey does his district meetings even though he went to the high school called Liahona right next to the jr. High in pg. 
Then my skinny companion elder jolstead who is trying to gain wait went and bough a 60$ protein powder mix thing and it made me laugh because the last 3 companions i have had have been trying so hard to gain weight but just cant and all im trying to do is lose it so that's not a very good mix ya know. 
We also had English and that went good we haven't found much success from it yet but we are still working.

So on Wednesday we finaly got done weekly planning and we also went and visited an active woman who just got put in the hospital she is 5 months prego and she almost fell so she went to the hospital and we went and visited here and saw how everything was but other then that we had a spiritual thought with the branch pres. and really that was about it. 

Thursday was our Roman day where we planned to do a bunch of stop-by's and well first we did studies in the church and when i got there elder rebitsky/ orist was there to get his patriarchal blessing he is the kid who served a short term mission while i was inbrovary and we went on exchanges and he was cool. oh so all this week the patriarch has been in town he is from bountiful and is 80 years old and speaks Russian fluently and taught it at byu many years and many years ago. He comes once every 3 years and there are 2 others that rotate so every year there is a patriarch who comes from the USA to give blessings and he himself has given 2300 blessings about. 
So we went out with roman lisney the president of the branch to eat and then to visit some of his home teaching families who weren't home so that was sad and then we had 2 meetings fall through before English so that wasn't fun. 

So we this week got a text saying no more ipod touches or tablets or anything with Internet. that mandate is not from the mission pres. but the 70's from the area presidency so that was a real bummer because i use my ipod so much it helps me alot but missionaries have been doing missionary work for years now without ipods of coarse less effectively but they seem to manage. 

Friday we went and picked up the mom of orist the kid i told you about earlier she was at the train station and had no idea where to go so we helped here and we also did weekly planned for the second time this week which was good we had the assistants sit in on it and we were like how can we improve and they were like we dont know we dont weekly plan enough to know how to do them well so that was funny to me. then all of our apt. fell through which was way lame so yeah and this week has been fun because i bought like 3 kilos of strawberries and i have been making smoothies which have been way good.  

 So Saturday we had to pick up more people from the bus station so they could get their patriarchal blessings and then we had sports day we played basketball with a few members and the district leader and comp. We then came home real quick to get dressed and ready for our lesson  we had with Yuri the man bishop rogers knows and he is cool but has this mind set that all churches lead to god just different ways so that's hard.
Later after our meeting we went and picked up the patriarch and took him out to dinner at tex mex the place run by an American and the patriarch loved it he is so funny and kind a cranky but he is just old. 

Sunday lots of people came to church witch was good we afterword had a lesson with a new convert he is really cool he just needs a job. I also saw Ivan a kid i met here the first time and became good friends with and yeah we also went to an old grandma who only has one tooth and he is kind of crazy and has a bunch of false doctrine but she was funny. 

Well that is my week I hope you enjoyed it. 
brought to you by pbs kids.

Love Elder Naumann 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Rainy days are here again

Dear Family 

Well since mom didn't write me Im going to assume that Roan is the new favorite not me..... Ok so this week has been crazy fun and crazy wet we had a surprise visit from a 70 and other things like that. 

Monday we had a rather normal p day with shopping and eating and watching elder nielson paint something at the cafe we were at and other things like that. We also went over to this members house, Masha is her name she just got back from the mission and invited us all over for a birthday get together. She served in Russia and is sad and happy she is home. 

Tuesday we had a sporadic day with weekly planning in the middle and yeah normally our weekly planning is on Fridaybut we didn't have time to finish ours this last week so we had to do it on Tuesday. So we planned our week and its funny this situation always happens during transfers, all the investigators stop answering the phone and they drop off the map so yeah that has happened here, but we are still working and having a good time. We also had English practice at the church at 7 and there were way more people there than i remember. After English we had a lesson with a recent convert named Ihor and It was good we talked about priesthood and how he will  soon get the aaronicpriesthood and he is way cool and super humble and loves us its great.

Wednesday was also fun and full of walking apparently thats all my companion did while he has been lviv is walk no bus's no tram vi no nothing so we will probably do a 50/50 thing. We had some passport business we had to take care of. So in case any of you are wondering when we need to leave an area we have to do registration and when we get in to a new area we need to do registration so its sort of a hassle and so we had to pass 2 peoples passports by train and righteous exchange... If any of you know what that means. Then we walked to some members to drop off some sweets because we are all trying to become better friends with the members here so we are doing a little member program. 

Thursday we really didn't do anything we went out to lunch with the branch president and had English at night which was good and again a lesson with ihor on reading the scriptures and praying daily and it was good he struggles with reading and its sad because he has no job so we dont know what he does all day. 

Friday so we and by we i mean my companion and I are assigned to go out to a small city near by with a few members and all but 2 are inactive so we are in charge of that so Friday we went out to chervonograd a small (well small like the size of brovary) town an hour and a half from lviv by bus and the worst road you could ever imagine. We got our there and we aren't aloud to proselyte so we just went and visited the members and no one was home and then walked around the town looking for somewhere to eat. We then came home and had Missionary meeting with the less active leader who isn't less active anymore. 

Saturday we had a surprise visit from a 70 Elder Senkins he is from the 3rd quorum and he has been a 70 for 8 years and is from Latvia and is way cool he actually translated the book of Mormon into Latvian and so yeah we found out about it on Tuesday so no one knew about it so we called everyone so that was fun and yeah we also as a branch watched priesthood session. But with elder senkins he spoke Russian and gave a little talk/ fireside thing and about 25 people were there and he was way cool he taught us a formula for finding truth and it was awesome. 

Sunday me and my companion were assigned 70 pick up duty and it was cool he is a way awesome guy and his family is way cool too. We had church and i had to give a lesson in Gospel principles and it went well we had a really good discussion on spiritual gifts. oh and brother Becker was there but his family wasn't he is back for a few weeks and then out again. We also had a lesson with the patrichko family and they are way awesome they have 2 sons and another on the way and i would say they are one of the strongest members in the branch. 

Fail of the week was after their lesson we walked together to our bus stop and they said take the 18 and so we sat and sat and sat and about an hour later we still were there but we were late home so we had to take a taxi which was way dumb but funny too.

Happy birthday kyle dad tells me your all grown up now you even have a kid too. Im glad to hear that everything that i have done for the last 10 years is now recorded my the NSA that's funny stuff. Well have fun everyone and mom try not to spoil roan too much. 

Love Elder Naumann

Sunday, June 9, 2013

uncle naumann in lviv

Dear Family 

Hey Im an uncle and I didnt get any pictures um yeah whats up with that kyle and mom Im letting Katie off the hook because she just had a kid Named Roan thanks mom for telling me how to pronounce it because I thought it was RoAn ya know, and kyle and katie I have a question where did you get that name and not the middle one because I know where that came from, I like it I have just never ever seen it before now. 

So as you heard this last week im back in lviv yeah lviv Im home again. With elder jolstead He is really tall, has 11 kids in his family and is half my age ( Missionwise ) He is from washington and is cool quiet but cool and im not in the apt. I was in earlier but its ok because Its better and much closer to the church than any of my other areas. 

Ok so for some reason I just got the pictures of Roan so just forget my first few words at the beginning. so this week was very hectic and full of running around but I remember when I use to get stressed over transfers and now its not even a big deal I have found that I can really get along with anyone and that where ever I am I will love the people and the area no matter how long that takes =)

So Monday wasnt really anything we basicaly got ready for the new elder, Elder Taylor to come in so we cleaned and did some area book work and it was raining yeah. Then on Tuesday we had a really fun day. 

We held district meeting in the atic of the church and lets just say that there was a scuba tank involved. We had a really fun time we had brownies and it was probably the best district meeting I have ever had with elder walder as district leader. We also had our last english there in vinistya, it was way good there were like 30 people and we talked to everyone afterward and played ping pong at the end with some of the young women in our branch that was fun, I got some really good pictures of me playing. 

Wednesday, Well I packed all day and just got everything ready for leaving that night and it took a while, my bags weigh like 80lb each and coming into the country they only weighed 50 so somewhere i picked up another suitcase full of stuff and mannaged to fit it into my 2. So this transfer was huge we lost like 25 people it was crazy and we got in like 20 in and all but 3 were sisters crazy right. 
So our train got into vinnistya at 9:56 and left at 10 so yeah we were rushing to get 5 elders worth of luggage onto the train and with the help of a body builder investigator who came to say goodbye we made it and it was a way fun train ride we talked for 3 hours and then got into kiev and took a taxi and then got into the elders apt. which we were sleeping and elder callister got to sleep in the same bed yeah and he bought me new ties and they are so cool.

Thursday was an interesting day we woke up at 6:30 and we only got in at 3:30 so yeah not much sleep and it was sad because it was our last time in kiev. I met up with elder nielson my companion from the MTC because he and I are in lviv and so are our new companions. So we did alot of stuff while we were in kiev like look at the temple and a bunch of people who lived in the areas i have served in were there and so I said Hi and bye and it was nice. 

The most eventful thing that happened what eating domines so we were in the office next to the temple and we wanted pizza so we asked some elders who had served in that are to tell us how to get there and so we left and on the way we met this member from washington and he is there doing an inturnship. ok so long story short we get lost and it takes ust 3 hours to get there and we get there and order food and get it and its the wrong order but we are just so hungry that we eat it anyway but it was dissapointing. 
Then we get all the luggage and head off to the train for the last time ever maybe because we dont take over night trains anymore and we said goodbye to some russian friends and back to lviv.

So friday we wake up on the train and get all the stuff off the train and meet our new companions and he is way cool my comp. is well quiet but it will be a good transfer. Well we planned and had a few lesons and hit the old streets of lviv.

Then on saturday we had a full day so in the morning we had missionary planning meeting or whatever that thing is called and we have a new leader, He was less active before and I really liked him before but now he is active and our leader. We then cleaned the church because all the members were gone to kiev. We then worked with the other elders to help them put together a list of names to visit on a weekly basis and that was good me and elder jolestead have been here the longest, this is our 5 transfer here but thankfully not together only a few companionships ever have to do that and i dont think it will happen to us.

So funny story you know how im back in lviv the ukrainian capital of the well world yeah so we went contacting on saturday before a lesson and guess what language the first man i talked to spoke you guessed it Russian yeah it was weird but i understood all of it, it was just dumb because i want ukrainian. 

Sunday was awesome i got to see all the people I remember from a year ago and yeah im going to be here 1 year after i began so that was way fun the people here are just so awesome. We then went to my favorite grandma and she fed us we talked sang and roman was with us he really missed me alot and im excited to be back and I love you family and have a great Week. 

Love Uncle Elder Naumann