Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Week 12: Transfers, Lessons, & Salt Mines

Elder Smith is gone! It's weird to think that he's probably reading this right now, from the other side of the world. So Jordan, how's the 26C weather treating you? Anyways, I was totally blessed to have him as my trainer. He was the best missionary I've ever seen, and it was awesome to be able to learn from the best. 
I don't have my new companion yet, but I will be getting him tomorrow. I have been in a threesome the last couple days, so I moved to Center Gorlovka for the week. I'll be going back tomorrow though. So as for this week, I have a story below about Elder Smith and I on our last P-day, but I think it's more important to note that the first day Elder Smith was gone I went into a lesson, hoping and praying that I could speak good enough russian to get all of the points across, and left the lesson with the investigator on date to be baptized on March 2nd. I don't know if he has anything that is holding him back from being baptized, because it was our first lesson but he was really into everything we had to say. He was excited to read, and wanted to move the baptism date up earlier. I decided to keep it back, because unlike the missionaries in our home ward that baptized a homeless man, I am not trying to get numbers but rather trying to baptize people that will further the kingdom of God. We need worthy priesthood holders here in Ukraine, so that is my biggest requirement as to whether or not I'll bump the date back. After we meet with him more, is he spiritually progressing or is he just wanting to get baptized? I don't know, time will tell!

Since I lost my name tag people have thought that I was mafia these last couple of weeks. A couple of days ago, we knocked on a door while tracting and some guy thought we were mafia, and was like, crying behind the door that he "didn't have the bottles". I was like "Uhh..We're Missionaries. We have a message about God", like 6 times until he finally heard me. Haha.

Okay, so this last week we talked with president Campero, and moved our Pday to Thursday. Why? We went to the Salt mines right outside of Gorlovka! (They weren't open on mondays). On Thursday morning we met with a member here (Sasha Galoporov) and headed to the train station. From there we rode to a little town called Aртёмск. We had to wait a while at the train station for a bus to come, which took us right outside the village to the salt mine. Apparently we had to have 10 people to go down, so we waited and waited until it was obvious that no one was going to be coming. Sasha went in to ask if there was anyway that we could go down, and they said they'd let us go because we were american. (I think it's the first time that's been a benefit here, haha). It was so cool! The lift reminded me a lot of the one from "October Skies". The mine is the lowest salt mine in the world, down somewhere around 1,000 feet in the ground. We got down, and it was way awesome! It was so cool to have a private tour! There are tons of mines around here, but this one was nothing like the coal mines that are scattered across Gorlovka (at least from what I was told). This mine had vast ceilings, wide hallways, and ground that was like sand, but salt. (And yes, I did lick the walls. And yes, they were salty) ;). There was one part of the cave that was so big, that they fit a mini soccer field in! They had a cafe in that same area, with a giant projector playing the history of the mine. There was one part of the mine that they transformed into a concert hall, because the accoustics were so unique. Anyways, I could go on and on, but I think the pictures speak for themselves.

My thought for the week is in Mosiah, 5:13. It reads "For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?" I love this, because it's pretty much like a self evaluation. How can one expect to feel the light of Christ in their life if they don't make an effort to recognize His influence? If you ever feel like there is a pavilion between you and the Lord, take a second and ask yourself if your thoughts and intents are far from God. 

Kyle C Litzenberger

Last Pday with Elder Smith
Andrei an investigator of ours
At the Salt Mines with our landlord Sasha
Soccer field underground!
Yes, of course I had to lick the walls.
And yes, they were salty ;)

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