Monday, April 29, 2013

Week 24: Service Projects!

This week was really rushed. But, we still had some cool opportunities to do service. The first one was with a babushka named Lyudmilla Shootko. It was pretty morbid though. We went to the graveyard and helped clean off her parents, brother's, and husband's grave. Then, we helped clean off her future one. Wasn't the most fun thing for her I would imagine. 

Then, like you saw in the pictures we had an opportunity to do service for some members out of Gorlovka in a little village. It was really fun! Well, really fun except for the ride home. In short, this is what happened. He took the other 4 elders of our district to the busstop down the road, and Gittins and I waited for him. Then, he came and got us and took us. Turns out the bus already left with the other elders, so we sat there and waiting. The bus is supposed to come everyhalf hour, but the guy for some reason just flagged down the next bus he saw (Maybe 5 minutes later), told us to get on, and drove away. As soon as I sat down I was thinking "Well, with our luck this isn't going to Gorlovka and he just wanted to get rid of us". Sure enough, I was right. Well, somewhat. The bus went to Gorlovka, but it went straight through it. I asked the busdriver to stop on the Kvartal where we live (As we were driving through it), but he said since I didn't have a ticket that he wasn't going to stop until the final destination. So, we sat on this bus going through several ukrainian villages and towns for a little over an hour. Then, the guy dropped us off at some random spot in a random city and charged us 40 Grieven. So, at that point we were down to 35, our phone was about to die, and we didn't have any money. With a big grin on my face we started to walk around the city. "Think of this elder Gittins! We are lost in a city in the middle of nowhere with no way home. What an adventure!" hahah. It was great. We managed to hop on a trolley bus, and made it to the bus station. I went to the front and asked when the next bus leaving to Gorlovka was, and the lady told me it was outside. We got on the bus, and I was like "We made it! Woohoo!". So I ask the people siotting behind me "can we pay on the bus or do we need a ticket". They said that we could pay on the bus, so all is well, right? nope. The driver calls us off the bus, and I try to pay him there but he says we "need a ticket". He promises to wait there. As I get to the ticket window, the lady says "you don't need a ticket for that" and we see the bus drive by outside. So yeah. At that point I was just shaking my head as we walked outside. I watched some Ukrainian kids try to BMX (they were awful), and decided to sit down on a bench outside. Then, a random un-numbered bus came up and we found out they were going through Gorlovka! Woohoo! We got on, and about halfway through the trip the bus broke down. Then, the bus driver said "don't worry, another bus is coming!" Whew. Well, 10 minutes later he said "nevermind, it's not". So, once again, we just sat there waiting for something to happen. THen, this awesome old guy I was talking witht he whole time hopped under the bus and somehow hit the axel with a piece of metal, or something ridiculous like that and it fixed itself. So, alas, after a long day and with 2 grieven (about 25 cents) we made it home. Just another day as Kyle Litzenberger. I'm pretty sure this stuff only happens to me. I'm cursed, haha. On the bright side, we had a ton of lessons this week and everyone is doing awesome! Our zone is killing it here, I love every single one of the missionaries here. They are fantastic! The best of the best.

Oh, also. I forgot to mention that when I wear my glasses outside, people no longer think I'm American, and instead of getting "HELLO AMERICA MY FRIEND" or "GO HOME YANKEE" I get "SPRECHEN SIE DEUTSCH" and "DEUTSCHLAND UBER ALLES". 

I love you all! Hope all is well back on the homefront. Keep kicking it.

With love,
Last monday after Basketball we went home to find the tree outside our building just randomly fell over. I had to take a picture on it.
Yeah, that pair of mismatched socks has finally hit the trash. I've done a lot of walking here, haha.
Just a picture of some of the food here, I know some of you might want to know what it's like. Lots of soups, breads, potatoes. In the words of elder Gittins, "This is what I imagine a rug tasting like"
I found a ridiculously huge Ukrainian lighter. I call it my torch.
Little Tanya and her daisy head thing. Love her family!
Finally getting green outside, just like good 'ol Washington :)
Part of the mine by the graveyard. That huge tower is where the lift goes down into the mine. The only reason ukraine even has "hills", if you can call them that is because the mine pushes the dirt up. It's super flat here!
Spring graveyard flame tree.
An overlook of part of the graveyard where we did service. It was the biggest graveyard I've ever seen in my life.
More green! Woohoo!
Our apartment building is the one on the left. Concrete Jungle.
Beautiful Ukraine!
We did service in a little village this last week, and they had a legit well! It was so cool! 
We caught a lizard during the service project.
Trying to look tough with a sickle and "broom", but I was trying my hardest not to laugh. I don't think I would make a very good intimating person, haha. 
Me on a Dacha! (Ukrainian farm cottage)
District eating at the service.
With easter around the corner, I decided to buy everyone in the family +Christina Traditional Easter eggs.  If anyone else back home wants one, let me know! They're hand painted, and some of them say "Christ is Risen" in Russian. 
In just one week my garden has already taken off!

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