What a week, what a week. Well, I'll focus mainly on Zone meeting and the meeting with Elder Bennett, Soares, and the Camperos last meeting during our mission conference. So! As Elder Carley and I sat down to plan the zone meeting, we couldn't think of anything. Of course there were the points that we talked about with President Campero that he would like talked about, but we had no idea what to throw in of our own and what to focus on. We threw in the towel after a while and decided to get ready for bed. As we were brushing out teeth, and idea hit us. "We should start off talking about time". The mission has a lot of programs and methods for missionaries to do work, but it doesn't do anything if we don't have desire to use them. So, we decided to help missionaries appreciate the time they have on the mission, and how important it is to utilize every second of it. The ideas flowed forever. One after another, it was the coolest thing! By the end of the night, we had a very good idea of what it was going to look like. So now comes Zone meeting. People get in, sit down, we sing, read the announcements, then ask everyone to hold their breath for a minute and ten seconds. Not impossible, but difficult. Then, we asked 2 people to come up and do rubiks cubes in the same amount of time. It didn't happen. What was the difference? The first example we were struggling to survive, while in the second we were struggling to strive. Time is completely relative, and it's speed will go according to your attitude of towards the given situation. Then, we had an elder walk around for 160 steps, but we didn't tell him how long. We just asked him to walk, and everyone else watch while he did it. We told him when to stop, and wrote up the time. Somewhere around 2 minutes. Then, we had him take 4 steps and time it. It was about 1 and a half seconds. If you cut the numbers in half, the 160 represents 80 years of our life, while the 4 represents the 2 years on the mission. Then, to make it even more visible we unraveled 160 feet of yarn. It went EVERYWHERE! It was super long! Then we pulled out 4 feet of yarn, that was the mission. THen, we divided the 4 feet into sections. We did the math and we spend 8 months of time sleeping, with 3 months eating. That cuts time down quite a bit too. Then, we took 1/16th (There are 16 transfers in a 2 year mission) of the 4 feet, which was around 7 centimeters and that represented our time in Donetsk for this transfer. We explained that even though the time looked SUPER short, it could affect an infinite string: someone's salvation. Time is short and we have a great work to do. We then transitioned to my spiritual thought on Nehemiah the wall builder from the old testament. (Super good story, lots of applications. Only a couple chapters, I suggest everyone go and read it if you don't know it off the top of your head). We went through the meeting and talked about how amazing Ukrainian culture is, charity, how to minister effectively to those in need, and a myriad of other points. It was really cool to see the reaction of some of the missionaries, it was really fun. It's always good to be able to have a good laugh in meetings. They said they really enjoyed it, and a couple came up and thanked us because it really helped them.
Then, This last weekend President Soares and Elder Bennet came and gave a talk on the exact same thing with all of the missionaries. They were incredibly nice, and brought up a ton of awesome points. Sister Bennet brought up the point that we can all do things differently to become "uncommon" missionaries. The same goes with life in general. Everyone of us can become extraordinarily good at whatever we put our minds too. The number one thing is that we need to love what we are doing, and truly strive to master it.
This was the last mission meeting we would have with the Camperos. It was truly heart wrenching. We all love them so much. President Campero is a shining example of how to love everyone. Elder Soares was telling us that Elder Nelson spent a long time trying to get off the plane(he was headed to Armenia to set up the first stake in that country) just to get a hug from president Campero. He is loved by all.
I don't have much time, but in short the conference was awesome! It was super nice to see all of the missionaries from the mission. They are all fantastic! We took a mission picture, so hopefulyl I will be able to send that back to you this next upcoming week.
As for the rest of the week, it's been a blast. I can't believe this transfer is almost halfway over already. Last night we had the elders from Lughansk stay with us over night because they had to to registration early in the morning. We had a bbq, which is what the pictures I'm including is of. The weather has been weird this week. There were a couple days where it broke 100 degrees out, and I think it was on tuesday or thursday where it broke 106. hot. That's not taking into consideration the humidity either. Kills me. Perma-sweat 24/7. I remember stefan talking about the humidity on his mission and I was like "well, sucks for him! I know I won't be sent any place like that!" Boy, was I wrong. Karma has come back and kicked me, that's for sure. I love it though. I guess it's an easier way to lose weight, and hopefully I'll be getting a tan soon. (Even though I say I love it, I love the weather back home more!) Oh, I forgot to mention there was a huge hailstorm too. Some mini flash floods too.
I love you all, I think about you every day! Hope all is well. Also, shoutout to Chuck Baxter: did you ever get my letter? I sent out yet another one in the mail a couple weeks ago. It should be getting to you any day now.
Catch you on the flip side,
|Elders Carley, Withers, McKinney, and myself! That kitchen gets SUPER hot, so yeah, that's sweat on all of our faces.|
|It went from gorgeous sun to huge pieces of hail that like to nail me in the face.|