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We'll pass your words of encouragement along to Chris!

Valentine's Post

I enjoyed my exchange in Bila Tserkva (literally, White Church), my first trip out of Kyiv. I was with Elder Parker, one of my companions in the MTC. We had some great contacting with people on the street. We went to get light bulbs at a hardware store and talked to the store owner. Bila is also a very Russian speaking city, but he was very excited to hear Ukrainian. Through the course of the conversation we were able to give him a family proclamation and tell him about why we are here, etc. Every situation can be an opportunity to share.

Chris is in permafrost

Chris and Elder Brooks are known as the tallest companionship in Kiev.
Chris finds a way to use his "skills of an artist" by lettering a sign inviting pedestrians to stop in at church.

Chris says they are working really hard, but that things are just about as frozen as the ground with investigators. Appointments keep falling through, and they decided to cancel the free English lessons they had been offering because they weren't turning up anyone that way either. He did meet someone the other day who said (in English) "Look honey! These young men have come to preach to us!" And he was genuinely enthusiastic! Chris has high hopes for this fellow and his family. Let's pray for more people Chris can try out those excellent Ukrainian discussions with!

Not the senior, but chief of hijinks

"I have some funny tracting stories. First I need to explain that alot of apartments have what missionaries call "Babushka guards"- little old ladies with an office by the entrance who keep the riff-raff out of the apartments. We were up in an apartment building. I was talking to a little family at the door, when I heard someone start shouting at us. It was the babushka guard who had come to throw us out! It probably would have been distressing if the whole thing wasn't so ridiculous- a 4' 10" babushka taking the two of us by the arms into the elevator and all the way out the building all the while speaking angry Russian as though we were two little kids who had broken into the cookie jar! I couldn't help but laugh when we were outside. She was so dedicated! I think I've come to realize something: if you don't laugh on your mission, you'll go crazy within a year; if you do laugh on your mission, you'll go crazy within a month and be just fine!

Then yesterday I knocked on a door and the people behind it started wiggling the peep-hole around like a perescope- again, I couldn't help but laugh at the absurdity of it all!"

The Honeymoon's Over

Chris was training with the district leader and they were just told that Chris will inherit the area when the companion moves on next week. Chris has only a vague idea of where they go and how to get there, but you can bet he's paying close attention by today! The companion illustrated a map for Chris with member homes so that he knows where to find help. Good luck Fuzzy!

This is where Chris' ward meets.
The Michaelenko family, some of Chris' favorite members (they feed him!).
Chris rides a marshrutka like this just about every day. They are like city buses.