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

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!"

2 COMMENTS (click):

Christine said...

Thanks for the funny stories~

Brett Martin Smith c]:{ said...

Date: Monday, March 02, 2009

I hope all of you are filled with health and happiness. I know that I am (the Lord really likes to bless us missionaries with both of those). Another week has gone by here in Ukraine, and I have a feeling that you all would like to hear about it.

Well, like I said last week, Elder Woodhead went to Bulgaria and so I've been with the other companionship in our area: Lamarr and Duffy. Both awesome missionaries. Both fairly young as far as serving a mission goes as well. Elder Woodhead has more experience in country than the other three of us combined, but yeah, still great missionaries. So I've been going with them to their investigators and the members that they meet with. I've loved getting to know some of the other families in our branch better. Plus I got to do some tracting again. See the problem is with the area that Woodhead and I are in is that most of the domes (that's the Russian word for them...they are basically apartment buildings with several flights of stairs, and there are 2-4 doors on each floor) we have already tracted or they've been domaphoned (which means now they have electric keypads, and you need to know the code to get in), so yeah. So I did some tracting with Lamarr and Duffy, and just a quick story to say about that. We were tracting one last flight of stairs before we had to get home, and in order to get back to home before curfew, we decided to each take a door on the last floor. Fortunately/Unfortunately, someone came to each of our doors (which is rare). They talk through the door, so we're each trying to introduce ourselves, and so the entire time we are trying not to laugh at the same time because we're all saying about the same thing (good evening, we are representatives of the Church of Jesus Christ, we want to share a brief message with them about whatever...). But yeah, it turned out terrible. Duffy ran away from his door because the old lady on the other side was getting upset and he couldn't say anything without laughing, and Lamarr and I continued to try to talk to our doors, but it was so hard to hear. So yeah, moral of the story...knock and ye shall receive, but maybe don't ask for more than you are ready to be given. I don't know. Haha. I love this work, though. It was exciting being a threesome while contacting too. It's weird having three missionaries talking to one person... I assume it would be a bit overwhelming for that one person. So what we did is when someone wanted to talk, two of us would stay and the third would go find someone else to talk with. I cannot boast in myself, but I just want to say that when I was that third person, I really saw the Lord working through me. There was this one older lady (there are a lot of them here) that I started talking to as best as I could, and I was just helping her carry her water jugs and bags that she had, and we talked for a good fifteen minutes before the other Elders finished with the person that had contacted, and then Lamarr sorta took over, but it was great to be an instrument in the Lord's hands, and I still have another 20 months to continue doing this. I love this work. Unfortunately, I will be losing Elder Woodhead after this week. We got transfer calls and he is finally leaving Alekseyvka (he's been here for 5 transfers...almost 8 months), and my new companion is going to be Elder Shumway. I don't know much about him...I've met him a couple times and he seems like a good missionary...I'll update you all more concerning him next week.

I love you all. I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love the people of Ukraine, and I cannot wait until I can more fully help them come unto Christ and partake of the blessings of being a member of His church.

Much Peace, Much Love, Much Happiness,
Elder Parker Martin Smith