Monday, January 28, 2013

He said, "and yes, it's a real monkey" :)

January 28, 2013


What happened to Fonzie! He looks a lot fatter than before. Maybe I just don't remember how fat he was. Ha ha. I forgot that Alek Fiestner was coming home at the same time as Robbie. I hope that after Robbie tells Dallin about his mission that Dallin will decide to start working on his papers. You'll have to ask Robbie and Alek to get up this week in fast and testimony meeting so you can here them speak there language. I think that the Ukrainian has replaced all French that I ever knew, because there was a lady from France who came to the branch a few weeks ago who only spoke French, and I could understand a little of what she was saying but I couldn't remember a word when I tried to speak back. All that came out of my mouth was Ukrainian.

I'm glad Braydon almost has his papers in. Is anyone else working on them? I cringed when I read about Chappy. Ouch! I hope that he's okay. I'm glad that the worst thing I had happen to me before my mission was that ear infection thing, unless you count Jared hitting me with the car. That ear thing never fully went away actually. I may have hearing problems in my left ear forever I guess. At least I'm not dizzy anymore.

Well, I saw my first two dead bodies these past couple of weeks. Don't worry, they died of natural causes. They had two funerals for members who died these last few weeks and I think that all Ukrainian Funerals are open casket. The first one was for an old babucya and it was in her house, which was really small and cramped, so I was pretty close to her body. The second guy died of a heart attack I think and he was a really big guy. Carrying his coffin the fifty yard to where they buried him was not fun. He was easily over three hundred lbs.

Another interesting/weird story. We were having a first contact lesson with this guy, and I could basically understand what was being said between him and Elder Dorius and this guy really liked to talk. He was talking about in the Last Supper paintings how they always draw the Savior and His Apostles sitting down, when really, according to Jewish tradition they were actaully probably lying on these bench like things. Now, when he said that, I understood what he was saying. He didn't have to get up on a table and show us what it looked like. But he did. It was really awkward and Elder Dorius had a hard time not laughing, because he thought I didn't understand what was being said. If I hadn't understood and some guy had just done a lying down supermodel pose on a table, I probably would have been a little freaked out. I was wierded out anyway, but the fact that I knew what he was doing helped.

I'm glad Kelleene was doing well enough to go to church! Do you guys know how much longer she is going to be treated and what else is going to happen treatmentwise? I hope you guys are doing well and that the flu doesn't spread to all of you guys. I love you all and hope in joy the rest of the month!

Elder Jolstead the Younger

Monday, January 21, 2013

Dear Family,

 It's too bad about the van, but that thing has been dead for a long time. We just always refused to bury it. Are you guys able to legally drive Shantewa's car yet? That's cool that you got to see Robbie. Now that he's back I think I'm the only missionary in our ward in Europe right now. Has anybody else turned in there papers yet?

This week was really trial of our faith. Without fail, every single appointment we made with investigators diddn't happen and a lot of our other investigators randomly lost interest. It was really sad, but I know that we continue trying our hardest and praying our hardest, the Lord will bless us with people to teach who will accept the gospel.

We went to Chervonograd this week again. That's the city that I was telling you about that doesn't have missionaries right now but hopefully will soon. We aren't allowed to proselyte, but we can answer questions if asked. We were able to visit one of the members down there (there are only four) and on the way back, Elder Dorius was able to talk to a really awesome family who lives there who were interested in hearing about the gospel, so maybe we will be able to teach someone in Chervonograd after all. It's a really cool city and it would be awesome to serve there when it gets opened.

Elder Cox emailed me this week, but I was only allowed to email him back to tell him that I wasn't able to email him, so that was kind of sad. I kind of miss reading other missionary blogs and seeing what they are doing.

I don't know if you got my email a couple of weeks ago about recipes or if you forgot but I just thought that I would remind you. Also, if you could send me some instructions on how to make Father's chili, that would be appreciated.Well I don't have much more to say this week and this computer is messing with my eyes, so I think I will end here. I love you!

Elder Jolstead the Younger

Monday, January 14, 2013


Wow you guys really went all out on costumes this year. I really liked the pictures and it looks like you had fun. That's awesome that Tony is going to be speaking portuguese too. I feel like there is going to be a big portuguese club when I get back that I won't be able to join, but I'm okay with that because Ukrainian is the best language there is (sorry Jared) even if no other country speaks it and a lot of people here speak russian instead. It's kind of funny that when Ukrainians get drunk, they speak russian, even over here in western Ukraine where they are extremely patriotic and have lots of names for russians that I haven't bothered to memorize for obvious reasons. Ironically, all the swear words they use to describe russians are russian, because there are no Ukrainian swear words.

All those football things you told me sounded like they came from Derek. He knows he can write me himself, right? We actually met an american guy here who mentioned football. We met him at a really interesting meeting with a lot of english speakers who get together once a week to learn anything they can about pretty much everything. One of them invited us to come there and talk about our church so we said, why not? We also had a really cool experience this week.We have a guy we are teaching named Yaroslav and we kept calling and trying to meet with him this week, and when we finally did, it was a totally different guy named Yaroslav. Somehow we had gotten their numbers mixed up, but this second guy was really prepared, which was really awesome. It just shows you that the Lord is in control of His work and there are no accidents. Anyway, love you guys a lot. I don't have much more time to write if I want to send you pictures. Have an awesome week!

Elder Jolstead the Younger

That's okay about the letters. I wouldn't know anyway, because we only get mail when the zone leaders or someone goes to Kyiv, which hasn't happened yet since I've been here. I also wasn't able to bring my camera for pictures today, because we just came here from shopping and eating lunch so I didn't get to go back for it. I have actually eaten at restaurants more than I thought I would. President Romon has taken us out to lunch like three times already.

The language is actually moving very slowly. I feel like there isn't enough time in the day to do both missionary work and memorizing new vocab, which is my problem with understanding. Even if I don't quite know why they had a particular ending on a particular word, if I recognize the word, I can usually tell what they are talking about. The problem is that my vocabulary is extremely limited. I haven't had too much practice either, because almost all the appointmets we make fall through. We just have to keep smiling and working I guess. We only have one progressing investigator right now, which is tough, because that means we have to do a whole lot of contacting and tracting.

Oh, remember that rumor we were talking about, about China opening. It's totally false. I was looking at the talk that Elder Nelson gave at the MTC at Christmas and he was telling everyone to refute these rumors, because they are not true. He said that when the church enters a country, they do it through the front door, and when China is opened, we will all know about it.

So it sounds like you guys had an exciting week. I actually got an email from Jared this week which was cool. I didn't realize he'd be going to school this last week. I hope Kelleene is doing better. What exactly are the plans right now? How many chemo's does she need and is she getting radiation before or after the surgery?The work has been moving pretty slow and we're trying to work and pray harder to improve that. It's hard with all the five million holidays that Ukrainians have in a row. No one wants to make appointments and all the people we meet on the street on holidays are drunk, so that doesn't help. We've have a few really great first contact lessons with people, but then we have the hardest time meeting with them again later. Elder Dorius really likes tracting so we've done that quite a bit. I kind of wish we could get more referrals from members, but we're working on that too. I'm glad your New Years was good and I hope everyone is enjoying school again. Ha, ha. That's one thing from home that I will never miss. I hope you have a great week and I love you all!

Elder Jolstead the Younger