Monday, November 7, 2016

Much Walking & a Dog Attack

This week has been a great one! 

Elder Anderson and I are opening a new area to teach in. We have been spending a lot of time trying to meet with and get to know some of the members in our area. The branch members (a branch is a smaller congregation of the church a larger congregation is called a ward) are pretty scattered over Saltivska (the area of Kharkiv). Because of this and being instructed not to take public transport in densely populated areas due to the elections, we have been getting in a lot of walking. I'm pretty sure my legs look better than any model's out there. Not trying to brag or anything, just saying that is how it is. It has been pretty fun though, walking for miles each day in our area for a couple reasons. One, it is a fantastic way to get to know the area. Two, the Marshootka drivers (like a bus driver) drive like Mel Gibson in Lethal weapon, except not near as cool. It is surprisingly entertaining when the Babooshkee (plural of Babooshka) are yelling and cursing at Mel Gibson as they bob around like rolly pollies. Three, it is good exercise. Four, there are so many cool and interesting people on the street, it is really fun to talk with them. So needless to say, I have really enjoyed walking everywhere. 

I must confess, I have broken a sacred and deeply personal code this week. That code is to love all dogs. Elder Norp and I were together on an exchange and we had gone into an apartment complex for a meeting with the Zone leaders. While waiting for our elevator, a Babooshka with her dog were waiting on the elevator as well. Her dog looked up and growled at me. I looked at the little dog with my optimistic love. The dog was probably 6 inches tall and reminded me of the "worlds ugliest dog" competitions. It was missing an ear, no hair except a little on the top of his head, and had a pink dog sweater that had a heart on the back. For the sake of the story, we will call him Patches. I looked away from Patches and started to talk with Elder Norp. I guess while Elder Norp and I were talking, Patches's owner let him off the leashfor reasons I do not know. The next thing I knew there was a pink blur attacking my leg. Snarling and barking Patches was showing no mercy as he tried to cause some damage. This is the point of the story where I broke my vow of “unbroken kindness towards all dogs”. Without thinking, I launched Patches into the air with my leg. The pink sweater wearing tyrant was now flying back towards the babooshka and landed right next to her (the dog was okay, for those animal lovers out there). So the message of this story is that I have survived a dog attack. Even though the dog was wearing a pink sweater and was about the size of football, I survived!

Not much time to write today so I am going to have to stop here. I'm grateful to be here and I love every single adventure (or misadventure) we have come across. I wish you all the best and have a great week. 

Love

Elder Johnson

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