Monday, May 22, 2017

A Great Partnership & Always Looking For New Ideas



This week has been good in regards to improving.  I was able to learn more about just how to better behave in a "Ukrainian way" after talking with some members. They have also been helping me with just word order in the language, because how we as missionaries speak is understandable and correct, but it's very apparent that we are not from here simply by our wording of things (which is fine, but not the best). So that's helped a lot. This goal of better understanding the people and culture (I've had this goal for about a month now) is also resulting in better relationships with our members and contacts. So that's been pretty awesome!

Elder Houghton and I are doing great. We have made a few new goals with the language and other goals as well to improve our missionary work. I enjoy working with Elder Houghton, if there is ever a problem or a concern we are able to just talk it out a solve it quickly, which is an awesome skill. It's kind of odd, because we have been working together for 4 months now and it's still fun working with him. Usually amongst missionaries, they get tired of each other, since you are literally together 24/7. But we're still working strong. It has been super fun.
Elder Houghton and I gave everyone home and visiting teaching assignments. The members are super excited about it actually and looking forward to meeting with one another. Kuzma received the Melchizedek Priesthood and is very excited to continue to serve in the church. I think he really would like to serve a mission, which is legit. He would do a great job as a missionary.

 

Our investigators, Jack and Jill (names have been changed). Jill is being baptized this Saturday and she is very excited for it. She really loves coming to church, and though she is older (and we were worried she wouldn't be fellowshipped) the branch has taken her in with love and she fits in great. Jack has been coming to church for the last two Sundays. I think once we finish the lessons with her, we will offer a baptismal date to her. I think that is how it will play out with Jack.


Elder Johnson and the other Elders made a cake. 
By the photo I would say it was a fail.  
They threw it out the window... maybe the cat liked it.
Houghton and I have been doing a couple lectures on our own this last week, it has  been a good time. It's always fun doing these lectures. We have made a new one about American culture and stereotypes. I think this one will be a little more popular then our other ones. I would say our other effective tools beside English is sports night, and presentations in Universities (and other organizations) about American culture. Both of these have yielded success. Elder Houghton and I have been talking for a while about how we can find a new idea that is as effective as English, but not related to English. Though English is one of our more effective tools in finding, there are a lot of good people out there who are not learning English. We also are hoping to find new ideas also because ideas dry up eventually. I doubt English will "dry up" anytime soon, but it's always good to keep moving and improving. 
It's been a great week, I love you guys and I hope all is going well. Life is good!
Love,
-Elder Johnson



Monday, May 1, 2017

Staying in Krivoy Rog, Hiking and "English Overtime"...



We just went through transfers again and I am still going to be in Krivoy Rog. I've been here through two transfers and I'll be hitting my third here. I'm super excited to be staying in Krivoy Rog. It's an awesome place, with some awesome people. Just about all of the missionaries will be staying here, except for a few. I'm excited to continue to work with Elder Houghton. Our different skills and talents compliment each other and we work really well together. We have been going on a lot of adventures with our investigators and teaching them while on these ventures, it's been fantastic. One of those ventures we were invited to go out on a hike with a wonderful family and we found some giant cliffs. We are now teaching the family. That’s just an example of some of the fun we have been having. 





 Our finding this week has been well. With the weather a bit warmer and with us being a bit more visible due to the lack of suit jackets, people have been giving us some weird looks. Elder Houghton and I have been using this to our advantage. When someone stares at us, we smile and ask them how they are doing. I won't say it works with everyone, because it doesn't, but it has worked a few times and we have made some new friends and have some new appointments. 




Our new investigators this week have a some potential and one actually came to church. So things are going well. We have implemented a new little thing to help finding. It's called "English overtime". It is after our sports night and we go to McDonalds since it's one of the most popular parts of the city and we just speak in English. We missionaries change back into our white shirts (since we want to show we're normal people). We did this last week and got a lot of new contacts from people who just saw that we were having a good time. 



 I don't have a lot of words this blog, but I can compensate with pictures.


Love you guys!
-Elder Cody J.