Monday, September 13, 2010

My crazy week in Odessa

Vika's Baptism

I think this has been the craziest week of my mission! Monday I had a lovely preparation day in Odessa, which started off with me losing my fake tooth down the drain (so if I come home with a tooth missing, it is not because I was malnourished in Ukraine) I was pretty upset about it. But then we went to a Pinocchio Restaurant in the center of the city that reminded me so much of Disneyland that I almost cried. They even played actual music from Disneyland! Tuesday we had combined district meeting in the morning but other then that, it was a normal day, but at night we got a phone call from the office asking us if we were supposed to be on a train that night. We had not heard anything, but we did end up going to the train station early Wednesday morning to get tickets for that night to go to Kiev so we could make it to zone conference. On Wednesday night it was raining cats and dogs when we were on our way to the train station, on the way, we got a call from my district leader who asked if I knew that our district was going to go to the temple after zone conference. I had a mini panic attack because my recommend is still in Billa Serkva, and there was no way we could go there to get it. Luckily on Thursday morning I was able to squeeze a few minutes out of President Steinagel's schedule and get a recommend. Zone conference was amazing like always. I gave my final testimony that I was determined not to cry for, but did anyway. The temple was beautiful and I felt the spirit strongly confirm to me that everything was going to be ok. Friday Sister Clark and I went to get her HIV test so she can go to Bulgaria next week. Then we hopped back on a train again to make it back to Odessa to support Vika at her baptism. Saturday morning we went to check the water and it was...not warm. Then we went to Vika's and she asked about the temperature of the water and said she would not get baptized if the water was cold. We told her it wasn't too bad... Sister Clark and I were worried that she wouldn't like the water. But when the time came for the baptism, we were so busy we forgot about it and she was baptized before we knew it. Sunday she received the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Later, in Relief Society she shared her testimony about how special the experience was for her and I knew that it was worth it to have gone back to Odessa. Because last night we were on a train again to Kiev, and here we are, going to pick up Sis. Clark's results today so she can go to Bulgaria tomorrow, and I can pick up my mini missionary and go to back to Billa finally! I have been more stressed and lost and confused this week than at any other time on my mission, but it was all worth it. I am definitely not having a boring last transfer.

-Sister Howell

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