We had a bunch of crazy stuff going on this week.
Monday and Tuesday were pretty normal, mellow days where we just taught a few lessons and did some contacting. Also on Monday I went to the zoo... again. I think that is time #5. But I did discover the aquarium section that I had never seen before.Tuesday night we are sleeping and we get a call from president at 1:00 in the morning. He was still in Kazy, he apologized and said he sent in the Elders from Almaty for leadership training and he forgot to tell us to go pick them up and they were at the airport right then wondering what to do. So we got them to our place, and the next 2 days were with them.
Wednesday we had a meeting with President to plan leadership training and to talk about some things of the mission, mostly involving Kazy. Then we had our second week of English and it was sick. 46 people stayed for the spiritual thought. I walked into first group right when it was time to start and there were like 20 people in there crammed into the little primary room. So it was really sweet, I had a really fun time doing it and hopefully we will be getting some solid investigators coming out from that, so we will see.Thursday was the leadership training. And actually we had a meeting just 1 hour before with only us, Pres and the zone leaders. Pres had gotten really sick the night before and was looking and feeling awful, was up all night throwing up and stuff. So he asked for a blessing. Elder Blake anointed and I sealed it with the participation of Elder Anderson and the Zone leaders. That was a really cool powerful experience. I was more nervous about what I would say going into that blessing than a usual one because it was President. But once it got going, it was amazing how much the spirit kicked in and just calmed me down, and I just kind of talked and before I knew it, it was over. I have always loved giving blessings and am amazed by the way the spirit guides the words, but this one was really special just the overwhelming calmness and ease and flow. It was a really cool experience. At leadership, President spoke in the morning, Elder A and I gave a presentation about language learning. Then Pres and Sister Gibbons each spoke in the afternoon. One big announcement is that Pres is having all of the missionaries who go to Kazy learn how to speak Kazakh.We took off Friday morning for Kiev. It was sweet because it was a direct flight from Novo to Kiev and we didn't have to mess with the Moscow airport. But it was Awful because our plane got delayed 7 hours! and we were just waiting there in the airport as they were figuring out what was going on forever. Once we finally got to Kiev, we had about 5 hours till our return flight home. So we didn't have enough time to go to the temple, we just had a few hours to go see the city for a bit and have some dinner. For only being in the city for about 2 hours we saw a ton! And we got a lot of sweet pictures. Then the plane back got delayed for a couple hours and by that time I was absolutely exhausted and we got back to Novo to our apartment around 10 in the morning and shortly thereafter went to district meeting and had to do some other stuff and went to the Fourth of July celebration that the missionaries put on.
Sunday we caught up on some sleep, especially because Elder Anderson caught something on the trip and not sleeping for that long just hammered him, and he's still not looking or sounding good. After I got some sleep I felt much better but I was feeling really crappy until then. So unfortunately we did not get to see the soccer stadium or the temple, but we saw the other main attractions in Kiev including some beautiful cathedrals and one of them that we went in even had a service going on so that was really sweet to watch.
So Kiev was great but the down side is that there is only 1 flight there and one back. For a long time, a period of a few days I think. So I think based on what happened, the office people don't like it because it is too risky with only that 1 flight and they might even send us somewhere else next time.Young Aleksei came back and now he has a baptismal date. His phone broke and he was on the dacha for a few weeks so all is good it was just a little scary not hearing from him for a while. Other Aleksei is also looking good, unfortunately his work has been really picking up and he didn't make it to church but he is still looking great.I haven't seen any floods here or heard anything about them.Unfortunately we were pretty busy on the Fourth of July but I know some missionaries made it to Carl's Jr. and bought a big watermelon.Elder Topham
Pictures from Kiev