Monday, July 27, 2009

A rough week...

Dear Family and Friends.

Honestly, I don't really have that much to say. This week had it's struggles, good times, and difficult goodbyes. I said bye to Elder Basset, which was a hard one. He was a great missionary and very humble. It was sad to see him go. This past week just seemed to be one of those hard working weeks that seemed to be somewhat more difficult than normal. We did a lot of service, picking cherries and moving dirt. It was great to be outdoors working, and doing service is always a good thing.
We had some good meetings, including Zone Conference. I am feeling pretty spent this week for some reason. Things are coming along slowly but surely. I just wished I didn't feel so extremely tired. I don't like to admit it, but some of the pressures seem to be getting to me. I'm sure I will get in the groove of it all, I'm just feeling out of sorts right now, and not sure why. Everything just seems harder than normal and the pressure keeps getting turned up. But I'm still hanging on by a thread though so everything will be okay. I'm working harder than I have ever worked. We had a District Conference on Sunday. It was cool to see all the members from my greenie area.
I really don't have enough energy to write any more. I will try and write a better email next week.
I love you all and thanks for the support...Love Elder Dewey

A week in Dyoma...

Monday- For pday we helped a lady in Dyoma move furniture and rip wallpaper off her walls.It was pretty fun. Later, we met with Faniliya, our investigator. The meeting went fairly well, but not as good as we would have liked.
Tuesday- we met with our missionary coordinator to discuss the needs of the our area and the members here, and to try to implement some plans to get things going. We also had another meeting with Faniliya at her work. It was a better meeting, she accepted everything, and she said that she will keep reading and praying to find an answer.
Wednesday- was district meeting at the branch building in Ufa. It was great to see all my buddies. Afterwards, we had lunch with the district at a nearby bakery. Later that afternoon, we met with a really cool member. When walking home that evening, two groups of guys stopped to talk to us for a while about America and asked us all sorts of questions about America and asked us what we were doing in Russia. We had a great long conversation with them. Then some little girls started following us asking questions and wanted to know if we had got to be a bit annoying after a while. They asked me to teach them English, and I said "We don't know English", and she said, "What... you don't know English?", and I said, "sorry we are French". The little girl had the saddest look on her face. lol. I don't consider that a lie...just a joke!
Thursday- We had a great planning session for our week. I made Borsch soup that turned out pretty dang good! Later, we had three meetings, two being with members, and the other one with Faniliya. She fed us some pretty intense rice and chicken. It was amazing!
Friday- turned out to be a busy day with 5 meetings. Everyone was impressed, and the ZLs called to congratulate us and I told them if they call again for that reason then to please don't call. I am not a big fan of stats. It needs to be all about the people and the work and not about numbers. We need to stay in tune and focus on real work and the people...numbers are just numbers. We need to stay focused on building and strengthening testimonies and less concentration on impressive numbers to report.
Saturday- We made brownies to take to some members but they didn't turn out...our oven sucks. We had two meetings, one with Faniliya, we helped shovel a ton of turn for her in her backyard. A lot of her neighbors came over to help out as well. She lives in a little wooden home. My companion and I had a great time talking to her neighbors from Uzbekistan. My companion arm wrestled their son and the Uzbek won...haha! Faniliya fed us buckwheat and potatoes which was great!
On Sunday, after we met with Timofea. a cool kid in our branch ( the second counselor in the branch) we met Elder Anderson and Taylor at my old "greenie" apartment. That was pretty nuts!!!! I hated living there, it brought back some weird memories. Later, we had a meeting with some members and their daughter who is our investigator. The meeting went amazing! We gave a spiritual thought and then just talked for a while. I really love talking in Russian! After our meeting, we came home and crashed.

That is it for this week.

I love you all please send me some love through emails...please! I only received two emails this week...more support would be greatly appreciated!

Elder Dewey

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Thank you Sister McEvoy for the wonderful picture! You know exactly what makes a MM happy! You are the best!
Elder Dewey and Elder Matthews
(Photo courtesy of Sister Donna McEvoy)
Elder Matthews just arrived in Yekaterinburg from the MTC. What an exciting time!

Monday, July 13, 2009

It's all about change...

This past week was all about change…new Mission President, new companion, and new area. Two new Elders from the states finally arrived, Elder Matthews, who I will be training, and Elder Wilson. So, part of the week we were in transit, leaving Botanica, picking up my new companion at the Mission Home, and then a long train ride to our new area just outside the city of Ufa called Dyoma. Before leaving, we spent Wednesday morning contacting around Ekat. It was a great time. We spent the night at the AP’s, and left on a train the following day around 5pm. We came back with the ZL’s and Elder Peterson. We were on the train for about 16 hours. I couldn’t really get much sleep, and so once we arrived my brain felt like mush. When we arrived to our area, Dyoma, everything was laid out really well for us. We walked around our small town checking things out, and found it to be kind of old school which I really like. Going from a larger city to a smaller area mixes things up a bit and keeps missionary life interesting.
We had a meeting with a member who was really nice and helped Elder Matthews read in Russian. It was really cool. Sunday, I made my return to Ufa! Our building is in the center of Ufa, my greenie area. It was cool seeing my old stomping grounds. I loved seeing the members and getting reacquainted with them as well. We also have an investigator who will be baptized soon. It’s amazing! I think we will be able to accomplish some great stuff here.
I miss all my friends in Botanica, but I know I will see them again someday no mater what. It’s great to be with a young elder, it makes me cautious and work hard at trying to set a good example.
We went running with our missionary coordinator. It was great, we ran for a long time. I think we might be going every morning. It‘s a little different being with a younger elder and taking on the responsibility of most everything. To try and help him catch on faster, I try to make sure I include him in everything, but not to overwhelm him. I know it’s important that he get’s off to a good start. Here is where I shine or crash. Wish me luck
Elder Dewey

Monday, July 6, 2009

tearjerker week...too many goodbyes...

Dear family and friends,

I hope everyone had a great week. I have to begin by saying that my week was one of those tearjerker weeks with some difficult goodbyes, but I will get to all of that in a minute.

For P-day last week, we went to the site where they killed the Romanov Family (Anastasia's family). We found this site to be a solemn and reverent place to visit, where beautiful temples exist, one to represent each person killed. I love was a great time!

Tuesday, we had a meeting and then a going away party for President and Sister Allen...a difficult goodbye to say the least. President Allen was a GREAT Mission President. It was one of the saddest days of my mission so far, along with Sunday, which I will get to later.

Wednesday, we had our last district meeting and we ended it by going to Subway together one last time. Later, we had three meetings; we met with Zhenya our missionary coordinator, Elena a really cool member, who fed us such an amazing meal, and then the Kaigarodovy family. It was a great busy day, but again...some hard goodbyes.

Thursday- We went contacting with two other elders and the sisters. Elder Sorenson played his violin, the others sang, while I talked with people on the street. It was amazing…we actually got some great contacts. I sure will miss Elder Sorenson and his violin. It’s funny, it seemed like I talked to a million people and while talking away I’m thinking how comfortable I was with it all. And for a moment, I reflected back at how nervous I was when first contacting, just the thought of having to actually open my mouth to speak something in Russian petrified me! Haha!
I hope to be of some help to the new Elder I will be training. It’s not easy being the “greenie” in a foreign and unfamiliar country with a difficult language to learn.

After contacting, we had a meeting with Kiril and Ina. They have the cutest little kids. We taught them a short spiritual thought. I also visited with Kriril about my upcoming trasfer to Dyoma, since he served a mini mission there he was able to share some great insight on the area.

Friday- We had a few meetings, but for most of the day we cleaned our apartment and packed for the new transfer.

Saturday- We had sports with all the elders and some members. Afterward, we hurried home, ate, showered, and headed out for another meeting with Ludmila. Later in the day, we had English club. Because Elder Sorenson served in this area a year and eight months ago those that attend English have gotten to know him really well and worship him.

Sunday- Again, one of the hardest days of the mission. During sacrament meeting while translating for the McEvoys, I wanted to stand and bear my testimony. I knew it was my last Sunday and my last opportunity. So, I finally got up towards the end and before I started to speak I looked out at all the people I have gotten to know and grown to love, and then found myself too choked up to talk and broke into a few tears. It was hard to say good-bye to everyone. But I wanted to express the love and appreciation I have for them and bear my testimony one last time before leaving. It was one of those tough moments. Later, we met with a less active. After returning home, I sat down to write a note to the elders that will be taking over this great area...the note ended up being an eight page book...ugh! SO INCREDIBLY HARD TO SAY BYE!

Next email will be from Ufa! Have a great week!

Elder Chad M. Dewey