So this last week was my first full week of missionary work in the field! A normal day goes something like this: wake up at 6:30, work out, shower, and eat breakfast until 8:30, which is when we do daily planning. If we don't have anything going on in the morning hours, we do an hour of personal study, then an hour and a half of companion study, then a hour of language study, and then lunch. When we do have things in the morning, we fit in our studies throughout the day.
After lunch we're either teaching lessons (to members, less actives, and, hopefully soon, investigators), finding (tracting or contacting), or serving. We also teach free English classes every Tuesday and Saturday and those go well. I'm so grateful I know grammar because I teach the advanced class and they have crazy questions sometimes. BTW, for those who don't know, "tracting" is going door to door to find anyone interested in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and contacting is doing the same thing out in the streets, parks, buses, etc.
We have dinner sometime in the evening, do some more stuff, and are at home by 9:00 and we go to bed at 10:30. So that's a normal day!
I'd say one of the hardest parts is contacting because I don't know many words other than words about the gospel, so small talk is hard. Even worse, people here have serious eye contact problems. You can be standing at a bus stop talking to someone and they won't look at you once. It's very different than back in the states. My listening comprehension is getting better, but I'm still pretty much useless unless my companion tells me what to say. I can speak pretty well; listening is difficult.
The easiest part of the day is, of course, eating. All the food here is super inexpensive and super good. I love it! Even their basic staples like bread and гречка (buckwheat) are delicious, and they're dirt cheap. We won't go hungry. We maybe get fed by members once or twice a week. So yeah those are some basics.
BIG NEWS! The Ukraine L'viv Mission is being dissolved and will be combined with the Ukraine Kyiv Mission. This happens in July. Also, the Odessa area will be taken from the Kyiv Mission by the Ukraine Dnepro Mission. Yeah, big stuff. Our mission will be massive now. (Editor's note: The L'viv mission speaks Ukrainian--not Russian.)
Cool stuff this week: President Kumferman came to our branch and gave a good talk about how we're to be Christlike at all times. This is because our little branch has contention every now and then. He then took us out to eat Georgian food and it was sooo good. Elder Neuffer and I might go on our own because it wasn't expensive.
Also, we went to a member's дача which is a cabin. The journey there was super pretty, and the cabin was small but homey. We shared a spiritual message and were ready to do tons of work, but he only had us do 20 minutes of shoveling and called it a day after that. Maybe he just wanted to hang out, lol!
To be completely honest, this is a hard life. The sky is grey every day, almost no one wants to talk to us, and it's cold. But in the end, we're doing all of this happily because we know that one day all our work will pay off and someone's life will be changed as they come unto Christ. We work as if everything depends on us and we pray as if everything depends on the Lord. I love you all!