This was a great week! We did an especially good job of talking to as many people as we could in as many situations as we could, and we found some people to teach! We even had some of those people come to church yesterday, so that was super exciting!
I've realized that I haven't talked about my companion all that much which is a shame. I usually try not to talk much about myself in general and that tends to turn into not talking about Elder Hamilton much either. But let it be known that Elder Hamilton has been awesome the past 5 weeks, is still really solid, and shows no signs of slowing down. This guy makes things happen because though I can kind of make do speaking with people in person, I have a hard time speaking and hearing Russian on the phone, so Elder Hamilton makes every phone call. He's only been out here in Ukraine half a year and he makes phone calls like a pro which is really impressive to me because phone calls borderline terrify me, haha. He also has a passion for the work, combined with a desire to be obedient, which unlocks the blessings of heaven to this companionship and the work in this area. I hope we stay together for a while so we can make things happen here in Bila.
So on Friday as Elder Hamilton and I were riding out to a village in the countryside to do service, we started talking to a man on the bus. After a few minutes, it turned into a conversation with a few other people who had joined in. None of them, however, were interested, and when their stop came they got off.
But there were plenty of people to still talk to, so we started talking with another man. We eventually asked him how God had shown him His love. After that he got quiet and just looked at us. I was wondering if he didn't hear, and if we just had to repeat ourselves, but I had a prompting to just wait and not say anything. After a bit he started crying. Before we could do anything, the bus had arrived at this man's stop and he had to get off. We quickly gave him our card, but that was all we could do. He was gone.
I was pretty bummed because I felt like we had missed an amazing opportunity. But after a few hours of service, I mostly brushed it off and was ready to move on. But then, on our way back, a few stops into our bus ride, the same man got on the bus! Elder Hamilton and I looked at each other and immediately sat next to him. His face lit up when he saw us, and we started having a good conversation. It was super difficult because the bus was really loud, but Elder Hamilton did a good job of hearing what I couldn't and keeping the conversation going as best as possible. We got to talking about families and this man showed us pictures of his family. He was especially proud of his granddaughter who was about two. Elder Hamilton and I were able to get this man's number for the purpose of meeting with him again to share a message about how the Gospel of Jesus Christ strengthens families!
This was a miracle. The odds of seeing this man again after he got off the bus the first time were incredibly low, and I never expected to see him again. But God wants for certain things to happen, and I guess this was one of them. I'm thankful that Elder Hamilton and I were ready. This is God's work, and we're excited to be the instruments in His hands. I hope you all are doing well!
1) Goat keeping me company
2) Baby sheep!
3) Another sheep (named Bart)