Hello everyone! Hope you all had a great Christmas and are getting ready to finish off the holiday season with the New Year!
Little summary of how we celebrate everything here in Ukraine: We have commercial Christmas on Dec 25th, then New Year, and then Orthodox Christmas on Jan 7th. Christmas is kind of acknowledged on the 25th, but they don't really do anything for it. Their big party is New Year's Eve! They go hard here! Not only that, but Santa doesn't come on the 25th, but at the New Year! Kids wake up to presents from Santa Claus on Jan 1st. They then celebrate the birth of Christ on Jan 7th.
Speaking of New Year, we will be in our apartments after 4 o'clock both today and tomorrow because the streets will be crazy, haha! Fireworks will be going off everywhere and people will be drinking plenty. They've actually already started, and the police know it. We've seen three cars get pulled over this week, and before that I had never seen a car get pulled over in Ukraine. So we'll try to sleep tonight, but the fireworks are expected to keep us up.
As for the work, it's going well! We are teaching! Our first transfer here we had no work, and after about six weeks of work and prayer we still had nothing, but now we're teaching some cool people and have some others who are down to meet up with us!
Sometimes these things take time. I remember promising Elder Baggaley that work would come if we worked hard, because the pattern in my mission so far had been four weeks of hard work before seeing results. After the sixth week I got a bit wary, but thankfully we have work now, so I did not lie to my trainee!
We celebrated Christmas in our branch on the 23rd with a beautiful program organized by Sister Fast, and the people we're teaching who came loved it. On Christmas, we celebrated with all the missionaries here in Sumy, a sister here who's from Arizona and teaches English to English teachers as part of a government program, and a member from Zimbabwe who is here studying at university. It was nice to relax a bit. We love missionary work, but it's quite tiring.