Alright, so you're probably all wondering about what on earth is going on with the missionaries in Ukraine. Well, I'll tell you... we got news last Tuesday that all the formerly Donetsk missionaries were being reassigned across the world. They packed their bags and were on a plane by Friday morning. It came as a huge shock to us, and Sister Parish and I were super sad about Sister Andrade and Farmer leaving... we got pretty close with them. But here's a funny story in the midst of all the drama: being the cheeky prankster that I am, I took the Donetsk Sisters' phone and changed our number to the name of "K AP 1" (Kiev Assistants to the President) instead of "K Sis Vino" (Kiev Sisters Vinograder). I nonchalantly gave the phone back to them while the Sisters were packing and Sister Parish was laying in bed sick, and then I sent the following text from our phone in the next room:
"Dear Kiev missionaries, the Brethren have made the decision to reassign all Kiev missionaries within the next two weeks. President will be on a conference all with mission leaders at 12:00 today and they'll be in contact with you soon after with more details."
And then I just sat and listened. :) Sister Andrade gasped and read the text out loud, and Sister Parish FREAKED out. In a good way though; she was stoked. She kept repeating, "We're gonna kill it! We're gonna kill it!" (like we're gonna be awesome missionaries in America), and then I couldn't take it anymore and finally came in laughing and said, "Actually, you're gonna kill me, because I just sent that text from our phone!" Oh man, it was hilarious. She forgave me, all is well. :)
And THEN, this morning we got an update. There I was, getting ready to do personal study, and I notice we had a new text message. I opened it up and read, "Elders and Sisters. President just called and asked me to pass on the following information. Please do not go to email or tell your parents anything. You will find out travel information tomorrow and Sister Talley will send an email to your families informing them of this. Then you will email from your new mission. Thank you."
I FREAKED OUT, ran to Sister Parish, and read it to her. She said, "Are you kidding me? Is this another prank?" I said, "NO! It's legit from the Zone Leaders! Is this a prank from you?" And she said no too. We read it three or four times and sat there freaking out for a good 10 minutes, during which we had the following text conversation with the Zone Leader:
Us: "What's going on? So should we pack today?"
ZL: "Umm nobody knows where anyone is going yet. You will probably find out tonight or tomorrow then you will be able to pack!"
Us: "So we aren't doing emails today at all?
ZL: "Why not? Today is a normal P-day!!"
Us: "We just can't tell our parents? Right?"
ZL: "About what??"
At this point, we were SO confused and decided to call up our Sister Training Leader, who had heard absolutely nothing about this, which made us even more confused. She hung up to call the Zone Leader and figure out what the deal was, and in the meantime, we searched our phone for that rogue text and found that it was sent on MAY 7, 8:40 A.M.! How on earth it came up as a "new message" on our phone, and how on earth we didn't even recognize that we had seen that text somewhere before, and how on eartheverything matched up to make it completely realistic... that is totally beyond me. The Sister Training Leader called back and informed us that we're all staying here for the time being, and we got another text from the ZL: "Nobody is leaving anywhere! I was talking about transfers! Sorry if I scared or confused you Sisters!! I meant tonight or tomorrow you will find out transfer info."
And after laughing our heads off and feeling RIDICULOUSLY embarrassed (the ZL probably thought we were freaking out about a little bit of transfo!), we sent both of them this text: "Hahahaha okay, so... for some ridiculous reason, our phone said new message and then pulled up the text that was sent to the Donetsk missionaries [on May 7... at 8:40 a.m.]. Oh boy... thanks for the clarification!"
SO... I'm still in Kiev! And no text or call is going to convince me otherwise unless I hear it straight from the lips of President Klebingat! Oh my... you can't imagine the quantity and degree of emotions that I experienced in those few minutes. That's karma for you -- see ifI ever play a phone prank again! I think God had a great laugh this morning... I know that we did!
Unfortunately, that hilarious story has taken its toll on my email time. But for your information, I've had a GREAT week. Somehow we ended up with seven investigators! Given, not all of them are progressing (or really even know yet that they're investigating...), but the work is moving forward. And I got to Skype with Mom and Dad and Beck... that certainly made this week great. :) I've felt super close to my Heavenly Father and have experienced the sweet joy of repentance and forgiveness daily. Yesterday especially was an incredible day: I went to church with four questions on my mind and came away with four answers -- two from the words of ward members and two straight from the Holy Ghost. The church is so true! Give everything you can to the Lord, and He'll give you even more in return. God loves you all and I do too!
PS -- The pics are of me and Sister Parish at the temple site the other week, and also a chalk drawing of the Plan of Salvation that we drew in the park one morning. Unfortunately it rained just a few hours later, destroying our beautiful masterpiece. :( We joked that the rain would actually just distort it so that an arrow randomly points from Judgment back to the Premortal World and/or change mormon.org to something like jw.org (Jehovah's Witnesses), but in fact, it just completely erased it. Maybe next time... :P