God loves all of you!

Hello dear friends!
This week I realized how amazing it is to be on a mission! Every day is full of inspiration and love!
I feel so blessed to walk in the steps of Jesus and lift the people here up. Every day we study the in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and it is so wonderful, how infinite and rich it is. When I read about Jesus Christ or watch a video about him, I see this wonderful person, which perfectly applied all those principles and is giving the love of God to the other people. That’s what we are doing here every day in the Ukraine. We invite the people here to listen and see how God really loves them. We believe, that God prepares people and put them in our way. It is so wonderful to see, how this is really happening.

Some pictures πŸ˜€
People painting their house to white

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Oh their was a funny thing here. Ice cream in tubes(are they called tubes?, I don’t know..)! When my companion bought them, I thought, he buys meat, that was really funny…

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For Christmas time, all the missionaries can skype home and talk with their family. That was so nice. One of the most important principles I learned so far from being on a mission, is the family. Oh how much love and joy we can get from a family. A family can be a place, where we learn, how to be more like Christ and love one another with real love.

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Today in the morning I met a friend from the MTC! πŸ˜€

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In Center Odessa theere is a big Christmas market and there were some girls and boys from a dance group πŸ™‚
link to video here.

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Here a picture from the south market in Tairova, where our church building from our district is. Talking to people on the market is so great! Maybe I can tape you some stuff, so you get a little bit more than just a picture to imagine πŸ˜‰

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This week I specially realized, how much God loves us. When we live after his commandments he blesses us with peace, joy and love in our hearts. The people here have almost nothing! Oh how wonderful is it then, to have the inexhaustible love of God in their hearts, because it lasts forever. I have a strong testimony, that you can feel this love, when you say a simple prayer to God and just listen.

I’m so happy about all my friends that influenced my life before my mission. You all have been a huge blessing for me and will ever be! Happy to see you soon! Time is running! Make it amazing πŸ˜‰

Elder Drewlow

P.S. Elder Drewlow was seen in this official video of the church… here a snapshot where he appears

photo - Kopie

We have the Lord on our side!

Hello dear Friends!

This week was amazing! So many things changed here! Also I changed a lot! Things are getting more intense here and we figure more and more out, how we can share the gospel more effectively.
at least 4 things that changed:
– I’m working on reactivating my french
– we run more than 8000 stair steps in the morning
– we are much more pumped to just work!
– we do 1 hour extreme language every day (before it was not so intense)

why? read on! πŸ˜€

Last week was the last week (ca every 4-8 month you have a new companion, sometimes the same) with my companion Elder Hinkson. We had a great birthday party from a member and a small group of friends came. The party was not big we all felt so much love and happiness together.

Dima, doing a funny word puzzle game

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On Wednesday night some missionaries travelled with the night train up to Kiev. I picked up my new companion πŸ™‚
Last time with Elder Hinkson. He showed me how to work very humble and always loving the people. He was a great trainer and the best Russian speaker in the mission (beside the Russian natives).

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Oh and yeah, you probably recognized, in Kiev they have snow!
In the mission office I met some friends from the MTC πŸ™‚ Here Elder Hunt:

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And here, me with Elder Droubay, we will serve together for the next 8 weeks πŸ˜€ Some told me, he is the American version of me. And I can tell, he is! That’s amazing! We will have such a great time together and just WORK!
We knew our night train would depart on 9:45, so we had some time left. Suddenly I had the the idea to go into the temple and do an endowment session. Well, we asked the mission president, got a permission and we got in πŸ™‚ The session was amazing. I felt the spirit very strong and was so grateful to have a temple here in the Ukraine. When I am in the temple I always feel empowered more than every where else with more energy and love from heaven.

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Kiev’s big train station with the big arrival and departure displays

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that you can better imagine, how it is there, I recorded the announcements for you:
[audio:http://blog.drewjosh.ch/wp-content/uploads/812_0089.mp3]
Oh yeah, from this week on I should tell you some stuff in Russian, that would be really cool! -> next week!

Here with Elder Droubay in front of our LANGUAGE STUDY PROCLAMATION. No matter what, we do 1 hour of language study EVERY DAY!

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My language study developed to be very intense since last week. My mission President recommended me to also work on my french, because it’s a better training for the brain. Everything comes back from french, in little pieces. 10 min every day I’m reading/figuring out, what I don’t know. I also started to involve all 5 languages I know in my language study. That’s crazy. I discovered my passion for languages. One reason, why I’m learning them so fast! My goal is for French, that it is as my English know and for Russian, good as a native Speaker. One other reason, why missionaries learn the language so fast is the help from God. We have a promise, that when we really seek for this blessing and work hard, we improve faster. That’s amazing! I totally see that happening with me!

I learned an great principle of learning or better, I am discovering it more and more now. When we learn something the hard way (for example; me learning Russian over English and french, both a foreign language), we master it better, that the easier way. Why? Because the brain is like a muscle. It progresses much faster, when we lift 25 pounds every day instead of 10 pounds. Well it’s harder, I know :P! But! Think about what you want?! Work hard and getting a great reward or work easy and get a little reward?

To this stuff I have a great story to tell! When we asked President for permission to go to the temple, he said, that we have to set a new record on the Odessa Stairs (actually Potemkin Stairs</>). The stairs are 143 meters long, 200 steps. His record is 20x, up and down is one time. Well, we said, ok, we will take him by the word and work on it πŸ™‚ You need some background from him, why this is such an awesome and funny story! He is a passionated runner with mountain marathons, hundred kilometer races, etc. and he likes to make fun of us, how “weak” we are (he challenges us all the time :D).
On Saturday morning we run in our apartment, 16 floors, 10 min, because we didn’t have so much time anymore. Oh and on Monday we wanted to visit the stairs (40 min with bus away), to just see and try out, how it is. Well after this 10 min we thought, we will need the whole 8 weeks to work on that goal, to make a new record!
Well today in the morning (Monday, when I’m writing this), we were than and I broke his record πŸ˜€ 21

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Don’t ask me, how I did it, I just did it! It was really hard and exhausting, but the most difficult pain was, not to give up. First I thought, I will do 5 times, just because, well we never were here, I didn’t run, the last 3 months, etc. When I hit those 5 I got used to the pain (I knew this from couples 20 km runs before that this will happen) and thought, yeah, I can probably reach 10! Every step was painful and I got to 10 times. Don’t forget, always up and down (uff, little bit relaxing)! Notice, the missionary record is by 12. So I wanted at least to set a new record for missionaries, when not President. Well I hit 12,13,14,15… and then I thought I can do it! It was like a fight with with something in me, that wanted to give up, because I was so exhausted. But wait… actually I still have energy. From somewhere I still got power, maybe just because my strong will to break that record! When I run a race like this, this it is very intense! Because every thought is focused on accomplishing that goal! I don’t realize anything that is around me, everything is just on that one thing. After little bit more than an hour I hit 20. And than I was able to do one more.

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When I think back, how this went, what I thought, what I felt, what I did, I realize, how amazing this process is. Having a desire, setting a goal, and than JUST DO IT!
I learned that many times in my life, but in this moment it was just more intense than ever before.

If you have a desire and a goal, you can do it, ALWAYS!

Me an my companion we have a strong desire to change here a lot. We just got on fire. Everything just started with this Odessa Stair thing. Than we started to realize, how powerful it can be, if we master setting goals. Yesterday night, we had an amazing weekly planning session. We have great ideas, we have great visions, how we can change our work, so that more people see, how great God’s work is on this world!

Dear Friends! This life is so great! I promise you, if you try hard every day, your reward will be so great! I’m experiencing that my whole life! I hope you can see it somehow..

With Love
Elder Drewlow

Life is amazing here!

Hello my dear friends!

This week was just amazing! I really start to love this place. The people, the culture, the language everything is just so great! Even the people down here in Odessa are very poor, they now, how to make it the best and be happy πŸ™‚
Beside the Ρ€Ρ‹Π½ΠΎΠΊ there is a nice little bakery where they have this special oven for making лаваш (soft, thin flat bread of Armenian origin, popular in the Caucasus, Iran, and Turkey). I asked them, if I can take a picture and it was nice to see, how they really love, what they are doing.

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inside, the bread is holding on a little iron stick

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Two days I was on an exchange (where you temporarly switch companion) and I took this wonderful shot in the morning, ca. 8 o’clock

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On this day something very cool happened. Circa 19:30, after a lesson with a non-member, it’s already dark, we are out contacting (talking to people on the street). In contacting it’s very important, that we listen closely to the Holy Ghost and act on his promptings. We walked, I saw a a young man, which was staying on the side walk with a dog. There were other people walking toward us, but I had the feeling to talk to him. He is very open, very interested about the Church, the Book of Mormon, but has to go(is on a trip with his family to somewhere, they were waiting in the car). We get his number and continue walking. Suddenly a passengers walks quickly from the left, coming from the other side of the street. The Spirit tells me “talk to him!”. I thought, that he probably wouldn’t stop, but I walked up to him and start talking. He stops and after like two minutes he is responding back very fast, so I understood nothing. It seemed like he wanted to walk and I thought, “oh no, he wants to go”. But I felt I should ask him again, what he meant and in his answer I heard “ΠΏΡ€ΠΈΡ…Π°Π΄ΠΈΡ‚Π΅!”, which means “come”. I thought “oh, good I asked again” and walked with my companion with him. He introduced as to a middle old man, which name is АндрСй. He loves to read in the bible and think about God. With him we have a great discussion and we shortly share the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. He is a very humble person and very happy to talk with us. We had to go, because he had to work on the market. On the same evening we meet him at his car (he lives there with his friend, during he is working on the market for couple of days). Wow it was just great to talk to him and share our message. When I looked into his eyes and testified, that I found out for myself, that this is the only church of God I felt a powerful and warm feeling in my heart. I felt, that God really wanted, that this man receive the fullness of the Gospel. On our next meeting we found out, that he is from the Jehovah Witnesses and sometimes tried to disprove us. My testimony about my answers I received in my prayers, can no one disprove. We explained him, how everyone can find out through prayer, when he really wants to. On Sunday, he showed up in our church. He must felt something. When I saw him, I just felt so happy. For him. And I thought back on the story… wow

Dear Friends! With all my heart I know, that the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints is the only church of God. How I found it out? Well I grew up in it, but than. Some day. I really started to build a relationship with God, in prayer. That was amazing! Imagine talking to your dad, that really really loves you after many years! There is a God somewhere out there, our Heavenly Father and and he really cares for his children! I don’t write this, because I want to make commercial or something for our church. I write this, because I’m rejoicing in the knowledge I gained. I hope that at least someone of you felt something, when he was reading this. I feel this every day and it is wonderful!

Ok, some more pictures πŸ˜‰
old train station

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how I keep my study place organized πŸ˜€

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we had this Saturday a baptism in our branch an after it we had a really nice “Pancake Night” with lots of people from multiple branches

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My companion and me jogging with a friend on 6 o’clock in the morning :O

 

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I enjoy the time here in Odessa. I heard some rumors about what is going on in Kiev. Well, here everything is peaceful πŸ™‚ more or less…

Can someone send me some nice snow pictures from Switzerland? πŸ˜€
I love you all and wish you a great week!

Elder Drewlow

PS: Don’t be to stressed for Christmas! It’s important to show love, not money πŸ˜‰

I miss Switzerland!

Hello dear Friends!

I hope everyone back in Switzerland isch gsund und munter and feels happy! I miss Switzerland so much!
Everthing there is just so cute and nice(if your not sure, check out my archive πŸ˜‰ ). I love to read letters, mails, comments from and about Switzerland and how your life’s are going there πŸ™‚ Enjoy every day!

Here it is going to be dark really early, at around 4 o’clock, the sun is starting to go down. Beautiful scenario πŸ™‚

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My companion and me we are eating very healthy. We want to be very effective and fit all the time πŸ˜€ We both are very thankful, that fresh food is not so expensive here!

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On the left a salad, in the middle our daily breakfast Π³Ρ€Π΅Ρ‡ΠΊΠ°, Buckwheat (delicous!) with eggs

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My companion Elder Hinkson and me πŸ™‚

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city

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Orthodox church (where the most people here go to)

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We had a lot of wonderful experiences this week, how God blessed people, so that we could meet them on the street or in the bus. It is so wonderful to share the gospel here! I am so greatful to have this light in my life and be in a country, where people are searching for truth.
Next week I want to share a really good story with you! My time is over now.. so see you!

Take the life you have in your hand and live it! Be Water & Bread for other people, for this is from where I get all my joy and energy πŸ™‚

All the best

Elder Drewlow