We have two new Institute and Seminary teachers in Sumy. Seminary this year has three regularly attending students, and we are excited because this is one of our “large” classes. (picture included) The teenagers struggle here because of peer pressure and family inactivity. We spend a considerable amount of effort with this age group to encourage them to come to Seminary and come to Church and let them know we love them. The challenge is that there are so few in each branch that they feel very isolated, and in a Seminary situation often times there is only one student to respond to questions.
The Sumy Institute is very small compared to Institute in Kharkov. There are five potential students and only two attend. Both of our teachers are first year teachers. The lessons that were presented were well prepared and presented, and most importantly, testimony was borne and the spirit was felt. The Institute teacher just graduated from Institute last year. (picture included)
On Saturday we checked missionary apartments. We have excellent Elders who believe in clean apartments and collecting Ukrainian ties – we were impressed! (pictures included) As usual we take the missionaries out for pizza at a place called New York Pizza. The pizza is nothing like real New York pizza; they don’t use a tomato based sauce. However, the pizza always picks-up the missionaries spirits.
We met a local artist while we were walking from a missionary apartment to the Church. The missionaries introduced us to him and he showed us several of his paintings which were fascinating. (pictures included)
We attended the Investigator’s class on Sunday (General Conference is next Sunday for us) and the spirit was very strong as one of the missionaries bore testimony and challenged an investigator to be baptized. Because of translation delays for General Conference, it was Fast and Testimony Meeting. Sister Reed bore a powerful testimony in faltering Russian!