Tuesday, June 30, 2009

You'll Never Guess!

So this past week has been Mission President's Seminar for all the new mission presidents. So we knew that the special devotional on Friday night was going to be a good one. I had the good idea to sing in the choir so that we would get very good seats. (usually we don't sing in the choir because there is too much work to be done!) So in the choir some sisters spilled the secret that the speaker that night was going to be Elder Jeffrey R. Holland (my favorite Apostle, if you can have a fav. that is) so I was supper excited that I would get a chance to see him in person! But that night, even before the prelude music started, Elder L. Tom Perry walked in. I was kind of disappointed that it was not Elder Holland, but I was excited to hear from another Apostle nevertheless. Then who walks in but Elder Neil L. Anderson, the newly called Apostle! I thought to myself, hmm...this is interesting, then Elder Quinton L. Cook, Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Elder David A. Bednar, and D. Todd Christofferson one by one enter the room with their wives. Then finally Elder Jeffrey R. Holland comes in last! It was so amazing because all the people in the large multi-purpose building, which seats more than a thousand were all standing and you could feel the Holy Spirit so strong! Elder Holland was the only one to speak though. But it was a wonderful talk, about how central the Spirit is to us, especially when we are teaching. He also commanded us not to teach if we did not have the spirit with us. He told us several different ways that we can recognize the Spirit and to be mindful of those times so that we may be able to call upon the Spirit when we need it. He spoke such wonderful things that I could not put them into words. I encourage you to go to lds.org and search for a talk by Elder Holland, maybe one on teaching by the Spirit, or any other topic of interest, because he speaks in such a way that penetrates your soul! He concluded by saying "Welcome to the work of Angels!" He said that as missionaries, we are angels in the eyes of our family, in the eyes of our investigators, and even in the eyes of our Savior who will forever be eternally grateful for the work that we are doing on His behalf. It was so beautiful that I am even getting teary-eyed just thinking about it. We all stood again as the Apostles were exiting the room, then after they had left, all of the new Mission Presidents turned around and were waving. I looked around myself to see who they were waving at, was it another Apostle? No, there were just us, the Missionaries. What? Oh, yeah! We are Missionaries! We are the Lord's Army here upon the earth and they love us! I seriously wanted to sob with emotion when I realized the great and marvelous work that I am currently apart of!

Not much time left but I got my flight plans a couple of days ago!
I leave at 5am on Tuesday morning from the MTC, then go to Salt Lake City to catch a flight at 8:35 to Kennedy New York. From there is a straight flight to Kiev, Ukraine! We should be arriving there at 9:05am on Wednesday. But it will feel like 12:05am according to Utah time. That is going to be so weird! Kind of like time travel!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

100% Ukrainian!

AAhhhh! Yesterday we had our big dramatic countdown to only speak our mission language for the rest of the two weeks here. Wait. Two weeks? No way!!! Speaking only in Ukrainian is very very difficult. I think Sister Murphy and I have our own Ukrainian that we speak to each other and can understand one another, but to anyone who knows real Ukrainian wouldn't be able to understand us at all! Is is so frustrating when I do my practice teaching with my tutor, Brat Paulson, and I say a phrase and he just shakes his head at me and says "Ya ne roseoomeeyou" ( I don't understand) And I spend five minutes trying to spit one simple little phrase out!
This week in the TRC we are telling someone our daily schedule and then, teaching the first lesson again. I think this time, it is supposed to be super awesome, because we have taught it twice before, but it has been a while since I have reviewed the vocab that it will not turn out as well as I had hoped.
I think we get our flight plans soon! Can't wait!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I'm Feeling Much Better

Just a little cough here and there, but not bad at all.
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles met with us last week! He spoke on how members always ask themselves whether or not it is the Spirit speaking to them, or it is just themselves. He said to not worry about it! That as long as you are being a good boy or girl, obeying the commandments and keeping your covenants, you can not go amiss. That is comforting to know because I always wonder whether or not, I am following the Spirit, but according to Elder Bednar, I am!
For Relief Society we had Sister Ann M. Dibb speak to us. She is the daughter of President Thomas S. Monson and also in the General Young Woman's Presidency. She spoke on the new Young Woman's value, Virtue. She also answered questions that we had of her father. I loved how she got teary-eyed when she spoke of the relationship between her parents. I also had the opportunity to shake her hand afterward!
This week in the TRC, we are using medical vocabulary to talk about the pretend Ward Mission leader who could not be there. We are also giving the second lesson- The Plan of Salvation, all in Ukrainian.
We have new roommates! Sister Michel, who is from Utah, going to Russia, two sisters from Russia, and one from Ukraine. They are super sweet and nice, but it is different going to just me and Sister Murphy, to having 6 girls in one room!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

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I'm Sick

Not to worry though, I'm over the worst part- I think. Last week I started out with a cough which got worse until I went to the doctor and he said I had Bronchitis. The doctor gave me some pills, I got a blessing from my elders, and slept for two days. Now, back to work! Yesterday was my first day back in class and I had forgotten so much because I was not able to study while sick and on medication. My other classmates haven't been doing so well either, so at the end of our class, our teacher collapsed out of frustration and disappointment. I know she wants the very best of us, but what more can we do? Are we all not human? I feel really bad though, but the more I stress out about it, the more difficult it is for me to focus on what I need to learn. So send me letters and make me feel better!!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Other than the TRC's that I've told you about so far, (this week is on shopping!) I have memorized in Ukrainian, "My Purpose" as found in Preach My Gospel. James 1:5, John 3:16 and the "First Vision" currently I am working on memorizing all of the Forth Section of the Doctrine and Covenants. I think we will memorize all 13 Articles of Faith in Ukrainian.
I'd like to tell you this week about my district. There are 5 of us all speaking Ukranian all going to the Kiev Ukraine mission. My companion, Sister Murphy, from Arkansas, is a super energetic geek- and she is proud of it! She always does her very best to be 100% obedient and is always trying to learn as much as she can- all of the time. She is a great example to me. Elder Behunin, is from Utah and my teacher, Sister Georgevia, calls him a young calf, because he sometimes is caught off guard and looks at her with wide eyes, that remind her of a young calf, but to me he reminds me of an old man, because he always has all these stories of his life that he likes to talk about, and talk and talk ....Elder Hill, from New Mexico, reminds Sister G. of Donkey, from Shrek, because he is always interrupting her and likes to jump into helping the classmates when she wants them to learn for themselves. What Elder Hill reminds me of a smooth-talking lawyer that can wrap a jury around his finger, which, oddly enough is what he wants to be! Elder Penrose is originally from Chicago, Illinois, which is where I think he picked up his "gangster" side! He told the class once that he often wishes he could slam somebody's head into a table. He is definitely the most quiet of the bunch, but when he speaks, he speaks with such force and simplicity that you can not deny that he knows what he is saying is the truth. I am really blessed to be able to be in this district, everyone has such strong testimonies and are trying their very best to push forward with the work. We also know how to laugh too, which helps this process not seem so overwhelming.
Speaking of laughing, last week in the Referral Center, (where missionaries call to confirm the delivery of church items that people have ordered from TV ads, or pass along cards) I made a call to a woman who spoke mostly Spanish, when I tried to ask her if she received the Book of Mormon she ordered, I said Kineha Mormona, - which is Ukrainian, instead of El Libro de Mormon. It was so funny I had a hard time trying to finish the call, with all of my district laughing at me.
A funny word we learned this week is Freakadelky, which is the word for meat balls! The meat balls here at the MTC are freaky-deaky which is a good way to remember their name!!!