Monday, July 27, 2009

Has it already been a week?

I know I've heard people say that missionary work makes time fly by so fast, but now I actually believe it! I really enjoyed our mini-zone conference we had this week. It was very inspiring to hear from the other companionship's and how they were seeing miracles in the work. As for miracle investigator that my companion and I have been working with, we were sad to find out that she does not live in the areas in which we cover, so we are beginning the process of transferring her over to the other sisters so that they can help her continue in her progression. We were hoping to give her over with a baptismal date already in sight, but she still has some small concerns, but she is so close! It is amazing to me how the adversary can focus on the small little things, which can prevent a baptism from occurring. But then I remind myself of Elder Holland's quote, "Salvation is not cheap" then I am inspired to continue to work my very hardest to bring about salvation and not get discouraged when faced with opposition.
I think my biggest struggle right now is the language. It is very depressing when little kids come up to me and ask me questions and I have no idea what they are saying. But just when I feel like I will never make any progression, we go to a lesson and I say things that I didn't think that I could- far from perfect of course, but it is baby steps. I think that is something that I need to remember now, baby-steps; that I shouldn't be trying to run marathons when I barely even know how to walk.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Meagen in Ukraine!

These are some nice looking buildings in downtown Kiev, unfortunately, not all of Kiev looks like this. Mostly all of where I live, which is on the outskirts of Kiev, is all apartment buildings that all look exactly the same- (because of the communist rule in the soviet era) it gets so confusing trying to find my way around! Thankfully, my trainer is an expert!

These are some of the sisters that were in Kiev at the time and who wanted to go to the opera, so this is in the theater. The opera was not as good as I was expecting, it was called "Rigetello" - I think. It was sung in Italian and I wouldn't have been able to understand what was going on if Sister Pack would not have translated the Ukrainian program for me.

This is at a ward picnic out in the forest near where we live. the girls pictured are Lenna and Cviata, they are super nice. The forest was kind of weird and unnatural. All the trees were in perfect rows and looked like they had been planted. The ward put on a little skit of Lehi's vision of the Tree of life, it was so cute! The lady who narrated was Sister Zoya Gulko, she was one of the committee members who translated the Book of Mormon into Ukrainian! Her husband is the bishop of our ward and he usually dubs the general conference into Ukrainian! Cool! To eat we had sausages which were like American hot dogs, but shorter and fatter. We played badminton, Frisbee, and catch. they also played water balloon volleyball, but Sister Pack and I just watched, because we were going to a baptism right after the picnic.

This is me at the Kiev Temple of course! I asked the Mission Pres, when the Temple should be completed and he gives it a year. So I actually might be here still! Who knows?

This is me on an empty metro car. Usually they are jam packed! But we started at the end of the line, so we could actually sit! I think also subconsciously I was showing off my bare leg! Yep! Great news, we don't have to wear nylons till September! Hooray! We're going to try and find some nice sandals today, because we can now wear those too! Thank you to Sister Steingal who served her mission in Argentina and knows what it is like to wear nylons in the hot hot humidity!

Week two....

Well, I'm only on my second week here and I feel fantastic. I love my trainer! She is so patient with me and all of my struggles to speak the language and simply live the life of a missionary.

I think my favorite part of the day is when we have companionship study. We talk about what we have each studied in our personal study, then focus on how that will help our investigators. I think it really sets the Spirit for the rest of the day and I enjoy it when we actually use that which we studied in our lessons. It is like viewing the fruits of our labor.

I have always heard of "golden contacts" but I never thought that I would have the opportunity of teaching one! Let alone in my first transfer! But this girl we met at the baptism is amazing! She has been going to English with the Zone leaders and really feels the Spirit during the Spiritual thought. She has also been to church several times and enjoyed it. When we asked her if she would like to meet with us personally she was excited because she has so many questions that she wants to ask! We teach her for the first time tomorrow, and I can't wait!

Being a missionary is so much more than I ever thought it would be and just these two weeks have taught me soo much and I know it will have such an impact on how I live the rest of my life. I am so grateful to be here and wouldn't have missed this for the world!

Monday, July 13, 2009

I love Ukraine!

I arrived in Ukraine on Thursday morning and met my Mission President, President Steinegal and the Zone Leaders at the airport. They then took us to the Prince Vladimir monument and read Elder Packer's dedicatory prayer of the country. It was really neat. Then the Zone Leaders walked us down Xreshatic -the main street in Kiev and we had lunch at a cafeteria type place.
We then went back to the mission home and met the Steinegal Family and had orientations to the mission and interviews. We then had dinner including borscht and afterward, Ukrainian ice-cream!
We slept that night at the mission home and the next morning was Zone Conference. We walked all the way to the stake center, which wasn't a good idea, because we arrived late and sweaty. I thought that I had seen the last of humid weather when I left Florida, but I was wrong... Ukraine is soo humid!
Right when we got to the Stake Center we met our trainers. My trainer is...Sister Pack! and my first area is ...Kiev West - Vockricenia(Resurrection) Ward! I am so happy that Sister Pack is my trainer, she has been out for a year now and speaks both Ukrainian and Russian because she learned Russian in school- which is very helpful because half of the people in Kiev speak Russian and the other half speaks a mix of Ukrainian and some Russian. I am excited about the Ward I am serving in, Sister Pack says that it is the best in all Ukraine!
After conference, we took a taxi to our apartment! It is so eclectic! The furniture looks like it could be from the 60's or 70's and the wallpaper is all kinds of floral, even on the ceiling! The toilet is in a room by it's self and the sink, shower and washing mashing are in another room next to it. Hardly anything works and lots of things haven't been cleaned in ages, but that makes it more fun!
I love my ward! Everyone helps so much with missionary work and is so excited about the new temple. Everyone magnifies their calling to the max, just like busy worker bees- hey, that's probably the meaning behind Desseret!
I was asked to give my testimony in Sacrament meeting and I was terrified, but did it anyways. Afterward, everyone said that they were thankful I did and said that my Ukrainian was excellent.... I'm not so sure about that...they really are the nicest people in all Ukraine, if not the world!
I've met in several Ukrainian homes already, and each one is so inviting and welcoming. Monday is our p-day from now on, we're just checking out Central Kiev today. We are planning to go to the Opera and Kiev's most popular Monastery sometime in the next few weeks. I'm excited, but more excited to see the Lord's work progressing all around me!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Meagen made it safely to Ukraine!

I believe they are standing in front of the temple that is being built in Ukraine!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Meagen is on her way to Ukraine!

Meagen left early on Tuesday July 7th, and will be arriving in Ukraine early on Wednesday morning! Wish her luck!

At the MTC!

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