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!

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