Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Curve's for Soviet men!

When I was with Cectpa Movchanyuk we were walking through an apartment area and we saw this very soviet style work out equipment all in a circle- it reminded me of curves. So this is me on one of the weight lifting things. It was super heavy!

We haven't had much success this week. I don't know what it is. I feel like we are trying really hard, but they aren't cooperating! Why does this work have to be so hard? Oh yeah, accepting the gospel and acting on it it is the most important and essential aspect that there is in this life, so of course it isn't going to come easy. Just as anything worth getting in this life doesn't come easy. A few examples... getting in shape, earning a degree, having a baby. All wonderful things in the end, but in the process it seems like almost too much. So I just need to keep the big picture in mind. If it didn't seem like a very successful week this week, and I did my best, maybe next week I'll see the reward, or the next or the next... no matter how long it takes, it will eventually happen because the Lord has promised it to us, we just need to keep our confidence in Him and not in ourselves.
There is good news though. We had two investigators at church on Sunday, the elders had four. I felt the spirit there very strongly and I think they did too. The Gospel Principles class was filled with so many questions and lots of learning! It was probably one of my favorite Sundays here. I can't wait to see what is going to happen next Sunday!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Exchanges and Angel Moroni

It has been a week of exchanges for me. For the first half I was serving with Sister Mavchanuk and the second half I was with Sister Ethington. I learned a lot. And I hopefully will apply all the new ideas that I have to my area. When I was with Sister Movchanuk we even committed an investigator to baptism! It was kind of strange, because I knew that we were talking about baptism, but I didn't hear that she accepted the date. But she did!
I was privileged to be able to attend the Angel Moroni dedication with an investigator. She didn't say very much when I asked her what she thought and felt, but there was such excitement, she probably just needs to let it all sink in and ponder what she herd and saw.
As I was watching the Angel being placed atop of the Temple, I was thinking of the visual mark of the missionary work in Ukraine that it symbolizes. A little over 20 years ago, Ukraine was under Soviet rule, then the walls were brought down and the Church was brought to the country. Now, a temple is being built and I'm sure it is just the beginning of all the wonderful things that are going to happen in this country. I feel so honored to be apart of it.

Here is a quote from lds.org about the Angel Moroni:

The statues of the angel Moroni atop our temples symbolize the Restoration of the gospel in these latter days. They represent the angel in John’s vision in the New Testament: “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth” (Rev. 14:6).


Monday, September 14, 2009

Three days without Sister Pack

I am still alive. Sister Pack is back from Bulgaria and all is well. Having a native mini missionary was something. Since she is from Odessa, she speaks mostly Russian, a couple words in English and only Ukrainian when she remembers it. I think we managed somehow with my very elementary Ukrainian and me guessing a whole lot of the time. I didn't end up calling other people for translations like I was expecting to. Fortunately all the people we taught understood us so that is all that matters. All in all, it was a good experience.
After Sister Pack returned, we had the most amazing lesson about the Plan of Salvation with our investigator. We even included some of the next lesson because she was ready to hear it. It was wonderful. We all come out of it walking on air with smiles filling up our faces. We think that she already has her answer to everything, she just needs time to realize it. We love her so much!
It appears that it is transfer time for all of the sisters in Kiev. This next week I'm going to two different areas with two different companions. I don't think it will be too bad though, I'm just not looking forward to the packing. I'm horrible at packing.
This morning I was studying the topic of obedience. I was led to ask myself, "Why wouldn't I want to be obedient to the things that the Lord asks of me to do?" He is all knowing and ever loving. He would never ask me to do something that would bring me unhappiness and misery. He only wants the very best for me and I know that if I am obedient I will be happy. And it is an everlasting happiness because he is everlasting. The things of this world may bring happiness, but it will only be temporary, because nothing that is impure can last forever. Those who love the Lord love his laws. It makes perfect sense, so why do we still question and disobey?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Happy Birthday to YOU!

Just kidding. I just had to say it for old time's sake.
I guess I'll tell you about my birthday then, if you'd like to know.
I woke up at the usual time, 6:30 and started my morning workout. Sister Pack came in and yelled at me for working on my birthday. But, I'm a missionary, so I continued to work-out. I then made some pancakes with strawberries and whipped cream for topping!
After we finished eating we went on to have our three hours of daily study. During study Sister Steinagel (the mission president's wife) called and wished me happy birthday. She also asked if Sister Pack knew if it was my birthday because she says a lot of the time when she calls, the missionaries companion never knows! After study we went to Forshet to talk to an investigator who works there. She was kind of cold to us when we got there, so we talked to her for a while and got her cheered up. Then we returned to our apartment and made some chicken stir-fry for lunch. After lunch we began weekly planning which we do every Friday for the next week. This weekly planning was super intense because Sister Pack is going to Bulgaria next week (to re-new her visa) and I am going to be the senior companion to a mini-missionary who is from Ukraine and might not speak that much English! I'm super nervous! Especially because we have lessons set up to teach investigators and I don't want to be lost in the dark and have really awkward conversations! At 5:00 we went to visit a member who invited us over. She fed us a fish salad. It was very tasty, but since we are not supposed to eat fish, for fear of contamination, I couldn't enjoy that salad as much as I would have liked to. But I didn't get sick from it, so I think I'm ok. On our way back home Masha, our investigator, called and wished me happy birthday. After Masha called Elder Beleshov called and sang happy birthday to me and asked me questions about what I had been doing that day. I felt bad because for the longest time I didn't recognize who it was that I was talking to! And Elder Beleshov was in the MTC with me! We then returned home and had cake and ice-cream, using a match for a candle. The cake was ok, it kind of tasted like a chocolate sponge. But it was cake nonetheless. I liked the ice-cream more though, it was cherry-vanilla!
After that little bit of celebration we finished our weekly planning and then started to clean our apartment. Sister Pack was vacuuming when all of the sudden the power went out. Then the power came back on. Then it went out again. We waited for a while for it to come back on again, but it did not. There was only one electrical outlet that was working in the house and it was in the kitchen. Unfortunately, it was across the room from the refrigerator. In order to save our food, we spent a while finding extension cords to reach the fridge. One of the extension cords was attached to the iron. And the cord was in there pretty tight. Sister Pack was convinced that the iron was warm, so she tried desperately to un-attach the iron. She succeeded. Sister Murphy called and she and her companion sang to me and asked me how my day went. Earlier in the day we had planned to put on some mud masks for fun, so even though our apartment was pitch-black dark we did anyway. Then it was time for bed. That was my birthday, I hope you enjoyed it.
Last week I went shopping and bought myself a blow-dryer and some earrings. The best birthday present though was a new washing mashing! Yes, for two months I have been washing my laundry by hand! Even though the land lady didn't purposefully get the washing mashing for my birthday, I accepted it as a birthday present anyway.

An up-date on the electricity. This morning, after three days with only one outlet working, it stopped, we were upset, because we didn't want the food in the fridge to go bad. So Sister Pack walked out into the hallway and twisted a knob. Just a little bit. And the entire apartment gained electricity again. This is very weird, because we started playing with those knobs the morning after my birthday and Brat Kikno came over and spent a good hour fiddling with the knobs and fuses. We were thinking that a lot of work would have to be done and it would cost a lot of money and the land lady would probably try to put the blame on us so she wouldn't have to pay for it. Power of prayer? It has to be.