Monday, January 25, 2010

Halina's Baptism!

Saturday morning we woke up to a beautiful blue sky and sunshine! Do you know what that means? Cold! No cloud cover and wind brought the temp to -18 degrees Celsius! When it's cold Sister Morton's eyes water, so they got her eyelashes wet and they were freezing together! We got to the chapel to start the water running and to finish working on our talks. The other missionaries got there early and started talking to us so I was only able to finish preparing right before the service! There was a healthy turn out of people and Halina was so happy she was glowing! When I gave my talk only Sister Morton and Halina were smiling at me. Everyone else's faces were contorted- trying to figure out what I was trying to say. All in all it was a beautiful baptism and I want to have many more just like it! Halina is a shining example of what all members need to be more like. She is full of charity and love, she participates in all of the lessons, she loves studying the scriptures and she is introducing all of her friends to the missionaries! We are meeting with her and her boyfriend tonight because she wants him to get baptized too!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Halina is getting baptized on Saturday!

Last Tuesday we taught her the Restoration again and asked if she wanted to be baptized, and she said, of course! She is so wonderful. Sometimes lessons fall through and we are not able to meet with her and Sister Morton and I start to get worried, then we meet with her again and she dissolves all worry like a warm summer's day melts ice-cream! She is so excited about Relief Society and has a bunch of ideas for the sisters to do.
Well, she just arrived, and we are all going to a members house for a lesson!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Let me tell you about Halina

We met her at the end of last month, when the Borshahivky sisters and us went to sing to her at the hospital. But we couldn't teach her until she was back home because the hospital was under quarantine. Last Monday we went over to her house to become acquainted, and right away she pulled out her copy of The Book of Mormon and said she had a question about this verse- Alma 3:19 - "Now I would that ye should see that they brought upon themselves the curse; and even so doth every man that is cursed bring upon himself his own condemnation."
Then she asked why people would want to do that, and why people do not want to change. We answered by saying it is hard sometimes to change and to follow Christ. Then she asked, why then does Jesus say, '' my yoke is easy, and my burden is light'' Good question!
The next time we met with her she told us that the day before, her boyfriend had been over and brought all his stuff and wanted to move in with her. She was shocked and didn't know what to do. Then we talked about how we can receive answers from The Book of Mormon and she said, yes, I know, then she brought out Alma 5:16- ''I say unto you, can you imagine to yourselves that ye hear the voice of the Lord, saying unto you, in that day: Come unto me ye blessed, for behold, your works have been the works of righteousness upon the face of the earth?'' Then we shared the Plan of Salvation with her including talking a little about eternal marriage and what that means. Then she said that she sees now that she could not let him move in with her. I love that we were able to help her come to make her own decision, by listening to the spirit.
She came to church yesterday and it was perfect, because in all our lessons we were talking about the Plan of Salvation, so when the teachers asked questions to the class, she was able to participate and testify of what she has learned. By the end of Relief Society, she was overflowing with the spirit. It was probably the best day at church in my life!
We're meeting with her again tomorrow, and we hope that she will accept a baptismal date! Please pray for her!


Saturday, January 9, 2010

We love the snow!!!


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy New Year!

On New Year's Eve, we went to the Center Sister's apartment to celebrate with all eight sisters in Kiev, and have a slumber party! We played Bonanza, watched "It's a wonderful live” again, and Sister Movchanyk made some super awesome pizza! Sveta stopped by and dropped off her guitar before she left for Germany- which Sister Morton was very excited about. Then we played Phase 10 'till midnight! The next morning we made pancakes for breakfast and watched Ben-Hur, then a BYU 1984 football game. Then we went home and Sister's Pack and Garff called and we talked to them, then I worked on a puzzle. We did some weekly planning then the day was over.

On Tuesday we had a Christmas party for our English group and we were running late to go set up for it. I had a backpack full of party supplies, my arms were carrying a large hot cookie sheet(in which the cookies were not even done all the way) snow had fallen into my boots and my feet were getting wet, and the trolley bus that we had been waiting for stopped very far away so that we had to cross a river full of ice and slush to get to it. I was not happy. I remember asking the trolley bus in a not so quiet voice why it had stopped so far away, and I also informed my companion that I was never making cookies again!
Then, out of the crowds of darkness, stood a man in a yellow coat who offered me his hand and lead me across the icy river and onto the already packed trolley bus, just barely finding enough room for himself before the doors shut. He spoke some kind words to me that I didn't quite understand, then he helped me off at the next stop- to get out of the way of all the people who needed to exit, then he helped me back on again. There were less people this time so that I was able to hold onto the railing to keep myself up, then I looked around and the man was gone.
Whether this man was an angel sent from God, or just an ordinary Ukrainian who took pity on an angry American girl- it's all the same to me. I felt God's love as I was left in awe at the kindness of a stranger. In the scriptures, the common message of angels is...fear not, God loves you. The message I received that night was...stress not, God loves you.