Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I should have studied piano more

New idea on how to get investigators to church--- transfer away Sister Murphy- the pianist for the branch and have me attempt to play the piano for Sunday. After that lovely experience I ran out as fast as I could to find someone from our little branch who could play! Luckily enough, we have been teaching someone who is a professional musician. She said she felt better about coming to church, because she was needed and had something to do, rather than to just sit and gawk at everything around her. When I called Elder Demke to tell him that I wasn't playing, I think he got a little offended. He said something like, "singing is a spiritual experience for me" and he did not want to play the piano. Then I told him that I was not going to play....because Tanya was going to play instead- I could hear the relief in his chuckle. So Tanya came and all was well. President Molonose was visiting from L'viv and shared a spiritual talk about his conversion and what it means to him today. I'm excited to meet with Tanya soon and hear what she has to say!
-Sister Howell

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

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Temple Miracle

We just had a wonderful zone conference in L'viv! President Steinagel shared with us some stories from his mission. And related it to how we can search for more. It was motivational.
Sister Steinagel shared story about the temple. The other Sunday, the new grass on the temple grounds was dying because of the heat, so workers had to work on Sunday to keep the grounds wet. The members of the church were concerned and started praying that everything would turn out ok. Just a few hours later, dark clouds rolled in and there was a torrential rainstorm for the rest of the day and into the night. Ever since then, the weather has been fairly cool and the grass is as green as can be. The Lord truly does answer our prayers.

-Sister Howell

Monday, June 14, 2010

I bought a kilo of strawberries today!

It is now officially summer!
The temperature is 100 degrees outside with an almost 100% humidity, or so it feels. Wasn't Ukraine supposed to be cold?? Our apartment is a sauna. No air conditioning, and if we open a window for some air, a swarm of mosquitoes fly in and attack! I sleep with a fan on me all night- to breath and to keep the mosquitoes off me. But that's a mission for ya! I think I'll sweat off about 10 more pounds before the end of my mission.

The other day we had a lesson with a lady who we have been teaching for a while, but I think that just now she is beginning to understand. Sister Visotska brought a little wooden puzzle of the Plan of Salvation and our investigator was obsessed with the 3 kingdoms of glory. She kept saying over and over, "this is very interesting" at the end of the lesson she remarked that our church is on a higher level of Christianity. I never thought about that before, but I like it!

Yesterday at church the Thatchers came in to visit. One of our members had a question about temple clothing and asked for me to translate. The member speaks only Russian and Sister Thatcher speaks very very little Ukrainian. And somehow, they didn't really need me to communicate with each other. It was beautiful to see the bond of sisterhood stretch beyond languages.

-Sister Howell

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Me in Kmelnitsky

Me and Sister Visotska
The Temple

Meeting with Elder Scott

Wow, what a wonderful meeting with Elder Scott. I don't know what I was expecting to see when he walked in, maybe glowing, floating, like the images of the apostles in the orthodox churches. I know that is not real, but I was somewhat disappointed because when I saw him the first thought that popped into my head was, "he's a lot shorter than I thought. He's just a man." But then when I went up to shake his hand and looked into his eyes, I felt the spirit confirm to me that he is a true disciple of the Lord. I thought it was interesting that later in the day, he mentioned something like, "In and of myself I am nothing, but I have been called as one of the Lord's appointed."(not a direct quote) This experience helped me to realize my own divine appointing. I sometimes do feel like I am nothing and all that I do does not matter. But it does matter. I have been called of God to be His servant and through me, He can do great things! I just need to be willing to let Him!

Here is what President Steinagel wrote us in his e-mail (quotes from Elder Scott):

What were some things that you want to remember, and to apply in your work? Here are some which I want to do:
-Throughout the course of my life, I will diligently seek to learn by what I hear, see, and feel. I will write down the important things I learn, and I will do them.
-Today’s instruction will include how to have an increase in convert baptisms who are well retained as members of the church.
-Always seek the Spirit, particularly when you are going to invite someone, such as to be baptized. Don’t go alone.
-To have faith, we must act! Follow the Spirit, even if promptings aren’t consistent with your expectations.
-How can we remember Christ in all that we do? Study His life through the scriptures, and do what He would do.
-The yardstick the Lord will use to measure our mortal life will be the personal character we’ve created.
-“I learned about accepting the Lords will more through personal trials than anything else.”

-Sister Howell