Week 2 in Ukraine. I am incredibly happy to be here. The first week was great but a lot more painful than I expected. Again this week I am being taught by my Heavenly Father everyday. He really is right there. I have never felt his presence so strongly as I have here.
This week I had the impression to go through the area book and I found this old couple who was taught a year ago by missionaries and I just felt we needed to call them. So we did and he told us he would call back. A day later he really did and we went to teach them. the old man is the cutest ever. He dressed up in a suit and his eyebrows are like 3 inches off his face. HUGE. I love it so much. We taught them about the Plan of Salvation and it was amazing. He understood and just felt everything so strongly. His wife is very provoslavnic and she felt the spirit too but is very much involved with her church (her family are the priests). but I think that we have some real potential with them. I LOVE THEM SO MUCH.
Also we visited 2 families and I love them. the kids are so cute here. What they do for fun is they make these little rubberband bracelets and this 9 year old Nikita made one for me. He reminds me of Bridger and I can't even handle it. He said the prayer for family home evening and I just started bawling. This is a family that is in the covenant and this little boy understand so much about why the gospel is so important. I understood his prayer too which was a big deal and it was so sincere and I just know Heavenly Father loves him. So I cried. The food here is great. They drink so much TEA. I guess I will just have to get used to it. (Don't worry it is fruit tea so it is allowed(;).
Things with my companion are better. It is hard I think for native people to open up right away and she didn't really know who I was and so I think it was difficult for her and she is really ready to go home. But when they are nice they are SO nice! things are better and she told me that she loves me! so everything is great. I am learning how to be tough. And I do love her. It is good training and every time it gets hard and she is a little bit gruff with me I just have to think about how the Savior would train me and I know that he loves me and I try not to make big mistakes but he does forgive me when I make mistakes. I love Cherkassy. It is crazy because though there are hard moments I can not picture myself doing this without Cectpa Fedas! She will be gone in 4 weeks and I just don't know enough.
God really trusts us with this work. I am learning SO MUCH!!!!!! He really is there every second. I know that. I CAN LITERALLY FEEL IT. He is the one directing and giving us the strength how to do this. It is something I just did't really understand before.
There are some hard things I am realizing. It literally pains me when I feel so strongly someone needs the gospel and I watch them turn away. It happens so often but this week I had two specific instances where my heart ached and I cried. One is a 26 ish man who comes to english every week. He has heard a lot about the church. He is a historian and he just doesn't believe in god. I feel so strongly to bear my testimony to him every time I see him. We teach about the gospel in english class and he even prayed in class. But after he just told us he just doesn't need the gospel. I sat on the floor in the church and burst into tears because I know that God loves him and wants him to come. I imagine this is how god feels when we just decide to do it all on our own, because he knows how much happier we could be and he wants us to come home. so every time people turn away I believe he sheds a tear and always knows they may still come. but it still hurts. It doesn't hurt because I am sad for me but because the spirit literally tells me when someone needs it and they turn away. Cectpa Fedas gave me an analogy. she never cooked, never knew how and never would. she would watch her mom cook but never help and always said she would never cook. She never cooked, until the day she NEEDED to, and now she is an incredible cook. That is like a lot of people who first turn away. this man is here in the church twice a week, being taught the gospel, he is in the kitchen watching us cook, but he may not cook until the moment he needs to.
Also the other heart breaking moment. We were tracting in this large DOM (home) and one little boy answered the door and went and got his mom. We told her we are missionaries and then started telling her about your message. she told us she didn't need it. When she closed the door my heart broke when I heard what the little boy said. He said, "Why did you tell them we don't need them mom? We do." He was probably 10. It is ok though because we never fail when we work our hardest. For some people they need many many steps in order to accept and find God. So I don't mind rejection because it may just take time.
We are doing well here and I love it so much. It is so green. There are fruit trees everywhere and green plants and flowers literally ALL OVER. It is one of teh prettiest places to be.
I love D&C 6:34-37
Thank you for the prayers and the emails EVERYONE. You strengthen me. I hope you are all doing well. I LOVE YOU WITH MY WHOLE HEART.
I am always being trained4ukraine. And I am so glad. Now is the time to let God mold me into who I need to be. WE CAN DO THIS! Have an amazing week. I will too. Oh and hey if you want to learn a fun little saying in Russian google translate silly goose. I use this daily and it is so much better in RUSSIAN! I LOVE THIS WORK.
It is a gift from God.