Monday, August 31, 2015

Mission Newsletter

Give Fully to the Lord and Have a Plan
Ukraine Kyiv Mission
31 Aug 2015
Quote: And as sure as the Lord liveth, so sure as many as believed, or as many as were brought to the knowledge of the truth, through the preaching of Ammon and his brethren, according to the spirit of revelation and of prophecy, and the power of God working miracles in themyea, I say unto you, as the Lord liveth, as many of the Lamanites as believed in their preaching, and were converted unto the Lord, never did fall away.” Alma 23:6
Dear Elders and Sisters,
This letter is a smattering of different thoughts from our interviews.
Overall feeling: We have the best missionaries in the whole world! It was uplifting to meet with each of you.
Goal Setting and Planning: Everyone has room to improve, most stink at it. If goal setting and planning isn't something you look forward to as a revelatory experience, you are not doing it right. Even if you have a blank calendar for the next day, your daily planning should take 30 minutes and you should be seeking revelation on where to go and what things to share. Your weekly planning should be on a Thursday or Friday afternoon and should be 2-3 hours. We need you planning like Sisters Meyers and Payne before the new missionaries come. Leaving behind an area book and being an example of a Preach My Gospel missionary who can plan will be an amazing legacy to leave behind even if you are leaving this transfer.
Gossip: Stop it! The devil is its author and it is slowing the work. Only say good things about previous companions or other missionaries. "If you can't say something nice don't say anything at all."
Consecration: If you can’t give your heart, might, mind and strength to your area and the Lord, you still have your landing gear down. This landing gear takes the form of talking about home, spending too much time on Preparation Day writing letters home or wasting time on the internet. The happiest most effective time on my mission was the time when I totally left home behind. Once at 10:15 PM, I forgot I hadn't called home for Christmas; I spoke with my family for only 10 minutes
so that I could get to bed on time.
Let the Little Things Go: I remember the day my life changed for the better in an incredible way. I was in a watermelon eating contest and watched as we all wasted time cleaning the seeds out of our pieces of

watermelon. I wanted to win, so I decided to just eat and swallow and not worry about the seeds. It was easy. It was amazing! I won the contest but I also won in life, because to this day I just eat the watermelon seeds and all. It is so much more enjoyable. It took a little bit of practice not to bite any seeds but now I am a pro. The same thing happened while fishing with the boys at Utah Lake this year. There were a million little bugs, what I thought were mosquitoes, flying
around in our eyes and landing on us. When I figured out they weren't biting and were just little flies, I just didn't pay any attention to them (like the watermelon seeds). I could have swatted and smacked and been miserable the whole time we fished, but I didn't and it was a great time. Did the flies go away? No, my attitude changed.
President Packer 

honest email to president

Also this is my honest email to president:

Dear President,

I have a few questions for you. 

First, there is a boy here in this branch named Roma. He is 9 years old and his family are all members. He has 2 older siblings who are so active who both want to go on missions. His parents are inactive and do not want to meet but don't mind us coming over to meet with the kids. We want to go over and do service and maybe that will slowly wear them down. But I am concerned because this boy has not been baptized, and I do not know what to do about it, or what the protical for that is? I need some help. Do we teach him even though his family is members? Why has he not already been interviewed and baptized? Do we get him an interview and then the the President decide if he is ready or not? He is an adorable little boy who comes to church every week. He has some social things, but really he is just a wonderful human and my heart aches for this little boy. Baptism is essential to salvation. Please help me know what to do?

Also since last meeting I have a few concerns. 
It is just hard not to let expectations drop. We get kicked out of houses 100% of the time we try to knock doors. Everyone in our area book says too busy and all our investiagtors are really busy or disapearing. We had a baptismal date with that Vika who was in the church since she was 5 and now that she is 18 and wanted baptism so bad has just disapeared, will not answer the phone or anything or come to church for 3 weeks. We saw her once on the street and she said she still wants to get baptised and asked to meet the next day, she did not come, she also promised to come to church and did not. We try to work with the members here in Tairova but this week it has been insanely hard. The ones that are willing to help are really busy and the rest do not want to help OR meet with us. I loved what you told me about working with the members and that is what I want to do but they are being hard right now. We did have a good service project this week that bonded a bunch of them and the Mini MTC helped at least one member see that contacting and missionary work is hard. She was one who told us she was too busy to help us with the work but after seeing how hard it was for herself she told us that it would just be better if missionaries worked through the members! We know! That is exactly what we want to do. So I am at least excited about that. I will keep working and we will try to meet and do training and stuff of how to share the gospel and all teh wonderful advice you shared with me with strengthing their families. Most of the families here are really struggling. I am not sure why. But I want to help.

There are good things too sometimes, I just dont know how to fill up the days. It is really hard to wander around the city all day everyday when everything gets cancelled and no one wants to meet- not investigators or members. I know that some weeks are better than others, but this is just this week. 

Also I wanted to give you a heads up because you asked in my interview about my health. The doctor has prescribed me to take "the Bomb" because he thinks I have something not so great going on in my stomach. So this week will be an interesting one. Praying I will get better fast because all I want to do is work! It is hard for me not to work!

I love Sister Kokoreva so much and am so grateful to have had the oppurtunity to serve with her. She will build Ukraine. She is a strong member and I hope the 2 week mini mission helped to strength her and to prepare her for the rest of her life. Thank you for that opportunity. She was the best mini missionary ever. I love Ukrainians! 

We also had a split this week and my comp Sister McDermott went back with Sister Novikova and it was pretty hard for her. I am grateful for all the sisters though, and all we need to learn from them.

Sorry for way too much information. You are the best! Praying for your family.

-Sister Karren
President and Sister Packer and Family

the bomb!

Kylie didn’t get a big email out this week because she has to go through a registration process with Ukraine to stay in the country that will take up her whole p-day. Also, Kylie is having some pretty serious problems with her stomach so she’s taking some meds and hoping to rest up and get better this week. The mission doc and president are keeping close eye on her. 

It is hard being so far away from her and not being able to help her through this, but if you wouldnt mind please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.  I know there is great power in prayer and fasting so if you would like to add her to your fast this coming Sunday I would be so grateful!  Thank you for your ongoing love and support on her behalf.

Kylies Shared Online:

My life is pretty nuts sometimes, but it is my life and I choose to be here and I really do love it. This week was really hard in so many ways and almost everything went wrong but the difference is I am still happy. It doesn’t get me down. Thank you for your thoughts about the members and my blessing and the work here. I will work hard.

Ok. So I am going to tell you what is going on. I am totally fine I do not want anyone to panic ok?

But like AK I have had some pretty intense pain inside my stomach. I am pretty far from Kyiv so the doctor has been working with me over the phone. This week I get to have the pleasure of taking a medicine entitled "the Bomb" (I know that is really comforting). It will make me pretty sick so I will be off the streets this week. But I hope that whatever is inside of me will be taken care of because there is nothing else I want to do, then to get out and get to work. That is ALL I WANT TO DO. Just letting you guys know because you are my parents and I thought you should know what is going on. But I really am ok. I have the same nausea every time I eat and really consistent pain in my stomach and intestines. So we are going to get it figured out. President wants me here for the long run so I will do whatever I can do make that happen. Even bombing my stomach to get parasites or whatever is going on, OUT! : I am pretty sick but we are getting it figured out.  I am praying that after that it will get rid of whatever is inside of me and I can go back to work! That is all I want to do. :)


I love you guys!

Love, CecTpa KappeH

Yep! Its better for me to not be a blonde here.

Our Mini that I love!

Saying goodbye to our Mini

My Mini Sister Kokoreva is so cute!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Mission Newsletter

The Cheese Has Moved
Ukraine Kyiv Mission
24 Aug 2015
Quote: "Wherefore, I the Lord ask you this question--unto what were ye ordained? To preach my gospel by the Spirit, even the Comforter which was sent forth to teach the truth. And then received ye spirits which ye could not understand, and received them to be of God; and in this are ye justified? Behold ye shall answer this question yourselves; nevertheless, I will be merciful unto you; he that is weak among you hereafter shall be made strong." (D&C 50:13-16
Elders and Sisters,
Wearereallyexcitedforthemiraclesthatwehavebeenseeinginthemissionthisweek! Weareonourwaydownto Odessatoconductafireside,churchbusiness,andmissionaryinterviews.Also,Dallinturns16onTuesday. Ithasbeena hard thing for him to know that he won't even get a learners permit until he is 18 when we return to the U.S. in two
years. It is even harder, as he sees his friends going to school dances and dating. A person could get depressed thinking about all he can't do. I told him that a person is truly miserable who only thinks about the things they can not do and not all of the things that they can do....mostly because this person misses out on all they could be

doing/enjoying. Missionaries can fall into this trap. They can go through their missions and wish away their time, markingthedayslikelinesofchalkonthewallsofaprisoncell. Thealternativeisforamissionarytoletthemissiongo through them. This is a miraculous thing. To let the mission go through you requires a change of perspective. It means the ability to change and look for the opportunities or the things you can do. There is an interesting book about survival in business called "Who Moved My Cheese". The message of this book is simply, change or die. The analogy the author usesisamouseinamaze,whoisusedtofindingablockofcheeseinoneplace. Thismouseisdisappointedifthecheese is moved to a new place. If the mouse does not change where he is looking, he will be disappointed, and even discouraged as he returns again and again to the same place to find no cheese. The mouse must change or die. A business who can't adapt will fail. Missions are a lot like this. Missionaries who look for happiness, relaxation, or validation in the same places as they did before their mission will be discouraged. The cheese has moved! Your happiness, peace, your success comes through becoming an instrument in the Lords hands. It comes from changing who you are. This is often frustrating and difficult. It takes constant effort. It requires sacrifice. It requires giving up your will for God's. It is the test of this life!

To help you in this process, you have a gift from God given to you on your mission every single day. You will never again have this gift. You are given one hour to consistently commune with God as you immerse yourself in His words during Personal Study. You also have an hour of companionship study. It is amazing! You have the opportunity to discusswithanotherpersonrevelationreceivedfromheavenforsomeoneyouareteaching. Youhaveafrontrowseatto how the Lord works with His children. You also have an hour a day to seek a spiritual gift, The gift of tongues. You seek this gift not for yourself but so that you can bless others. What a blessing it is to know how to seek spiritual gifts will be later on in life! If you add these hours together over the course of a mission you get thousands of hours in your own sacred grove. This time is an investment in your future. The careful use of this time, diligent work throughout the day, and inspired planning at the end of the day will qualify you for the Spirit of the Lord. Without the Spirit we cannot do this work. Consider the scripture that inspired The title of Preach My Gospel. "Wherefore, I the Lord ask you this question-- unto what were ye ordained? To preach my gospel by the Spirit, even the Comforter which was sent forth to teach the truth. And then received ye spirits which ye could not understand, and received them to be of God; and in this are ye justified? Behold ye shall answer this question yourselves; nevertheless, I will be merciful unto you; he that is weak among you hereafter shall be made strong." (D&C 50:13-16)
We love you!
President and Sister Packer 

the reality of ukraine

I can't ever leave this place. The gorgeousness of the country, the farms, the Russian Ukrainian crazy mix. People who are God's children who don't even know it. And that is why I am here. To remind them. Everyday I see shacks barely standing-and many call it home. I see people marching on throughout the day with sad eyes in a war torn country and a sad world. They fight for their lives. I see people sleeping on the hard ground in every city, people who dig in the trash just to find some food. I see this all with my own eyes. I see old people wondering the streets with crooked backs, walking along with stale bread to feed the birds. It makes me smile. There was a man who sat on the ground in same spot everyday, and everyday we would pass by, and he would always say hello with a smile, yet he has nothing but that spot on the ground. I didn't even get to say goodbye. I see loving people beneath hard masks because of the daily battle they face-sometimes they feel they can do nothing else, but turn to the drugs, and the alcohol; anything just to take the edge off. Yet the people keep moving along day by day. I see hard working people who just yearn to be free. I see malnourished children with the biggest hearts in the world, who flock to us if all we do is just smile their way; they throw their arms around us-yearning for love and light in their darkened world. I see parents worn to the bone-who just can't feed or can't help their children. Though sometimes they come off indifferent- I have seen their tears. Our job may seem large. How do we fix a broken, yet beautiful world, full of the most precious of God's children? In reality our job is just small, I know because God truly does the work here. I know that God loves these people. Every person in Ukraine. Amidst all the bad, I see Him here and He is good. His work is love. Ukraine is love for me. God cries with His children when they cry. He laughs and rejoices with them too. This place is changing me. I would not have it any other way. I am just beginning to see through the eyes of God. And this is the place I choose to call my home. 

I love you guys so much. I hope this doesn't make anyone upset. I just wanted to write about the world I see everyday, with my own eyes. It has a lot of sad but really I am so happy to be here. There is so much good and so much beauty to be seen here. These people here are beautiful. The Saints are faithful. We are gathering the chosen. And it is the very best work. Feel free not to send this on if it is a little bit to heavy. It is mostly just for you and the family anyway. It is just a peek into this place I really do love to call home. My heart is changing so much. And I really would not choose another path. Everyday I pray for the strength to keep going, not to let myself unravel. Because I am here doing what God wants me to do. Love is the essence of the gospel. And above all my weaknesses (I have SO MANY), I know that I am capable of love. Love is the answer. Love will save the world. and Jesus Christ has saved the souls of men, all out of love. LOVE is this gospel. Love is everything. 

I love you guys. This week was another great one. So much has happened and I just don't have time to tell you all. So it is on to another week! I am praying for you. WE CAN DO THIS! Have a great one.

Love always, 

Сестра Кэррен

Got to see our Sister young because zone conference in odessa! Opera House

my companionship with our mini missionary Sister Kokoreva (branch President of Cherkassky's daughter)

My Comps

Oh my companions!

 an investigator named Larissa who I love. and our mini missionary she is just 16

My investigator Larissa

Zone Conference Odessa

Monday, August 17, 2015

Mission Newsletter

Consecrate all of Your Might, Mind and Strength
Ukraine Kyiv Mission
17 Aug 2015
Quote: And go ye out from among the wicked. Save yourselves. Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord. Even so. Amen.” D&C 38:42
Elders and Sisters,
End of Transfer Challenge
One Baptism. I want to challenge all you to have at least one solid baptism set in your area before the end of this transfer. I have thought a lot about this challenge and have felt the confirmation from the Spirit that it is possible. As missionaries, we don’t stop at baptismal dates set; our ultimate goal is the salvation of every one of the Lord’s children. Each soul is precious to the Lord. He knows each and every one of the people you meet. He desperately desires each one of them to return to Him, not only at the end of this life and in the eternities, but here and now as they have been separated from Him. We reconnect people with Him as we share the truth He has restored, invite them to read the scriptures, attend church, and learn to pray. As they come to know Him, their faith in Him grows. They begin to understand how He is working in the their lives and the lives of others, and they will desire to change their lives to please Him by living the commandments. They then desire to repent. Their faith and repentance help prepare and qualify for covenants that they desperately desire to make so they can secure His promised blessings. The first covenant and the first great blessing are tied together in baptism. The baptism of water and fire place people on the path to additional covenants and the promised blessing of eternal life. This path is wonderful. It is filled with direction, peace, forgiveness, harmony in the home, heavenly help, and joy. I am convinced that you can help the Father prepare one person in your area to enter the waters of baptism this transfer. This will happen if you live the first two great commandments. You must love the Lord and you must love your neighbor enough to obey with exactness, seek direction from heaven, and repent continually.
Reasons We May Doubt. You may not believe, because
of your past experience, that every area can have a
baptismal date this transfer. You must cast out these
doubts and believe “...the Lord is preparing people to
receive you and the restored gospel. He will lead you to
them or He will lead them to you.
Preach My Gospel.
You may feel like,
you are too “old” in the mission to
change how you have been doing things. This is not
true. While waiting, I sat down this week, next to a man
and had an interesting conversation with him. He told
me that he was too old to learn to believe in God and that
speaking to him about God would not be worthwhile. I
testified to him that God does exist and even in his old
age he could come to know and benefit from a
relationship with God. I told him about a recent convert
who was baptized in Odessa who was 90 years old when
he came to know God. This 90-year old man, like the
eleventh-hour laborer in the Saviors parable, receives the
same wage as those who labored all day. Each one of us,
no matter how old,
can change. We don’t have to and
really can’t go through this change alone. We need the
help of the Lord’s atonement. You may feel like you are
too youngin the mission field and don’t know enough
langauge. There is nothing further from the truth. This
is not your work! I will tell you why. Last week, there
was a tender mercy in my life, as a young man at youth
conference approached me and ask me if he could take a
picture with me. I asked him why and he said that I had
baptized his mother. He said that her name was Nataliya
Berezovskaya. I was overwhelmed with gratitude
because I hadn’t seen this beautiful family since the day of their baptism almost 20 years go. I had never known him, because he was living with his dad in a different city. Just after her baptism, Sister Berezovskaya moved to Nicholaev. She helped missionaries register legally for the first time to proselyte in that city. She helped to build the branch up. Her son was baptized there. She went less active 10 years ago. I spoke to her on the phone that day and I have great hopes for helping her back into activity. She first gained a testimony at a district conference where I bore a short testimony. I had only been in the country for a few months when I was asked to speak at this district conference. I had an older missionary write my talk for me. I had tried to no avail to learn the new words and pronunciation for this talk. I was slotted to speak right after a missionary who had been out one month longer than I. He spoke with great authority and power about member missionary work using words I had never heard. As I approached the stand, I left my talk in my seat and bore a simple two-minute testimony of the Savior and the Book of Mormon. I sat down in my seat believing that it would have been better had my time been given to the Elder who spoke before me. I was very surprised when our district leader called me and said that a Sister Berezovskaya wanted me to baptize her. I knew that there must have been some mistake because we were not meeting with a Sister Berezovskaya. He related that the Sisters in the district were teaching this woman and that she had been praying and the answer came as I bore my simple testimony. I have a testimony that the Lord will work through you if you will do your very best and testify of those things that you know even at the beginning of your missionary service. You can do as much good now as you will when you have been out 17 months.

How Do We Do It? So, how do we go about finding this baptism in your area? The answer is simple but requires are whole might, mind, and strength. You must be exactly obedient and you must repent daily. You must be able to find thosetheLordhaspreparednowtobuildhiskingdomamongtheseaofotherswhoarenotreadyyet. Howdowedothis? Serving as a High Priest Group Leader, I had been assigned by the bishop to clean out the mobile home of a single woman who had boxes and garbage from floor to ceiling. We arrived with 8 men and ordered a 40-yard dumpster in which to put the garbage. The woman was very worried because she had family history in some of the boxes, so for the first hour, eight men watched as she carefully looked through only three boxes. I knew we needed a better way of sorting and finding the precious family history amid the mountain in front of us. We prayed and ask the Lord to prompt us when a box had a piece of family history in it. With faith, we began our work. As boxes came, and they came quickly, we held them and if we had a prompting, we put them in a pile to be sorted through. As we first started, we tested out feelings and opened a few boxes, and confirmed that if there was a feeling, there was indeed a piece of family history. If we didn’t have a prompting there was always nothing in the box. Gaining courage, we went to work with confidence. About every tenth box had an important document or photograph and the rest were thrown in the dumpster. With the help of the Lord the mobile home was cleaned and the family history was recovered. Without The Lord’s help, we would have never finished the job. I believe finding in missionary work is much the same. You can, with faith, pray that the Lord will lead you to those who are ready. You must have the Spirit. You must be diligent.
This last month, since being home, I have conducted four interviews for four first-time endowments, one interview for a sealing, and one baptismal interview. These people all had one thing in common. All of them were found and taught, in part, by one Sister missionary who has returned home. It was remarkable to me that one Sister, already home, could still be having such lasting impact on people. What qualified her for this? How could so many elect people have found her or she them? Another returned missionary gave us the answer. This Sister did what other missionaries wouldn’t. For example, instead of talking with other missionaries after district meeting or church services, she pulled out a list of contacts and made phone calls. She truly consecrated all of her might, mind, and strength to the service of the Lord and the people.
You Decide. All of you come with difference personalities, different talents and different abilities. The Lord doesn’t nor do we expect you to all be the same. What the Lord does expect is that you give your very best effort, that you are obedient, and that you are repenting each day. It doesn’t matter what any of us have been in the past we can make the decision of who we will become, and with the Lord’s help we can accomplish His work.
We love you. We recommit to the Lord and to you to help build His kingdom! Thanks for your efforts. Love,
President and Sister Packer 




Those are the two biggest lessons I have learned this week. 

I am running out of time so I will just write real quick about one day from this week:

We decided we needed to do a big day of finding and set out to go contacting and tracting and it was Sister McDermott's first time. We started knocking doors in this giant home from the top floor to the bottom, and one old woman opened and when she found out we were missionaries panicked and slammed the door then yelled at her son because they were both really freaked out (oops I didnt think I was that scary). We continued down to the next floor and the next person to open up was a much calmer woman, but then freaked out just as bad. she was like, "Nope, I don't want it. I want you to get ont hat elevator, take it down to the first floor, leave this Dom and never come back!" And then she watched us to make sure we called the elevator and she went back inside. But then the elevator was taking a really long time so she came back, called it again, then RODE down with us. It was the most awkward elevator ride of our life. Then she yelled at the front desk lady for letting us in, so it was a pretty intense tracting experience. We got kicked out! After that, we went to a park and tried contacting. All the women there were like NO WAY. We continued trying and nobody not one person was having it that day. We went to the church to meet with a women who had already said yes to meeting and waited, and waited and waited. She never showed up. So we called many potentials and every single person told us they did not want and to please not call again. After that we went to another womans house who also told us we could meet that day, but she was not home and wont answer her phone then we again got escorted down the stairs by some man who did not want us to be there. IT WAS CRAZY. 

But the point of me relating this tale is not just to talk about how bad the day was or how hard the work is. The point is that night we sat down and started to think about the miracles we saw that day. (We do it everynight.) And we saw that God had given us so many miracles that may not have seemed obvious at first but they really were there. There were more miracles listened that day than for any other this week. When things seem hard we just have to remember that God is there. He loves us and He does not leave us alone.

I am also learning to crave the rejection. It means that, that many more people are seeing us. The are one step closer. They have their freedom of agency, but one way or another they will someday ALL admit that Jesus is the Christ. And with every door we knock on, every person we talk to, we are preparing this world for the coming of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And this is our work. And I love it. 

I want to ask you all to pray for our investigators:
Vika is an 18 year old girl who has a baptismal date for September 5 but she also did not show up to meet with us this week and did not come to church. So we need SO MUCH power from Heaven to help this girl. Her one desire is to get baptized but something is not quite right, at this moment and she needs prayers.
Alica 30's a wonderful women who loves to play lawyer and grill us yet loves us and wants to know more but needs to do a lot of changing in her life
Larissa 40's darling women who comes to english practice and is Russian orthodox. She is our new investigator as of today! (We got to meet with her in the middle of email time that is why this is short.) She loves God so much and will be an amazing member if she chooses this path (and with God and faith I believe she will.)

Please pray for the gift of tongues. It is so hard but we are trying everyday to help God do this work. 
A funny mistake of mine this week (please feel free to laugh):
Just the other day we thought this man was asking us if we were sent from black Obama and I was like "nope we aren't sent from Obama, we are missionaries for the church of jesus christ of latter day saints." And he looked at me and was like "ALAMABA where there are a lot of black people." and I just stared at him like. what the heck are you talking about? That thought must have been really great, but I am so lost. "Have a good day!" It's just my life. 

I love you all so much and I am so grateful for your support and prayers and love. They are the power behind this work. God loves his children. We are here to bring them home! 

Love always,

Сестра Кэррен

PS:We get a mini missionary from CHERKASSY tomorrow! I KNOW HER. I AM EXCITED!!!

(also we cleaned our nasty apartment and now it is so great!) Hooray!!!

never ask about this picture or why it scares me so much.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Mission Newsletter

Work, Work, Work
Ukraine Kyiv Mission
10 Aug 2015
Quote: Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:7-9
Elders and Sisters,
Work, Work, Work
When I was a boy my Father would always talk about the need for me to learn how to work. I never quite understood what that meant. I thought you just work when you have to. Consistent with his concern, he began to teach me how to work starting with the summer I turned 10 years old. He was a building contractor so the kind of “work” I learned to do was related to construction. He started out by teaching me to use carpentry tools on remodel jobs. It was interesting and fun to work with him and to be taught how to do relatively easy jobs for $.10 an hour. As his business grew, I continued to work every summer until I was 16, however, the jobs changed. I had to do what needed to be done rather than what was fun and easy--like digging foundations by hand with a shovel, helping to pour concrete and backfilling basements by hand in very rocky ground. What started out to be fun and interesting at age 10, became very hard physical work. During these years I started to appreciate what he meant when he said, you have to learn how to work. Digging a ditch, by myself, for 100 feet, requires mental as well as physical strength. In the beginning, the task seemed overwhelming and very discouraging. In essence, I didn’t want to do it and was slightly put out that the owner of the company, my father, would ask me to do such a hard job. Once I pushed through the resentment, I soon learned that you had to pick shorter term and quality goals: dig a perfect trench for five feet, and then dig another perfect trench for another five feet. In so doing, there comes a sense of
pride and satisfaction that comes from doing a job well which provides encouragement and inner strength to keep going. When I was called to serve a mission to Scotland in 1961, I had been a member of the Church for only three years. While in the mission home in Salt Lake City, I realized that I did not know as much as other missionaries who had been raised in the Church, but I knew three things for sure: I had felt the Spirit of the Holy Ghost, I knew the Gospel was true and I wanted to share it. I could do hard things and I knew how to work. Whatever I had to do, I could do it. After all, I dug trenches, backfilled basements and hauled concrete. I learned quickly what the missionary rules were and followed them precisely. I immersed myself in learning the memorized six required lessons in a few short weeks. And I worked every single day of my mission, with the concern that I had to make the most of it, because I would not have a chance to redo that day. I did not want to look back on this experience and wish I had done better. I did not want to look back on my mission and feel that I could have done better. President David B. Haight had to look for me in the mission home to release me because I did not want to go home.
President Benson said, “One of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work. If a missionary works, he will get the Spirit; if he gets the Spirit, he will teach by the Spirit; if he teaches by the Spirit, he will touch the hearts of the people, and he will be happy...Work, work, work---there is no satisfactory substitute, especially in missionary work.”
Elders and Sisters, Sister McCauley and I have had the privilege of traveling all around Ukraine to visit the 45 Branches of the Church and teach Priesthood Leaders on issues relating to the importance of sacred funds. At the same time, we have had the special opportunity to meet missionaries from all three missions in Ukraine. We have felt your remarkable spirit of dedication and commitment. Many of you, and others who have preceded you, have helped us in thoughtful, but remarkable ways with our specific calling. Your spirits and service have touched our lives. We know that as you work, work, work, you will overcome whatever individual challenge you may face, you will get the spirit and accomplish your purpose. It’s a promise.
Our love for you and the wonderful people of Ukraine, has changed our lives. Elder and Sister McCauley 


How are you all?

I first want to start with a funny quote I found this week. "Things that just don't happen, happen in Ukraine." It is so true. Now for my week. :) 

Tuesday I was in Kyiv and me and Sister MacDermott had the opportunity to go to the temple. The temple has always been such a special place but this time was unlike any other. The temple is located on a pretty busy street but when you go inside you can hear nothing from the outside world. It is safe. The spirit in that temple was so strong my skin had goose bumps the solid 3 hours we were there. It really is a miracle it is even here. it was incredible to see the people doing the work in the temple as well. Thinking about how little about of time the gospel has been in Ukraine and seeing these people making really big covenants with God and doing His work was incredible. It is truly an honor to be here and to witness it. We did an endowment session ALL IN RUSSIAN. And something amazing happened! I understood it all. The gifts of tongues is so real and really was in that moment. After the session we got to sit in the Celestial room for quite some time and I really had time to ponder and to pray. You all know this mission is the most amazing but hard thing I have ever had to do. It was so special to spend some time just to myself to talk to God in His house. He was there that day. I felt it. I had the oppurtunity to think about my life and to really have a one on one with God and I really felt Him answer me. He loves us so much. How incredible is it that we get to call Him Father? I feel so blessed.

Wednesday we travelled to Odessa and it was the prettiest bus ride I have ever been on. I saw the Ukraine flag EVERYWHERE we went. (blue sky and fields after fields of sunflowers). a great way to see Ukraine!

So we arrived at our apartment took all my bags up and opened the door to... AFRICA!!! We don't really have the necessary appliances to live (oven, couches, really chairs or anything) BUT we have a giant waterfall that does not work and rock columns that if you touch the rocks break off and we have a light in the bedroom that is the african sky and a wall with a giant elephant and bird and african tree with the african sunset. PRETTY epic. Also we have a tree in the middle of our giant room full of nothing. It has pretend flowers on it so that is really cool. We laugh everyday and sit on the floor (which we call sand). It is just our inside out house (like we live outside). But we are embracing every moment!

Odessa is magical. Seriously. I am on the coast and just this morning I woke up at 3:30 and we went and watched the sun rise. It was so healing and peaceful. just what both me and my comp needed. By the way she is amazing and you would love her so much. She was the girl in the same Mission Prep class as me at BYU both called to Kyiv ukraine and went to the MTC at the same time. I am so lucky God is letting me be with her. after some of the crazy stuff we have been through we both really needed each other. It is going to be so hard like seriously BUT we are going to work our heads off and we are going to conquer this language and teach so many people. He has so many and he cares about every single one. Gotta go find them!! 

We have had some pretty crazy adventures in just the four and a half days I have been here and I do not have time to tell them all sooo... I am sorry if my quick list will confuse you a bunch. Here it goes.
-got asked my a Babushka to go get her groceries and her mail and her prescription (all written on a piece of paper in really really BAD russian cursive and after a few phone calls and misunderstandings "a gallon of cheese?!" we conquered it all and got her all she needed!
-We also got to witness how old grandma's use skype "I can only see your hair!" "Are you saying my face is ugly?" "NO I can just only see your BEAUTIFUL HAIR!" Haha I can not wait to be a grandma.
-Those random phone calls where a potential investiagtor calls you in panic needing help so you run home to change into the all RED clothes you thought she instructed you to. But really you just needed to get in some painting clothes... hahaha. #paintedachildrensgarden (kindergarten) 
We painted the whole kindergarten a new color and they were really grateful though... I do not think sister MacDermott and I will be starting a painting business any time soon. 
-Taking gasoline showers (don't worry too much I am ok)
-we grew a tomato!
-MIRACLE!!! WE HAVE OUR FIRST BAPTISMAL DATE. First "investigator" I have met here in Odessa. Met Vika on Sunday and Sunday was her birthday. Which is an important fact because she is now 18!!!! she has been coming to church since she was 5 years old but her parents were Protiv (aposed?) But now she is so ready. We will do the lessons but really just a formality at this point and her baptism will be September 5! HOW COOL IS THAT?! God has been preparing her for SO many years, and now I get to witness her make that first covenant. I am so grateful I get to witness it. 
-Met the branch and we will work hard it needs some strengthening. But I really love it
-We made these baptismal boats out of egg plant and some other amazingness and made a make shift oven and cooked it up and Sister Mac and I died of heavenliness as a celebration for Vika!
-We also will be getting a mini missionary just for a week or two in a week or two from Cherkassy so that is cool because I know her! she is 17 and awesome and this time will live more like a regular missionary... :) 

Please keep praying for the gift of tongues for both me and my comp (we are so american). We love this work. I KNOW I was supposed to come to Ukraine. I have had several defining moments this week and I just know it. I am content to stay here and do all I can to help further the work. But I know that God does the work here. I see evidence of it everyday. I am so grateful I am a missionary.

I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week and keep building this kingdom!!! #training4ukraine

Сестра Кэррен

Temple in Kyiv


We think we are funny!

Our African mural in our bedroom in Odessa

The Sun Rises in Ukraine!

So funny!

Last moments with my native Companion <3

Bus Ride to our new area Odessa

Our huge empty room with no tables, couches, and a flowery tree.  We found the baby chair as a bonus in the attic!

Our favorite window!

We dont need an oven to make baptism boats with eggplant because we set a baptismal date today!  Our celebration feast with Sister McDermott

Its almost like camp cooking

Ahhh...the beach!

Sister McDermott and Ky reunited.  So happy to be together!

Love the sand in our toes!

Getting up at 3:30 to watch the sun rise.

"I know that God does the work here.  I see evidence of it everyday.  I am so grateful I am a missionary."

So happy together!
Beautiful Odessa