Monday, August 10, 2015


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

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