Monday, October 26, 2015

Mission Newsletter

Patience and Persistence
Ukraine Kyiv Mission
26 Oct 2015
“Let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith” (Heb. 12:1-2)
Dear Elders and Sisters
We want you to know how proud we are of each one of you! When we see you or pray for you, we feel the Lord’s love and gratitude for your service. You are doing better than you think you are! The members are commenting about the commitment they see in the missionaries and the difference they feel in your spirit. Please work closely with the Lord, the members and each other. You are not alone in this work. If you feel alone in your companionship, do something to reach out and serve your companion. If you and your companion are feeling lonely in the branch, reach out to the members and do something nice for them and you will build relationships.
Loneliness is a strange thing. You can feel it even when you are surrounded by hundreds of people; sometimes this is when you feel loneliness the very most. Be sensitive to how those around you are feeling. If you don’t have a friend then be one. Make this the best transfer you can for your companion and I promise you will be happier.
While riding in the car as a family and discussing the dangers of popping “one’s knuckles” (who knows how these conversations get started?), Dallin, our oldest son, told us that there was absolutely no truth in superstition that popping one’s knuckles would give you arthritis in the future. He cited a resent You tube video he had seen on the subject where a man had religiously popped the joint on only one hand for 60 years to prove to his mother that she was wrong. I found the article on the internet”
“Donald Unger, from California, began cracking the knuckles of his left hand at least twice daily, but never cracked his right hand's knuckles, so he could compare the two.
After a staggering 60 years of one-handed knuckle clicking, he had not developed arthritis so he declared his mother was wrong.

'I'm looking at my fingers, and there is not the slightest sign of arthritis in either hand,' he told the LA Times, after publishing his findings in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism.” cracking-knuckles-cause-arthritis-One-man-cracked-joints-one-hand-60-YEARS-out.html#ixzz3pYlnnTVN
The video Dallin watched concluded that maybe the real lesson learned from Donald Unger was that of patience and persistence.

Missionaries often struggle with patience; but those who gain this Christ like attribute are happy and successful. One dictionary defines patience as, “the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.”
Below are a few questions that may help you determine if you need to work on patience.
  •   Do you complain?
  •   Are you easily angered?
  •   Does your companion or others irritate you?
  •   Are you discouraged?
  •   Do you feel more than normal stress?
    I believe the heart of patience is selflessness and humility. The opposite of patience is selfishness and pride. (Mosiah 3:19) We are impatient when we want something now and don’t want to wait. We may think or believe that we deserve a quick fix to a problem or that we are entitled to a desired outcome.
    I love the great Russian writers; they endeavored not to fix the ills of society, but rather to point them out so that they could be seen and worked on. A quote by Leo Tolstoy captures something that every missionary wrestles with. “The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience.” (Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace) Time and patience are battling constantly in our work. I personally get discouraged, annoyed or cross when I don’t know how I can accomplish all that I think that I must with limited time. It is at these times when time begins a battle with patience.
    As a new missionary, I thought that I needed to be further along in the language than I was, despite the fact that I was doing everything I could not to waste a moment. I compared the results of my language ability to other missionaries and questioned why the Lord wasn’t helping me as quickly as them even though I believed I was working harder. I was unhappy during this time of my missionary service. A quote by Elder Maxwell sums up perfectly what I learned during this time on my mission.
    “There is also a dimension of patience which links it to a special reverence for life. Patience is a willingness, in a sense, to watch the unfolding purposes of God with a sense of wonder and awe, rather than pacing up and down within the cell of our circumstance. Put another way, too much anxious opening of the oven door and the cake falls instead of rising. So it is with us. If we are always selfishly taking our temperature to see if we are happy, we will not be.” Neal A. Maxwell, Patience, BYUDA 11/79
    I have also learned that resolution to our problems and concerns usually comes in the 11:59 minute. We need to have patience and wait on the Lord. This means we do all we can but we trust Him and we trust His timing. The Salt Lake Temple took 40 years to build. Many who worked on the temple didn’t live long enough to see it completed and to participate in ordnances there in. There motivation was that they knew others would participate in ordnances including their family on both sides of the veil. This thought was enough for them to continue the intensive labor it build that sacred building.
    Below are a few practical ideas that may help you increase your patience:
  •   Increase your faith in the Savior’s atonement,
  •   Prioritize your activities and feel good knowing you did the very most important things even if you didn’t get everything
  •   Simplify what you are doing so that you aren’t just rushing.
  •   Learn to Delegate those things you can to others.
  •   Make a list of things that make you anxious. Work on them.
  •   See the eternal perspective (things take time).
  •   Celebrate the victories and forget about the defeats.
  •   Create realistic expectations for yourself and others
  •   Every time you want to complain say something you are grateful for or give a complement.
    Add others to this list it is only a beginning. I know that patience is something that will help each of us become more like the Savior and find more joy in this work. We love you and pray for your success.
    Love President and Sister Packer
    P.S. Can you all please send Sister Packer a separate message with a miracle that you have seen on your mission this year that has broughtyouclosertoChrist. PleasesendthistoSisterPackercaripacker@gmail.comtoday

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

deed and ky

Love these two and their letter so I thought I would share!

Hello Sister birds,

How are you doing this week? I hope well. I’m hoping your tummy is getting better? R U doing ok health wise little? We worry about you that way.

I taught SS today. The lesson was on Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews. Paul was such a powerful missionary. He had such an amazing way of figuring out what was wrong and really digging into the issues. In this case, he was talking to the Jews about the fact that the law of Moses was fulfilled, and that Christ is the author of our salvation. He made the point that the Law of Moses actually didn’t have the power we need for salvation, because the sanctifying power of the Atonement and the Melchizedek Priesthood are needed so that we can have a hope of obtaining perfection. Paul was telling the Jews to essentially forget about the old prophets and look to Christ for salvation. As I have studied the new testament for my classes this year, I have developed a great appreciation for the early Apostles and Disciples of Christ’s Church. It has been a blessing.

I have been thinking a lot this week about life’s challenges. As you know, from a career perspective, that last 6 years have been challenging for me. I have never worked harder, smarter or on something more meaningful at any time in my life. I have a better team and have created better technology than any other time in my life. I have been stretched and learned more than any other time. Even so, It’s been the time when I have experienced the most hardship and in some ways the least success in achieving what I wanted to achieve. It’s been stressful and I feel like I have spent the best career years of my life on this Moki project. I’m still not sure how or even if it will work out. It’s been a very introspective time for me pondering the possibility of failure of achieving my goals and trying to figure out what I am to learn and what is it that I should do. The only thing I know for sure, is that I have been greatly blessed to have such a beautiful family, and to have the Gospel of Jesus Christ in my life. I know that even if I have a failure in my career, I am not a failure unless I choose to give up on myself and I will not do that.

It has been a warm fall, but the last few days things have cooled off and it has been raining. I was out cooking at the grill this afternoon and it was cool and rainy and I was thinking about you. Hoping that you are staying warm! We stayed home for UEA break this week. With my work travel and the trip I took Carson on last week, we just didn’t feel like going anywhere. Also, I was planning to teach Sunday, so I felt that we needed to be here this weekend. We wanted to take the boat out one more time but mom and I just felt it wasn’t right to go for some reason so we stayed home. As things turned out, I was exhausted and we just rested for a few days and did little activities with the boys. I was beyond wiped out!

Little. If there is one thing I can say based on a few years of experience is that we should not despair or give up hope in any circumstances. God is at the helm. He is aware of our circumstances and will bless us. Such hard advice to follow even for myself but I know that it is true. I know that you are going to be ok. Just do what you know is right in your heart and take care of yourself ok? This is my simple and regular request!

I love and admire you so much sweet girl. I miss you and pray for you every day. I am proud of you and 100% behind you ok? I am going to work on putting your pictures up into drive after this letter.

Talk to you soon. Love, Dad


Health wise we run everyday but my stomach is still not in tip top shape and we have tried so many different medications. If this one doesnt work the doctor wants me to see a specialist and maybe get a scope. I dont want to do that.

I love your lesson!!!!  I wish I was there to see you teach :D

I know you have worked so hard. That is exactly how I feel about my mission. I have never cared about something more than myself to give all of my time and thoughts and energy and whole soul to the intercat and intemit details of others lives. And I am seeing so many miracles. My president is so proud of us and we are trying to hold a breaking branch together and we can only do it with God because he is really the one who does this work. It is stretching, trying, heart breaking, soul aching work. But I totally agree with your experience. It is hard, it is stress, it is tears, but it is worth it. I love this dad and all that you are learning through Moki. Do you understand that you are my hero? I love you. You are not a failure ever dad. In the big picture the only thing that matters is how dedicated and how much you put your heart into your progression and y

our family and the rest just does not matter one bit. YOU ARE THE BEST. Thank you. This helped me so much.

I miss grilling. When I come home I need some meat from the grill first thing. Probably a steak. I am glad that you all rested up and I LOVE YOU!

I will never give up hope dad. There is no chance of me coming home early. This is salvation for me. I am too invloved, to in love with this place and this people and this time I am giving to my Savior to ever give up no matter what is thrown at me. Sometimes all I can do is take a deep breath, cry it out, and just give it over to the Savior because this is my time to work for him, and I will not let it go or get distracted. But it is hard. I will take care of myself. You are the cutest dad ever. :) 

I miss you and pray for you too! Thank you for your support. I dont know what I would do without it. Thanks for everything you do for me. And for being so in tune with the spirit and for loving this family just like a father should. You are the best and I am 100 % proud and behind you too. 

Love you! KY

my love for my Savior

Just wanted to share some of the thoughts I had about the Savior one day in studies, and what He has done for me. Enjoy :) I love him. 

My Savior and What He Has Done For Me:

When I was younger I did not understand my potential- who I had been before this life- and who I could become through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and I almost threw it away because I did not understand. I almost threw it all away for nothing that would have lasted or brought any kind of happiness. But somehow Jesus Christ saved me. He did not let me throw it all away- and through the miracle of the atonement I was able to repent and to change. He saved me. He saved me again and again, and will continue to do so. He forgave me of the stupid mistakes of my teenage years. He loved me enough to give me and unlimited amount of chances to try again to be better. He helped me every moment. He lifted me up. He carried me when life got too hard for me to bear on my own. He carried me and loved me through both the good and the bad. When I would cry to Him-He always heard me. He always listened to me and my family. And He still does. He lives for us. His whole purpose- is the Father's purpose- whose purpose is US. He did it all for me. And sometimes I did not even realize He was there- saving me, over and over again. He is my life and my hope and my reason for all that I will do. Because without Him, I would not be. How much love He has; to save all the souls of man, if only we ask and try and try, to be a bit better. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ-any person, no matter what they have done, can change. And through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we will reach our potential so magnificant we can not even imagine. Oh how beautiful the plan of our loving Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. I can not wait to meet Him again. Because I love Him.

GOAL OF THE WEEK: 20 lessons! I LOVE THIS AREA SO MUCH MY HEART WILL EXPLODE. Being a missionary is the best and I love you all. Я люблю вас очень и очень!!!!

Love сестра Кэррен

Monday, October 19, 2015

Mission Newsletter

Plan and Prepare to be Life Changing Missionaries
Ukraine Kyiv Mission
19 Oct 2015
Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.
D&C 4:2
Dear Elders and Sisters,
Growing up my oldest sister went off to college and she met a non-member. I remember when she came home from college one weekend, Mike came to visit. My parents weren’t home yet and they were chasing each other around the house just having fun. My sister ran through the back door and shut the screen behind her. Mike couldn’t see that the screen was shut and ran right through my dad’s screen door. Everyone knows you don’t mess with the screen. So right off the bat Mike’s first impression was not great. Before we knew it, Lori was engaged to Mike. My parents had great concern over this. Especially in the fact that he had no desire to become a member at that time. But Lori was in love and my parents supported that.
Two years later, and a rocky road, they had little Dax. Mike had watched Lori at night, while she prayed, he wondered how she could pray to someone for such a long time. He once asked her who is this Heavenly Father she prayed to each night? Each Sunday my mom would call and ask if Mike wanted to come to church, and he never did. My mom would make the comment “Satan is so happy when you stay home instead of going to church with your wife and son. He thought my mom was crazy, and no matter what she said or the pressure she put on him he still never went. They were living at the house right next to my parents hair salon, when one day my dad saw out of his shop window two elders knocking at Mike and Lori’s door. My dad saw that Mike had let them in. The two missionaries told Mike, "they were going through the area book and had seen his name and thought they would drop by.” Four hours later, my dad saw the missionaries leave their house. They were the perfect Elders for Mike. They were not forcing anything upon him. Whatever questions he had they answered with the spirit and Mike loved that. All of Mike’s questions and concerns were answered by these elders and he was baptized. One day my sister shared with Mike that she knew marrying him was a risk, and hoped that he would someday join the church. She also shared with him about all of those hours each night as she was praying to her Heavenly Father, she was pleading that Mike’s heart would be softened. She wanted the gospel in their home. She knew Mike's potential and what an amazing member he could be someday. She made a promise to Heavenly Father that she would read her scriptures every day and remain faithful if Heavenly Father would bring the gospel into Mike’s life. We loved those missionaries. They were doing the Lord’s work. Our family was so sad when their mission was over, but we were so grateful for the amazing miracle that they were to our family.

Because of all they had done, my dad offered to cut their hair when they needed a haircut. We took them out to dinner every so often to show our gratitude. After they left new missionaries came to our area, they visited often and as time went on they started spending too much time at our house. They seemed to need a haircut every week. At first we really liked them coming, but that wore off quite quickly. These missionaries were filling their day, but there was little to no purpose behind the work. After some time we got to where we would hide when they came by, or we were too busy to meet with them, mainly because when they came it was difficult to get them to leave. They were not focused, and that was very clear. These missionaries changed our view of missionary life. We could see why they had no success. That was the last time I remember missionaries coming to our home. Elders and Sisters you need to know your purpose. You need to plan, study and pray for guidance. You need to limit the time you spend in members homes. It is very clear to the members which missionaries have a purpose and are doing the work. It is also very clear to see those that don’t have a purpose, but are just filling their day with things to do. We want our missionaries to be the kind of missionaries that came to Mike’s door on that life changing day, not however, those who are just filling their day. Which missionary are you? Which missionary do you need to be? If you already are the first, I thank you because you will change lives. If you need to repent and do better, do it now, there is so much work to be done. Our Heavenly Father needs servants he can trust. Go and do this work so that when your mission comes to an end, Ukraine will be holy ground to you, and the Lord can say "well done thou good and faithful servant." I promise you will see success. I bare testimony of this in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.
We love you! Sister Packer 

Monday, October 12, 2015

it is you who i love!

I am sorry I have not sent out a big email for weeks and weeks now. HOW CRAZY this time has been! I have been on my mission for almost 7 months now and it is surreal. 
I am sorry if I do not have time to respond to everyone, just know that I love your emails and they help me so so much. You are all my inspirations.

My zone leader gave me some great advice and I practice it everyday. When it gets hard, or just everyday, I wake up in the morning and I look myself in the mirror and I tell that girl "I love being a missionary!!!" I don't scream it, but I back it up with power with my heart and it becomes more sincere everyday. How great it is that I am here. I REALLY DO LOVE IT. 

As for training....
I literally have the cutest most amazing companion in the world. She is absolutely pre-trained and killing it! This week started out HARD for me. There was just a lot on my mind and I couldn't shake it. "Wanna know the best solution?" my President always asks. "GET TO WORK." So that is what we did. AND I HAVE SEEN THE MOST AMAZING MIRACLES OF MY ENTIRE MISSION THIS WEEK. That is not to say that it was not still hard. It was. Everyday there was something hard, but something so amazing I was just in utter shock. GOD knows His missionaries and He loves these Ukrainian people with his whole soul.

Miracle 1: Family Home Evening Monday night
We had a lesson with two less active members who have totally reactivated now. A Grandma and her 12 year old granddaughter she is raising. Well this cute little girl has been such an amazing missionary and has brought her 11 year old friend from school to church almost every Sunday for this transfer and a bit of last. The daughter brought her mom and she brought her other son and she loves the church and the Spirit she feels so much that she wants to meet all the time and just know more and more. It was the most amazing lesson I have ever had on my mission. MEMBERS ARE AMAZING. This sweet mom and her kids told us that we have a really special light and that she will remember us for the rest of her life. 
...many more miracles but I will just mention 3 more...
Miracle 2: Service
There is a family all members but the parents are inactive. Sister Ivancovich's cousin served in this mission 5 years ago and she was this family's missionary. The 5 kids are STRONG and amazing in the gospel and we were brainstorming the best way to gain their trust and get the parents to want to listen to a short message. Service was the key. We took out several hours two Saturdays and went down and just tilled their huge garden. The first time the mom made us a dinner with what I know was the only food she had but she insisted we eat it. We did and we thanked her and hugged her after we had given a spiritual thought (which she left the room for) but that was the first step into her heart. After that she could not stop telling her daughter how much she loved us. We went back again the second Saturday and finished the job and again they fed us. We then spent a good amount of time getting to know the parents and went back into their family room type thing and the parents JOINED US FOR THE SPIRITUAL THOUGHT. So we just bore our testimonies and honestly the words both of us said was straight from God, the spirit was so thick I could touch it. Then the children bore their testimonies to their parents. The dad called on someone to pray at the end it was a THIS IS WHY WE ARE HERE IN UKRAINE RIGHT NOW moment. We both left so exceedingly joyful.
Miracle 3: The way the Savior went
Jesus Christ walked slowly and he healed and blessed and loved everyone who looked on him. He helped the people who were so low and so sick and so hurt from the world, and they had the biggest faith. We contacted one day for 5 hours straight, and we were talking to everyone. There was an old man a little way off the path sitting in a broken chair. He was dirty and scruffy and I walked past. God told me to turn around so we did. All I could do was walk up and tell this man holding out a cup for coins that I had no money but I had one message from God. God loves him. He was so grateful he cried. And he thanked God right then and there. 
Miracle 4: Love
On our way to come emailing today a woman passed us on the street just crying. I didn't know what to do really but Sister Ivancovich made me stop. At first this women did not want me to talk to her and as I was walking away I had the thought "touch her arm and tell her I love her." So I touched this strangers arm and said that. She started crying harder and asked us to please walk her home and she grabbed right onto my arm and just talked and talked through her sobs. After a while the sobbing got a little bit softer, we just listened. she told us about her church about her faith in Jesus Christ and that though she felt sad today and life was so hard she had things to be grateful for. That God sent us to her and then she asked us to please come visit her again. She kissed our cheeks and gave us her address and we left. She was not crying and I know that she knew God loved her. 

ALSO one more miracle! One of our little boys named Danya is getting baptized this week and we need some serious prayers to make this happen.HE IS SO READY BUT LIFE IS SOMETIMES CRAZY. Pray pray pray. :D

I am so grateful for my mission and all that it is teaching me. There are little hard moments but oh how sweet the joy of being a missionary for my Savior Jesus Christ. I get to see God's hand everyday, and there is just nothing better. It is hard work, it is trying work. I often cry. It takes all of my soul. And it is so worth it. I love Ukraine. I love these people.

I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week full of miracles. Please never forget about God. He does not forget about you. Not ever. And I know that is true. 


Love, Сестра Кэррен


FHE last week - amazing and fun too! This less active grandma and her grandaughter she is raising are the best missionaries in the world. How do you bring someone back to the church? Help them bring someone in. They brought this wonderful family Lena, Zhenya and Danya. They will get baptized! 

Ya sunshine!

Purple my favorite

Beachin' it with Sister Ivancovich

Preach to all creations

Service is the key.

More service

Ukrainian Kids


Mission Newsletter

The Truth Will Go Forth Boldly, Nobly and Independent
Ukraine Kyiv Mission
12 Oct 2015
Quote: And I give unto you, who are the first laborers in this last kingdom, a commandment that you assemble yourselves together, and organize yourselves, and prepare yourselves, and sanctify yourselves; yea, purify your hearts, and cleanse your hands and your feet before me, that I may make you clean;” D&C 88:71
Dear Elders and Sisters,
This month marks 25th anniversary since the first missionaries entered Ukraine. These missionaries didn't know what to expect; they moved forward with faith relying on their love of the gospel and their desire to share the truth with people who desperately needed it. The apostasy was in full force in this land at that time. There was a great outpouring of the Lord’s Spirit on this area. People were open and looking for truth. There were many who were brought into the church in those early years. The apostasy for those who learned of the truth was overcome through a knowledge of the restoration. Unfortunately, the apostasy still exists for all those who have not accepted the restored gospel. How do we help these people who are still in the darkness to overcome the effects of the apostasy in their personal lives? We can use Joseph Smith’s experience as a model. Joseph was driven to a grove of trees because he was worried about the state of his own soul. He had been pondering the scriptures and believed that he could receive an answer if he prayed in faith. In answer to a sincere inquiry, Joseph learned the truth about the nature of God and that there wasn’t a true church on the earth at that time. He then was given the Book of Mormon as the next importation task in the restoration of truth. Once the Book of Mormon was printed the church was officially organized and things began to grow upon this foundation. The Book of Mormon was essential for overcoming the apostasy in this last dispensation. It is the convincing evidence that the Lord’s work has begun for the last time on the earth. It plays the same role in the lives of each of your investigators as it did in the opening of this dispensation. The first missionaries here in Ukraine had to rely on the Lord to know what to do. You have to rely on the Lord in the same way. We must also, under the direction of the branch president or bishop, help to bring back those jewels (less actives) who have already been gathered in but who have become lost. We must also believe that the Lord has prepared many more to come into the church and that our own disbelief only serves as a stumbling block to his work. May we have the same courage, faith, hopes, desires, obedience, dedication, and hard work, as these first laborers in the Lord’s last kingdom.
Below is the content of a letter written by Elder Mehr in commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of the First Missionaries in Ukraine. You are a special generation of missionaries and are here at this time not by chance. You are here to do a GREAT work. We love you and pray for your success.

President and Sister Packer

25th Anniversary of the First Missionaries in Ukraine
In October 2015 we ought remember the arrival of the first missionaries to Ukraine. In late November 1989, President Dennis Neuenschwander of the Austria Vienna East Mission visited Kiev, the capital city, with his traveling companion, Lynn Carson. They visited the churches in the city and found them resurgent in the new environment of political and religious freedom. At the hotel room President Neuenschwander gazed out the window contemplatively and after a while he stated simply and conclusively, "I can see missionaries here."1 He returned in October 7, 1990 with elders Ivan Stratov of Melbourne, Australia, and Brian Bradbury of Seattle, Washington, transferees from the Helsinki Finland East Mission. They arrived with a list of Ukrainian referrals. They made enough contacts to gather a group of seventeen on October 9 for an evening meeting at the Writers' Union Hall.
October 1990 was momentous for Ukraine. Political liberty was being contested on the streets and religious liberty hung in the balance. During the month, thousands of students and then the workers of Kiev agitated against Communist party attempts to squelch a Ukrainian nationalist opposition group known as Rukh (Hand). The first Sunday service was held the following weekend while demonstrations raged in Parliament mere blocks away.2
Regardless of the turmoil, the key Church leaders of the future in Ukraine were converted before the close of the first year. Among the six who were baptized in Kiev before the end of 1990 were the first branch president, Valery Stavichenko; the first Ukrainian missionary, Aleksei Roms; the first national representative of the Church to the Ukrainian government and a future mission president, Aleksander Manzhos.3 During 1991, the total number of missionaries grew to twenty-five.4 Ukrainians quickly responded to message of the young missionaries. By June 1991 there were forty members and a regular attendance at church of about a hundred.5 The first Ukrainian branch was organized in Kiev on June 9, 1991.6
President Howard Biddulph (visiting from Vienna where the mission home was then located) was in Kiev in August when a coup was attempted against the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. He listened to the radio announcement that all political gatherings were banned and the human rights enactments of the Gorbachev era suspended. Cut off from the outside world he gathered with the missionaries to assess their situation. He became aware that Kiev had been surrounded by Soviet troops who might advance at any moment. Opening his scriptures in order to address the missionaries his eyes fell on Doctrine and Covenants, section 35, verses 24-27, which concluded with the phrase, "Fear not, little flock, the kingdom is yours until I come." He realized by inspiration that the crisis would pass, that they need not fear, and that they should stay. The missionaries asked if they should proceed with baptisms scheduled for the week. He assented. He knew the coup had failed on the third day when he heard an old man shouting outside his window: "Thanks be to God; we are free!"7
The missionaries assembled again in fasting and thanksgiving. Elder Stratov stood and with no pretension or melodrama but in simplicity cited from memory words of Joseph Smith written a century and a half earlier: "The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done."8
1. Lynn Carson, telephone interview, January 6, 1997.
2. Howard L. Biddulph, The Morning Breaks: Stories of Conversion and Faith in the Former Soviet Union (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1996), pp. 38-42.
3. Biddulph, The Morning Breaks, pp. 42-43.
4. Austria Vienna East Mission, historical records and minutes, 1991 report, LDS Church Archives.
5. Karl Mueller to parents, June 15, 1991.
6. Austria Vienna East Mission, 1991 report. Also a source for the next paragraph.
7. Biddulph, The Morning Breaks, pp. 46-53.
8. Biddulph, The Morning Breaks, p. 54. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


I am supposed to be here in Ukraine at this time with these people.

This branch really does need a lot of work. We had 35 people in sacrament yesterday which was decent and usual. But we have may more members than that. Elder Kudibergen called to let me know about a member who had called him asking for help and I asked him why he thought they still called him and not the present missionaries here. His response was interesting and something I definitely needed to hear. We have been visiting the members more regularly to try and lift them and to help them reactivate or keep being strong and to get their help for our work with investigators. But President yesterday I realized I have been doing it wrong. We have been planning short spiritual thoughts but the members still do not trust us like they should. Elder Kudibergen said that what he found worked here was 100 % opening up his heart, telling them real experiences he has had with the spirit, real challenges he has gone through and then they naturally open up to him in return. It makes so much sense yet I have missed that for so many months in Ukraine just still worried about the language and the message and gaining help. I will change the way I work and try to follow the spirit and plan with the spirit better! 

As for my companion she is adorable and such a hard worker. she cried for the first time this week telling me that this is really hard. I understand, I went through the same thing. For her it is hard because the Russian is not seeming to stick. she studies and studies, tries to speak, I speak to her in Russian and still the many words I repeat over and over don't seem to stick very well. Any suggestions?? 

I love being a missionary. I will back those words up with my heart. Everyday now, thanks to someones advice, I wake up and tell the girl in the mirror that I love being a missionary, because it is true and it motivates me to be a better instrument in God's hands, to do a little more for my Savior. Then no matter if the day is hard, I really do come home with a happy heart and clear mind, knowing that God takes care of us, that He loves these people and He is satisfied with our work.

I love being here even on the really stressful weeks. Training is pretty epic and the language is still killer but I just pray a lot and God blesses us. It is just in some missions people throw in the fishing net and just full in SO many fish. Here we hunt under the rocks. So sometimes it is hard. But I cant let it get me down because I honestly do love being a missionary so much. It is my life right now and I love every minute.

Thanks for everything. Let's have a great week!!

-Cectpa Karren

Sister Young and I are trainers and Sister Mak and Sister Rubio are in the office.  MTC sisters!

Fierce missionaries

kV with Sister Ivancovich

found me some purple flowers cuz that makes me happy.

falafol is the best.  I love P Days

We are still little kids and we love it!

I am so sick. But God willing I can do this! 

angry cat

View from my window in Odessa

UPDATE for the week through our nightly home texts to our elders to entertain them:
- "We are home and today we ate mystery meat and 10 gallons of candy and Family Home Evening, and we may or may not feel like throwing up."
-"We are home and today we went to a weird district meeting."
-"We're home." (This one was short because we were both really sick and almost threw up.)
-"We're home and we watched a Babooshka try to use Facebook today and we met her pigeon friends."
-"We're home and we baptized our whole English class today. You should have been there."
-"We're home and today we watched a Ukrainian girl (this one in the photo below) smash a giant spider with a shovel."
-"We are home and Sister Karren asked Dima if we could come and visit him and his wife this week. He responded that he didn't have a wife anymore. and I still cant get over that awkward moment."

LOVE YOU!!!!! Have a great week. I promise to send more next week!!! 

kyiv and ky

My new trainee Sister Ivanovich

Night trains


quick update

September 28, 2015

Sorry I do not have time to write another email this week so just sending you what I said to President. I am good though! :D I love you guys and I love being amissionary. I thought my voice recording would work and that was an update on my week but I guess not. I love you guys and miss you!!!! 

Love you mama

<3 Ky

Dear President,

Thank you for all that you did in the Extended MTC. It was really wonderful. It helped me feel confident and prepared to come back to Odessa and know exactly how I need to help my new companion. So thank you for everything it was definitely inspired. Heaven taught me so much! It is such a privilige to me a missionary here and to have you and your wife as President. I know God knew I needed to be taught from you. You are both wonderful examples to us, and you talked a lot about Nephi, and I feel like you are just like him! It is amazing.

We got back to Odessa safely and right to work. Our investigator Larissa who had a baptismal date for October 3rd is being worked on by Satan so hard and me and Sister Ivoncovich are praying so hard but she is just not progressing.  But I will keep praying.

We are starting to get families to teach and it is amazing! I am so grateful because when I came to Ukraine I had the distinct impression to find families and it has been hard, but now we have people we get to teach! A little boy and his mom!

My companion is doing well. She is progressing in the language even if it is slowly. We will keep working and I try to just speak in Russian to her, and when she doesnt understand she asks me. I love her. She has such a wonderful sweet, yet strong spirit and she loves to work and talk to everyone. It is the best. I know God put me with the right companion it is so inspired!

Sister Karren

MTC Action Shots

3rd from the right

When I found out I was going to be a trainer!

Romas family

We made homemade chicken noodle soup on our camping stove :)

My Roma