Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Kylie's Christmas Skype 2015


Our Best Christmas Gift ever...KYLIE!!!!

Family Skype Time

Russian hats for Christmas sent by Kylie.  We are the coolest Russian wannabes :D

Kylie's view of our Skype chat. So Happy to see our girl!!!


1st thing is first NEWS! I will be coming home a week later than planned. Oooops! Everything will work out. So around August 23 or 24 I will be home. 

CHRISTMAS in Ukraine was the best gift God could have given me. 
Thanks for all the Christmas wishes and all the love. Thank you to the Alpine 12th Ward for all the wonderful thoughtful gifts. I really love you all so much. 

Family! Talking to you Christmas was the best. You are all such wonderful examples to me. Your faith and your diligence increase mine and help me to do this work. 

Some awesome things about Christmas: Contacting!!! We just tried to talk to everyone we saw. We went to the center of the town, broke out our Hymns and we sang our hearts out with the elders and we just talked to every single person we saw. We testified. I met someone very anti who did not believe in God. Over and over throughout our conversation he kept asking me to tell him where God was and who was this Son of God. That he just could not believe it. That God was not real and that we do everything on our own. He told me I was a finatic. I told him  I hoped I was, because this gospel is my life. I was shivering and shaking from the cold but I just stood there and I testified for 45 minutes, he listened to it all, then denied it all once again. In the end I walked away with my testimony strengthened. God is real. God is good. God loves each one of you!! I know it. I feel it! HE TOLD ME! 

I already told you, but I will repeat it again: I AM THE LUCKIEST MISSIONARY IN THE WORLD. I am in such a special place and everyday God holds my hand and he shows me His wonderful plan, and we work together. How incredible of a blessing is that? God holds my hand everyday, and I will hold on tight. "Even adversity has some sweet usefulness. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride." And what a wonderful ride it is. We are so lucky to be on earth right now at this time. To have the knowledge of the gospel that we have. We are so lucky to be the ones to fulfill prophecies of old and take the gospel to all nations, tongues and people. We are so lucky to have a Savior who was born for each one of us, we saved every single soul and all we have to do is come to Him and ask to see how his wonderful atonement works. And then we get to feel the power of the atonement work in our lives every single day. God is good. God loves us. And we are God's children. I am grateful for this gospel of Jesus Christ. Grateful to be His servant right now. GRATEFUL FOR FAMILY AND FOR CHRISTMAS and for Ukraine. I love it all with all of my heart. 

Have a wonderful week and a very HAPPY NEW YEAR! 

All my love, 
сестра Кэррен

My Sister Young... The Capri Sun was so good we missed seeing our sisters pass by us at the stop they needed to get off at. HA! 

We had an exchange.  Our first one :D

Christmas Dinosaurs...???

Christmas Dinner

Christmas Dinner

I bought Sister Young Christmas Eve Pj's too.  Its the year of the monkey!

Christmas Eve PJ's from home

Jammie Fest

This is Larissa one of the sweetest angels I have ever met. She is one of the women we wash every week. Being with her is as close as it gets to being in heaven. This was on christmas. 

Merry Christmas from the small bus we were on absolutelly packed WAY too full we couldve died...

A beautiful park we found on PDay


Marry Cristmass!

My less active who reactived Dimitri and 2 of his coworkers and the woman in blues son and they are some of my favorite people. You will meet them when we come back together. 

He sent me a christmas note!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Дмитрий Колесников <atriumdesigncenter@gmail.com>
Date: 2015-12-24 20:06 GMT+02:00
Subject: Marry Cristmass !
To: kylie.karren@myldsmail.net

Здравствуй сестричка Каррен ! Мы тебя очень любим и скучаем за тобой! Ты наша лучшая миссионерка! Поздравляем тебя с Рождеством Христовым! Пусть у тебя, несмотря на зиму, будет хорошее настроение.Пусть твоя миссия будет успешной.Мы часто тебя вспоминаем и понимаем ,что тебя здесь не хватает. Если бы ты еще приехала в Одессу , то для нас это был бы праздник. Повезло нам встретить именно тебя. Все с такой теплотой говорят о тебе и Мирослава и Андрей и Лена и я тебя часто вспоминаю.Ты большая умница! Приезжай к нам на Новый Год - подарок тебе гарантирован! Пиши как ты там на новом месте. Буду в тех краях в середине января. Хотел бы тебя увидеть. Вот еще тебе наши фотки с Атриума. Всегда тебе хорошего настроения! Привет тебе от всех!!! Большой и теплый!!! Д. Колесников и компания. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


Family I am running out of time!!!

But I will get to talk to you at 7 am your time on Christmas morning. Is that cool? :) 

Quick update on this week. 

We sent nightly texts everynight as a little Christmas thought. Here are the thoughts: (from of the top of my head)

Alma 7:10-12 He was not just born to clean us from our sins but also to succor his people in their infirmities. He knows us perfectly. He loves us. 

Matthews 1:21-23 Even His very name is sacred. He is our Savior and He is the Christ. 

John 3:16-17 God loves us so much that he gave us His only beggotten son. 

(ummmm I can't remember the rest but next week I will send some more) 

Some hard things went down this past week. But it has all been a gift from God. I am flying completely free and I give Him all of me! How lucky am I to be here in Ukraine for Christmas?! IT REALLY IS A GIFT FROM GOd! 

My christmas kiss with a smelly billy goat. (uncle jason this goat must be my soul mate) ;)
Me and my comp were on this big farm land today which was beautiful and we saw these birds and the male was doing this funny little show off dance so we were copying him when we reealizd the entire family could see us doing this funny little dance through the window. 
We went to a relief society food activity and were pumped because free food. BUT there wer 10 dishes cool right?! ya well they were all made of pure mayonnaise with a little mix of something else... I definitely still don't like mayonnaise. ;) 
My missionary coordinator leader in our branch was part of the mafia before he was baptized. So was his brother (the branch president). CRAZY right? 

Ok experience of the week: 
We had a great sacrament meeting and I was sitting next to a less active who was sitting next to this cute grandma 74 and her name in Ludmila. She was the first person I met in Bila. I love her. Sacrament ended and I got up fast to go talk to our new investigator and head to gospel principles. Stan (an american of 60 years old married to a ukrainian and just legendary... when i have more time I will tell you more about him...) anyway, Stan doesn't know any russian and he called me back over to where Ludmila was sitting and asked me to please ask her if she was ok. She was as white as a sheet with clammy hands and her forehead was sweating. She would not respond and she was just staring off into space breathing really shallow. I told Stan she was not ok and we quickly jumped into action and got some water on her face and the back of her neck got someone to call the emergency doctor people and we picked her up and moved her to the Presidents office to lay on a couch. There was no pillow and so I sat down and she layed down with her sweet head on my chest and I just held her hand and talked to her real quiet. She was so clammy and cold and unresponsive I really thought this sweet woman might die right there. She has heart problems but this was the first time this has ever happened to her. I just held on to her and it was amazing. Everyone started to pray. Everyone was coming into the room and asking what was wrong and just touching her sweet little hands. Finally the emergency people came and shut everyone out of the room except me, Ludmila and one other lady. They got to work and found the problem, gave her some shots and glucose and through time she was ok. I love her and I am thankful to God that she is ok and did not die. 

I also get to play for the childrens program next sunday! It was a surprise, but will be fun! We get to also have an exchange with Sister McDermott and Johnson this week and I am so excited! 

Being here for Chrismtas really is such a blessing! I am so blessed to give this time to my Savior and to really learn about why he came here as a child and how he saved the whole world if we only come to him and see! He is truly amazing and I love him with my whole soul.This week is going to be the best week ever as I work along side my Savior. I am so grateful for his trust and love and that he helps me through every single moment here. He loves us so much. He loves you.

I love you all too. Be safe, have a merry Christmas, and I will talk to you real soon. :) 


Сестра Кэррен
Tea and treats with members and less actives


Uncle Jason's twin goat

My Christmas kiss

Stans property

My sweet invalid

Christmas Decor

Festive nails

The stocking were hung... where?

Christmas Tree

Monday, December 21, 2015

Mission Newsletter

Our Small Efforts are Often all the Lord Needs
Ukraine Kyiv Mission
21 December 2015
Quote: Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.” Alma 37: 6
Dear Elders and Sister,
This morning we met with the area presidency's wives. Sister Porter, the wife of the Area President, told us a really neat story. Five years ago on December 10th President Porter went to Baltimore for his third kidney transplant. His son was the donor and the surgery went really well. His son went home a few days later and President Porter looked really good. Then on the 23rd of December, President Porter took a turn for the worse. The doctors could not figure out why he all of the sudden started doing much worse. Sister Porter was exhausted, there was no family around and she felt very alone. She went to Heavenly Father in prayer and asked what more she could give? What did President Porter need? As she thought, there was something more she could do. She could fast for one meal. She knew it wasn't much but at the time it was all she could do.
So she started her fast, during that time she got a call from a relative saying that they wanted to bring their little kids up on Christmas Eve and take her to dinner. She was about ready to say "No" when a voice said you asked for help let them help. She said that she would love to go to dinner. Also later that day her son said that he could fly down Christmas night and spend some time with her as well. So she went out to dinner when she came back from dinner she was sitting in President Porters room and he coughed a couple of times. The nurse who was on call happened to be in the room at the time and recognized it as not a normal cough. She called in the on -call resident kidney transplant doctor and told him what she had heard. They took a swab of his mouth and found out that he had a very rare form of pneumonia so rare that they didn't carry the medicine at this hospital. But they were able to order it in and by Christmas Day President Porter was doing much better.
The Lord was very aware of President Porter and the work he needed him for, and even though what Sister Porter could offer didn't seem like much it was all she could give. It was all the Lord needed. As I set there and listened to this story it took me back to almost one month ago when I was so sick with another kidney stone. I had little faith and really couldn't believe that this could happen again. All I wanted to do was the work. Needless to say the summer before crept right back in to my mind and I felt helpless and sick. I can honestly say that because of the Faith of our missionaries and that our whole mission was praying for me I was able to pass the stone quickly. What an incredible blessing you all are in my life. I am not sure without your faith and love that that weekend would have gone as smoothly as it did. Sometimes our needs are big yet what we can offer is small. Sometimes are needs seem small but it takes the faith of an entire mission to move such a small stone.
I know that the Lord is very aware of each and everyone of you. Your choice in coming and serving our Heavenly Father will not go unnoticed. I have found that throughout my life our Heavenly Father gives back in return far more than we put forth. This season is the greatest of all where all around the world people enjoy giving. They wear a smile on their face. They are more friendly and more loving and more willing to forgive. I can't help but wonder if it is because we are serving and thinking of others that everything seems happier, better and of course we hate to see it end. Through the gospel and love of our Heavenly Father we are given the opportunity to serve at this time. To always wear a smile on our face and to lose ourselves in service to those around us. I pray this holiday season will be your best one ever. That you will find great joy in serving our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I know that our family is looking forward to another year in the mission field. Where we might have a chance to give what we have, to share what we can, and to find great joy in the season. We love and appreciate each and every one of you. We are grateful for your service here in Ukraine. But most of all we are grateful to walk side by side with you on this amazing mission we get to be a part of. There is so much love for each and every one of you and it brings tears to my eyes, as I know how much you are loved by our Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ and by the Packer family.
Sister Packer 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Danya's Baptism

Danya's baptism and Elder Kudibergen. I LOVE MY DANYA so much. After his baptism when they got the skype hooked back up he RAN up to the ipad to see me and talk to me and thank me. It was so cute. 

Danyas family reactivated. My miracle family.

Train Ride. People say I LOOK SO RUSSIAN AND UKRAINIAN. Everyone here thought I was russian legit.

Too legit to quit!


Last P day at a fancy dessert restaurant before my transfer. Love Sister I

Goobers on the train to Kyiv

bila tserkva

This week started off great. I said goodbye to all the people I love in Tairova Odessa and I travelled up to Kyiv and then about an hour south to Bila. It is a small town and I already feel lost and brand new because almost everyone hear speaks Ukranian. It is like I am back to day one when I did not understand anything. ;)
As for things that I did this week, when I arrived Sister Young and I started a 6 week English fast and it is amazing how much I have improved in Russian in just 3 days of giving up English. I am so excited to give this gift to the baby Jesus for Christmas this year. I want God to know that I am here for Him, and that I will do anything for Him and for His work. 
One of my miracles of the week was that I got to meet an angel here in Bila. She is about a 70 year old invalid that we got to wash and give her a thought. She is such a faithful member and will do ANYTHING for her Savior. She asked me if I had ever washed an invalid before and I told her I had not and she told me, "Now you know." I told her that she is a beautiful daughter of God. It was just one of those moments straight from heaven and it can not fully be described. She still wears her temple garments too even though she can barely move and someone else has to put them on her. It was so touching and I already love her so much. God is good. I got to meet an angel. 
As for another great thing this week! DANYA GOT BAPTIZED. Finally finally finally it all happened like it should have and my cute Danya chose to follow the example of Jesus Christ and get baptized. There were some really nice Senior missionaries who carried me all around on their ipad so I could be there. I got to say hi to my people in Tairova and it was adorable, everyone just stared at me. The only hard part was I got to see everything but the actual baptism when the internet suddenly cut out and I missed it. I started to silently cry, just because I so badly wanted to be there and could not and then so badly wanted to see it but couldn't. But then my companion did something amazing. She wrapped me in her arms and she cried with me. That to me was a beauutful witness of the baptismal covenant in action because she was mourning with me as I mourned, and I learned a sweet lesson there. Later on the internet was working and I got to see Sister Ivancovich give her first talk on the Holy Ghost for Danya and give him a blanket I got for him and sowed his name into. He then got up and bore a powerful testimony and I felt so warm and like it was so right. It was  beautiful day. DANYA IS BAPTIZED! 
 Questions from mama: 
How is your new area?  Are you settled yet?  How is Sister Young?  How are you handling all of the new responsibilities?  What a blessing to be able to lead and influence the sisters around you.  How many sisters are you in charge of?  How is your ward?
The branch here is really big and that is such a switch for me, but the feeling here is definitely special. I already love bila and I am grateful to be here and to work really hard! I believe that because of the faith and the strength I feel here already that there will be a temple in this city someday. they are amazing and already a part of the kyiv stake. I am getting settled, I think I just need at least a week. Sister Young is amazing and it is so fun to come back after being together i the MTC and thinking we could never speak Russian to being together and only speaking in Russian. God is going to bless us and this area and this work and it is so fun to be a part of it. 
So far I really love being an STL and I really want to give myself to these girls because sometimes life gets hard, and I understand, and we can stand taller because of the trials and the lessons we learn from heaven. I have only 6 wonderful sisters and it is going to be absolutely amazing. 

I love you all. The work is moving forward and this is one of the best times on my mission. I finally feel like I can just go go go forever. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY and I love you all. We are all children of God and he loves us. That is the WHY in him sending His son, to save us all.

12 more days until Christmas. What gift of sacrifice are you giving to the baby Jesus this Christmas?

I love you!

Cectpa Karren 

Transferred to Bila Tservka #anothernighttrain


More goodbyes

My first Skype Baptism with my little Danya

Transferred 2 days before this special baptism

Glamor shots with my MTC Sister Young


My new comp!  we are good sister training leaders


I love this woman. Sad to say goodbye to our dom guard.