November 30, 2015
Just a short one this week I am sorry. We have a 6 day exchange so it is going to be kind of crazy!
I miss you guys. I hope you are all doing well!
We were really busy this week and it was perfect time for Thanksgiving! We had so many experiences happen where we realized how many blessings we had! I am so grateful to be in Ukraine. It is my place. It is a crazy place but it is mine. We had a great zone conference and also we got dropped by one of our investigators and we are just trying to keep pushing through. I have seen so many amazing miracles this week and so many moments where my heart was just touched. I am grateful for these people and for the knowledge of the gospel I have. We are so blessed and so lucky! I hope everyones Thanksgiving's were amazing!
One answer to my prayers this week:
I felt like 2 of our investigators were not progressing like I felt like they should by now (I know everyone has free agency, but I started to feel like I had not really done anything to really help them come closer to Christ and I was feeling sad. We met with the member who gave us these 2 investigators to have a drop talk. When we were having our lesson with him, as he spoke I realized that he was truly converted. And at the beginning when I first started to talk to him he was VERY less active and ready to leave. All things I did not know. He read me and my sweet companion a poem he wrote because we were his angels and we changed and saved his life again. I had not known, but really the work I had been doing had touched someones heart and it was so nice to hear!
I have to go but have a wonderful week and I will update more next week!
I love you guys!!
Love Cectpa Karren
Last week November 23, 2015:
Hi there. :)
This week was an adventure and a half. On Wednesday we got to go up to Kyiv by AIRPLANE for a specialized training conference for the sisters. Also we got to go to the temple and it was amazing to be back there! I miss going every week. SO the adventure part... We were headed back to the airport for our returning flight and with a combination of rain, slow taxi driver, traffic and road construction we arrived at the airport 10 minutes before our flight left. So we were running all over tarnation to get to our plane on time but then they needed us to print our tickets so we were running packages and all and THEN the man refused to print us our tickets because he wanted to go home, and we sat on a bench outside the security watching our gate and watched our plane take off without us in it. That was interesting... And it was already night and the last flight out. We got another taxi met the travel man in an alley and then we slept over at a sister in Kyiv and had nothing but my pencil skirt to sleep in. The next morning we got up early and found us a bus and rode it for 9 hours back down to Odessa. SWEET. We made it though! And we sure had some laughs along the way.
This week was awesome! I loved it. We met with so many people even with two days out of our week and I am getting SO SAD because I am almost 100% positive I am getting transferred in a little under 2 and a half weeks. Tairova has my people and it will keep my heart. I will miss my cute Danya's baptism because they are now waiting for Elder Kudibergen to come down and baptize him the weekend after transfers. It may kill me. I LOVE THIS FAMILY AND THEY HAVE completely changed their lives and they have changed mine.
Ok so this week we were walking along contacting. And we stopped this old couple who were holding hands and walking together. We started off by asking them if they would like to know about another testament of jesus christ? They responded with, "You are talking to the only people in Ukraine who don't speak Ukrainian." They spoke perfect english because they were from Canada. There was one more man with them and they told us they have been here for almost 3 months and they are training missionaries for some hope church. After that the other man asked us if he could tell us a story, we responded sure why not. He began to tell us a bible story. After this was a series of questions trying to get you to the point where you realize you are a liar, thief, and a bad person in God's eyes but that with faith and instant and complete repentance one time you can be kept out of hell. He described hell to us and it was SO scary. We listened as he then attacked our church, our beliefs, our message and told us that he would pray sincerely for our souls because we were on the wrong path that the Book of Mormon created a different and unreal Jesus and that we did not know who our Savior was. All we could do was stand there and take it. At the end we both bore our testimonies and we shook their hands and the old couple did not say ONE word the entire time the man talked. They looked embarrassed and we wondered how can they be from the same church and not believe the same thing? The man as we bore our testimonies with all the power I have ever had stood their and denied that we knew what we knew. He told us where we had made mistakes in our testimony and that he would just pray for us. I guess it was especially hard to hear in my own language. maybe that is one reason I was not sent somewhere where they speak English. We did not fight though we just listened. Smiled. We bore our testimonies that we know to be true and we walked away arm in arm. We couldn't help but tear up a little bit after. It stung and it was so sad to see these people so close yet so confused and so far away. We prayed for them that night.
MIRACLE. As we were walking away crying I was just wishing that we could have seen our investigators that day (their son was supposed to have an operation and I just wanted to know if they were doing alright but they had not been home). Suddenly we both felt two little arms wrapped around our waists and we turned around and our sweet little Zhenya and her mom and the grandma were standing there! They had just "happened" to run into us and they were our miracle from God. They came to church Sunday all on their own and Danya (the son) will have his surgery on his stomach today.
We could not stop thinking about the couple though. Because they didn't respond and just looked sad as this man preached at us. The very next morning our elders from the other city were walking to church and ran into them and stopped them to talk! They have been here for almost 3 months!! and we have never seen them. Then within 24 hours 2 different sets of missionaries STOP them on the street. I can only pray that someday their hearts will be softened and they will find the truth. I know God loves them and is working with them. It was a hard sad but strengthening experience and I am grateful for the knowledge of this gospel I do have. It brings light, love and hope into my life. I know my Savior and I know that He leads this church. I AM SO GRATEFUL. I love everything about where I am right now. I am so blessed. SO BLESSED.
I am hopeful you are all doing well too! Please keep sending me pictures I LOVE seeing everyones face. Have a wonderful thanksgiving and know that I AM SO GRATEFUL FOR YOU. I love you all so much. The church is true and we know it. Isn't that the greatest blessing of all?? I believe so. 2 Nephi 22:2 is my all time favorite scripture and it is so true. I know who my savior is. He is my salvation and now we will continue on striving to get better and better so that we can one day return to him. I await that day eagerly. I love Him.
Our mission leader Valentin.
|This cute girl is serving in Lviv|