Monday, March 7, 2016

the children of god

March 4, 2016

"How can they answer all the questions we have in our hearts without even knowing?" -Larissa (investigator)

"They can because they are the children of God."

-Galina Starinskaya (member)

March 5, 2016

Galina Sheka and Dima Sheka are our miracles today. We went out to the village first thing this morning. Dima is so ready for his baptism on the 19th, we just need to make sure we find a font for him...

Anyway, we had a really good lesson about Lehi's vision in 1 Nephi 8. We talked about reading scriptures and following the prophets words. He said it is hard for him to understand the Book of mormon, and that is understandable - he is only 11! But he did say that he wants to just try to continue to read anyway!

We talked about prayer and coming to church too. He prays everyday and every week comes to church. He has even become a huge example for his sweet inactive mother. I wanted to know if he has a testimony so we talked about that too and he bore his testimony to us. Then his wonderfully sweet amazing mom whom I love so dearly (and has even started wearing a little bit of makeup when we come); she bore her testimony and she told us "Sisters. It is time I come back to church. It is already time! I am coming, tomorrow!" I could have cried. To see this little boy and his mom coming unto Christ TOGETHER is magical. God does his work. Dima is a strong, important boy and his influence and faith (child like faith) has changed his mama's heart. They now read and pray together. They are open and honest with each other. While Galina read Dima cuddled up close to her resting his arm around her, his face completely enthralled with the story. It was such a beatuiful moment! I got to witness it!

Galina and Dima are coming to church tomorrow! God does NOT forget His children. Sometimes even the tiniest bit of faith performs GIANT miracles! Galina is resturning and preparing for the temple. She is returning! Dima is following His Savior's example and he is getting baptized!!

So our morning was fantastic. We are so happy. GOD IS SO HAPPY. We feel so much love!

Today we also received transfers...

The long awaited news was revealed...



another transfer together!

It is too good to be true and never ever happens. People do not stay together more than 2 transfers in our mission. Not ever. Sister Young has already been in Bila for 6 transfers! So we knew that she would get transferred! Our elders called and we were silent for a while then we screamed and sister young fell on the floor laughing. We are crazies and so excited to keep working! We have much to do! And we get to continue! Wahoo!!!

This is the time I have been wiating for my whole mission and have been striving to find and do this. I have faith it can happen with my hard work, combined with the conversion of the investigators to the Lord who really does ALL this work! This is the time I read about in my (setting apart) blessing. It is happening! I am a real missionary. I am a leader. I am striving to be obedient and to be better, to repent more, to follow God's will. I speak only in Russian. I am growing and God is really helping us to work like missionaries in the scriptures! People feel the Spirit testify POWERFULLY through us. We are always striving to be humble, honest, bold, teaching with love and tenderness and always striving to stand as Christ's personal representatives. I still have so far to go to really become who God wants me to be, but I am loving the journey and I am really trying, really praying now, really actively using and remembering the atonement, and we are helping others do all the same. We need to study hard, work more diligently. We need to be strong, not fear and continue to perform miracles as God's physical hands!

We also met wtih 21 year old Tanya! She has really become insterested even more since Anya suddenly up and moved to work in Dubai. :(

I love Tanya. She is such a good girl. Last time I felt a little of what God feels for her and my eyes got misty, as I told her God loves her and knows her and sees her. She has a lot a lot to do right now, but says with us at the church it is the only place she wants to be! Today we watched the Joseph Smith video with her and asked her to really pray about our church. She asked us about our baptisms. We testified. We asked her that when she prays and receives an answer will she get baptized?! SHE SAID YES! with all of her heart.

But she knows she needs to pray. She immediately prayed to know. I felt the Spirit so so strong.

We taught a really fun english lesson today. We did a mock court case with all the people. It turns out Vova really did steal the candy even though he was not proven guilty. We talked about "obeying and honoring the law" and we taught them Gods laws #commandmentswithhandsignals

It was so fun! They ate it all up. President's advice about just really pouring our love into doing the service of teaching English was so good. Glad we followed! I love these people.

Later today we travelled to a potential investigators house. Her name is Tamara. Her invalid son Denis died a while back. There is a man named Sergei who lives there too.They have a very humble house. A small room with a small kitchen and couch pulled out as an awful bed for the both of them and that is it. Their door was a cardboard sign they somehow attached to the wall. They were amazing. Tamara is still greatly grieving about the death of her son and not quite ready to move on. Sergei was outside smoking, but I invited him inside for our lesson. He was one of the nicest men I have ever met. Our message was brief. But even with that, I watched as the Spirit testified to them- especially Sergei. His heart was touched, even if just a little. I am so grateful to have met them. They are the children of God. We hugged Tamara on the way out and Sergei kind of hugged us too (ooops) but it was just really sweet.

I love Ukraine. I love Bila. I am the luckiest daughter of God. I am staying! I am so glad. We have a lot to do and I am so ready to continue.

Love ya lots,

Cectpa Karren

Family Home Evening with the Prishepchuks and we studied it was awesome! 
Jackie the dog and their crazy gray cat.

Our investigator Larissa.  She is changing her life and ours!

I am a Ukrainian Princess

We couldn't resist!

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