Bruce and I just returned from our trip to Kieve. All I can say is my first thought was, "We're not in Kansas anymore Toto." One of the first things we noticed was people speaking English. As we left the airport we saw signs that were translated into English. I know this doesn't seem like such a big deal but for me it was huge. I have started feeling like I am always on the outside looking in. The language barrier has really felt like a handicap for me. So it was so great to be able to go into a store and know that someone would be able to communicate with you. One lady even told Sister Lee, "if you come back to my shop I can practice my English and I will speak better." I know if I met someone in Donetsk that told me that I'd have a new instant friend. The other huge difference was that the people seemed friendlier. They were actually looking at you when you approached or talking to one another on the buses. The couple we went to visit(The Lee's) live in a very beautiful area. They told us Kieve is considered a city inside a park. They live right across from a huge park with many war monuments and very well groomed walking paths. The other amazing thing was on the weekend one of the main streets is closed off to traffic and becomes quite a busy place. There were street performers, musicians, break dancers, and artist. It felt so much like the streets of San Francisco. So for 4 or 5 days we walked in beautiful parks, we ate wonderful food prepared by Elder and Sister Lee, we toured museums and Provoslavic Temples with the Lee's and another Humanitarian Couple from the Dneproprotrisk Mission, the Cudney's. We finished up the week with a fantastic two-day training that Sister Lee presented to a group of Social Workers on "Strengthening Families." We are happy to say we have returned to Donetsk safe and sound. We loved our visit to Kieve. There were so many things about it that made it such an enjoyable stay not to mention the great hospitality of the Lee's. It would be easy for us to focus on all the things that Kieve offers that Donetsk doesn't have but what would we gain from that. I think this is just one more opportunity to be grateful. This may be another chance to once again live in today. Someone once said, "you are only as happy as you make up your mind to be." The Lord sent us here to Donetsk and we will do all we can to do his work here and to find joy in doing it.
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To listen to this talk you will need to put the music on pause first
Sometimes we forget what divine gifts we have been given. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, 2nd Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints