Yesterday we had a long bus ride and I found myself talking to Olga about what our life has been like as missionaries. One of the Elders told me that his parents are getting ready to serve a mission and his mother would like to come to Ukraine. He said, he didn't think he wanted his parents to serve their mission here. I was trying to explain to Olga that some of the experiences we have had here we were not really prepared for. I have always thought of myself as being quite adventurous. I am usually open to trying anything at least once. Needless to say, the more I talked the more I stumbled to find the right words. The truth is, each mission is unique. We have faced some challenges and had to deal with things that we weren't prepared for but when I think of the blessings we have received I wouldn't trade it for anything. We had the opportunity to go back to Masha Gretski's house the last two weeks for Family Home Evening and it reminded me of so many things. You may remember Masha and her family. Sister Clark and I went with the Sister Missionaries to visit their family the first month we were here. If you remember we had to ride public transport to get there. First we took a bus and then a marshooka. Then we got out and crossed the main road to a small alley type road that wasn't paved, crossed some railroad tracks and followed a very narrow path around some houses and eventually reached a little road that lead to Masha's house. It had been raining and it was dark and very unsettling. Sister Clark and I commented on how completely different it was this time. The place had been transformed. There were gorgeous gardens lining the road and beautiful rows of vegetables in rich dark earth. Flowers were blooming everywhere. When we finally reached the Gretski's house we found a darling little cottage surrounded by flowers and gardens. As we sat in their home and visited with their family we discussed once again the blessings of serving a mission with your husband. I remember Sister Clark had previously commented how close you get because you rely on each other for everything. I remember that feeling when we first arrived here. I didn't want to let Bruce out of my sight because I felt so insecure. It seems like it was at least 2 months before I crossed a street without holding his hand. I know that sounds so strange knowing how independent I am but that is just one of the strange things you experience when you are "transplanted" in such an unfamiliar environment.
Well, I found myself telling Olga that I feel different now. I am capable of going places by myself now. I know how to ride the public transportation and I could find my way around alone. The difference is I don't want to go off by myself. I have come to really appreciate having Bruce as my companion. I love sharing this experience with him. We really like being together. We are a good team. It is not so much that I need him to feel safe now, I can even cross the street without holding his hand. It is just that I like sharing this amazing journey with him. I know that when we get home we will go back to our life the way it was and I will miss these days of walking through the park holding hands.