May 20, 2008

TO THE PARENTS OF MISSIONARIES

I just wanted to say thank-you to all of you who have been commenting on this blog. It is fun to see that some of you returned missionaries and even your parents are reading. I am so filled with gratitude each day to be here having this experience. When we were at the MTC they told us that we should have the missionaries in our home. That we would become very close to some of them. They said, that we should be a refuge for them. They told us to just be there for them. It wasn't long after we got here that I realized what they were doing for me. Their powerful testimonies have strengthened me. Their willingness to "go and do" whatever the Lord has asked has motivated me to do better. Their love and service for the people in Ukraine has inspired me. We have had many opportunities to have the missionaries in our home and to participate in zone conferences with them. I just have to say, "I had no idea." When people use to say, " the best two years of your life" I really didn't have any concept of what that meant. I can't believe how many opportunities they have to stretch and grow. I am always touched by their powerful testimonies. When we sit in Zone conferences I will try to imagine the 19 year old boys at home that I saw go off on their missions and I just can't believe these boys are the same age. They seem so much older and more mature. I keep thinking about you parents at home who are worrying about the little things like are they sleeping? are they eating well? Are they happy? I just want you to know that some of them do lose weight here. Some of them are sleeping on lumpy beds and maybe even drag their mattresses on to the floor to sleep, but there is no question in my mind that they are happy. These young men and women are committed to do the Lord's work and as one of them told me when we discovered that he and his companion were drinking out of a recycled jar and one glass, " I just thought that was part of being on a mission." They don't complain. Even when there is no hot water, or their facets leak, or they have had 10 doors slammed in their faces in one day. They get up everyday and put on a white shirt and tie, and do what the Lord has asked them to do. We had two missionaries over for dinner the other night who are going home soon and they are already thinking about what they can do for Ukraine when they get home. I love these missionaries. I know I have said it before and I will say it again, you should be so proud of them. I now know why they say, "it was the best two years of my life." Thank-you for sharing it with me.

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Saints in Ukraine (put music on pause)

My music


click on the photo to see the captions

Armenia Trip

Our last Zone Conference

Some of the faces we will miss

Our trip to Mariupol

March Zone Conference in Donetsk(click on photo to view a larger version)

Missionaries helping the International Relief Development unload a container from America

Health Fair click on the photo to see what is coming up

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

Thanksgiving

Look at the fun equipment we got to deliver to this internat for Special Needs children

Europe East Area District Meeting

I LOVE THESE MISSIONARIES

OUR APARTMENT (this is not an average missionary apartment)

THIS IS WHAT MISSIONARY APARTMENTS LOOK LIKE ON INSPECTION DAY

CLICK ON THE PICTURE TO SEE A MORE COMPLETE VIEW

LEADERSHIP TRAINING IN THE KALINSKY BUILDING

Click on photo to see more photos of the Open House at the Kalininsky blg