August 21, 2008


Dear Friends,

The Internet is a wonderful thing. It is so amazing that we can be in instant contact with our friends and family. It is such an awesome way to stay connected. However, I have learned the hard way that we have to be extremely cautious about how we use it. I have accepted e-mails, and forwarded information to my friends and family that wasn't always accurate. I believe they call this ....................S C A M, oops I think I meant S P A M!

I want to apologize for this. Once again, a well meaning friend invited me to join a social networking site and when I did my address book was used to invite my friends to join. I did not intend to invite anyone to join. I just thought I was accepting an invitation to access my friends page. So my dear friends, please use caution when accepting and sending invitations to social networks on the Web. Please accept my sincere apology if you have received an invitation to join a network that said I had requested you to join. I DID NOT KNOWINGLY DO THIS.

I am sorry I am just a little slow and naive when it comes to this type of thing. That has always been one of my downfalls I am so trusting and have always wanted to see the best in people. It is hard for me to accept that there are people out there whose only motivation in doing something is for self gain.

I know, like I said, I am slow. However, I do have some really good friends who are alot more savvy when it comes to protecting themselves on the Internet and they are teaching me.
I do believe that the Internet can be used for so many great things. I have received some beautiful inspirational stories and videos from friends but I have also received some that did not contain facts that were true. We just have to be so careful while using the Internet. I read a really good article in our church magazine last month that I would like to share a few thoughts with you from.

This was written by Elder Russell M. Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

"How different the world is today. For many of you, if you read the newspapers, the chances are you read them on the Internet. Ours is the world of cyberspace, cell phones that capture video and music downloads, social networks, text messaging and blogs, handhelds and podcast. This is the world of the future, with inventions undreamed of that will come in your lifetime as they have in mine. How will you use these marvelous inventions" ? It goes on to later say, "Now some of these tools-like any tool in an unpraticed or undisciplined hand- can be dangerous. The intenet can be used to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ and can just as easily be used to market filth and sleaze of pornography" He goes on to say, " Social networks on the Web can be used to expand healthy friendships as easily as they can be used by predators trying to trap the unwary".
One of our relatives recently had to make her blog invitation only because some strange man she didn't know was commenting on the pictures of her children. That is so creepy. We have to be so careful what we do and say while posting. I know some bloggers who have chosen to not post any family pictures on their blogs for this very reason.

Later he writes, "Satan is always quick to exploit the negative power of new inventions, to spoil or degrade, and to neutralize any effect for good. Make sure that the choices you make in the use of new media are choices that expand your mind, increase your opportunities, and feed your soul.

Elder Ballard invites us to "join the conversation". "Now, may I ask that you join the conversation by participating on the Internet to share the gospel and to explain in simple and clear terms the message of the Restoration. Far too many people have a poor understanding of the Church because most of the information they hear about us is from news media reports that are often driven by controversies."

My intention in keeping this blog is to do just that. It began as a way to share with our friends and family the wonderful experiences we are having on our mission but has become so much more than that. I do want our friends and family to know about the Humanitarian Work we are doing here. I want to share the adventures of our life here in Ukraine. However, it would be impossible to share any of this without sharing the gospel.

The gospel is central to all that we are doing here. The whole reason we are serving a mission is because of the gospel in our lives. We have come to know the Savior while in his service. We have felt his deep love for us and for our family. We see his hand each day as we serve the people of Ukraine. We have had the opportunity to study the scriptures and to attend conferences and trainings where we have been spiritually fed by great leaders of our church. We have witnessed the Lord's hand in the lives of the young missionaries here as they struggle with the Language and with the challenges of living in a foreign country. So my blog has evolved into an opportunity for me to share the gospel in hopes that it will .....

expand your mind-increase your oppotunities-and-feed your soul

thanks for your love, support and prayers

1 messages from friends and family:

Tammy said...

HI Melinda! It is so fun to hear from you! I love your blog too! It is so inspirational. You look beautiful and it looks like you are having an amazing experience.
So glad you found me!

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


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

Europe East Area District Meeting


OUR APARTMENT (this is not an average missionary apartment)




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