September 20, 2008


Yuri Orlov, President and Sister Fry, President Manzhos, and President Tehemera

Today was such an amazing day!!!!!

We had our very first meeting in the Kalininsky Building. It was a Leadership Training meeting.

I was so happy for the members. As we were setting up for the meeting there was beautiful music piped in to every room. You could really feel the members joy and appreciation for this beautiful building. As we sat down and watched the members arrive I just kept thinking, "someday this chapel will be full". We had a brief welcome and then the men went to meet with President Manjos and the women went to meet with Sister Fry. We thought maybe 30 women would come but we probably had 50 or 60. Sister Fry asked me to speak about Family Home Evening, and I shared a little bit about the "Strengthening Families" classes we are teaching in the branches. As I stood to teach I just felt so impressed that this room was filled with some very special women who were called to not only lead the women in the church but also to raise up the future generation of missionaries, Relief Society Presidents, Elders Quorum Presidents, Primary Leaders, and Branch and District Leaders. I was so honored to be able to teach them. Sister Clark presented the Young Women leaders and Primary leaders these wonderful bracelets along with pictures and testimonies that were written in them that were made by some young women in Las Vegas. I think she had about 125 bracelets. They asked if we could have our young women (here in Ukraine) send the girls in America a note and a picture and if they could correspond by e-mail or postal service. Remember the days of pen pals? Well, that's what they want to do. How amazing is that? So I mentioned that some of the women in our ward at home (Woodside Ward) would like to do something similar if any of the ladies were interested. I had several come up and talk to me about it afterwards. The only challenge is we would have to have someone translate the letters in America and once they arrive here so postal service would probably be best. Many people here have to go to an Internet cafe to use the Internet. I met one Sister Olga who is a returned missionary (she served in Salt Lake during the Olympics then Arkansas) she is the mother of a 3 year old little girl and she wants to write another young mother because, "it is not common for women to be stay-at-home mothers here or to have a large family", she wants to do both. She asked me if I knew someone she could correspond with to share parenting ideas. She feels like she doesn't know anyone in her situation and would love to correspond with another LDS mother raising small children. We ended the day with the members changing into grubbies and working around the grounds of the building. It was quite a sight as we left the building there were clusters of people still in their church clothes visiting and many others in small clusters with rakes, brooms, and garbage bags cleaning up their new church grounds. I just have to say, that it was a happy day for all of us.

3 messages from friends and family:

dixiewhitehead said...

Thank you so much for your blog entries. I loved seeing the everyday sights (and not so everyday sights) of Donetsk.

Reading your words and seeing the pictures, I almost felt like I was there observing the leadership training and feeling the spirit as you helped teach the sisters about the gospel. The inspiration you felt about the sisters raising up future missionaries and leaders really touched me because that's exactly how I feel about the role of Relief Society and women in the church. Thanks for sharing so eloquently and thoroughly.

Jane Anne said...

I love reading your blog because it helps me stay focused on what is most important. It's nice to take a break from my every day life as I go to your blog and be reminded again about the big picture.

Emily Sue said...


I accidentally posted on the picture of the four Elders instead of here the first time. I would like to get in contact with you so that I can correspond with Sister Olga. Please email me at emily at callfam dot com so I can provide you with more information about myself.


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