October 18, 2008


Anya and Vulvo
This is Anya she just turned 8 years old This is another Anya and her cousin Marina Anya was baptized a few months ago.

This is Vulvo in the middle with Elder Carlson and Elder Andrus
Elder Carlson and Vulvo
Vulvo and Vladimir (a returned missionary)
Elder Misiurenko, Vulvo, and Yuraslav

Vulvo was baptized first. Look at this face. He was absolutely glowing. Then little Anya was baptized. After the talks they had a few moments for people to bear their testimonies and the first one up was Anya (she was baptized a few months ago). She just about jumped out of her seat to get up there. She was so happy. She said that it felt like her Baptism all over again. I looked around the room and saw Alexander who was also baptized a few months ago and Deema who also was recently baptized, and Yuraslov. Vulvo is Yuraslov's friend. Yuraslov has been meeting with the missionaries for some time now. He was going to get baptized about a month ago but decided he wasn't ready. Today he got up to bear his testimony and said, "I am not a member yet, but I know the church is true." Then he said, "I think it is time for me to get baptized,". The spirit was so strong in the room. The Sister Missionaries had a young woman with them and my friend Tanya who Elder Andrus invited was there as well. There were several members there to welcome Vulvo into the church.
Then Tanya and I attended a Women's Conference. We listened to talks on family. Tanya, who we met in English classes last fall (she took us on the City Tour) said to me, "It seems like the talks are always about families." I thought that was an interesting observation. She hasn't attended Sacrament meeting yet. She likes to come to Relief Society and interpret for me and Sister Clark so I told her maybe that is because she always comes to the classes that are taught to the Women and we do put a big focus on families and our roles as wives and mothers.
Tomorrow is Sunday. We invited Anya, Nastia and Marina to come over after church for dinner along with Elder Oldroyd and Elder Williams. A few weeks ago the girls were given bracelets from young women who live in Las Vegas. The girls made the bracelets while they were at Girls Camp and while they were there they watched a slideshow of Ukraine. The girls attached a picture and e-mail address along with the bracelets in hopes they could correspond with girls who are members of the Church here in Ukraine. So the girls are going to come over tomorrow to use our computer and e-mail their new American friends. I have included a photo of me with Anya and Marina. I love them so much. They are amazing. Nastia and Marina are sisters they introduced Deema and Anya to the church.

8 messages from friends and family:

Robin said...

Melinda: I have been following your blog for a few weeks. I stumbled upon it while blog surfing one day, but I can't remember who's site I linked from. I have enjoyed reading about your experiences. I was wondering if you could do me a favor. I need some help, and for some reason I feel prompted to write to you. I sense your spirituality through your writing - maybe the Lord knows you can offer me some guidance. Please will you email me? My addressis akabirdy@gmail.com Thank you. rj

Mother Goose said...

The work is going forward and the joy can be felt by all. Thank you for sharing! I love that the girls liked their bracelets what a great way to unite two countries!

Jan said...

My heart is singing. Love this story.

LisAway said...

I'm so super happy to see so many youth in the church there!! That is so wonderful. It's such a great time to join the church, so you can really have so wonderful guidance through those really difficult years.

Ania is a very popular name in Poland too, (just spelled differently). Funny.

McEwens said...

I love to read and see how the work is moving ahead!

Johansens - Former Donetsk Missionary Couple said...

I saw the great picture of Vladimir. He was one of our favorite YSA and Seminary teacher. Please tell him hello from us. When and where did he go on a mission?

Melinda said...

I saw Vladimir today. He says hello, he went to Nova Sebereers on his mission. Do you know Masha Gretski, she is a good friend. How about Tonia? She just returned from a mission. I would like to stay in touch. Can you e-mail me? Did you e-mail me before? I lost your address

Melinda said...

Mothergoose and Jan, thanks for your comments it is really fun to be apart of the growth of the church here in Ukraine. LisAway, I too am glad to see so many youth in the church. Someday we'll see more families.

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