November 21, 2008


One year ago today Bruce and I were leaving the Missionary Training Center headed to Ukraine. IT WAS THANKSGIVING AND IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY!!!!!
I am blessed to be one of those people who gets to celebrate her birthday on a holiday. My birthday falls on Thanksgiving every few years and last year was one of those years. I have always loved it because I get to spend my birthday surrounded by family.
Last year was a little different.
We spent the day traveling to Ukraine
We were beginning a wonderful adventure to live in another country for 18 months.
It was an interesting Thanksgiving........
an interesting 50th birthday that I will never forget!
When we arrived in Donetsk and were taken to the mission home I felt like I was in a daze.
We tried to stay awake long enough to visit with the Mission President, President Andersen and his lovely wife. She even offered us a turkey dinner but I had no room left after the lovely turkey dinner they served on the airplane.
So we did the thing I love best. Slept. We crawled under the thick, warm blankets in the Andersens guest room and fell into a deep sleep ......................
that lasted until about 3 am and then I was wide awake, in a strange bedroom, in a strange house, in a strange land...............................
and that is how we spent Thanksgiving and my birthday in 2007
this year will be different....
we are no longer sleeping in strange beds, in a strange house, in a strange land.
Tomorrow we are going to celebrate my birthday with my Ukrainian friends.
Marina, Nastia, Anya, Olga and Tanya (my Ukrainian girlfriends, actually more like Young Women friends)
and my mission friends,
(the Clark's and the missionaries in our District) are all coming over for brunch.
I decided that I wanted to spend my Birthday with the people who have made Donetsk our home this past year. The people I have come to love.
Happy Birthday to me!!!!!!!

7 messages from friends and family:

McEwens said...

Hey you!!!! Happy Birthday! What a greta way to celebrate for so many years! WOW 50 and on a mission, you guys are young!

Bailey Family said...

happy birthday mom. i love you so much you our such a joy in my life. your example of motherhood has been an amazing inspiration in my life. i hope in the years to come i will be able to follow in your footsteps. you are truely amazing. have a wonderful day you are loved and missed. love k

Jane Anne said...

Happy Birthday!! I think it's great you are throwing yourself a party. That's an absolutely beautiful that just a photo or do you really have that cake? Have a wonderful day! wow, you only have six months left.

Bruce and Jeri said...

Happy Birthday. My husband (also a Bruce) has his birthday this time of year also. His is the 26th. Our Sarah, Sister Howard will be going home a little after you, I August. So Happy Birthday and Happy Thanksgiving. We all have a lot to be thankful for. A follower, Jeri

Mother Goose said...

happy happy birthday, my sister celebrates her birthday on the 20th! I love the month of november. What a wondeful way to celebrate while serving your mission! you are awesome.

dixiewhitehead said...

I've been out of town and didn't get to read your blog till tonight. Good for you for throwing yourself a birthday party. What a fun thing to do. You are truly loved.

Anonymous said...

I found a Wonderful site on Isaiah!
The site has free lessons on every chapter.
Very well done and in the author’s own voice.
Every Isaiah Chapter has the Analytical Commentary of Isaiah. Enjoy this personable verse-by-verse commentary of Isaiah by well-known Hebrew scholar Avraham Gileadi.

“Dr. Gileadi is the only LDS scholar I know of who is thoroughly competent to teach the words of Isaiah”—Professor Hugh Nibley, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. (1. 6. 2003)

“It is my testimony that this man has been brought forward and trained at this time to help those inside the Church into Isaiah, and those outside the Church, Jew and Gentile, through Isaiah into the Church” —Arthur Henry King, author, former BYU professor and London
Temple President.

“Dr. Gileadi has achieved a major breakthrough in the investigation of a book of such complexity and importance as the Book of Isaiah”—Professor David Noel Freedman, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

“Dr. Gileadi’s work will render obsolete almost all the speculations of Isaiah scholars over the last one hundred years . . . enabling scholarship to proceed along an entirely new line . . . opening new avenues of approach for others to follow”—Professor Roland K. Harrison, Wycliffe College, Toronto, Canada.

“Only one who is truly at home not only with the Hebrew but with the ancient manner of biblical thought could have produced such an insightful and ground-breaking book”—Professor S. Douglas Waterhouse, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan.

“Avraham Gileadi’s unsealing of the Book of Isaiah will forever change people’s
understanding of Judeo-Christian religion, lifting it to heights hitherto known only to prophets and saints”—Arie Noot, corporate executive, Edmond, Oklahoma.

“Isaiah Decoded is a huge breakthrough for the seeker of truth—Jew, Christian, Moslem, and agnostic. From an ancient writing, Gileadi has brought to light eternal truths about the nature of God and our relationship to him that have lain buried for centuries in the dust of time”—Guy Wins, fifth-generation Jewish diamond dealer from Antwerp, Belgium.

“Gileadi is the only scholar I know who has been able to express the Jewish expectation of the Messiah in relation to the life and mission of Jesus of Nazareth”—Daniel Rona, Israeli tour guide, Jerusalem, Israel.

“Dr. Gileadi has clearly demonstrated his mastery of the Book of Isaiah and of the scholarly literature dealing with it”—Professor Ronald Youngblood, Bethel Theological Seminary, San Diego, California.

“Avraham Gileadi’s books and tapes take the casual observer of Isaiah’s words and transform him into an enlightened and lifelong student of the Word of God”—Allan and Nancy Pratt, LDS mission president, Toulouse, France.

“Dr. Gileadi has awakened a whole new depth of my understanding of Isaiah’s prophetic message. His books and tapes illuminate the urgent relevance of Isaiah’s writings to our own day”—Becky Douglas, supervisor and sponsor of three orphanages in India, Atlanta, Georgia.

“Dr. Gileadi’s translation [of the Book of Isaiah] is clear and smooth, allowing the reader to appreciate the power and beauty of Isaiah as conveyed in the Hebrew original”—Professor Herbert M. Wolf, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois.

“Gileadi has uncovered an amazing message written in a divine code by the prophet–poet Isaiah. This will give comfort, hope, and joy to masses of people as they cope with the perplexing events now unfolding before their eyes”—Fenton Tobler, thirty years elementary school principle, Las Vegas, Nevada.

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