November 25, 2008


my heroI love this woman

Look at her hands. I want my hands to look like this someday. I want my hands, and face to reflect the life I have LIVED

i want to be truly present in life

which means that sometimes my heart will ache..........

sometimes I will have to stretch and go way beyond what is comfortable for me. .............

sometimes my mind will tell my body to turn the other way but my heart will say stay

have you ever wondered what makes a mother theresa?

How does one person become so selfless?

I don't think it happens overnight

I believe it's a process

We make small choices every day of our lives how we will spend our time.

We pass people on the streets in distress and we decide if we will stop and offer assistance or if we will keep walking.

I remember one day I was on the campus at BYU and I had just attended a class given by a woman who works with the poor and needy in India. She talked alot about suffering of the people in India. Then she taught about the suffering of all mankind. It tugged at my heart. It made me reflect on the suffering one of my loved ones was going through. When the class was over I sat on a curb and the tears just started flowing. I couldn't stop them. Soon the walkways were filled with students rushing off to their next class and there I sat crying. One man slowly walked by me and glanced at me as he passed. A few seconds later he came back.....

He stopped and........
here is the amazing part....

he sat right down next to me........


I don't know exactly what he said.....

what I do know is I felt like he cared about my pain

AND in that moment I knew without a doubt that my Heavenly Father cared too.

I don't know who he was or why he stopped but I know that

he made a choice

to turn around and come sit by me.


SHE SHOWED PEOPLE SHE CARED in the small choices she made every single moment of her life. She dried a tear, she held a hand, she listened, she prayed, she dressed wounds, she looked into the eyes of the dying.

the upcoming holiday has made me reflect on my blessings.

Yesterday as we ate our Thanksgiving FEAST with the missionaries I felt a bit selfish. As Sister Clark delivered her homemade hot rolls for our dinner she said that she passed a man eating out of the garbage. We talked about how much more meaningful this day would have been for the missionaries if we had prepared a feast for someone who really needed it.

We make choices each day about how we will spend our time

As 40 or so of us gathered in the Church Building to eat there were 4 or 5 workers planting beautiful trees and shrubs out in front of our new building. Not one of us thought about offering them a plate of food until we were all done eating and cleaning up.

we make choices each day that affect the lives of people around us

Everyday I pass old people on the streets who are wearing old worn shoes and threadbare clothing and they hold out a small plastic cup as we pass......
we make choices everyday to stop or keep walking
we make choices each day that require us to get out of our comfort zone for someone elses sake
Sometimes the help that other people need isn't physical. We may offer to help carry someones bag, or give up our seat on the bus, or help someone cross the street but what we are giving that person goes much deeper than the physical assistance. I know every time I have stopped to offer assistance to someone I can feel the Saviors love for them. When I take their hand in mine, or look into their eyes as I offer assistance I feel the Savior whispering, "you are loved".

This year I have learned so many lessons about life.

I want to be truly present in life. I want the choices I make to reflect the love I have for the Savior and to reflect my endless gratitude for my blessings.

I want to remember that it was through some of the deepest pain that I learned to trust and rely on my Heavenly Father

It was in the still quiet moments of sorrow that I felt his unending love for me and my family

what an incredible blessing it is to be a wife and mother, it was in the moments of longing for my home and family that I really came to appreciate the joy they have given me

It was on the cold rainy days when I passed a poor grandmother on the streets begging that I learned to appreciate my home, and the financial security that I have been blessed with. It was the days that I squeezed into a crowded Marshruka with my arms filled with the cake I was bringing to the branch party, and a shopping bag filled with everything else that I would need for the rest of the day that I learned to appreciate the car I have at my disposal 24 hours a day.
Each time I have made a choice to stop and notice some person that needed a hand I have been filled with gratitude for a mother who taught me to

make the choice to stay even if it hurt or was inconvenient

I want to be more like Mother Theresa I want to be able to do

"small things with great love"

5 messages from friends and family:

Robin said...

Very profound! Very true!

dixiewhitehead said...

I'm also a big fan of Mother Theresa. Chieko Okazaki talked about her in her books and how important it is to look at each brother and sister we encounter in our journey here in life as if through the eyes of the Savior. We see things differently when we look through His eyes. Your words are inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

LisAway said...

What a beautiful post! Thank you so much for this wonderful reminder of the best way for us to show our thanks at thanksgiving time and throughout the year!! I really loved this. Thank you.

Annie said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you so far away.

samnarene said...

Your thoughts were nice to ponder on this Thanksgiving day. I am thankful you took the time to write this and share with us.

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