September 30, 2008

WHAT IS IT LIKE LIVING IN UKRAINE?

THIS IS THE REENIK LAST SATURDAY

I have been getting alot of new visitors to the blog and so I decided to answer a few questions. People often wonder what it is like living in Ukraine? I really try to take pictures and write experiences we are having that might answer that question for you. Ukraine is nothing like America. When we first arrived I was quite surprised by the stark contrast. Living in California I was use to blue skies, the warm brilliant sunshine, green mountains and trees, the beautiful California coast, and refreshing streams, lakes and rivers. Of course, I knew it would be different, I just didn't know how different. First of all , it was winter and very cold outside. The trees were barren and although some days there was snow on the ground many days it was just a dirty brown slush. The people always seemed to be in a hurry. Most people do not give you eye contact when you pass them on the street, or sit by them in public transportation. There was a palpable feeling of apathy hanging over the city. Our mission home, mission office and the couples apartments are all in Central Donetsk. Two couples live in Kharkov. So our first few months we only saw what was in the middle of the city of Donetsk. Most people live in very tall apartment buildings that are called domes. They are quite interesting so I have included a slide show of our current apartment. I would like to digress here. Another question I get asked is, "Is it safe there?"

we wondered that too when we first saw the amount of locked doors you had to enter to get into your apartment. We had also been told many stories of people's belongings being stolen. Purses, wallets, cell phones, watches, many times in broad daylight and in public places. So when I first got here I was constantly looking over my shoulder and clutching my purse. Up until this past weekend I could say, we have had no problems. We have gotten quite comfortable here, in fact, we often go out walking at night. However, this weekend we went shopping at the big Reenik and someone lifted my cell phone from my purse. So the lesson there is, you just always have to be cautious when out in public especially in crowds. I can't tell you how many times I was bumped and smashed into the crowd. Which reminds me, nobody stands in line here, that took some time to get us to. If you are waiting for a bus and others arrive after you they may be the first one on if they are more aggressive then you are. Elder Kinghorn is always letting women on before him or offering his seat to older women but they are certainly not use to it. I can not get use to just shoving my way to the front of the line. Sometimes I would get so frustrated at McDonalds, (yes, we have 3 McDonald's in Donetsk, but no other fast food chains) just trying to place an order because everyone kept crowding in front of me. I finally just gave up and left. I am doing better now but it isn't comfortable for me. There is really no middle class here. The average wage is less than $150.00  per month. Even doctors make less then $300.00 per month. Most people do not drive cars here unless they are wealthy. The average person rides a bus, trolley bus or marshrooka. Marshrookas are vans that have a bus route and regular stops. They will pack as many people into the marshrooka as they possibly can. I mean we are talking sardines here. People are sitting and standing. (this is a post for another day) Let's just say, public transportation took some time to get use to. Another question I get asked is what is the church like there? The church is fairly new here in Ukraine. The predominate church is the Provoslavic church. During the Russian occupation churches were discouraged. The Provaslavic Church reemerged after the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 90's. We have a few members in our Branch that have been members for 15 or 16 years. There are only branches here in the Donetsk Mission. Our branch is only a 10 to 20 minute bus ride from our apartment. When we move to the new building in 2 weeks it will only be a 10 minute bus ride. We do not have a stake, however Kieve does. I think we have 17 branches. Some of the branches are still relatively small and we have one area where a missionary is the Branch President. I do not mean Senior Missionary. I was amazed at this. Can you imagine any 19 year-old from your ward being the Branch President. It is incredible what can be accomplished when we are on the Lord's errand. He truly does take weak things and make them strong.

Ether 12:27 ....for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

We are experiencing some problems with keeping members active. This is one of the Branch Presidents biggest concerns. We are excited because the Church has published a new Family Home Evening Manual that was translated into Russian and we will be using this with the members. The missionaries are going to offer to go to a member family and teach them how to have Family Home Evening and then ask them to invite another family over for Family Night. The Missionaries will teach a Family Home Evening Lesson with the help of the member family and then present the other family with their own manual. This will open the doors for missionary work as well as help to strengthen families. I could go on and on about what it is like to live here however, this has been a long post so I better close for now. Thank you for your love and support and continued prayers.

I'VE BEEN TAGGED



WHEN I FOUND MYSELF SITTING AT THE COMPUTER READING SOME OF MY FAVORITE BLOGS I CAME ACROSS THIS POST ON Pam's BLOG.

"Oh, that's interesting", I thought to myself, "seven weird, or random things.......... wonder what unusual things I would say about myself?",

and the next thing I knew Pam had mentioned my name in her blog. IT SEEMS SHE WANTS TO KNOW THE SAME THING. AT FIRST I THOUGHT IT WAS A MISTAKE, THERE ARE OTHER PEOPLE NAMED MELINDA, BUT THEN I READ FURTHER AND IT SAID, "MELINDA, IN UKRAINE".

There's no doubt about it that must mean she is definitely talking about me. She has tagged me. That means I have to post 7 random/weird facts about myself. And I just have to say. I have been obsessing about it ever since. So I finally decided to just do it now before I made myself sick with worry. So here goes.....

FIRST: I couldn't think of weird facts about myself. And that was making me nervous. I found myself wondering, "am I so ordinary that there is nothing unusual, strange, or weird about me." That in itself is weird. Shouldn't we want to be considered normal. I mean we spend all of our young adult life trying to "fit in", which basically means trying to be like everyone else. Which leads me to

SECOND: I obsess about things. I get completely lost in my head worrying and obsessing about things I have no control over. Like, "should I agree to play this tag game, you know, I am on a mission, I don't want to give people the wrong impression. I don't want people to think I am not working hard on my mission, or that I am spending too much time blogging, which leads me to.......

THE THIRD WEIRD FACT: I worry too much about what other people think. You would think by my age... (we won't talk about that, let's just say, my "over the hill party" seems like a very long time ago.....) I would have conquered that little character defect, but I'm still working on it.

FOURTH: I still have to use my fingers to count. I found myself doing it the other night for Family Home Evening with the Mission President and his wife. I use to hide them under the table, but since I am working on number 3 now, I just let all the fingers fly right in front of everyone.

FIFTH: My husband thought I should mention that I have absolutely no interest in Harry Potter, or Lord of the Rings. I have never read a Harry Potter book and I hated the Lord of the Rings movie, it was pure torture for me to sit through.

Sixth: I never ever ever kill bugs, spiders, or insects of any kind, not even an ant. I pick them up and take them outside.

SEVEN: My favorite time of the day is just after we finish our evening prayer and I get to snuggle up next to my husband, who is my very best friend. It is truly a moment when I feel an overwhelming sense that all is well with the world.

So now I get to tag 7 of you. I tag, Mandy, Earlgirl, Abby, Angie, Annie, mothergoose, Stephanie

September 26, 2008

STRENGTHENING FAMILIES TRAINING

Do you ever wonder what the church's Humanitarian Program does worldwide? This post is about what we have been doing recently here in Donetsk as Humanitarian Volunteers with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints




ELDER AND SISTER LEE, THE UKRAINE HUMANITARIAN COUNTRY DIRECTORS










We just completed another 3-day training on "Strengthening Families". This time it was held here in Donetsk. Our Humanitarian Country Directors, Elder and Sister Lee flew in from Kieve to teach it. Elder Kinghorn and I were the Project Managers which essentially means, we were "the gophers". Sister Lee has been invited by the Ukraine Ministry of Family, Youth and Sports to teach this seminar in 8 cities throughout Ukraine. She will have taught a total of 11 seminars by the time her mission ends in December. This is so exciting because that means in each training she teaches 30-40 participants who will be able to use these skills in their professional practices to help Strengthen the families that they work with. The seminars are offered to Social Workers, Psychologist, Educators, and Foster Care Workers. This last training also had some participants from various private facilities like a drug rehabilitation program and a street children facility.We feel so happy to be here during this time when the Ukraine Ministry has decided to focus their efforts on "Strengthening Families".

Some of you may remember how heart wrenching it has been for Elder Kinghorn and I to see the institutionalized children here. 100,000 children a year live in orphanages in Ukraine. Some of these children admit themselves to the orphanages after being abandoned by parents. Other children choose to live on the streets with other street children. The statistics are just as staggering for the numbers of children who live on the streets, over 100,00 throughout Ukraine. Sister Lee has told of stories of visiting day facilities where street children can come to have a hot meal and bath and meeting children who live on the street that are as young as 5 years of age. One day she visited a center that had over 30 children and not one of them was over 13 years old. These children are growing up not only homeless, but without parents. The other deeply disturbing thing we have seen is children being placed in facilities because they are born with a disability. It wasn't long ago we toured a facility that was one of the better equipped "baby houses" that we have seen. A baby house is a place that children under 4 years of age are brought if they have been abandoned by their parents, or parental rights have been removed. They said that most of their "healthy" children are adopted , which is wonderful. What disturbed me was when we entered the wing where the "invalids" ( their term for children with any disability) were it was like we had entered a different facility. The rooms were lacking the same cheery feeling that we had felt as we had toured the other wings. Groups of 4 or 5 children sat in large playpens with absolutely no toys. Some of them had developed ways to provide self stimulation by rocking or banging their heads, others quickly stood as we approached and reached out their hands to us as they tried to speak. One little girl saw Elder Kinghorn and began to cry hysterically and scoot as far away from him as she could get. One little boy asked Elder Kinghorn over and over again, "are you a bad man?"

The solution to these problems is not to build more facilities it is to find ways to keep children in their homes. It is to teach people how to parent. We are teaching husbands and wives how to be good examples to their children, and how to express love to each other and their children. The concepts we teach are common to many of us but very new to the families in Ukraine. Some of the topics are, Communicating with Love, Discipline without punishment, Helping children be responsible, Having fun as a family, Family council time, Family traditions. So that is why we are so glad to see the Ministry placing the emphasis on "Strengthening Families". We are even more excited that the Church's Humanitarian Program can help contribute to the solution of a very disturbing problem.

When we first arrived here in Ukraine I felt like the problems were so huge and that there was very little we could do to change the way the Ukrainian people treat their children. I have seen Heavenly Fathers hand in the work we do here. Some days I feel like I am walking along a beach filled with starfish that have washed ashore. I look out and see so many that I will never be able to save, but then I remember that the one life that I do affect will make a difference to that child. So each time we do a training, I think,

aybe there is one woman here who will decide not to hit her child tonight. Maybe there is one mommy who will read her little one a bedtime story and tell her "I love you" for the very first time. Maybe tonight one mom will go home and call her family together for their very first Family Home Evening. Maybe one mommy will decide that even though it is hard she will do all within her power to keep her family together".
I am so grateful to be an instrument in his hands. We are so blessed. Kiss your children tonight. Thank your husband for being a good daddy and good example to your children. Thank all of the people in your life that help you to raise the children our Heavenly Father has placed in your care.

September 22, 2008

LEADERSHIP TRAINING IN THE KALINSKY BUILDING

Saturday we had a leadership meeting at the new Kalinsky Building.
When the meeting was over the members, and the missionaries changed into their work clothes, grabbed the shovels, rakes, and brooms and got busy cleaning up the outside of the new building.

September 20, 2008

LEADERSHIP TRAINING IN THE KALINSKY BUILDING


















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.

TRANSFER DAY

Today was transfer day and the big surprise was who the new AP's were going to be........


President decided to have 2 sets of AP's so now Elders Hunt and Carlson will also be his assistants.

Sister Howard and her Mini Missionary
Sister Dubrovina are going to Gorlovka















Elder Hulet and Elder Taylor















Elder Burrop and his "greenie" (brand new missionary)
Elder Goodfellow















Elders Peters and Brinton




TODAY WAS ANOTHER TRANSFER DAY





THIS WAS THE FIRST TIME NONE OF THE MISSIONARIES KNEW EXACTLY WHERE THEY WERE GOING UNTIL IT WAS ANNOUNCED AT TRANSFER MEETING

I HAVE TO SAY THE SUSPENSE WAS KILLING SOME OF THE ELDERS. THE BIG NEWS IS WE ARE GOING TO HAVE 2 COMPANIONSHIPS THAT ARE ASSISTANTS TO THE PRESIDENT. THE MISSION IS SO BIG AND SPREAD OUT THAT PRESIDENT FRY WOULD LIKE 2 ASSISTANTS TO BE AVAILABLE TO TRAVEL WITHOUT HIM TO HELP WHEREVER THEY ARE NEEDED. SO ELDERS HUNT AND CARLSON WERE CALLED TO BE THE NEW ASSISTANTS TO THE PRESIDENT. (A.P.'S)

THE STREETS OF DONETSK

YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO SEE



t

September 18, 2008

SIGN BOARDING AT THE KALININSKY BUILDING

I love this. This is Elder Oldroyd in front on the new Kalinsky Building this is called Signboarding. Way to go Elders.

GOOD-BYE TO SISTER HOWARD AND ELDER HUNT


One last group shot. I love these guys, we'll miss you Sister Howard, and Elder Hunt.

 Elder Oldroyd was excited that he won the overall Book of Mormon Quiz. He scored more total points than any of the other missionaries in our District. It was really close for Elders Hunt and Crossley as well. Oh well, maybe next time Elders. We still love you.

DISTRICT MEETINGS AT THE KINGHORN'S

Our last District meeting with Elder Hunt and Sister Howard. Tomorrow is transfer day and we don't know where they are going only that they won't be in our District anymore, so sad.



September 16, 2008

SHOPPING IN UKRAINE

  Today while we were grocery shopping I was thinking about how strange our first trips to the grocery store were. I had no idea what most of the items were. IT IS A LITTLE DIFFICULT IF YOU CAN'T READ OR UNDERSTAND THE LANGUAGE. All of the red sauces in the jars looked the same. I thought this bag with the chicken being dipped in red sauce was barbeque sauce but it tasted like salsa ketchup. The milk comes in boxes and can sit on the shelves without refrigeration FOR EVER. or it comes in a bag like this mayonaise. You can also buy yougurt in a bag like this too. The little blue box is feta cheese. The tub is jelly. Juice comes in a big box. (the blue box in the back with cherries on it). It looks like a giant juice box like the kids put in their lunches. The little blue triangle shaped containers are tomato paste. I'm still not sure what the other jars of red sauces are, I have to do a little experimenting.


DISTRICT MEETINGS

This is Elder Williams, he is the newest member of our District and just arrived in Ukraine during the last transfer, I think he likes the popcorn mix.

These two Elders are the Zone Leaders. This was taken of Elder Hunt and Elder Crossley during their apartment inspection. Elder Crossley doesn't look very happy does he. Trust me they passed the inspection with flying colors.
Elders Crossley and Oldroyd

My first attempt at making rolls

This is our District before the last transfer, Elder Bassett is back in America now, and Elder Summerhays went to another District. Now we have Elder Crossley and Elder Williams in their places.
Since one of the things we enjoy the most about our mission is the time we get to spend with the younger missionaries I would like to write a little about District meetings. Once a week we have a meeting at our house with 3 other companionship's (sets of missionaries). I have been so impressed with how prepared they come for our meeting. One of the missionaries, right now it is Elder Oldroyd, is the facilitator. He assigns someone to give; a prayer, we sing a song, someone gives a spiritual thought,someone teaches a language lesson, and a lesson from the missionary manual, Preach My Gospel, and someone does a quiz about the Book of Mormon. The meeting usually last about two hours. Elder Kinghorn and I usually have an assignment as well. Elder Kinghorn likes to give them a crossword puzzle with questions about the church. If they take it home and complete it they get a giant snickers bar (everyone always completes it). I often share stories about our Humanitarian Work. We finish the day with a nice hot lunch. I have mentioned before I didn't do alot of cooking when we were at home. Last week Elder Crossley asked if I always cooked like this at home. I had to laugh and I know my kids would too. I was always so busy to really enjoy cooking but now I am really liking it. I made rolls for the very first time last week. I think they turned out pretty good. So I have included a few pictures from District meeting. I love these missionaries and am so glad they invited us to join their meetings. I always joke that we were invited because of the snickers bars, good hot food, and yummy snacks during the meeting. Then again, it could be the brownies, or banana bread they have for dessert. Don't worry I make sure they get some vegetables and fruit when they first arrive. We start the meeting with cut up apples, and cucumbers, and maybe a plate of cookies or crackers.

September 15, 2008

THE KALINSKY BUILDING IS OPENING SOON



IF THE SLIDE SHOW ISN'T PLAYING JUST CLICK THE X IN THE RIGHT HAND CORNER AND IT WILL START. ONCE IT STARTS IF YOU WANT TO READ THE CAPTIONS JUST MOVE THE CURSOR OVER THE PICTURE AND IT WILL STOP AND SHOW THE CAPTION. IF IT IS TOO FAST CLICK ON THE + OR - IN THE LEFT HAND CORNER TO SLOW IT DOWN OR SPEED IT UP. ENJOY

STRENGTHENING FAMILIES TRAINING (slide show)




IF THE SLIDE SHOW ISN'T PLAYING JUST CLICK ON THE X IN THE RIGHT HAND CORNER.JUST PLACE THE CURSOR ON THE SLIDES AND YOU WILL BE ABLE TO READ THE DESCRIPTIONS OF THE PHOTOS.You can also slow the slide show down if it is going too fast with the + or- in the left hand cornEr.

Last week we went to Lugansk for a 3-day training with our Country Director's, The Lee's, from Kieve. Sister Lee taught 40 Social Workers, Educators, Psychologist, and Foster Parents a series called "Strengthening Families". As you can see I think they really liked it. They learned about Family Home Evening,Family Traditions, Family Council,Discipline,Communication,and Teaching Children to be Responsible. They were a little slow to warm up but by the end of the 3 days we were fast friends. We had a family council meeting, put puzzles together, had a tug-of-war, threw beachballs, decorated cookies, and had some great discussion. As you can see from the pictures it was alot of fun.We will be repeating this training in Donetsk next week.

September 14, 2008

FIRST MOMENTS OF LIFE

September 13, 2008

CASH OLIVER BAILEY HAS ARRIVED

Just a quick update about the baby. Karrissa went to the hospital at 5:30 am on Saturday 9/13. They started an IV and hooked her up to Pitocin to induce labor. She delivered Cash around 5pm. Karrissa had a visit from her brother Nathan, my mom, my sister and her daughters, and Brad's mom and Grandmother. So she was surrounded by loved ones and a supportive husband. She had a little trouble with bleeding just at the end of her delivery and following the birth so they are watching her very closely. Cash swallowed some blood but seems to be doing fine now.
He weights 7lb 14oz.

Thank you for all of the prayers that have been offered in their behalf these past 9 months. We are so grateful that all is well with little Cash.

WHY I BLOG

When we first arrived in the mission field our daughter, Karrissa kept telling me I should start a blog. I thought, "no I am too busy for that, I am suppose to be on a mission I can't be spending my time blogging." What I didn't realize then is that my blog can be a missionary tool. Bruce and I had no idea before we came on a mission what we would experience as a Missionary Couple. We could only imagine what it would be like to be an instrument in the Hands of God. Now, I can hardly hold myself back. I want to share it all with the people I love.

Do you remember the last time you did something that you knew would change your life forever. The moment you felt those feelings that stirred something very deep within you? All of us have had a moment when we know we have been transformed by some unique experience that will mold us into something completely new.

A newer, better version of our previous selves.
That is what this mission has done for me, and that, my friends, is

WHY I BLOG

This wonderfully, exciting, challenging, spiritual experience is so incredibly unique. I want to remember every minute of it. I want to remember the days that I see the "strangest" things that quickly have become common place here. Like yesterday when I looked out the window and saw 3 grown men sitting on the merry-go-round in the playground in front of our apartment and the next time I looked out I saw 2 of them just taking a little snooze. Not on the nice green grass, (we don't have that here) but in the dirt.

I want to remember our friends at the Reenik who gave us the watermelons and told us "I love you" in broken English, or the woman who returned my 200 griven($40.00)that must have fallen out of my pocket at the Reenik. I want to remember the many, many times my heart has been touched by small acts of kindness I have been shown. I want to remember the faces of the little children in the Internats as they reached out to me saying, Preveat, preveat, (hello, hello).

Our late Prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley once said,

"You will have significant experiences. I hope that you will write them down and keep a record of them, that you will read them from time to time and refresh your memory of those meaningful and significant things. Some may be funny. Some may be significant only to you. Some of them may be sacred and quietly beautiful. Some may build one upon another until they represent a lifetime of special experiences."
I want to remember.........
I want to share with you those sacred moments when I know without a doubt that I am truly on the Lord's errand. I want you to share this incredible journey filled with moments of joy, sadness, and immense love for my Savior with all of you who are so dear to my heart. 

September 12, 2008

CASH OLIVER BAILEY

THIS IS OUR DAUGHTER KARRISSA, HER HUSBAND, BRAD, CHILDREN, WYATT, MONROE, AND MAVERICK. SOON TO BE JOINED BY CASH OLIVER BAILEY.

I am so excited I don't think I will be able to fall asleep tonight. It is already 1:19 am and I can't stop thinking. In just a few hours Cash Oliver Bailey will join our family. Tomorrow morning our daughter Karrissa and her husband Brad will go to the hospital to have her labor induced. I am so proud of Karrissa. She is truly a daughter of God. She has followed the prophets council in "assisting our Father in Heaven in bringing spirit children into the world." Karrissa is one of those women who always knew she wanted to be a mother. She had it all planned out from the time she was a little girl that she would have four children. And tomorrow her dreams will be fulfilled as Cash enters the world. I remember the first time I saw her with her baby in her arms. There are no words to express the deep intense feelings that filled my soul. I truly feel
"there can be no greater joy for a mother than to watch her daughter love, and nurture her own children."
It truly is "the circle of life." I have watched as she has taught her children, love, kindness, patience, endurance, and faith. I am so grateful that my daughter could have the joy of motherhood. I am grateful that our Heavenly Father has entrusted her and her sweet husband, Brad with 4 of his precious children.

"God entrusts women to bear and nurture His children. Motherhood is such an important role for women,” The proclamation on the family declares, “The family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children” (Liahona, October 1998, 24). Assisting our Father in Heaven in bringing spirit children to earth and in teaching them “to walk uprightly before the Lord” (D&C 68:28) is one of the great honors He has given us." James E. Faust
I was reading about women of God today and I thought about Karrissa and how she is truly a Daughter of God. I have always believed that we lived with our Heavenly Father before we came to this earth. I believe we knew before we came to live here what trials we would face and how difficult it would be. In spite of this we said, "here I am send me Father". I know it hasn't always been easy to have 3 little ones under four years old and to be pregnant. I know sometimes the days are long and there is always an endless pile of laundry and the sink is never free of dishes. Someone always needs a drink, a hug, or a hurt kissed away. There is no paycheck at the end of the day. There are no bonuses for working overtime. There is no promotion for a job well done. The blessings that come from motherhood are eternal. They are found in the small moments each day as we "teach our children to walk uprightly before the Lord."

The following thoughts came from a talk given to the Young Women in the church.
The Savior’s Example by M. Russell BallardI have been drawn to an interchange between God the Father and His eldest and Only Begotten Son, who is the ultimate example of living up to one’s premortal promises. When God asked who would come to earth to prepare a way for all mankind to be saved and strengthened and blessed, it was Jesus Christ who said, simply, “Here am I, send me” (Abr. 3:27).Just as the Savior stepped forward to fulfill His divine responsibilities, we have the challenge and responsibility to do likewise. If you are wondering if you make a difference to the Lord, imagine the impact when you make commitments such as the following:“Father, if You need a woman to rear children in righteousness, here am I, send me.”“If You need a woman who will shun vulgarity and dress modestly and speak with dignity and show the world how joyous it is to keep the commandments, here am I, send me.”“If You need a woman who can resist the alluring temptations of the world by keeping her eyes fixed on eternity, here am I, send me.”“If You need a woman of faithful steadiness, here am I, send me.”Between now and the day the Lord comes again, He needs women in every family, in every ward, in every community, in every nation who will step forward in righteousness and say by their words and their actions, “Here am I, send me.”My question is, “Will you be one of those women? Now, I know most of you want to. But how will you do it? How, in a world filled with deceptive messages about women and the family—and the significance of both to the Lord—will you perpetually respond to the Lord, “Here am I, send me”?


I am so proud of my daughter for being that type of woman. The one who would say, "here I am send me."


What a blessing it is to be an eternal family. How grateful I am to have been entrusted with a sweet little angel who became a beautiful Daugher of God.
I truly do, in the words of one of my favorite hymns, "Stand all amazed.........please remember our daughter and Brad in your prayers as they welcome little Cash into their family tomorrow. I am eternally grateful

September 2, 2008

WE WERE IN THE MISSION OFFFICE TODAY AND ALEKSEY CAME OUT OF THE BACK AND SAID "OH NO, WE HAVE A PROBLEM, WE ALL LOOKED UP AND SAW THIS BLACK SLUDGE COMING DOWN THE HALLWAY...................


Elder Clark tried the shop vac but
it just kept coming.

OFFICE FLOODING

Elders Brown, Ehrisman, Crossley, Hunt, Andrus, and Svinoukhov all rolled up their pants, put plastic bags on their feet and jumped right in with President Fry and Elder Clark. They did all they could to try and stop it.

But it just kept COMING........

AND COMING .................

This GROSS, BLACK, SEWER MESS

FLOODED THE OFFICE

That's all I have to say about that!!


(Elder Kinghorn thought it was one of those Mission adventures I needed to post about)


poor Elder and Sister Clark, the office Elders and Aleksey who have to work there tomorrow.

DONETSK CENTER BRANCH


KALININSKY BUILDING


Kalinsky
Building

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

Thanksgiving

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

Europe East Area District Meeting

I LOVE THESE MISSIONARIES

OUR APARTMENT (this is not an average missionary apartment)

THIS IS WHAT MISSIONARY APARTMENTS LOOK LIKE ON INSPECTION DAY

CLICK ON THE PICTURE TO SEE A MORE COMPLETE VIEW

LEADERSHIP TRAINING IN THE KALINSKY BUILDING

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