March 27, 2009

EATING SHARMAS

FAMOUS MARIUPOL SHARMA STAND
At the Sharma Stand with Olga, Employee of the stand, Elders Kinghorn, Woodhead, Hammond, and Goodfellow

This gentleman insisted I come into the stand to take a picture

Sharma's are famous among the missionaries, especially the Sharmas in Mariupol. So when we told the Elders we were coming to Mariupol they insisted we visit the Sharma stand for our first Sharma. Even our driver Vladimir hasn't had a Sharma before. It is meat, cheese, sourcream, special sauce, and your choice of tomatoes, mushrooms, and peppers all in a huge wrap and grilled. It was the first time we had eaten anything from a stand on the street. (the missionaries do it all the time).

I must say..............................

I liked it!!!!!!
It was very good!!!!
and......................
I feel fine today.

Yesterday we went to Mariupol to close one of our projects at a School for the Blind.


We also did cleaning inspections at the 3 missionary apartments.


If you moms are wondering how your sons and daughters are doing with keeping their apartments clean lets just say................

"the Sisters are winning".

It seems the Elders do a good job picking up their apartments but..........

I am not sure if they know the meaning of SCRUB

as in sinks, toilets, and bathtubs...................

we'll have to work on this.........

It was a great day. We got to spend time with some of the missionaries who we don't get to see very often, eat a great lunch and....................
close another project....

YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ANYA AND SISTER HOWARD

 Annya taught Sister Howard, Sister Glenn and I how to make Borshe
It was delicious!!!!!

March 25, 2009

GOING BACK TO AMERICA

Every evening as I sit at my computer I glance over at this........

The red square has been moving quickly these last few weeks. The red square on the 25 means we go home in 40 days.I am excited to get home and see my family. I can't wait for the first time I can put my arms around my children again....or the first time I can sit and read a book to my grandchildren, or tuck them into bed at night......I am looking forward to being there when they wake up from their naps and snuggle into my arms.There are so many things I am looking forward to...............

but the red square on my calender moving furthur down each night means that I will soon be leaving so much behind here....
Yesterday my sweet Annya came over with Sisters Howard and Glenn and we learned how to make Borshe, and then had a beautiful lesson given by the Sisters on patience. Annya gave a wonderful prayer she has been practicing in English.

Then we had a wonderful District Meeting

Today we went back to Ukrainsk one of our favorite places here in Ukraine to visit our friend the Mayor and Nastia who lost her husband during a mining disaster in 2002. We took Sister Fry (our Mission President's wife) with us. We took two guitars and a keyboard that one of our dear friends donated.
We were greeted with so much love and appreciation. We took a tour of a afterschool center where the keyboard was donated.They showed us all the wonderful projects the children do. Sister Fry and I were both given gifts the children have made. We toured the sports school the mayor established as an after school program. Then we met a man who we donated the guitars to so that he can teach children to play. The Mayor could hardly wait to call him and tell him what we were giving him. This sweet man, quickly tuned the guitar and sat and played us a song he wrote for his mother who raised 8 children on her own during the Soviet Era. Then he invited us to his Dasha (summer home) where he has 2 horses and several dogs, and a few goats. He wanted us to stay and have a huge fish he had just (shot?????) We explained that we had to get back to Donetsk.

When we arrived back in town we had time to go take pictures of some DOORS that were purchased with Humanitarian Funds at a Sanitorium for children.Tomorrow we go to Mariupol to take pictures of some Computers, braille paper, and a special blood pressure machine for the blind that the Humanitarian Funds purchased. Then we will try to go do apartment inspections while we are in Mariupol.

Saturday we will attend two baptisms in Donetsk Center Branch and then a Shower for Tonia who is a returned missionary who is getting married in a few weeks. Sister Fry and I are giving her a wedding shower.

So.....

as you can see life here has been amazing and I will definitely miss so much.

but I don't want to think any more about that for now..................

for now......................

I will be grateful for each day we have here and fill them with as much joy as I possibly can.

TRIP TO KHARKIV

LAST WEEK WE WENT TO KHARKIV AND ATTENDED THE OPEN HOUSE FOR THE NOVE
DOMA BUILDING


ELDER JACOB AND A GUEST AT THE OPEN HOUSE

SISTER JACOB AND A SMALL GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO JOINED HER TO SING SOME HYMNS DURING THE OPEN HOUSE WHILE ELDER NORMAN PLAYED THE PIANO

OUR PUPPETEERS WAITING FOR THE NEXT PERFORMANCE

WHILE WE WERE WALKING THROUGH THE REENIK WE SPOTTED THIS

AND WHILE WALKING AROUND KHARKIV WE TOOK A FEW PICTURES OF THE BEAUTIFUL BUILDINGS

WE ARRIVED IN TIME TO HELP THE JACOB'S PACK UP THE LAST OF THE THINGS THAT THEY WILL BE LEAVING FOR THE NEW COUPLE WHO WILL REPLACE THEM.

WE WENT TO THE CRITTENDON'S FOR A NICE LUNCH AND THEN VISITED A HOMELESS SHELTER THAT THE HUMANITARIAN PROGRAM PURCHASED BEDS AND A REFRIGERATOR FOR THEIR SHELTER. THE NEXT DAY OLGA AND I WENT TO THE REENIK TO BUY TIES AND ELDER KINGHORN STAYED AT THE JACOB'S AND HELPED THEM FINISH PACKING.
THAT AFTERNOON (friday night) WE WENT TO THE CHURCH FOR THE VIP OPEN HOUSE.
WE DID THE PUPPET SHOW A FEW TIMES FOR THE VIP'S WHO ATTENDED AND
THE NEXT DAY THE OPEN HOUSE WAS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.
SOME OF THE MISSIONARIES EVEN WENT OUT IN FRONT OF THE BUILDING TO INVITE PEOPLE IN........

WE WERE BUSY ALL DAY PERFORMING THE PUPPET SHOW AND GIVING A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE HUMANITARIAN PROGRAM. IT WAS FUN TO SEE SOME OF THE MISSIONARIES WHO HAVE BEEN LIVING IN THE KHARKIV AREA FOR AWHILE.
THE JACOB'S RETURNED TO AMERICA EARLY MONDAY MORNING. IT WAS HARD TO SEE THE JACOB'S HAVE TO SAY GOOD-BYE TO SO MANY OF THE MEMBERS AND MISSIONARIES THEY HAVE COME TO LOVE. THE END OF THE EVENING SISTER JACOB WAS AT THE PIANO SURROUNDED BY THE YOUNG ADULTS WHO LOVE HER SO MUCH. IT WAS A VERY BEUTIFUL MOMENT. I LOOKED OUT AND SAW ELDER JACOB SITTING IN THE PEW WITH A YOUNG WOMAN. IT WAS SO OBVIOUS THAT THESE TWO SPECIAL PEOPLE HAVE REALLY TOUCHED THE LIVES OF SO MANY HERE IN UKRAINE. THEY WILL SURELY BE MISSED.

A FEW MORE OF THE SIGHTS...........................

March 16, 2009

ALL YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT ZONE CONFERENCE IN ONE SIMPLE POST

If you have never served a mission with our church or had a son or daughter on a mission you probably have no idea what ZONE CONFERENCE is.I thought I would try to explain. In our mission we have Zones in Kharkiv and Donetsk. Every 6 weeks we have a Zone Conference with the Zones in Kharkiv and Donetsk.Each Zone has a set of Missionaries who are assigned to be the Zone Leaders. Each District has 4 to 6 missionaries and one of them is assigned to be the District Leader.

Zone 1 is in Kharkiv and has 3 Districts
Zone 2 is Kharkiv B- is made up of 4 Districts
Zone 3 is Donetsk A-is made up of 3 Districts
Zone 4 is Donetsk B- and has 3 Districts
Zone 5 is Gorlivka and they have 2 Districts
So................................
When we have this wonderful meeting. We all gather together in the Chapel and each of the pairs of Zone Leaders teach a lesson. There is usually a theme assigned for the meeting and all the lessons focus on that theme. There are missionaries assigned to be Assistants to the President. We call them AP's. In our mission we currently have 4 AP"s. They are given special assignments by the Mission President to help support the other missionaries wherever they are needed. Sometimes they accompany the Mission President to meetings and interpret for him. At Zone Conferences they are given an assignment to teach a Skills Practice. This is usually a chance for the missionaries to practice their teaching skills. Sometimes they practice the Russian Language and sometimes they practice teaching lessons from the Preach My Gospel book.
We always have a spiritual lesson from the Mission President and sometimes a message from his wife as well. This week we were treated with a beautiful musical number by Elder Woodhead playing the violin and Sister Howard on the piano. Elder Woodhead said they had no time to practice but it was still amazing.
When we are finished the missionaries take some time to write down their goals for the next 6 weeks and that is followed by a beautiful testimony meeting.

We had a beautiful day. As I loaded the photos in this post slide show I was once again reminded of what a blessing it has been to witness the changes in these young missionaries as their testimonies have grown and they have developed wonderful leadership skills. They are awesome young men and women.

DO YOU EVER WONDER WHAT A HUMANITARIAN COUPLE DOES ON A MISSION???



We are busy trying to close the last of our projects before we go home. Last week we delivered tables and chairs, beds, bedding, toy shelves and toilets and sinks to a Kindergarten for children with Language Delays.Then we delivered some badly needed medical equipment to a Trauma Department in Makeyevka. We don't physically deliver the items ourselves, the vendors do that part. We just have a visit with the organization to be sure that all the items that the Humanitarian Funds paid for have been delivered and installed.We also closed another Hospital Project last week. Today we took our Health Fair to a Day Facility for Handicapped Young Adults. They asked us to do the Puppet Show on Addiction. It seems their clients are beginning to drink and smoke.So that is how we started our week. We have 3 more contracts that were sent in this week for an Aid's facility, an Orphanage in Kharkiv, and a Hospital that requested a Defibrillator. We are waiting for delivery on a project in Mariupol where we bought computers and braille paper for a blind school. We also have 2 more Kindergartens and a boarding school that we hope to go to very soon once their equipment if delivered.

Olga and I are going to a conference tomorrow on how church's can help with adoption and foster care to the Orphans of Ukraine. I believe that it will be sponsored by an American Organization.It is 3 days long but we can only go for 2 days because we are off to Kharkiv on Thursday for the Nove Doma Open House. We will do the Puppet show there with Elders Fedotov and Thompson. We will also go to a Homeless Shelter in Kharkiv to see some beds and a refrigerator that were donated by Humanitarian Funds.

So we are very happy that we are seeing so many organizations receive the badly needed items that we promised several months ago. It is fun to see the smiling faces of the people who will benefit from the donations.

March 11, 2009

TONIGHT WE HAD AN AWESOME LESSON IN OUR HOME

Yuraslav and Volva came over and we had a great lesson on General Conference. We talked about Modern Day Prophets and Revelation. We discussed the importance of listening to our Prophets Inspired Council. The Elders challenged Yuraslav and Vulva to invite someone to General Conference. They both agreed to do that. After the lesson we had refreshments (the Elders brought homemade brownies) and then played a fun game. I am so grateful to know these wonderful missionaries and to have the opportunity to have them and these great young men in our home.

DISTRICT MEETINGS

Today we had district meeting at our house. I remembered to catch a picture of these 4 before they left. Elders Kerr and Greener had to leave and get to YOUTH NIGHT at the church. It was a great meeting. Everyone came prepared and excited to have a great District. We set some new goals and are really going to work on UNITY in our District. I think Elder Kerr will do a great job being District Leader and Elders Hulet and Johnson are awesome Zone Leaders. Tomorrow is Zone Conference.

March 10, 2009

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY ELDER KINGHORN

Love,

MARRIAGE


THIRTY YEARS AGO...........................
BRUCE AND I EXCHANGED WEDDING VOWS IN A CUTE LITTLE WEDDING CHAPEL IN FOLSOM CALIFORNIA.....................................
SOMETIMES IT FEELS LIKE IT WAS JUST YESTERDAY THAT I WALKED INTO HIS CLASSROOM FOR THE FIRST TIME...........................
AND OTHER TIMES.............................
I CAN'T REMEMBER MY LIFE WITHOUT HIM........................
I CAN'T IMAGINE NOT HAVING HIM BY MY SIDE.............................
NOT HAVING HIM THERE TO COME HOME TO AT NIGHT...........
NOT HAVING HIM THERE TO SHARE ALL THE WONDERFUL, EXCITING, THRILLING,
AND CHALLENGING TIMES IN MY LIFE............................
HE HAS BEEN MY CONSTANT COMPANION..........................
MY BEST FRIEND AND CONFIDANT...................................
OUR LIFE TOGETHER HAS BEEN FULL OF WONDERFUL ADVENTURE.......................
AND NO MATTER WHAT BRUCE HAS ALWAYS, ALWAYS, MADE ME AND THE
CHILDREN KNOW THAT WE ARE LOVED AND APPRECIATED..............................
HE IS MY ROCK.................................
I AM SO GRATEFUL THAT HE IS MY ETERNAL COMPANION. I AM GRATEFUL THAT WE HAD THIS PAST 17 MONTHS TO SERVE AS MISSIONARY COMPANIONS HERE IN UKRAINE.
OUR LIVES HAVE BEEN ENRICHED, OUR MARRIAGE HAS BEEN BLESSED BECAUSE OF THIS WONDERFUL OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE THE PEOPLE OF UKRAINE AS REPRESENTATIVES OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS.

March 9, 2009

THE SNOW IS MELTING..............................

I am patiently waiting..........




for this......................






March 8, 2009

SUNDAY'S

WHEN YOU FIRST BEGIN YOUR MISSION IT SEEMS LIKE SUCH A LONG TIME BEFORE YOU RETURN TO YOUR LOVED ONES
18 MONTHS FEELS LIKE FOREVER...............
WE WONDERED HOW WE WOULD FILL OUR DAYS
HOW WE WOULD STAY BUSY ENOUGH
HOW WE COULD MANAGE NOT TO BE TOO HOMESICK
HOWEVER........................
WE FIND OURSELVES IN THIS STRANGE PLACE OF ANXIOUSLY COUNTING DOWN THE WEEKS BEFORE WE GO HOME
BACK TO OUR LOVED ONES
BUT EACH SUNDAY I AM OVERWHELMED WITH EMOTIONS
EACH SUNDAY
I FIND MYSELF THINKING OF
ALL THE WONDERFUL PEOPLE I WILL MISS
IT'S A STRANGELY FAMILIAR FEELING
I THINK IT FEELS MUCH LIKE I FELT
THE LAST FEW WEEKS BEFORE I LEFT FOR MY MISSION
A TUGGING AT MY HEART
WONDERING HOW WILL I EVER SAY GOOD-BYE TO THESE WONDERFUL NEW FRIENDS
AS I LISTEN TO THE HYMNS
MY EYES FILL WITH TEARS
SWEET ANNYA OR GENYA WILL LOOK OVER AND SAY,
"DON'T CRY, SISTER KINGHORN, DON'T BE SAD"
IT IS MUCH LIKE I FELT AS I SAT IN CHURCH WITH MY SWEET LITTLE GRANDCHILDREN THOSE LAST FEW WEEKS BEFORE WE LEFT FOR OUR MISSION
THERE ARE NO WORDS TO TELL THEM WHAT THESE TEARS MEAN
there are really no words.......
I just hug them and tell them I love them

OLGA'S BAPTISM


yesterday was such a wonderful day

we got to see Olga baptized by her husband Vitaly

Olga has been our interpreter since January 2008. She is such a special young lady. I have written many times about how grateful we have been to have her as our assistant. What I haven't mentioned is how much she means to us. We love her so much. She is just a wonderful young woman. I was overwhelmed with emotions as I gave the talk on Baptism and looked into the faces of these two amazing people. When the talks were over and we had a testimony meeting one of the ladies who has been a member for several years said that it was a special baptism for her to attend because it was the first time she has seen a husband baptize his wife.There have been many brothers baptize siblings or parents. She has seen fathers baptize their children but she had never attended a baptism that was a husband baptizing his wife. The church here in Ukraine has so many families in which only one of the parents is a member. We feel very strongly that Olga and Vitaly will have the wonderful blessing of raising children with the Gospel as the center of their home. What a great blessing this will be for them. Elder Kinghorn confirmed Olga today and gave her a beautiful blessing. r the last year Olga has been involved in many church activities. She translated for the Strengthening Marriage Classes and attended some of the Branch Parties with us. She also translated talks we gave in church. She has been friends with many of the missionaries as well as the members of the Church. President and Sister Fry participated in some of the missionary discussions with her and they said that she really knew alot about the teachings of the church. The members of the Church love Olga too and I felt such a sweet reassurance that they will do all they can to support she and Vitaly as they strive to live the commandments. We wish that we could be here to see Olga and Vitaly embrace the Gospel but are so grateful for the members of this wonderful branch who we know will offer them the love and support they will need.

NEW MISSIONARIES HAVE ARRIVED STRAIGHT FROM THE MISSIONARY TRAINING CENTER

Elder Hyer and his trainer Elder Southerland will be serving in Gorlovka

Elder Tillotson and his trainer Elder Hunt will be in Kharkiv

Elder Shipp and his trainer Elder McArthur will be in Kharkiv

Good-bye to Elder Fedotov (he is going to Khakiv too)

Sister Fry did a very nice post about these three wonderful new missionairies
you can read it here

TRANSFER DAY GOOD-BYE'S

WE HAD SOME BIG CHANGES IN OUR DISTRICT THIS TRANSFER MEETING. ELDER GWYNN RETURNED TO AMERICA,SISTER ELLISON WENT TO MARIUPOL, AND SISTER HELELYAN WENT TO KHARKIV

ELDER FEDOTOV WENT TO KHARKIV
WE GOT TWO NEW AP'S
ELDERS NORMAN AND OLDROYD
(ELDER HUNT IS TRAINING IN KHARKIV)

Sister Howard is back. Yeah!!!!!
she will be companions with Sister Glen. (sorry I don't have a photo of her yet, she was in Bulgaria during the transfer meeting)
I am excited to get to know Sister Glen she has never served in the Donetsk area. We are happy to have her in our District
Elder Greener will be serving with Elder Kerr, he will be our new Puppeteer
Elder Fedotov went to Kharkiv where we hope he will still be doing the Puppet show but with his new companion there Elder Thompson (from Hawaii, we have two Elder Thompson's)


ELDER HULET WILL BE OUR NEW ZONE LEADER WITH ELDER JOHNSON

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