Dear Family and Friends,
Okay, i get the hint, you want me to send home pictures...I actually busted out my camera last week and realized i still had a full battery from the last time i charged it...at the mtc in march :) so fair enough, i owe you some. i thought to do a 7 day picture journal this last week to send to you, but my week kinda slipped into the deep end by the end so i didn't take any pictures the past few days, but here are a few...
So with our new mission president, he's filled with a few new ideas that he wants us to work on in order to get the work going again here. One of them is working with the less/inactive's and working with the members help to do this. but the big, more abstract goal that i have really been pondering for a couple weeks is that we need to have "faith in Jesus Christ unto miracles" He sees miracles happening here, just as there have been(20 years and a temple for example) which is a super nice, fluffy thought...yes miracles, we all need miracles. But for me personally, i have been really thinking about this one...miracles. what does he mean miracles? First of all, to me, what the heck is a miracle? I guess meeting someone random on the street, finding out they are elect and prepared and getting them baptized in a week. that i guess would be a miracle. but also, its kinda a miracle that i can testify in Russian when i am having a bad or depressed day. So what is a miracle? what are we supposed to be expecting here? Obviously a miracle is something that is impossible that becomes possible. and if you believe in god, it is by this power that this takes place.
We can probably say miracles have happened. Its easy to look backward in our life and see where the impossible happened and we can be ever grateful for that. but what about looking forward? We are supposed to be looking forward to miracles here, but what miracles? and definitely not ones that are going to happen to me. SO i decided, a little out of spite, to think of some possible miracles that could possibly happen with the people we are working with. The idea came to me last Monday to start a list in a small journal i have. at the top of the page i titled it, "Possible Miracles that could happen" --kind of a paradox "possible miracles" but i really wanted to imagine a really ridiculously impossible thing that if it happened i would believe it was a miracle. The pictures i attached are from our two family home evenings last week-the first was with sister lydmila. I thought she was the picture perfect relief society president, very sweet and gentle and just so perfect. Well, as we visited with her i saw the reality of her life. She has a son and a daughter-both who joined the church when they were 18 because her husband is very anti and wouldn't grant permission. Her daughter, who she would come to church with, is married and has a few kids. She used to live with them but about a month ago moved to Canada for her husbands school. So she can talk with them through skype, but there is little hope for when she will see her active daughter and grand kids again-especially anytime soon. her son is deciding to serve in the military before he serves his mission (a requirement here), and she worries for his testimony. She is actually the second counselor in the rs pres but has had to take over full responsibility because about 2 months ago the rs pres us and left for America suddenly. So here we have sister lydmila who bravely joined the church with an anti husband, her daughter who was her biggest support in the gospel, and her beloved grandchildren are gone. and her son is just a 19 year old trying to figure life out. And she is still so tender and sweet and gentle. I came home Monday night after meeting with her and i pulled out my paper of "possible miracles" to write down what miracle could possible happen in her life. We are supposed to be looking forward to miracles right? I wrote down that it would be an absolute miracle if her husband became interested in the church and became a supportive priesthood holder for her. she could use that kind of miracle. Tuesday morning I pull out my list of possible miracles and i begin to have my morning prayer with my heavenly father. "please bless sister lydmila and her family, especially her husband, to have a soften heart, even a changed heart, so that sister lydmila can have the love and support she needs and deserves in her life" And for the first time on my mission here, I cried for her. i felt her pain, her trial and i just wanted so bad for her to have this miracle. This was a huge milestone for me- i cried for a Ukrainian. Love doesn't come quickly, i hope you all know that, love for this people or any people you serve doesn't come right away. But Tuesday morning i felt love and concern for lydmila. Since then every person we have met with, member, investigator, or inactive, i have added their name to that list with an absolute miracle they need so i can pray more specifically for them, for the miracles we were told would happen. I could say that wow, this list is ridiculous and these things will never happen----but then isn't my faith lacking in Christ unto miracles. Right next to Moroni 7:29 in my scriptures in the margin i have written, "miracles are part of the gospel" So we should not exclude our own selves from these blessings. if we do, just like that chapter talks about, we condemn ourselves when we think this way. Okay, so don't worry i really don't expect every single thing on this list to happen (but isn't that lack of faith?), BUT i can tell you it has increased my desire to serve these specific people, to pray for them and to have more meaningful lessons with them. Miracles like Luba, our single mom investigator who is raising 3 roudy boys by herself.She needs the gospel and to marry a priesthood holder to help rule the house-pretty ridiculously impossible and far off, but thats my miracle for her and thats why i am excited to have another lesson with her tomorrow, because i know the gospel can bring her happiness. Sister Valentina, the most quite and timid angel in relief society who sits by herself and doesn't' talk to anyone. we went to visit her this week and she has an amazing testimony and her life is already full of miracles. her next miracle i want for her is to be called to be the rs pres so that she has a greater opportunity to serve the lord and her sisters and so that these sisters can see her light of Christ.These are just a few, but I just want to show you that i am going to be thinking up and praying for miracles with these people.
The thought of miracles has caused me to reflect on my own miracles that have happened in my life. And the most important, the one that just astounds me is how I received my testimony that God IS my Heavenly Father and really how the holy ghost works-that is just a miracle and it has been a miracle to me in my life. How i can grow up in this church and kinda have this notion that is it true, but to then have a very distinct, exact moment when i felt an undeniable feeling in my heart of the truthfulness of it all. I can't explain how that worked or why i was even worthy of it. but that was my miracle, and the time that has passed and my testimony that has grown since then, really, that is my miracle.
I love you all, thanks for enduring my ridiculous emails. I miss you all and I challenge you all to look forward to your own miracles with faith in Jesus Christ unto miracles. Miracles are part of the gospel, expect them while in the greatest humility to our father in heaven.
sister Kylie Little
ps.the first two are at sister lydmila's where we played dress up with Ukrainian clothes :) the culture and tradition here is unbelievable, awesome, and so deep-google it.
the next two are from our second fhe on Monday-tanya with her inactive daughter who we are working with, and ryclana (who also has inactive kids) with her two grand kids (who she brings faithfully to church each week). we had a small picnic in the park and had a lesson.