Thursday, July 28, 2011

Week 27

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 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.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Week 26

Wow, its zucchini season here. their zucchinis look a little different than ours-they are sooo big and light green, so it took me a while to figure out what everyone was carrying home from their dachas on the buses. but very generous members and others have given us lots of zucchini from their dachas and been giving us their two cents worth on how to cook/eat them. so i tried one of these ways to cook them the other day, thinking i might as well start eating like a Ukrainian. And no matter the recipe they tell you, its always followed by the phrase, "oh, its soo healthy for you" (i am seeing they kinda say that about everything here....'bees honey! oh that is so healthy for you!' 'potatoes! they are so healthy for you!' 'Oh, sala, (straight pig fat they but on bread) thats so healthy for you! here have some more!' ).....Anyway, we'll save those food stories for another day, but yes i decided to try this extremely simple way to cook zucchini that was going to apparently be so tastey and so healthy for me....okay, peel and slice in thin pieces, check. Lay the pieces in flour, each side having a good amount, check. lay in a pan of hot oil, okay...i have like six pieces in the pan before i realize, "Wait a minute....we have this in America! but we call it 'fried zucchini' which is not something healthy at all! it was a kinda funny realization and i ate them anyway, and they were good, anything fried in oil is good, but they can't pull the wool over my eyes, i don't think they are that healthy. like sala (the white pig fat) i don't think they will ever be able to convince me that that is healthy. But that aside, I love how open they are with sharing their food and recipes here with us. I think we got three 'master classes' this week without even planning on it on how to cook a few Ukrainian dishes. yum!

Well, we're half way through the transfer and i want to update you a little on the work we've been doing with our 'new ideas'
we've started having 'missionary evening' on Wednesday nights at the church. the point is to pretty much through out a topic and have the members share personal testimony about it and practice by role playing missionary situations and scenarios. the first week we had two people come-the husband and wife converts who wanted to do the class in the first place (they are the two in the picture i sent home, he's in his Ukrainian outfit...) and then last week we had...5. more than double, thats right! And serge, the recent convert husband who helped us start it, gave a talk in church and totally gave our missionary evening a shout out and talked about how he is so grateful for the opportunity to just simply come and learn something in the middle of the week simply by the means of testifying. and he invited everyone to come (are you catching on on how awesome these recent converts are..they get it. we gave them a preach my gospel and they were just ELATED! "wow! its all here! the gospel, how to do missionary work! its all here in one book!) anyway, so these Wednesday nights can be so good if people realize how simple it actually is. we want people to come and feel the spirit they create simply by answering questions like "why do you go to church" or 'what does prayer mean to you' we didn't want to develop a whole syllabus or whatever right away and really, i don't think we need to. the members who have come have brought their humble, real testimonies which is enough to inspire us and them to share the gospel.

We are still teaching our couple families with the young boys but this week we were more prepared with something 'fun' it was simple-we taught them the principle of faith by blindfolding them and making them guess what objects were by touch/smell/sound and it was perfect! well, it may have turned into a little brawl as we told the siblings to disagree with them when they guessed correctly and they were screaming at each other, "I KNOW ITS AN UMBRELLA BECAUSE I CAN FEEEEEEEEEELL it!!!!" But hey, thats how sure we should be when we feel the holy ghost, and how we know that God is there for us. to take the principle even further, we know what some objects are because we have seen them before, so its our previous knowledge that helps us recognize a pepper or a flashlight. we all had some sort of testimony before we came to earth but we can't see things now like we did then, but we can feel them, and feel that peace. and we're here to help people define that as the holy ghost, that sweet feeling of the heart, and let them know how they can have that always.

im out of time, but here's a cut and paste of a little of my letter to president to let you know what else is going on here:

Dear President,
Something you said in your letter last week i was really grateful to hear...the last bullet point was something about getting the relationship back between the members and the missionaries here that never should have been lost. Definitely in our meetings with active members over the past couple weeks they have related to us as they have shown us pictures of ward activities and their old missionaries that its not the same as it was "ten years ago." "ten years ago" has been our sarcastic quote the past couple weeks between our companionship as we reflect on what we can do to get that fire back that was here in these wards 'ten years ago'- the fire of the relationship between the members and each other and with the missionaries and just the plain excitement that the church is in Ukraine! according to the council of our bishop in kharkivsky, three of the four missionaries that were in the congregation got up and bore our testimonies in sacrament meeting last fast Sunday. Previously none of us would really get up and testify because we figured it was the members time to share their testimonies, but the bishop called us out and said all the missionaries need to get up and bare their testimony each testimony meeting to show the members our excitement for the work. So this past one we did and I didn't think it was anything special until the third hour of church two different members came up to me and said something like, "thank you so much for your testimonies today! the missionaries bring such a special spirit to the meeting when they testify, and to have 3 of you testify! i was just flooded with the spirit. Todays meeting felt like it did ten years ago. exactly like that!" Okay, wow. we're tapping into this secret that the missionaries had ten years ago that we don't have. I am still trying to figuring out what we can do to get this feeling/excitement/relationship back but i think it starts with showing the members our excitement. And i got a glimpse of that great feeling of showing the members our excitement and personalities yesterday and it was a glimpse of heaven.

Sister Zanger and i have been working on a couple small projects/new ideas for the wards (even though some members have told us "its all been done before, no new ideas are going to change anything...) We have been doing a 'missionary class' the past couple Wednesday evenings to help members practice testifying, and each time it has been an extremely spiritual experience for those who come and one of our members who comes gave a 'shout out' to us in his sacrament meeting talk about how grateful he is that we are holding these meetings, that his testimony is growing. and invited more people to come. Awesome! I promise we didn't pay him to say that. then in our relief societies, we made a little poster of what will become a bouquet of flowers but now is just a vase with stems sticking out of it. at the beginning of relief society sister zanger and i did a quite 2 minute skit about how she had a 'missionary moment' that week by inviting her neighbor to family home evening and now she gets to pick a flower that we have cut out and put it on the bouquet. We invited the sisters to have a 'missionary moment' so next week we can add more flowers to our empty bouquet. The sisters loved it! And i can tell you, its not the idea they loved and its not our artistic talent (or lack of) that they loved, they simply loved seeing the missionaries, their sister missionaries get up in front and do something cute for them to show our love and excitement for being here to serve them. It was a great feeling as the sisters all the sudden became so open with us and telling us about their missionary experiences they had already that week, and they were inviting us over and offering to help us on lessons! WOW! where did this come from?! I think I saw a little spark of what was here "ten years ago' and i want to help get it back. to strengthen the ward, get them excited again to just simply be at church and to maybe even sit next to each other in relief society. Honestly, our wards i think are very complacent and our investigators have said its just simply boring. I wasn't even here 'ten years ago' but i want to get back whatever was lost.

I love you all and i hope you all are safe and happy and enjoying summer! i miss you all! I wish you all health and joy in everything you do! i pray for you!
Sister Kylie Little

Week 25

Dear Family and Friends,
I hope summer is well under way for all of you and you are enjoying the break! Its been raining pretty consistantly everyday this week again, and i guess this is pretty typical for kiev. in the morning the sky is clear and we say to each other, 'yes! finally! no rain today!" then when we are headed out we check again and there are a few clouds in the sky but we say to ourselves, "oh, there is no way is going to rain today, the sun is still shining" so we don't take our umbrellas, then about an hour later we find ourselves in the middle of a hurricane completely drenched, sprinting to our next appointment, with window shattering thunder and lighting in the middle of the day, then by the evening its sunny again and whoever we are meeting with asks us why on earth we look like monsters....its sunny out! oh, the life of missionary, not having the luxury to go home and change or clean up after spending hours in the rain....and by the way, that whole scenario i just described has happened almost everyday this week :) crazy. I have had that phrase cross my mind a lot recently "oh the life of a missionary" where i wish i could just give you guys a snapshop of what we are doing at a certain moment. Did i tell you about the time when one of our members gave us this HUGE jar, HUGE, of boiling hot borsch and we tried to refuse but she, being Ukrianian, wouldn't take no for an answer, so the rest of the day we were carrying this steaming jar of borsch wrapped in a towel to all our appointments and you could hear the potatoes popping in the jar during the lesson, and then when we were walking the streets, the jar just popped right off becuase of the pressure of steam and i got some red spots on my clothes....i wish you could have been there to see it. So rediculous. the life of a missionary. in ukraine.

this week was busy, lots of missionary work and appointments, but both me and my companion had this unsatisfied feeling of while we had tons of appointments and lessons, it wasn't fun. We are teaching two 'families' so to speak right now, and the lesson we had taught them were, honestly speaking, not very fun or interactive for them, especially since one of these families has 3 sons, 11 and under, and the other a ten year old boy. So this concept that I can teach the gospel to them in a fun interactive way is a new idea that is developing in me. I feel like sister missionaries in america, or in general, have all kinds of tricks and games up their sleeves to teach kids, but I must have missed that class at the mtc....both me and my companion were sitting next to one of these boys in sacrament meeting and it was getting pretty boring for us, let alone a ten year old boy...both of us, even though we weren't even sitting together, had this urge to do something entertaining for these boys who were so good already for coming to church, but now they have to sit. I luckily had my plan of salvation cut out/puzzle pieces that i let one of the boys play with and put together, but i wish i was more prepared for them. So this week as a companionship we are going to try to develop lessons and games to help teach the gospel in a fun, interactive way. Why not? I think it was last week that i shared the idea that while as a missionary i am bound to a lot of rules, but then again, i am free to teach the gospel in any way that the spirit directs and will help our investigators.

so in connection with this idea, I think i have found a little 'outlet' for me as a missionary. I was confessing to my companion the other day that i don't know how to have fun as a missionary. i feel like i left a lot of that side of me in america-i knew i why i was coming on a mission, i knew it would be hard work, and that hard work is what was expected of me, so i left any fun behind. but, now, the work is really heavy...but with this new idea of making games or puzzles to teach the gospel or gospel principles, i can use my art skills as an outlet. i have no artistic abilities by any means, but i am creative. and i think as i let myself be creative in teaching i can have a little more fun and find a little more happiness, and maybe even smile as i work. This idea came a few hours before one of our lessons this week and so i got really excited and we through together this game/scenario/scripture chase for these kids about the plan of salvation, each kid had an envelop and at the right time they could pull out a certain piece of paper and read their 'character' and a scripture that described them first in the premortal existance, then in this life, then in the spirit world, then at judgement, and so on. wasn't perfect, but it kept them entertained, and i was so happy to create something and draw it up for them. So i think this is the start of something good....thinking outside the box.

I love you all and wish you the best this summer! We were in a lesson with an awesome family from one of our wards this week and i asked them if they did any traveling together and where they had been. I expected a typical anwser that i had received from other families here bragging about all the seas they have been to in europe, like italy, or even egypt. but their answer was quick and to the point, "We don't travel together, We rest together. We don't need to go to another country to enjoy eachothers company, we stay home and enjoy eachothers company here." Fair enough. I have great respect for their family and their relationship. so just remember that the simple things are what matter most.

Sister Little

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Week 24

I think we were more inclined to remember this American holiday today because it is we already have planned to stop by McDonalds and get mc flurries and make sweet potato fries later. and we sang 'my country tis of thee' for companionship study (we usually sing in Russian).

Well I survived this week. and we got missionary work done too. There is a miracle for you. I really didn't think we would because my trainer left this area and while i did get a new companion who is my 'senior companion' she doesn't know the area or the members or any of the investigators so pretty much if we were going to get anything set up or done this week, it was on my head to do it. but like i said, we survived and got work done. I get along with my new companion a lot more than i expected and i am really glad to be serving with her. She is open to ideas for how we can better do missionary work in this area. For instance, our big goals for the transfer is to get the members excited to do their own missionary work, and focus on getting our investigators to church and praying. We are starting a wed night 'class' for members to come to where we can talk about their fears about inviting and talking to their friends and really just creating an environment to practice how they would begin talking about the church with family members, friends, etc, and then getting support and advice from other members who are really good at it. this class/group was a suggestion from a couple of our recent converts who asked for help with doing their own missionary work.

but ya, my new companion is sister Zanger from Missouri but has spent enough time in Utah with school and family to know what that's all about too. We realized that she knows Tammy and Sheri Flagg and also that i have had dinner at her aunts house in Boston. Her cousins family was assigned of all families in the Boston stake to be my 'host family' if there ever was a disaster/emergency in Boston. She invited us over for dinner one time and they were awesome. I am sure there are more connections to be found. She has been out a year, so I appreciate having a companion who knows the language pretty well, its a great blessing and something of comfort when i get weighed down by the stress i mentioned above.

Saturday we met our new president and family. I was a little prepared by a few members who already know him so when I was in the meeting with him, i looked around like i was told to count how many jaws had dropped to the floor in amazement of just how impressive he and his family are. super long story short- He grew up in Germany found the church at 19, went on a mission to Colorado, somehow made it to Ricks College, was out of the blue inspired to take study Russian, his wife is from Latvia and they met when her performing group was touring the BYU's and his Russian professor set up a time for them all to mix and mingle with Russian natives. she was pretty set on not joining the church but eventually did after a few months of being married. they have three kids who speak Russian, German, and English, they have lived in Kiev before and he was responsible for purchasing a lot of the property here that the church owns including the temple site. yeah, wow, you can close your mouth now. I think the cool thing is that the professor of Russian back at Ricks College who helped him get into the program forever ago, he is the current temple president here at the Kiev temple. He has made it clear that there will be changes so we're all just kind of waiting to see what happens. we had a meeting on sat to just meet him and his family but no word on when our next training meeting is. When we had the opportunity to all line up and shake his hand, i was one of the first to go when it was still super awkward and no one knew what to say to him and i ended up saying something like, "yay, the missions hard. I have been out three months," "oh, really, three months? so its been hard?" "yeah, but today's a good day because i haven't cried yet" okay. not the best first impression, but the look on his face...oh well. funny now but he probably thinks this SisterLlittle is a nutcase. might be true.

I am seeing that being on a mission is the most restricted and yet most liberating place to be. We have rules we have to follow, but the missionary work and how we get it done and how we find investigators and how we work with members-really the sky is the limit on how we do it. Like I said earlier, me and my companion are trying some new ideas to really jump start the members to do missionary work. and I've realized that the success cannot be measured and that's okay. As long as i have extended the invitation for them to do missionary work and for investigators to change their lives through the atonement. I have done my job. This is maybe not the best description of why i wear this tag, but it gives me permission to be the missionary work cheerleader of the ward and allows me to always talk about missionary work. why else am i here?

i love you all,
i hope you are safe and happy and enjoy all of your vacations. stay close to our Heavenly Father through prayer and I just want to say that the Holy Ghost and the life and sacrifice and Jesus Christ are His greatest gifts to us.

Sister kylie little

Friday, July 1, 2011

Week 23

Another week, another pday, another email! its actually been raining all week and cold and today i had to bust back out the p coat, scarf and boots as it snowed a little bit this morning. its awful, but i know it will get warmer soon enough, it has to, its June. if the weather was like this and it was Sept i would definitely be little more depressed that winter was coming....

this week i'll just walk you through some significant events that happened....

Tuesday....we set a baptismal date with our investigator Irena. we have been meeting with her almost the entire time i have been here and she has finally been coming to church consistently the past few weeks and really showing interest in how religion can change her life. Tuesday night we were planning on showing her the dvd 'the restoration' at the church then extending the bapt commitment. when we got to the church we realized we didn't have our restoration dvd and the church's copy wasn't there. we scrambled around looking for it, couldn't find the dvd, but found the VHS of the restoration, so we tried to get the VCR hooked up to the tv to work, but it just wasn't working out. stupid adversary. my companion suggested plugging in the dvd player again and seeing if it was a problem with the tv or the devices so i plug in the dvd player to the tv and immediately the menu for the 'restoration' pops up onto the screen. we were both shocked. the churches copy of the dvd was with the elders we found out and just somehow there was an unlabeled disc already in the dvd player that was the restoration. miracle. so we were able to watch that according to plan and talk about baptism. we are excited for her. we began teaching her right after i got here and something that has made all the difference with her and how she is different from any of our other investigators is that she gets herself to church. she's already been 4 times and when we call her to remind her on Sunday night, she says, yes, i know, i am coming. it has really built my testimony that an investigator can only last as long as they are willing and able to get to church. that will help them gain a testimony and endure to the end afterwards.

Wednesday....i want to share this experience not because it has any spiritual significance but to share my gratitude for my knowledge and experience in nursing and how happy i am that, that path ia waiting for me when i get back. my companion and i were walking in the neighborhood behind our appt building to an appt and there were lots of people outside playing, running around, whatever, then we hear this huge "SMACK" and before i could turn around i knew that that sound was skull to concrete. i just knew it. so i turn around to look to see what happened and we see this young boy about 11 years old laying in day mans pose, face down, on the concrete sidewalk. sad, i do a double take to make sure he is going to get himself up and then realize this kid is not moving. at all. i ran over to where he was thinking, 'wow, that's how fast it can happen, a head injury and you could be gone' but anyway, by the time i get over to him, an older teenage boy has already picked him and and trying to get him to stand up but this boy is completely limp. his eyes are open but with a completely blank stare. i stayed completely calm while a crowd gathered around, people trying to call an ambulance or find out who his friends or parents are. I help to hold him up (we are holding him up because it is so against Russian culture to lay or sit on the ground) and i get down to his eye level and help support his head (which he cant do himself) and just looked into his eyes, looking for any sign of life, and start talking to him in the best Russian i could, in the softest voice i could, "can you here me? everything is okay...hello? we are here. can you hear me..." for about a minute and a half everyone is just watching me try to pull this young boy back into consciousness and to see what happens. finally, i can see his eyes move and focus on me. and he is able to take a deep breath and get some air to his lungs (up to this point we could hear him struggling to breath, short wheezes). so over the next few minutes he is breathing again, able to stand up on his own but very confused. and he starts crying and looking around and then just buries his head in my shirt, wraps his arms around me and just balls. I stroke his hair for a couple seconds just out of pure sympathy for this kid, but eventually get him off of me and we get him a pop sickle to put on this huge goose egg on his head and clean up his blood a little bit. his uncle and friend finally show up and we tell them what happened. of course they are just mad that he caused a scene and i am trying to tell them he needs to go see a doctor to check out his head...whatever, we kinda felt like i job was done and left. i was super calm during the whole thing but when i realized afterward what had happened to him, that he was racing his friend and he jumped over this fence, caught his foot on the fence and fell face first on the concrete, i got really freaked out. but, luckily i didn't know that at the time. so, anyway, yay, for nursing skills. i have actually been able to use them a lot this week. one of our less actives is the hospital so i was able to go visit her and see how a Ukrainian hospital is run. and my new companion has been pretty sick so i was able to keep her calm and talk her through what she has been going through and explain a lot of things to her when we went to the clinic.

im soooo out of time, but i promise more details and pics of my new companion next week. i am still in the same area and our new pres arrives this week.

i love you all!
sister kylie little

Week 22

Dear Family and Friends,

Wow, i made it to the last week of my second transfer. wow. i definitely would not say the time flew by (i would actually 100% agree with the contrary) BUT i would be agreeable to the fact that time is passing. which is a good thing. I don't know if i have shared this thought in a previous email (i actually probably repeat myself a lot-sorry) but the fact that i am realizing that time does pass, that the day will come when this adventure comes closer and closer to an end and that i am not stuck in this surreal dream world of Ukraine for an indefinite amount of time makes me really feel like i do need to be accountable for every minute i am serving out here. I don't mean for that last statement to come off as if i have any negative feelings towards the country or place i am at, it is more my mental state of mind...anyway, point of the matter is that i am on the Lords time, every second really, and those seconds are actually passing. and i am growing i can be growing, spiritually and language-wise every moment if i let the lord help, and each one of those seconds need to be focused on how i can better do the lords work in this area.

this week i have been considering a lot on my role and job as a missionary. and i will say this first- all the things i realized i already knew, i was already taught my role and purpose as a missionary at the mtc, but somewhere in the transition into life here and being thrown into the reality of the world (and not the perfect world of mtc...) i kinda lost sight of what i was supposed to be doing. BUT here it is, i will keep this short because i'll tell you, each week, i mean to just type up a little spiritual thought and then i want to tell you about fun details about a mission-pday, shopping, lessons, but then i never get to that part of them email. so here is what my new creed as a missionary is...

Last week in my interview with president Steinagel he said, "isn't it so exciting?! your work is so important! you are inviting members to do missionary work-the most important work they could ever do!" this made me really reevaluate what is means to "work with members" before, 'working with members' meant getting members on lessons with investigators, but really our work is also to invite members to do their own missionary work. it make me reflect on all the times we had the missionaries over for dinner and they committed us to pray about someone to invite to church or to set a goal to find someone for the missionaries to teach. wow did we roll our eyes every time. okay sure, we'll do that. but not really. now as a missionary, i realize, those missionaries were fulfilling their purpose to not only to extend commitments to investigators and follow up, but extend commitments to members and follow up. and both, investigators and members alike had the opportunity to accept or reject the opportunity to act. the missionaries fulfilled their purpose if they extended the invitation and followed up (the first word of the missionary purpose is to "invite") and then it is to up to the investigator or member to accept or reject the opportunity to change their habit, or act, or whatever the missionary invited them to do. so in my mind, as a missionary here, i am developing the philosophy that i really really really need to extend commitments to people, members and investigators alike. if i don't do it, who will? I am giving them the opportunity to change something for the better using the gospel of Jesus Christ, and then following up with them. i am like a free of charge life coach! obviously, its not me, it is the work of the lord, the name i wear on my badge, which makes me really appreciate my work and want to be more focused (see my accountability thoughts above) another thing that inspired me this week, is something that one of our ward mission leaders said, that we are doing a disservice to our members if we are not inviting them to be on lessons with us. he said we call the same 3 people ot be on lessons, and we should call the whole ward list and hear "no" 50 times before we call those faithful members again. because we are offering to them the opportunity to do missionary work, and it is their choice, their free agency to accept or reject the offer. at least we can say we offered. he also said that if we bug them enough times that they will eventually say yes and come on a lesson with us :) the members here are so awesome and strong. they know more about the gospel than i do and ive had primary, seminary, young women's, and they have only had the gospel in their country for a short 20 years. they are amazing. they soak up the gospel.

okay, again, my spiritual/personal thoughts took longer than i expected, so i'll cut it short to get to some fun details. thank you all for your patience with me in trying to be an effective historian and journalist for what the heck i am experiencing out here on a mission. it is so unreal and at times indescribable.

So, PDays
no pday has been the same, and it always way too short. we do our normal study til noon, then we usually go to an Internet club (it takes about 30mins to get to an appropriate one..)then we get 75 min on the Internet and about 20 of that is writing my letter to the president, then we go grocery shopping and head back home and have lunch. this takes us to about 3 o'clock. and 75% of the time, we end our pday there because we have to take timeout of our pday for any activities during the week that weren't mission related-last week we took time out because we went to that Ukrainian concert, this week we are taking time out because we went to the temple (we have to take travel time out-it takes an hour and a half on public transit one way to get to the temple). but occasionally we have some time to go shopping-second hand shopping that is :) our area is the best area for it. we recently found this huge circus tent of second hand and we have found some awesome cheap missionary appropriate clothes there. i promise they are normal looking clothes...though im pretty sure i want to get some traditional Ukrainian outfits before i leave :) i have found pretty much everything i need here at the markets here-so i don't need anything sent from America quite yet. i am surviving :)

well time flies, and i always think i will be able to get out everything i want to but never do, one day i hope to be able to tell you all everything i want to

have a wonderful week and enjoy summer and ALWAYS pray to our heavenly father for help. i know I do and i know he is there and listening.

i love you all!
Sister kylie little

blondeenka-its how they kinda say 'cute blonde girl' and it has become my little nickname :) i guess you could say i got tired of drawing on my eyebrows to match my hair, so i decided to dye my hair to match my eyebrows instead