Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Week 48

so my week was spent in the mission office and taxis trying to stay off my ankle. talk about thrown out of the missionary routine. but, its the hardest thing to make myself slow down and not focus on other people and make sure i take time to think about me.

this week was a lot of fun, lot of work, but lots of fun. we don't have office elders, so the assistants to the pres are in the office a lot, and in my second hour in the office last week, it was already a running joke that i was taking over their jobs. but they've grown onto me, and have finally acknowledged me as an 'assistant to the assistants'. my work this week dealt a lot with calling all the missionaries in the mission and making sure we had the right addresses for them since so many are having to move because a lot of landlords wont register us. if we're not registered we can't proselyte. a lot of govt laws are still changing about all that, making it harder to have missionaries here, but the church is staying right on top of everything to make sure we are here legally.

life with the senior couple has been lots of fun. we've had lots of adventures. i think they like having someone around who speaks the language/can call taxis/etc, and i like...their food :) no, they are more than that. they are really outgoing and we've shared a lot about our amazing experiences here with the amazing Ukrainian people. their calling has been public affairs, but they've also been filling in in the mission office as well. they awesome.

so my update...i'll probably have five more days of physical therapy. which postpones transfers a little bit for me, but its okay, we'll swing with it. we are supposed to have missionaries coming in this week, but they couldn't get their visas, so no new missionaries yet. visas are getting harder, well, taking longer, to get because they keep changing their laws, etc.

yes, i'm getting transferred, but i'll wait til next week to give you all the details, and hopefully by that time i'll be done with physical therapy. i don't think i'll be back to 100% any time soon, but i want to finish this course of treatment the doctor has in mind, then just get back out the last few months, deal with the pain, and take care of it back home in the comforts of a home, and not with a missionary regimen ringing in the back of my mind.
okay, well, i didn't share many stories i guess, just a quick update. more to come next week i promise, when i will hopefully be living a more missionary lifestyle (aka not emailing home at 10 at night from a senior couples apt)
i hope all is healthy, happy, and warm back home! yes, tons of snow here. im ready for spring....2 more months ish.
love you!
sister little

Week 47

Hello family and friends,
I have to preface Sister Little's email....
she injured her ankle way back in September while she was out running one morning. Just thought it was a sprain but has taken a long time to heal. She went to see a Ukrainian doctor in October to have it checked out and they told her that she needs to "go home" and have surgery. Well, as far as Kylie was concerned, that was not going to happen. So the mission sent her x-rays to the German Dr.s and they said that she was fine and did not need surgery.
As a missionary, she has not been off of her feet to rest her ankle and has kept it wrapped for several months now, still has pain and is swollen on one side. The Mission President's wife, Sister Klebingat, and Kylie went back to the Dr. again they x-rayed her ankle again and she has a bone fragment floating around but all of her bones look fine and the Dr.s told Kylie she has "wide set ankles"....What ever that means...and that she just needs to be off of her ankle for a few days...hence, her email this week....
We continue to pray for her ankle to have a full recovery.

Yes! i know that elder! i just found out last week he's serving in Gilbert, so i told grandma to keep an eye out for him. elder yarmak or irmak...i don't know how its spelled in English. yep i met him when i was serving with sister zenger...yeah. we're good friends. to make a long story short which i'll tell you the whole of it later...he was a dj at a wedding reception we were at and found the music for 'cotton eye Joe' so we could dance it for everyone...HUGE HIT everyone was blown away and loved it. Don't worry, president knows. so ya. i know him. awesome kid. i knew he was serving in the Tempe mission, but sounds like he's right there in our Gilbert.
ha. im writing right now from a senior couples apartment.... we went last wed to see a diff doctor. got another X-ray. i still have a bone fragment just floating around and its still swollen. but the bones are where they are supposed to be-so no need for surgery. the doctor said that i just have wide set ankles. i guess it comes with having wide set hips. but my ankle is still swollen on one side and painful on the other, so she prescribed me ten days of of physical therapy, ten days of these crazy gels and ointments i have to put on my ankle throughout the day, and ten days of rest. ha! we were there with sister klebingat and we all just laughed when we heard that one. but she was serious, said the reason it hasn't healed is because i haven't given it time to. fair enough. we seriously walk miles a day here in center. so fair enough. luckily sister klebingat was there to hear it first hand and tell president what was going on...because i can guarantee you if it had just been me calling him to tell him what's up, he'd just say, okay work 8 and a half hours a day instead of 9. but no. So initially i was going to spend these days at the Klebingats. scary idea at first. but then i realized it could be a real party. sister klebingat even said i could teach her how to dance (it was funny because i had just told the doctor that i need my ankle to heal so i can dance the rest of my life).

but....president klebingat found out its against the rules to have missionaries stay at the mission home, so i got booted over to the senior couples. So my new companion is sister humphries. Love her!! today i spent the day in the mission office helping out, and I'll be helping out the humphries with their business this week. so i'd like to think im an 'office sister' this week while i give my ankle time to heal. the physical therapy is more like light and magnetic therapy, but hopefully it will work. its fun talking with the nurses each day-im getting to peak into the medical life here and the life of the mission office doings, so its kinda fun. my companion has a mini missionary to work our area, so the work is still going there. Yeah, all my doctors appts and meeting start in Ukrainian but when they realize i respond in Russian, they switch over to Russian for me. not bad.

hm. so what else to say....just hanging out with the humphries. learning a whole lot about senior couples and all the different missions they can serve and all the business they deal with. i'll have my last physical therapy treatment will be next Monday, then my companion leaves for home on Tuesday i think, then next week i'll get a new companion.

the snow has finally come to stay. it looks like Utah when i went into the mtc a year ago. i guess i should be grateful, it could have come two months ago.
well, i love you all! extract what you will from this email to pass on to whoever....

Week 46

Yep, this week is the big one year mark. like wow. i can't believe it. yeah. its felt like a year. no doubt about that. and now i can't use the excuse of 'i haven't even been studying Russian for a year!" as an excuse when i don't speak very well. oh well. yep I've come a long way, even i can see that. i know i am stronger in the Gospel. i have testified many times to members that i really do know now that the great work we can do here on earth is the Lords work. wow. now i get to take that opinion onto to college life with me...that will be interesting. but we'll worry about that when i get there. its easy to do the Lord's work while you're on the mission. but one of our Bishops here keeps reminding us as missionaries that you spend about 2 years on a mission learning to love and study the scriptures and that we need to make sure we keep doing that when we get home. So im not too caught up in the thought of its my one year mark soon...all those feelings kinda came last week with the new year. but goals have been set and im excited for this year.

This week i got my fill of caroling...which is good, its something i kept waiting for in December, but never came. but we went a couple times this past week. I've learned a few Ukrainian folk songs which is fun....im really warming up to Ukrainian. its a fun game when someone gives a talk or lesson in Ukrainian to see how much i can pick up. On Saturday night, Jan 7, their Christmas here, we, some missionaries and some youth from the stake, went caroling on kreshatik-a big downtown street-comparable to going out and caroling on the strip. almost. it was neat. lots of people stopped to sing with us, but kept singing Ukrainian drinking songs and folk songs over our English hymns translated into Ukrainian-so they are not as well known tunes here. but it was fun. couldn't contact too many people because there were a lot of tipsy people. but it was still fun.

sorry not very long or entertaining today.....but here are pictures!!! some of kreshatik, caroling, some of making "gingerbread houses"-graham cracker style, with one of my favorite families here-tanya and anya
love you all!
sister little

Week 45

So was it a whole week ago that we talked? time is, can i say, flying? To fill in some details about how Christmas was on the mission...it was really hard. ive been writing the past few emails about gifts we can give Christ on his birthday, right? ive been working on reading the book of Mormon in a certain amount of time and on patience. i thought those were going to be good gifts to him...required a little sacrifice but overall, safe, pleasant. Well, i feel like i ended up giving him a greater gift. one that was super hard to give. required a whole lot of sacrifice. maybe even some complaining in my head at some points. But, a sacrifice for the sake of my savior. picture it. Christmas eve, Saturday night and its 7:30. well, we put in a good day, lets take the long way home, get home by 8 and call it quits early, drink some hot chocolate and look through our family pics or something to help us feel like its Christmas eve. is that what we did. No. we stayed on the street contacting people til 9 oclock. it was cold. no one wanted to talk to us. when we approached them to wish them a merry Christmas they said, "its not Christmas! we celebrate Christmas in January!!! you Catholics have it all wrong! oh what are you Mormons? im not going to talk to you..." and it was cold and windy. We came home, planned, and went to bed a little empty. Sunday night. Christmas. Same exact scenario, same exact decision to be made. but we stayed out on the streets contacting till 9 oclock, came home, planned and went to bed. I did missionary work on Christmas eve and Christmas. the hard kind of missionary work when people reject you and your message. but my gift to Christ on his birthday, which was the hardest thing to do and give (but i am now realizing that is probably the way its supposed to be), was to wear his name on my coat as i walked the streets of center Kiev trying to spread his message-his gospel.

any way....Christmas, yes, has had a slow start here, but at this point the party is just getting started. id imagine back home now, people are winding down off the holidays and getting back into life. here, we have the Ukrainian Christmas next week, then the week after that is 'old new year' which is just another excuse for a party. So its neat to still have Christmas in the air. Friday night we are planning on going caroling with the ward then Saturday we are performing in a stake Christmas concert. so yeah, here, they celebrate new years before Christmas, then new years again. except for the Mormons and Catholics-we celebrate Christmas on the 25th. so its a month of parties. Here they all have Christmas trees they buy and decorate, but its more for new years than Christmas. just interesting.
This last week i finally had a personally interview with president. about time-last one was when he first got here in July, and it was so timely-right as we are starting a new year to get counsel from my priesthood leader and with still a fair enough time on the mission to make some good goals. We got to my appt a little early which meant sitting in the mission office and getting filled in on all the issues there. and i realized as i sat there that me and my companion and the issues we face are minute compared to what the mission deals with just to have us all here and forward the work here. We really are just the worker bees who shouldn't be complaining. There are issues with visas, landlords not wanted to register the missionaries so they can't legally be here, finding apartments, making sure everything is done legally in this country, which is hard to do right now given the legal strife and orthodox power being spread. but. we're not going away anytime soon. this is gods work. it will move forward. i also had the opportunity to hear more of the miracle story of the opening of the temple last year. i know there was an article in a recent Liahona about it-but let me tell you that article didn't even scratch the surface of the trouble all went through to legally open the temple here, the prayers, fasting, and literal MIRACLE that we have a temple here. and the people of this part of the world really needed it to receive their own blessings and begin the work of the rich ancestry here, so god provided the way. it was way neat to here. i always appreciate getting to go into the mission office and just be a part of that world for a few minutes-it helps me feel like i am part of a greater work than myself-that there are many sacrificing their time and families too to make sure that the gospel is spread. The most important work really is gods work and he's making sure its progressing.
i can't even begin to describe the feelings that have come with the start of this new year! its 2012!! its funny, when i started at northeastern, i knew i was signing on for not just a 4 year degree-but that it would take me 5 years to graduate, ok, i thought...that means i'll graduate from college in 2012. wow, far away. hah!!! where am i now? one year on a mission, have 2 and a half years of school left when i get back, no where near being a competent nurse, and i can speak a little Russian. But would i trade it? Absolutely not. the experiences, trials, emotions of preparing to serve a mission, of being here and seeing the gospel change the lives of the beautiful people here has been priceless. and while ive been through a lot-could almost say a little roughed up, had times of bitterness or felt jaded, with the start of this new year i feel like the shell that has been beat up around my heart has cracked, shed itself, and i am left with a new heart. one that is softer, purer, and filled with more hope. as i shed the trials of the last year, i am still left with the character that i had to build from them. and prepared to move forward with courage and faith in my heavenly father and my savior.
ill be honest, im a little nervous, hesitant to start this year. like that extra half second of hesitation before you turn the corner from the dark alley onto a well lit street. i know it will be brighter. i know it will be filled with events i have long anticipated, but give me a half second more. This year will be filled with beautiful events, but steps i will have to take with just pure faith, believing that i am in my Heavenly Fathers care.
i love you all, thank you for your thought and prayers and i look forward to seeing you all sometime this year!!!
sister kylie little