Dear family,alright..well a week down in Odessa, and man has it been cold! isn't' there a pioneer story about a little girl chasing a wagon and she's thinking the driver is soo mean because he won't slow down to let her get in because its so cold...but actually by making her run he is keeping her alive? that's what its been like we pick up the pace to get ourselves to sweat so we don't freeze to death.
but...im adapting. ive learned that three pairs of thermals are better than two, two scarves are better than one, two pairs of socks are better than one (probably three would be best, but then i can't zip up my boots, ive tried), and that i can fit seven layers under my jacket. yes. i look fat. but...i think its will get warmer bit by bit. its def colder here in Odessa than it has been in awhile. we were out contacting on the shore of the black sea a couple days ago and its frozen as far out as we could see..its usually a deep blue color (that's the color is was when i got here a week ago-we can see it from our apt), but now its just white...sorry i didn't have my camera with me...so no pictures. but something i noticed a couple days ago that i am really grateful for. its was still a little light out when i looked at my watch at 4:45...so the days are starting to get longer-yeah!okay, enough about weather.
sorry's. our mission president has asked us to stop emailing him about the weather, so ive got to get it out somewhere. so the branches are doing good. im getting to know a few more people here and there and get them to be excited about missionary work. we've got a member who owns a cafe in center that wants to put up handouts/flyers about the church. awesome. we're starting up a few family home evening groups in certain neighborhoods to get sisters to invite less active and nonmembers to, so that good. we were out contacting last night with not a whole lot of success-not too many people like the idea of you stopping them when its so cold out. but as we were walking a guy probably in his thirties approached us and wanted to know where he could buy 'that book' that we have...that he had heard a lot about us and wanted to read our literature...wow, thank you heavenly father for giving us that small miracle and mood booster. so...there is still work to do. still people searching. on Saturday we had a zone conference with president, his wife, and president Schweitzer-area president in of eastern Europe (you can find his picture in the second quorum of the seventy). it was a great, spiritually uplifting meeting. he is a very happy man and it makes you remember that even with all the 'bad' or 'discouraging' or things that aren't going perfectly in our lives or in the work or in the wards we can still be happy...look at the prophet. and i can't imagine what he knows about how urgent it is that people repent, that they fulfill their callings, and the direction the world is going and how fast we're getting there. buts he is still able to be happy. of all the other spiritual guidance we received, it was good to have this inspiration and observation too. its hard. life is hard. mission is hard. but....i can still be happy. there's just a whole lot of balance work between feeling inadequate and then feeling Gods love, between the measure of failure and of success. but i can testify to you and you can probably all see from the progression of my emails over the year...that my Heavenly Father loves me. He loves us. He's given the tools to get back to him and the time here on earth to use them, and enjoy this beautiful creation of his and be grateful for our blessings of families, of friendships, of wards, of caring bishops, of the priesthood.... Heavenly Father knows and he is right here with us.
i love you all...have an awesome week. remember heavenly father is only prayer away.
sister kylie little