Monday, June 4, 2012

Week 64

Dear family and friends,

can i just say again, i don't know how long its been since i said this, but i am so grateful that i understand Russian because of all the spiritual thoughts and uplifting lessons i can sit in on here in Ukraine and have my testimony strengthened even i a different language. when i stop and think about it and look really is sooo cool how i can sit here and listen to a Sunday school lesson where the teacher with all the other adults in the ward try to make sense of how there was another mosiah that was the father of Benjamin who was the father of mosiah or how there was a little lost group called the 'mulekites' hidden in the book of Mormon but we don't know much about them because of some reasons like them not taking records with them and therefore their language was corrupt...and all this happening in a random city on Ukraine-while i know that probably the same conversation and lesson is being had in my home ward all the way over in Vegas. i had a really neat experience last night studying about Noah which led me to the pearl of great price and then back a little bit to the prophet Enoch and his walk and talk with god and all the things he saw...and is just had the strong feeling that Enoch, that great prophet, really did see our day, our missionary work that i am fulfilling right now in order to prepare the world for the second coming and the millennium. it was a way neat experience and i love that i still have so much to 'learn' about the gospel, but more so that i still have so much more the the spirit needs to teach my heart to help me become more converted-and that is what a testimony is and its awesome that it can keep growing.
while im finding out more and more about my own religion, i feel like im finding out more and more about other religions here in Ukraine by having conversations in Russian-mostly about the Jehovah witnesses and the Adventists (?) is that the seventh day Adventists? i don't know it in English anymore-but the religion who also believes in a restoration and reads books from their one modern day prophet helen white...anyway. ive just had lots of conversations with people lately about what they believe..of course, probably because i AM a missionary about religious business that all this comes up. just funny i had to fly to Ukraine and speak Russian to find all this out.
This week we've been following up with a lot of referrals from members we've received lately which has been a huge blessing. yesterday we organized splits with two other young girls in the area so my companion could go to one branch way up north and i went to the branch in center Odessa to meet peoples' friends they were bringing to church and hopefully set up meetings with them. well, only one woman of all the potential came to church to the center branch...but she is SOO prepared to accept the gospel. she stayed all three hours and we had a first lesson with her after church. we started off by explaining pray and she offered the most simple, introspective prayer which even made her cry (YES!). she's a busy business woman in her forties-very put together. she said she feels she's on a spiritual journey and has been looking for 'her' church in other places but in other churches she just doesn't feel right about it, but yesterday at church and while reading the book of Mormon, she said she feels something 'right' about it all. the member who work with her gave her a book of Mormon this last week and invited her to church and when the member gave her the book of Mormon she bore a simple testimony about how this book has helped in her life and that it contains the 'fullness of the gospel' and this member told this coworker that this phrase with keep coming back to her mind as she thinks about religious things, "the fullness of the gospel"...and then when she came yesterday and we had our lesson after church with this member our investigator (svetlana) turned to the member and said, 'you were right, this phrase about the fullness of the gospel-it hasn't left my mind since you said it, and when i read the intro to the book of Mormon and when it talks about the 'fullness of the gospel' she said she got goose bumps. so cool :) we have a meeting again with her on Tuesday.

funny side note...after the meeting the member and her friend  stayed in the room where we met and were doing some kind of paperwork,some kind of forms to fill out, we thought to ourselves "sad, they are doing work here at church, probably trying to catch up on their business or whatever" and we started to doubt our investigators sincerity for being at church. we snuck by to listen to what they were talking about-something about not knowing middle names and birth places or something...weird. so when they come out the room i asked the member what they were doing in there. she said, "Genealogy! we've got to get them started on it early. we've got to do it while we're all still alive!" oh my gosh...amazing member. she had her filling out a pedigree chart like right then...thats what those forms were...i was sooo taken aback. that was so cool. and then i was thinking that would be a cool gift to give someone at their baptism...a simple 2  generation pedigree chart that they casually filled out earlier with an invitation to go to the temple as soon as possible to be baptized and experience all these great feelings again on behalf of her family...we'll see.
well, we're staying busy here in Odessa, its been kinda chilly but still sunny-no turning back from the sandals.
i hope you all have a great week and enjoy the beginning of all the summer adventures coming up!
sister little
Dear President,
we stayed pretty busy this week-we've been blessed with quite a few referrals from different people in different branches so we spent a lot of thought and energy trying to get everyone contacted and informed about church and meeting with them, etc...

2 points i want to tell you about...

1. we were early for the baptism on Saturday so we went upstairs to see what was going on up there...we walked in on the district relief society presidency's meeting training for all the branches and president trafimchyk was talking, it was great to hear his testimony (they invited us in to listen), then he started talking about how, "president klebingat is going to treat us like a little stake...he's given us a lot of direction on how we can get more members and strengthened the ones we have....he then went off on a few points from the letter you sent out last august/September with all the bullet points then he talked about our new 'plan' about having members with missionaries every night, having a phone list and having members open their apartments to missionary lessons. It felt so awesome to have been sitting in that meeting for those 15 minutes where he was passing along the right info to the right people-everything us missionaries talked about at zone conference. so, just know president trafimchyk is doing his best to pass everything you say on to the members while bearing strong testimony about it. it was way cool.

2. we went on splits yesterday to go to two different branches to meet referrals that were supposed to be there. i went to center and a woman came who works with a member of that branch. she stayed all three hours, is a strong, working woman in her forties, and we had a meeting with her after church and had a first lesson and it was awesome!! she ate up everything we said and testified that she's been in a lot of churches but has never felt like it was 'hers' but being there yesterday she said she felt something good and loves the phrase that keeps ringing in her head from the intro of the book of Mormon about the 'fullness of the gospel' pretty golden...
my only concern with her is that she has a very strong 'salesperson' like personality and she's another one of these Ukrainians who says she has the ability to 'heal people' i feel like this eastern-style medicine is becoming popular here with all the 'levels of energy' or i just want to make sure our lessons about the gospel stay separate conversation about 'healing spirits' or whatever she believes...
thank you for all your inspiring word as our mission president. ive gained so many small but growing testimonies from your letters and talks with us. yesterday i was reading in the pearl of great price about enoch's vision and talk with the lord and i really felt the power and truth of that event and how what i am doing this very moment-missionary work in a foreign land-is a fulfillment of that prophesy and that the events to come will definitely come with regards to the second coming and millennium. it was a really neat spiritual experience where i knew the holy ghost was bearing witness to me of the truthfulness of all this...its good to feel that.
have a great week.

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