Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Episode 13: Fillin up the fridge.

What a special week. Each seems to get better and better and I just wonder how that can even be! 
It has been raining here.... pretty much the whole time I have been here. I kind of love it. It makes the time when you sit with a Ukranian human and drink tea together such a special moment. Tea is my new favorite beverage! Who would have thought.. it used to hurt my belly now I just want to drink it all day!
Winter is closing in and I have decided--- as the Ukranians would have it. If you have yourself a sheer pair of tights you are ready to take on the winter with perfect health! hahaha. Seriously. if you do not wear tights. You might die! Ask any Ukranian.
I love it here. Everyday is my favorite kind of adventure. This week took on a battle with the rain and came out wetter than a shower! REAL rain!

 Thats a lesson learned about umbrellas and coats! Who cares if the sun is shining pack yourself some winter clothes or you might be punished! Ressed assured that all problems were solved with some BIG AND GRACIOUS Ukranian hospitallity. Luda's very own robe to wear. Fried potatoe goodness. 2 cups of tea. a pear. and we left her house were her jackets and using her umbrella for protection. Next time I better wear tights or I am going to leave wearing someone elses tights! 

I call this next portion of missionary work POSTER ON THE FRIDGE! 

So two weeks ago the title of my letter had a little something to do with Fridges. If you have not read it, go back and do so cause the rest of this just may not make any sense at all. 

It came time for our weekly and always adventurous exchange! This time I was to leave my area and go to Billasterkva where sister Dryden serves! ADVENTURE. So lets have an honest moment. I do not often talk to those people that I stand next to on public transportation as I should because honestly I don't quite yet speak their language-- or maybe I do!!!! SO lets just test this right out on a woman I now like to call "Raisa "poster on the fridge" " and now I will tell you a little but of how this came to be! 

She sat next to me on the bus. I am terrified but am reminded of the promise that I made and we ALL know I am a lady of my word------ so here is what is running through my mind.
"This week I will give all that I have to live up to the special call in which I have been given. To let my fear of god take priority over my fear of man"

My honor lies in heeding my own promise to the President of my mission and even more to my Heavenly Father! I know what I have done! He knows what I have done and I cannot sit next to this woman for the next hour and a half knowning that I said I would not be a pansy!

'Faith precedes the miracle"
I have to first open my mouth and it shall be filled! Well long story short. She now knows everything about me. Showed pictures! talked and talked. I know about her and her family!!!! We talked the whole ride and she even missed her stop! A full blown Russian conversation with the sweetest woman who ever exsisted. She has children. She believes in Christ but does not like the darkness of the Provaslovnee church! She is golden! She gave me her phone number and started talking about when we could meet! I know she will just die when she sees the temple (she was pointing out all the different Ukranian churches along out way) (They are all so unique and beautiful) I cannot wait to show her the temple! I called her the next day and she was so happy to hear from me! Told me that she told her son all about me and was sad that I had already gone back to Keiv! Just waiting for her to return to Kiev so I can share with her all that is so important! AHHHHHHHHHHH

"And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up" (D&C 84:88).
I know this is true. That is all that needs be said. Heavenly Father knew I would fulfil my promise and so SO merciful to allow so many paths to accomplish! This morning I looked back on this week and saw that every single day I fulfilled my promise in some way or another, big... and sometimes small. Miracles. baby miracles. big miracles. REAL miracles. Real people. I received phone numbers, invited, shared, called back, set up meetings; all things I have never done on my own and have still not done on my own, because I KNOW that heavenly father was there preparing the way as he had promised!

Lets talk a little about faith. It is certainly something under construction in my little mission world. It is so ellusive and really requires so much!

"There are two kinds of faith. One of them functions ordinarily in the life of every soul. It is the kind of faith born by experience; it gives us certainty that a new day will dawn…It is the kind of faith that relates us with confidence to that which is scheduled to happen… There is another kind of faith, rare indeed. This is the kind of faith that causes things to happen. It is the kind of faith that is worthy and prepared and unyielding, and it calls forth things that otherwise would not be. It is the kind of faith that moves people. It is the kind of faith that sometimes moves things… It is a marvelous, even a transcendent, power, a power as real and as invisible as electricity. Directed and channeled, it has great effect." (Boyd K. Packer,

"What is Faith?"
Maybe I am not there yet. Maybe I am. All I know is I can start where I am now. Where are you?

I have great faith that heavenly father fulfills his promises and that I am where I need to be! This mission is so special. I am so grateful and humble to be here. I am grateful for my life thus far and the role that each of you has played. I am grateful for my family. each and everyone. My friends. I think everyday of the people I know back home. How you all help me to relate to these people here. To see their trials, be aware of their understanding. I feel like I have such a fresh perspective on a lot of things because of all the different people who have blessed my life. I think of all of you so often! I pray for you every night! I want my brothers to know I love and miss them! My big sister! ahhh just everyone. I love you all.
Till next week my friends. Just pray that I may remain humble and brave.
Ps. I have changed my middle name to humble. Thats my new state of being. I just cannot do this alone.
With fat buckets of love and Ukranian kisses (those are my favorite)

Sister Jessica Humble Powell. Cute? 

Excuse me Carissa Pettit! Where are you????? I met a little friend of yours called Elder Crookshanks! That was exciting! I recognized him! "You look familiar..........." he was a little confused but was the one who figured out why. Email me sugar!
My Address
vul. Yubluneva 1
s. Sofiivska Borshahivka
Kyevo-Svyatoshinkly rayon
kyivska oblast 08131

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Episode 12: Well there was no time, so here is the letter that I wrote to President.

This very well may be a little part of my soul :) haha. Or just a letter to my president. I had no time to write a letter but here is little snippet of my world. I am so excited to write my next letter and paint for you all a picture of my everyday UKRAINE with my words. it is so beauitful here.  

Dear President,

It has been a wonderful week! One with another baptism of little Dasha, she is so darling. We are praying and doing all that we can think to draw her family back into the light of the gospel. We have family home evening with them often. Her 2 (active) uncles, grandmother, and mother (inactive) are there and participate. I am praying that Dasha's baptism will open the doors for Nina to return; she is such a good mom and I know that she values the church. I have great faith that good things will come from this beautiful baptism that I was blessed to be a part of.

I led my first lesson. I am doing all I can to lift where I stand. Sister Lamoreaux has a lot of responsibility and she handles it all with such grace. I am very aware of the capacity it require to train a new missionary and I am just trying to make her life (as far as I am concerned) non-turbulant. I am so grateful for her and the example that she is to me. I am made aware of how much heavenly father loves me everyday that I am with Sister Lamoreaux, she is the answer to my prayers. Being her companion offers me the opportunity to be on exachanges every week! Exchanges have been really exciting and almost adventure like, as me and Sister Dryden take on the world once more. There is always so much to be learned from our experience. I am reminded of how capable I actually am to do this work. I am reminded that the lord fulfills his promises. He is with us as we venture out into this world, talking with everyone (maybe at them) because than we have to try and figure out if we know what they are saying back. :) I feel blessed for this opportunity, I know that exchanges are on opportunity for the two of us to grow more than any other new missionaries might get the chance to; pushing us more than we might be if we had someone who could translate for us.
----------------(so the readers at the home know..... we had a conference where a general authority Elder Evans (he is on the missionary council) and gave us a nice scolding:) hahaha. We can do better. We all felt a little torn a part after, but chastening is good ... I guess :) hahaha. that is what they tell me. I am not a fan .... YET) --------------

Our conference, what a blessing that was and one that I am still trying to soak in. Quite honestly it was very overwhelming and I left very discouraged; however I am a smart girl and soon figured out there is so much to internalize. This was a sting that I can learn much from. I am so appreciative of this weeks letter to assist my understanding and know that there is much to be learned from it. I am grateful for your words always. It is always a testament of the divinity of your call. You are inspired on our behalf and I am eager in my soul to obey your council. I am going to press forward with greater faith; faith that involves action. I am grateful to know that you are proud of your missionaries. Honest truth is, PMG is certainly not my nature at this point in my little mission life but I will give all I have this week to better myself, to increase the quality of my work and efforts; to walk the streets as the savior himself would do, eyes opened, ready to act, ready to speak, ready to listen.  I have great faith that I can get there, that I can be the kind of missionary this mission calls for. I am humbled to be a part of this special mission and to be serving under you. As you may have noticed I am a shy little lady and I can do more; I can be brave! I have got faith, for me comes the need for courage, for action, for trust that my heavenly father will be with me helping me along the way.

I wonder how the Savior would be if he could not speak the language? I think that is my question of the soul this week.

This week I will give all that I have to live up to the special call in which I have been given. To let my fear of god take priority over my fear of man (or Bobushka). :)

Sister Powell.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Episode 11: "it's going on the fridge"

Just one little small story.
"it's going on the fridge"
As a new missionary at times (a lot of times, many times, everyday more like) my attempts to speak with fluent natives is a rickety one--- with two weeks experience and a Russian vocabulary that is not suitable for the streets I would now like to relate my life to a refridgerater.
Remember as a child, we all loved to draw so much! Remember when you would muster up the most beauitful drawing your little child heart could dream up. You gave everything that you had to give and were so proud of your creation. So perfect. So beautiful, who couldn't love this drawing?
In reality, your little massacre of a creation is really not all that beauitful.
As you so proudly bring what you have made to your mother or father is it not something that they could do themselves and in reality do so much better?
However what do they do with it? They praise you. making you feel like the most talented artist that lived on this earth. You have the the potential to be the next picasso (if your mom were in charge of the world) Your  mother takes that real nice painting and just slaps it right on the refridgerator where everyone can see it. They are genuinely proud pleased and the world is one happy place.
How is this relatable to my Russian, to my mission, to my life? Well let me just tell you! I learned the importance of each and every one of my efforts! Though they are not incredibly polished and from any form of artwork I am giving all that I have to give. As I butcher word after word or very awkwardly invite someone to our english class heavenly father knows that I am giving all that I have to offer. He is perfect and could certainly do this work better than I ever could--- in fact he does. It is truly his work and despite my far from perfect efforts he is proud of every ounce of effort.
"it's going on the fridge" --- Is a little something I like to say every time I completely embarress myself. As I try to be the missionary he would have me be I can proudly pass forth my very imperfect creation to a heavenly father who sees a child who tried their very best.
One day I will look back on this whole experience and see a master piece--- for now... I am enjoying, adventuring, swimming ---sometimes drowning :) in the first (and inevitably messy) first drafts. What an adventure :)

I love you all.
Love Sister Powell

Monday, September 2, 2013

Episode 10: Two Noobs on a Two Day

Well hello there :)

It has been a wonderful week. I am going to just jump right into the title of these weeks adventure
Two Noobs on a Two day.
The two noobs would be the one and only Sister Dryden (my MTC companion who I never thought I would see again upon the lucious soul of Ukraine) WRONG! Guess what. With 5 days experience and vocabulary to match we were matched up on Exchanges and will be for the rest of this transfer. Ours was 2 days also! Which filled my life with even more adventure! Almost too much to handle! Lets be honest and say we had a very adventurous day and I will be sure to welcome you all to the rest we will be having!
We were on my home territory so it is now my responsibility to call upon 5 days of blurred knowledge of the land (that 5 days being me following my companion around like a cute little mute puppy) I knew this would be fun. In truth
We had 3 lessons planned. I know were we needed to be and how we were to get there! or so I tbought------ hahaha little did I know there were 3 trams (1 of which never comes and is the wrong one!!) well guess which we got on! The wrong one!

Well good thing Ukrainians (Tho we certainly do not speak the same language) are the kindest people that every existed. (when you ask for help)

As we found ourselves lost... I soon discovered the only vocabulary I have to offer in relation to directions is how to get to heaven..... so..... they can just go ahead and try to explain to me how I might find my apartment on the street I know not the name.  We were lost for a while.. THEN I realized there were two trains and quickly returned us home. (I surely learned something.) (practically a native by now! It has been like 2 weeks)

 At one point on our adventure I tried to asked a woman a simple question and she began to run through the streets asking people how we might find our location. Seriously the most helpful people I have ever met in my life. (with map (our map) in her hand she little chased down two cars and a man! ) Needless to say we arrived 15 minutes early :)

Another woman I asked what the name of street was. Opened up my Book of Mormon where I was keeping my map--- she asked a question---- and I promptly agreed not knowing the question was "are you a Johovas witness" ---- YEP SURE AM!!! She was gone before I knew it. WHOOPS. looks like I need to learn that phrase. :)

We did quite well and honestly I am just amazed we lived. I am SO grateful for my trainer! and sister Dryden.. I cannot imagine trying to take on the big Ukrainian world with any other inexperienced missionary that ever lived.
I learned how to survive and me and sister Dryden actually gave 3 solid lessons! IN RUSSIAN! To people we had not yet met! Good thing they were just so gracious!

I just love it here. The people are so amazing. My ward has some of the most valiant spirits I have ever met. I just charmed them away this Sunday as I bore the most broken Russian testimony that every existed (hahah probably not-- I am actually doing really well in the language I understand a lot and everyone is impressed that I have only been here a week needless to say my testimony is still very far from perfect) It went very well. The ward was so sweet and came and hugged me and told me it was wonderful. I am so excited to be serving here. The ward LOVES missionaries and my companion is the most charming thing that ever happened to Ukraine! We are just gonna win hearts all day!

I am serving right by the temple and I get to see it EVERYDAY! It is so special! 6 of 74 missionaries get this opportunity! My new favorite activity is grocery shopping for fruit. You weigh your own fruit and press a corresponding button and it prints out a price tag sticker! SUCH FUN!
This week is just evidence of what the scriptures say. Open thy mouth and it will be filled. I have no other explanation for how me and Sister Dryden not only lived through the days but gave 3 lessons! I am learning so much. I know I could not do this alone.
I am reminded everyday of the goodness and light the gospel brings to people everywhere. \

I love you all!
Love Sister Powell
KIMBERLEE! I need you email! I miss you. 



I am alive. I am so alive! and even more alive after being slammed in the trolley door on my first day. ADVENTURE!!! This is the new title on my new life.
My first impressions: Everyone hates me, I look like a polgamast. They think I am a freak when I smile at them. I have a wicked nice 70's haircut and these people think I am a WEIRDO! How will I survive.
2 minutes later: 

I LOVE IT HERE. WHO CARES! I will never see them again. Maybe they hate me but I can just smile some big weirdo smiles anyway because I have what they want whether they know it yet or not!

UKRAINE. I LOVE IT! Our little apartment is the cutest thing that every exsisted in the little Ukrainian Ghetto! We have every luxory my heart could want and I have eaten like 20 pints of raspberries! I have had my eyes on peaches and I am about to go buy out the market! (it is Tuesday p-day cause real Pday we taught 4 lessons instead! I LOVE IT HERE! )

The people are so genuine! Guess what: we all know that is my favorite charecteristic. Well guess what! If they don't like you, they will tell you! No more assuming for me! haha! That business is done for! They are so hospitable and really don't like talking to strangers! but talk for 2 seconds your no longer a stranger and they will give you the shoes you are wearing if you say you like them!
There is seriously no way to sum up the past week of my life. MADNESS. We flew here in a group of 16! and then met our president who I am in LOVE WITH. They are so wise, articulate, intelligent and noble. Those are the best adjectives I can muster.
We stayed in the nicest motel I have ever set eyes on and ate the weirdest breakfast I ever had.

RUSSIAN!!! Is beautiful. I understand SO MUCH Except people who mumble--- that is their problem not mine. I pretty much cannot compose a sentence but I don't care! It will all come!

My companions name is Sister Lamoreaux. She is super white and is a resident of your local OREM UTAH!!! We do not know each other but her brother works and Costa Vida and I certainly know him!! (At UVU -- Derrick) She is 23 went to BYU Hawaii (match made in heaven) was a Nanny in Spain! Is so PATIENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and does not force me to do more scary things than necessary. She leads with a gentle hand. She has made my week the best of my life. 
Anywho I love her. and I am living our Presidents moto

 Monkey see, monkey do!

I just do every thing that she does. She is the sweetest sister missionary that ever exsisted in this word. The prayers I have prayed for the past 8 months were answered the second I layed eyes on you sweet face. We get along so well and I expect nothing more than miracles! AHHHH!!!

I guess I just want to share my biggest take away from the week. MIRACLES

We decided to crack open the area books. Let me tell you there are treasures of gods children to be found in the wonderful book. We found a woman whose name is Looda. She is SO interested in truth. I understand SO MUCH, but cannot yet speak but a meek testimony so that is exactly what I did. I feel so much love and I cannot imagine it is coming from my little soul. God is our loving heavenly father. I can feel it. I have learned so much from Looda. She called us her angels and I could just die. SHE is an angel. .

In my life I have said "I do not know what I would do without this gospel" As I TRULY learn what my life could have been like without this gospel. It is dark. People here have seen a lot and it is evident that they know hardship. I was blessed to be plopped right down onto a couch in Manti Utah into a family filled with love and light. I AM HUMBLED. I have known light and my biggest hardship is choose to except it. Tough stuff . NOT. ------ These people have spent their lives SEARCHING. They have spent their lives in darkness. I have taken for granted. The gospel blesses families and that is undeniable.Regardless of how faithful or converted anyone in my life is it is undeniable that the gospel of Jesus Christ has changed us. We have a foundation of understanding what life is about. It is about goodness and charity towards fellow man. I was raised in a famiy filled with love and light. With good people who know how to treat others. Let the humbling begin.

Ask me questions!!! I LOVE YOU ALL! I am so grateful I got to talk to my family in the airport. The flight was great. Jet lag ain't a thing when I have got a big beautiful city to explore and meet! The food is GOOD and fresh. Fruit is everywhere. I am the happiest most grateful little soul.
My mission President is the best thing that has happen to my life! The temple is INCREDIBLE and I am serving in the center of Kiev! I get to see the President ALL the time! and the temple EVERYDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so lucky! (there are only 8 of 72 here!)
Til next week my minions!
Sister Powell 


So just the funnest story ever. We were walking through your local Amsterdam airport! I was being a Book of Mormon model for this melting pot of humans who know not that they are in need of this beautiful blue book that I have in my hand and we run into 2 missionaries Sister Bush and Elder Perkins (one who is right in the middle of us) THEY WERE THE DEPARTING MISSIORIES! She just started to bawl and I just hugged her!!!!!!!! They just assured us of the goodness that we were about to behold. How amazing our President is and that we are serving the best mission ever! Just what my scaredy little soul needed.
I love it here so much. It is truth! This is the best mission. I am exploring the streets of Ukraine Dawn until Dusk --- Marshootka, speed walking, running, walking, metro, bus, and tram, squished amongst and trying to muster up the courage to talk with the Ukrainian people. I am being cultured and learning and growing so much. I love it here. 

If you are all wondering. YES I will be retiring Missionary work begin my career as a Book of Mormon model! hahahahahaa (I did not even realize what potential I had)