Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Episode 18: "Center Kiev and culture"

Today I got to taste a little culture. Not much time for I spent my day being cultured, truly cultured.
All I have to say::::

Numbers 15:27¶     And if any soul sin through ignorance, then he shall bring a she goat of the first year for a sin offering'

I am not so sure what that means. I will leave that to interpretation.
I have decided great sin=ignorance.

 I feel as though I have been truly ignorant. of history. of the sacrifices of others that have got me where I am today. I am so grateful for all that I have. Open your eyes. because I have decided that ignorance is one big sin :)
Count your blessings. You have been given much. I love you!
Sister Powell

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Episode 17: "Poy-tea-hoyn-koo"

"Poy-tea-hoyn-koo"  Means living. They say it when you ask how they are. It is my favorite thing.
"How are you"
"oh.... "living"
I thought today I would give you all a little taste of Ukraine from my perspective :) hehe. FUUUUUUN.
I think it would be wrong of me not to begin with the Bobooshky. These are grandmas. A title you might say. They are everywhere. They LOVE us-- think we are the cutest humans that ever exsisted. Wish us happiness in finding good men. Bless us every time we meet. Blow kisses.
They hate us. I much prefer love from them. They are the sweetest, hardest working woman I have ever met. I love kisses on my little cheeks. Bobooshky kind are the sweetest. They carry around bags that weigh more than them and sell all assortments of strange things. From socks they have knitted, worm hole apples from their trees, or mushrooms that they picked in the forest!
Reenocks:: Are your everyday FARMERS MARKET! Anything your heart desires in Ukranian sort and quality. People sell strange things. Bobooshky.
Public restrooms are non-exsistant. Don't drink anything or find a resident McDonalds. (They are free there)
except the sentipeed in my bed! AHH-------- Mysteriously I have not seen many bugs--- rather bounties of Cats and dogs on the streets to satisfy living things qouta
 I have more tea in a day than I have had in my whole life. Tea and cookies for every meal.
General quality of things here is.... not high. I have never gone through a pen in my whole life (ink) and in one week I went through 3.
I am preparing myself to see more for on humans than I have seen on animals. If it is winter it is essential that you wear tights (bobooshky orders) if it is summer. YOU MUST WEAR TIGHTS. To sum it up--- tights are essential for the survival of man kind (because if you do not wear them you will not have children.) 
You must wear slippers in their homes, or you will get sick. If your not wearing socks or a coat, they will get you some of their own.
I went thrift shopping. The price was determined by the weight of the item!
Everything has a smell. every person. Smoke. Alcohol. Perfume, their dinner. My nose is getting used to it. It was one of the most culture shock inducing items of business for me. I could not decifer.
Beer is cheaper than water.
They sell meat on the street. slabs that sit in the sun. It is scary and I have had one piece of chicken since I have got here. I eat cabbage for every meal. Tried a fig. They have the best tasting apples that exsisted.
A little taste of Sunday. From the words of a friend of mine. Substitute all "branch" with BIGGEST WARD IN EASTERN EUROPE
"Sunday - I got to go to our Branch and meet them!  What a wonderful branch!  I love the members.  I couldn't understand most of them.  But I love them.  I got to bear my testimony.  That was bad.  Really did not go well.  But It was fun to see all of them smiling at me.  Very Very nice people.  Sunday school was awesome.  First of All.  A man walks in and sees us.  He loves to try and speak his little english.  So his main phrase, "Hello Boy" Now you have to say that in a very deep russian accent.  Then you get the whole effect.  Love it.  Anyway, Sunday school started out pretty normal, but then a man says something and the whole room erupts.  Basically whoever yells louder gets heard.  I honestly think they were arguing.  But they would yell for a little bit and argue then they would all just start laughing.  That continued the whole class.  I love Ukrainians.  Can't wait till I can understand them."
Lets talk about a little something I like to call Ukranian gift wars!
You give a gift and you get something back. ALWAYS something back. More than you gave in the first place. I would like to share a little of our experiences
We give book of mormons
2 apples
 A bouguet of flowers
a loaf of bread
We give Banana bread-
- 2 apples
- the womans lunch!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Walnuts
- Apple jam
- walnuts
- apples
- A man's half eaten fruit~
Dont give a gift unless you want the sweater they are wearing.
You may be thinking to yourself, the members there are so nice. Let me offer 90% of these are STRANGERS!!! Giving our lunch! That giant bouquet of flowers.
To sum it up. Ukranians are some of the most powerful, inspiring, humble, HARDWORKING, genuine, hospitable kind people I have ever met. They know hardship like America knows Hamburgers. I love it here.
TRAVEL: Each day we travel on public transportation. Cars are a rarity (I have been in one since the van that brought me from the airport)
Buses, metro, trambi, street car, trolly bus. An incredible system that will get you anywhere you need to go.
Marshootkas: are bus like vans or motorhomes ::: they have fresh from the market carpets up by the driver and covered in tastled curtins. (I wish I had a picture) It is like happy home on wheels::: These things are quick and you better hold on for dear life. People pack in and this is where I learned the REAL meaning of sardines. So full the windows fog. So full you can taste the person standing beside you. So full that you just stand and need not hold onto anything because the Ukraines that surround you suspend all force of gravity. We become a family surving the turbulant marshootka ride. Passing each others money back and forth. You just scream and the driver when you want to stop. Get off---get in---get off--get in QUICK or you will get shut right in the door!
Their  favorite past times: Going for walks and picking mushroom in the forest.
Living: in my area many people have two homes. An apartment here in Kiev and another home called a Datcha (a home in the country where they grow what they sell out in the street) Family often live together. Grandparents, moms, kids, aunt, uncles. Small apartments. lots of family. Lot of love. They value family very much. :) perfect right?
Sister Powell
Of course I am having an adventure.
I am living in the city in the forest! It is magnificent.
and my toilet paper has panda faces printed on it.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Episode 16: "Spreading the gospel with cookies- and Peter the man of my dreams"

I have some deep for you all today.
I feel as though my life is changed, but humans that we are...
Maybe I will forget, but I can just read this and my journal to remind my self of how I should let my world be changed by this. I have been humbled.
Let us first begin with the adventure. As we all know is my favorite. Makes my life worth living. 
This mission: the very best that ever exsisted has taken to the "creative finding" -- doing away with hours wasted mindless tracting- door slams, awkward awkwardness. and instead making things interesting in all the ways we can think possible.
Telling people to smile (they dont often here) this is weird to do, and they love it! , offering free american snacks. English class. service. "creative tracting" (whatever that means) Walking tables. ect..... tons of fun!
We decided to offer FREE (unheard of in these parts) American treats!
Brown sugar is a hot commodity and I never thought I would taste again the divine crisp goodness of a chocolate chip cookie like grandma makes! Well call on one of your resident Senior sister couples and your dreams come true. Ornate and grossly-delicious-most-american-treats-i-have-ever-had-in-my-life-cookies-brownies-snickerdoodles.
These cookies played a critical role in our finest finding activity called FREE TREATS! and we offer our goods to people by "SNACK" (oo-ga-shy-a-tiss) and offer them free things! WE ARE WEIRD. and they arent afraid to show that they think it. most people will not take it. UNTIL one does. then they all want some.
ALSO with us is a box of "free literature" Book of mormon, all the pamphlets you can dream, articles of faith ect....
People snatch them by the bunches! (the free literature mostly :):) THIS IS MY FAVORITE ACTIVITY. We go on buses and street cars offering people treats! They smile, glare, talk bad about us, laugh with us, laugh at us, take stacks of cookies! we are a spectical and we just smile and laugh and offer them more! (a woman straight up took a photo of us last night--) They love it. They hate it. but mostly we love it. Spreading the gospel with cookies.
so Sunday evening comes. we had just finished dinner and decided to head to the Park to continue our offerings. As we arrived we found the park unlit, dark, and uninviting. I felt the need that we still needed to be here, and surely did not know why, all they could do was smell how delicious those cookies might be. Light was almost absent. We walked to the brightest area and off in the darkness was a man digging through the trash for bottles. "He wants one"
and this is where an opportunity for change began. The light was not enough for him to see what we had to offer. I tried to tilt the box so that it might catch the light but it hardly worked. Regardless he could smell them, I know he could. We talked to him for a moment. offered him some cookies. Sister Lamoreaux even gathered him a few up, yet he said "no". I KNEW that he wanted them. BECAUSE I DID and I had just eaten myself a find meal of Cabbage and buck wheat! (like I do everynight :) anywho. I want to eat ALL the cookies, and I know that he wants that little bundle that sister Lamoreaux tried to hand to him.
Our conversation continued. She asked him if he believed in god/ He said --yes. "Do you believe he answers your prayers" -- He was silent-- That was answer enough. Lots of conversation continue between him and sister lamoreaux. As we all might assume I am no Russian scholar yet so I listened.
I understood but more than words I understood much more about this man. About the life that Peter has lived. and that this life in all is real, gut wrenching hardship, loss, pain ans sorrow I will never understand. My sympathy, empathy, compassion, all the me I can muster will never understand the life, the darkness this man has known..
I don't know if many of you know much of the history of Ukraine. Shamefully I cannot say that I know enough but what I understood was enough. He talked of death of thousands. pain and sorrow.
felt a taste of the pain of one of gods most precious children. A soul down trauden by the darkness of this world,., Darkness that I have never known, and likely never will. He wept as he answered our question "why would he not answer than" "why would god not stop this from happening"
as he wept. wondering if god loved him, or answered his prayers. A grown man 60 or so filled with torment of the choices of other human beings left to wonder if god  cared
I was overcome with a deep and un-wordly feeling. Love. Love closest to the pure love of Christ I have ever felt. These were not my feelings. I absolutely believe I was offered a taste of heaven as I tried to understand the pain that this man knows all too well. My heart felt as if it might explode .
This is all that I know. I KNOW THAT GOD LOVES HIS CHILDREN. each and everyone. I have felt it. I felt the overwhelming power. serge of energy. warmth, indescriblable goodness. love. (I JUST CANNOT DESCRIBE) but I know with all that I am that god loves Peter. A man so hungry so starving so lost both body and spirit.
We talked a long while. I bore the strongest testimony of love that my little girl body could muster. I know he felt it. He left us with a book of mormon in hand. a plan of salvation pamphlet and all the cookies he could stuff in his pocket.
I left changed.
Filled with gratitude of the life I have lived. The love I have known. The freedom. and most of all the light of Christ. Assurance in his atoning sacrifice for me. FOR EVERY PERSON.
"as we rely on the atoment of Jesus Chist he can help us endure our trials, sickness, and pain. ALL that is unfair about life can be made righr through the atonement of Jesus Christ"
This is how I might find the courage to press forward in a world that knows more heart ache than I can ever begin to comprehend.
There is someone that can.
"Jesus's grace is sufficient. It is enough. it is all we need. Dont quit. Keep tring. Dont look for escapes and excuses. Look to the lord and his perfect strength. Seek Christ and as you do, you will feel the enabling power and divine help we call his amazing grace."
We came to earth and with this incredible opportunity we were also given agency. Agency is precious. Yet also offers opportunity for people to do TERRIBLE things. God answers prayers but obeys his own laws--- prayers are often answered through other people. I know that he was answering Peter.
All that I need say is I know this is true. I am left humbled to the leafy-broken-ukranian floor.
I am changed.
I am grateful.
I am converted.
 I know that our heavenly father loves us. I felt it.  The light of the gospel is real.
 I am going to tell Peter that tomorrow!
I hope you all are listening to me.
I love you all so much. :)
Humble little
Sister Powell
(if you would like to send me info I would LOVE THAT-- about the wars and things)
I feel as though I have learneid a life lesson.
pss. please read "his grace is suficient" it is incredible.
vul. Yubluneva 1
s. Sofiivska Borshahivka
Kyevo-Svyatoshinkly rayon
kyivska oblast 08131

Episode 15: "Like Patrick Fitzgerald"

 I love it here. Today we warmed our home or rather... the kitchen with sweet filthy rich hot chocolate. our propane stove and a sheet to seal in the heat!! It is just bitter cold out already and I am buckling down for a winter full of warmth in the heart! I have a testimony of the spirit literally warming your body when the sun sure wont do the trick! It is cold hahahaha. yet I am warm. Serious.
I am just gonna take the advice of my dad and "keep my tights on and stay warm" will do! I was sure to share this bit of advice with sister Lamoreaux as last Thursday offered us an opportunity to hide behind some milk cartons and attempt to pull her tights up that no longer resided on her body! SUCH FUN everyday. That is the day I learned how to say "it was quite an adventure"{ in Russian and let me tell you it was fitting. Let just say it is a miracle day. we have too much fun it is nuts.
Does anyone in this world know that I have taught already witnessed FOUR BAPTISMS! Each so miraculously sweet. It is just astounding to me how much the work is moving forth here. I am so humbled to be put in such a rich area. We have a goal to bring 3 more souls unto Christ by the end of the year. Pray for our mission :) We will do. This is a special mission. HUMBLING FOR MEEEEE.
My ward is 500 members and 300 are inactive, we spend a lot of time just loving the inactive and yet we still manage to have more baptisms than any other area that I know of. Seriously 4 already and one on the way. It is so beautiful to see the light in these people as they find something so special. something they have searched their whole lives for and I have just take for granted. Can you imagine why I loved this talk (at the end of my letter so much)
Through all of the miracles that I have seen. I have not forgotten why I am here. I think we are all aware I am here so that I can give all I have to Follow the admonition of our savior, to  ' love thy neighbor'  
All of this takes root in the gift that I am earnestly seeking each day. (Seek ye earnestly the best gifts :) That is what I am doing :):):)
It all reminds me of a not so pleasant tune, but a hymn with words that house power: "have I done any good in the world today" I ask . Have you done anything to lift another? I learn more and more each day, the more I try to lift another I get lifted all the higher. In many ways it is just not fair.
You may be asking--- or not.... WHO IS PATRICK FITZGERALD. Well let me tell ya.
He is just a little Irish man I met outside the temple one ordinary day of the most extraordinary days of my life (aka everyday of my mission)
Just this little Irish man has no idea the impact that he has had on my life. How suiting that his name is "Patrick Fitzgerald" isn't that everything you would want a little Irish mans name to be whom you meet outside the Kiev Ukraine temple! It sure was for me.
Our little happenings was a five minute conversation that left me feeling so full of joy I cannot describe WHAT IS SO SPECIAL ABOUT THIS MAN! I do not know. I don't even remember what we talked about. He was ordinary in every way (for an Irish man) let me tell you he sure had the cutest accent I have ever heard. ----That  is it mom. I am marrying an IRISH MAN! ----:) he was unique in that he has somehow managed to discover a gift within him to just lift all those that he comes in contact with.
You wanna know something neat. He reminds me of my mom. He was a little weird :) very out going. friendly. oversharing and bright but most of all he just leaked a love for his brothers and sisters. Lifting those around him.  I can hardly remember the words that he said to me in our small conversation but he just loves people. it is apparent in his very demeanor. Mom you have a gift. 
Patrick Fitzgerald is aware in some sense of this gift to lift. To warm hearts and lighten spirits and it takes not very long in his presence to be under the influence of his gift, he shares so unhinderingly. The man was undeniably happy and has set out on a life of lifting those around him. Whether the hands of those hang helplessly down - or an everyday ordinary person a moment with Patrick Fitgerald and everyone feels a little higher.
. I want to be this kind of person.
 As I strive each day to develop attributes of Christ I am ever so grateful for a real life example. The influence a perfect stranger can make by simply seeking to lift your fellow men.
34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye alove one another; as I have loved you, that ye also blove one another.
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have alove one to another.
found in the parched and desolate wilderness of isolation called loniliness.
May we reach out to the rescure the lost who surround us.
Rich satisfaction comes to us when we help another along the pathway to eternal life.
 Because I have been given much I too must give. because of thy great bounty lord each day I live. I shall divide my gifts from thee with every brother that I see, who has the need of help from me. because I have been sheltered fed by thy good car. I cannot see another's lack and I not share. My glowing fire my loaf of bread my roof safe shelter over head. that he too may be comforted. because I have been blessed by thy great love dear lord. I'll share thy love again according to thy word. I shall give love to those in need. I'll show that love by word and deed. Thus shall my thanks be thanks indeed.
I want to show my heavenly father that my thanks is thanks indeed. I want to lift with the gifts that I have been given. It is apparent to my through my experience with my new little friend that you never know the affect you can make.
Our Responsibility to Rescue

Thomas S. Monson
For Latter-day Saints, the need to rescue our brothers and sisters who have, for one reason or another, strayed from the path of Church activity is of eternal significance. Do we know of such people who once embraced the gospel? If so, what is our responsibility to rescue them?
Consider the lost among the aged, the widowed, and the sick. All too often they are found in the parched and desolate wilderness of isolation called loneliness. When youth departs, when health declines, when vigor wanes, when the light of hope flickers ever so dimly, they can be succored and sustained by the hand that helps and the heart that knows compassion.
There are, of course, others who need rescue. Some struggle with sin while others wander in fear or apathy or ignorance. For whatever reason, they have isolated themselves from activity in the Church. And they will almost certainly remain lost unless there awakens in us—the active members of the Church—a desire to rescue and to save.

Someone to Show the Way

Some time ago I received a letter written by a man who had strayed from the Church. It typifies too many of our members. After describing how he had become inactive, he wrote:
“I had so much and now have so little. I am unhappy and feel as though I am failing in everything. The gospel has never left my heart, even though it has left my life. I ask for your prayers.
“Please don’t forget those of us who are out here—the lost Latter-day Saints. I know where the Church is, but sometimes I think I need someone else to show me the way, encourage me, take away my fear, and bear testimony to me.”
While I was reading this letter, my thoughts turned to a visit I made to one of the great art galleries of the world—the famed Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England. There, exquisitely framed, is a masterpiece painted in 1831 by Joseph Mallord William Turner. The painting features heavy-laden black clouds and the fury of a turbulent sea portending danger and death. A light from a stranded vessel gleams far off. In the foreground, tossed high by incoming waves of foaming water, is a large lifeboat. The men pull mightily on the oars as the lifeboat plunges into the tempest. On the shore stand a wife and two children, wet with rain and whipped by wind. They gaze anxiously seaward. In my mind I abbreviated the name of the painting. To me it became To the Rescue.1
Amid the storms of life, danger lurks. Men and women, boys and girls find themselves stranded and facing destruction. Who will guide the lifeboats, leaving behind the comforts of home and family, and go to the rescue?
Our task is not insurmountable. We are on the Lord’s errand; we are entitled to His help.
During the Master’s ministry, He called fishermen at Galilee to leave their nets and follow Him, declaring, “I will make you fishers of men.”2 May we join the ranks of the fishers of men and women, that we might provide whatever help we can.
Ours is the duty to reach out to rescue those who have left the safety of activity, that such might be brought to the table of the Lord to feast on His word, to enjoy the companionship of His Spirit, and to be “no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God.”3

The Principle of Love

I have found that two fundamental reasons largely account for a return to activity and for changes of attitudes, habits, and actions. First, individuals return because someone has shown them their eternal possibilities and has helped them decide to achieve them. The less active can’t long rest content with mediocrity once they see that excellence is within their reach.
Second, others return because loved ones or “fellowcitizens with the saints” have followed the admonition of the Savior, have loved their neighbors as themselves,4 and have helped others to bring their dreams to fulfillment and their ambitions to realization.
The catalyst in this process has been—and will continue to be—the principle of love.
In a very real sense, those persons stranded in the storm-tossed sea of Turner’s painting are like many of our less-active members who await rescue by those who guide the lifeboats. Their hearts yearn for help. Mothers and fathers pray for their sons and daughters. Wives plead to heaven that their husbands may be reached. Sometimes children pray for their parents.
It is my prayer that we might have a desire to rescue the less active and to bring them back to the joy of the gospel of Jesus Christ, that they might partake with us of all that full fellowship has to offer.
May we reach out to rescue the lost who surround us: the aged, the widowed, the sick, those with disabilities, the less active, and those who are not keeping the commandments. May we extend to them the hand that helps and the heart that knows compassion. By doing so, we will bring joy into their hearts, and we will experience the rich satisfaction that comes to us when we help another along the pathway to eternal life.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Episode 14: A little snippet of sounds: thats all

today I want you to understand more of life as Sister Lamoreaux and Powell. so I am taking you into a day of sounds in my shoes:) outloud.
some sounds that arent as remembered, but what make each day unique.
alarm buzz snoozing and snoozing to slowly wake sleepy sisters---rain flowing the streets tapping the windows and tin garage roofs---sock covered feet, tapping the wood floors, running back and forth//jumping up and down---teapot click, steam, and water boiling---magnets clicking together as nametag is attached---zip of the winter boots---sweet silence during morning prayer and study---scripture pages flipping---two suprano voices singing Ukrainian hymns---tram tracks rolilng and metal meeting---pens clicking---airplanes flying and cars zooming---travelers yelling "на остоновки" to get out of the bus---american music humming, escaping headphones---roar of marshrutka engine, squeeky brakes and air hiss&clatter of doors opening and closing---plastic bags rustling---chestnuts falling---silly dogs barking at car tires passing---veggies grilling and sizzling to grumbling tummies---turn of the lock to open church doors---"Девушки"---blessings and love from sweet Ukrainian бабушки---silly american girls giggling---ding of the doorbell---"два пожайлуста"---доброе день shared with strangers---classic ring of someone calling---English voice announcing "Next stop is Gnata Yuri"---beep of the magnet and apartment door opening/swivel of the second lock/two clicks and turns of the third lock and repeated again to lock it behind us---tick of the clock as another day is past
I love you all so much I could just die. I am working on quite an inspiring number. I have been here a whole transfer! I have seen FOUR BAPTISM!!! met the most inspiring people in the world. I drink 5 cups of tea a day. I wish I could read my scriptures all day. I have given 2 talks. WHAT??!?! thats four total for my life. I should be off the computer right now . I love you all. I miss you. I GET TO STAY WITH MY TRAINER! same area by the temple. I am the happiest person alive.
I am serving the best mission that ever exsistended.
HOMEWORK: please read 'Our Resoponsibilty to rescue' by the prophet! Thank you and have a nice day. we will talk about that next week!
with haste and love and work and happy
sister powell