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.
I 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. :)
(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
s. Sofiivska Borshahivka
kyivska oblast 08131