Friday, November 15, 2013

Episode 20: "The time we shared"

hahahaha. funny story. as we looked for a little something called an internet cafe (that is where I am right now typing these words to you all) We found this sketch little place. No name to identify itself just darkened windows right by the grocery store we were told this "internet cafe would be. We walk in to see a dark room. (mood lighting) :) and many computers. It smells of smoke and appears much like a ghetto version of reno. with computers set up. OHHHH PERFECT :) we have found it. We just walk in the smiliest little sisters--- I see two men, gambling online. Thought nothing of it. We walk right up to the man in charge and tell him that we would like to use the internet..... "your in the wrong place" ---- well how is that possible. it fit the description. Just has a bit more fungshway than I had imagined. hahaahahahah TURNS OUT. we were in a casino. and CERTAINLY did not belong there. :) 


This week brings about great change for this little lady. My training is through, and swiftly I become a little something like a trainer. I will have with me a "mini missionary" Who is a native. She only speaks Russian and I am thinking my life could get a little interesting. Our mission has a rule of speaking only russian for 9am to 9pm. (I may not be the best at it) So I have decided this native companion is punishment for my disobedience :) hahahah. just kidding. It is really just such an incredible opportunity to GROW UP and to learn the Russian!!!!! 

I think now, if I have not already--- would be a wonderful opportunity to talk about Sister Lamoreaux my trainer and the incredible two transfers we have had working in the Borshakivski Kiev Ukraine area together. We have the largest ward in Eastern Europe, the temple, and the pioneers of eastern europe to work with here. How blessed are we. 

I feel like I have found myself on the other side of the world-- not meaning what you might thing because what I mean is--- sister lamoreaux is ME in perfect missionary form. We love all of the same things. We take joy in all the little things that make the difficulties of missionary work possible. got our hands on a guitar and were the "happiest humans" We eat cabbage together for every meal. giggle and laugh as we find ourselves sardine canned on the ukranian buses. Following ladies who are dropping potatoes leaving a trail behind them, in attempts to return them. holding all the kitties that ever exsisted in the world.  Practicing yelling for the bus driver to open the back door in case of emergency. dropping our cupcake gifts straight to the floor and deeming them yet still giftable. getting crazy by drinking expired yogart! weeding gardens til we are so soar we cant walk,.we even got asked out on our first Ukranian date! COOKING :) terrible attempts at Ukranian local dishes. Dont look so hot, taste GREAT! actually we eat gourmet. so much fruits and veggies. we loooove Love fruit so much our hearts could pop and ------ MOST OF ALL. we both know exactly why we are here; to love people. I have learned so much from her about what a real good missionary is. Someone who is just REAL. just normal but here to do all they can to lift another person in any way imaginable. 

Yesterday we made a delicious cake. It is called magic cake or somethign life that. for my favorite less active. Her birthday is June and said once that no one ever remembers her birthday. That doesnt happen in my world!!!! We all know how much I love birthdays! but I testify to you all HALF BIRTHDAYS ARE REAL :) and Anja was the happiest person that ever exsisted. hahaha so  you unbelievers of half birthdays. (you know who you are) just try and tell that to anja! hahah. 

This change is going to be the hardest thing I have done yet. Sister Lamoreaux (lam-a-row) has been the keeper of the home that I live in --- Our home is the pit stop for all of the other missionaries as they come and go from the mission office. I will now be running my own person bed and breakfast in Ukraine if any of you are interested! haha 

I will continue to make breakfast for all the other sisters. Blow up air mattresses, make beds, fix tea, all the good things that any good bed and breakfaster might do! 

Anywho, a fun new responsibilty for me. Sister Lam has been here for 7 months and as she packs her bags I feel a little piece of me is leaving with her. a little piece of this area. everyone here loves her so much and I have got some worn out missionary shoes to fill. People to love and to remember. Pray for me. 

I am now responsible for the biggest area in our mission. Teaching 3 new sisters that will be coming in all that I have learned in the past two transfers. I have been soaking in all that I can. Names (it is strange how difficult foreign names are too remember- no one can remember ours and I am struggling at something that I was always so good at (names) ). soaking in bus routes, a whole new language, teaching lessons, remember life stories, potential investigators, short cuts, trambi's, metro stops, stores stops, words, phrases, children, so much. 

My mind has been so filled with inflow of information and now is the time to share what I have learned with 3 sisters I have never met before. 

There is so much work to be done. There is something for everyone to do. I cannot do it alone.

“The Lord knows us. He knows we have our challenges. I realize that some of you may 
feel heavy laden, but I pray that none of you would ever feel that reaching out in normal, 
pleasant ways to share the gospel would ever be a burden. Rather, it is a privilege!” 

“It is impossible for us to fail when we do our best when we are on the Lord’s errand. While 
the outcome is a result of the exercise of one’s agency, sharing the gospel is our 

Just gonna have to internalize those little numbers. 

I am so grateful for the training that I have had. Sister Lamoreaux was the answer to my past year of prayers. I know that the lord has had a hand on the two of us being together at this time. We come from the very same city on the other side of the world and met in Ukraine to take part in miracles. We have seen 4 baptisms together, and loving every Ukranian human that we set our eyes on. I love sister Lamoreaux and I am so thankful to my heavenly father for being so merciful to a little Sister Powell. Offering her the best that Ukraine has to offer. 

The work is mighty big. I must be off. 

Love you to death

Sister Powell 

As promised a little tasty snippet from Halloween. 

From my journal October 31 2013 

As we approached our surprise lesson. 7 pm and darkness had absolutely closed in. warm-hot brownies we had just made during dinner in my now hot hand. we had smelled up that whole marshootka with our goodies. As we start our journey to a home I know nothing about I soon realize we are about to hike throgh the forest! ON HALLOWEEN. It is dark, I am tripping it was silent Yet there was comotion enough to stifle our screams My imagination coupled with the moment at hand, and the fact that it was HALLOWEEN my little heart was about to explode from the terror. Dark forest, strange country two little russian wanna-be's. possibly lost. darkness. train tracks. strange men. no idea where my destination is, not sure how to correctly scream "HELP" in Russian. Fit for a horror movie.
I am going to die. I submitted myself to death in that moment. 

Flash forward five minutes and we arive at a cozy mansion in the forest! A home that does not belong to the country that I THOUGHT I was in. A REAL LIFE UKRANIAN MANSION. real wood, large,,cozy. made by the hands of the pilot family that lived there. Mosiac swimming pool in the basement Cozy delicious! WHERE AM I ? People come flooding in. Some english hellos. 

My halloween nightmare takes a ukranian thanksgiving twist! with a giant wooden table filled with a ukranian feast!!! 

Special day. And lets not get hasty about worrying about my safety. I have since learned how to scream for help. Know how to speed dial my president. AND the crime rate is incredibly low. I just hope this work does justice to the keen imagination that I have. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Episode 19: Kittens inspired by kittens

Everyday is literally the new best day of my life. Miracles. adventures. so full of love. so full of work. Laughter. sweat. cold. dirt. book of Mormons.
I feel like I could never do justice to the life I am living here. To the people I meet. To the life lessons that I learn. Everyday literally is the longest day of my life but the time flies. Each day filled with so much enrichment. So much adventure. So much love. So much to learn.
This week we had a baptism!!!!!!! of the sweetest 11 year old girl that ever existed. She is such an old soul and is taking her decision to be baptized very seriously. She was such a joy to teach. She soaked up every word and I love her so much I could die.
Here in Ukraine I have the unique opportunity to serve in 2 wards. One is the international (English speaking) where all the senior couples and president of the mission attend. PRESSURE :) hahaha. Amongst missionaries. haha. This is the ward that little Marina was babtized in. She does not speak much English and it was just beautiful to see the way that words are not needed for this little girl to know that she is loved.
I had a most special opportunity to meet the sweetest soul that exsists upon this earth. Olga. I dont know how old she is, but I think she is the oldest person I have ever met. She can hardly see and she can hardly hear. She doesn't move much. She just lives. She is the close to the vail, you can just feel it. You can feel her soul radiate through her fragile little human body. She is a special soul.  She has skin made of silk--- fragile as can be. Tears streak down her face, tears of distress because she feels as though she can do nothing "how are you sister? " "HORRIBLE" - she says softly. "I cannot see, I cannot hear", she weaps --- but she does. she sees enough. and remembers so well the Book of Mormon stories. We just comfort her. and begin to teach her from her soiled little drawings that she knows so well.
". I will never forget her. She was baptised almost a year ago and although she has lost most of her sight and hearing, she is preparing to go to the temple. She learns from stick figure pictures we draw of Book of Mormon stories, from object lessons, and she remembers. It is one of my favorite things to watch her flip through her stack of white paper sketched with figures as she points and says "God... Olga...Kira (her great grandaughter)...Jesus Christ" as she sees pictures of Christ, of Heaven and her family. She cant say much, she doesn't remember everything, but she knows she is special and that God loves her. "
This week I got to hold literally 1000 kitties at one time. But really it was only 7 and it was my dreams come true. During a lesson with my favorite less actives mother and daughter vika and maria who have a cat breeding ground in their apartment. They have two sister kitties who both gave birth to two full portion kitty batches! KITTTTTTTIES! kitties for me to hold and snuggle. Rangle while we talk!!! I was the happiest person that ever exsisted.
LITERALLY everyday is an ADVENTURE::: I got to fulfill my Ukranian dreams as I worked on a real life Ukranian datcha (which means ukranian summer home slash cottage.) We did service and pulled some 4 foot weeds in a massive garden--- til the sun didn't shine and we were sitting on the ground just reaching into the darkness---- pulling-----pulling----pulling.
Our hard work was much rewarded. They fed us a real life Ukrainian feast -------I tried my first Vereniki which is :::ukraninan ravioli like thing filled with potatoes and sorts of all kinds of ukranian salad!!! In a tiny little home made of cement. We sange ukraninan hymns together and I could have died happy here in this little cottage haven with the cutest couple that ever exsisted. Anna and Sergey Boresenko's::: They are building a new home and need all the help they can as Anna is just about as pregnant as can be:)  
This week was Halloween. Halloween hardly exsists in Ukraine but for me... it became very real as a little terror entered my little mission world.
I will write a little excerpt from my journal next week because it will do so much more justice than I ever could. (right now when I feel pressure) I think I had the best Halloween of my life. or the scariest rather.
------------------------------------------------ STAY TUNED----------------------------------------
So last week I went to a museum. It was a lot about world war 2 and what it was like from the perspective of this people. I saw some of the famous Kiev history. This is such a special place. Filled with so much history. I am humbled everyday by the people that I meet. That the hardships that they face. The strength that they possess. They value family. They value friendships. They are loyal and hardworking. Full of faith and hope for a future much brighter than the past they have known.
 On the same note there are those who are bitter and angry. The challenges of life have taken a tole on them. Their families, relationships, outlooks on life and overall happiness. Happines----- contentment----- in all reality their personal peace. They have known hard things and who says I would be any different. My trials have been different and there simply is no way to understand the trials of another. These thoughts have led me to thing a lot about trials, agency and peace. The role that agency plays in our trials and just "How could god let this happen" "why do bad things happen to good people" ---- life is unfair and I have just been trying to make what little sense of things that I can.
Peace can be found amongst turmoil. I have seen it.
I know that god lives by laws and life is painful because we have been given agency. Agency that creates vulnerability to the agency of others.
"agency is essential in the plan of happiness. It allows for the love, sacrifice, personal growth and experience necessary for our eternal progression. This agency also allows for all the pain and suffering we experience in mortality. Even when caused by things we do not understand and the devastating evil choices of others! "
"adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy"
What I know is that by leaving the GOSPEL, the real gospel. An abiding deep happiness and spiritual contentment can be found.
Sometimes I feel like this can all seem like a lot of talk "just talk" as the Ukranians might say. but I really do believe
"That all that is unfair about life can be made right through the atonement of Christ."
His peace will ease our suffering. Bind up our broken hearts. blot out our hates.
It may seem illusive and not within our reach but I want you all to think of someone who you know who is truly happy, content, has found this inner peace. someone who has known hard things, yet found a way to rebound back. Though they have endured much they find a way to constitantly lift those around them. I know we all know someone life this.
Life is hard, It always will be but I pray that I might never forget these lessons that I have learned. That despite what hardships come my way, that I may be able to look outward. There is peace to be found.
After All We Can Do
I’d been in that hole for a very long time –
In the dark and the damp, in the cold and the slime.
The shaft was above me; I could see it quite clear,
But there’s no way I ever could reach it from here.
Nor could I remember the world way up there,
So I lost all my hope and gave into despair.

I knew nothing but darkness, the floors, and the walls,
When from off in the distance I heard someone call,
“Get up! Get ready! There’s nothing the matter!
Take rocks and take sticks and build up a fine ladder.”
This had never occurred to me, had not crossed my mind,
So I started to stack all the stones I could find.

When I ran out of stones, the old sticks were my goal,
For some way or another I’d get out of that hole.
So I soon had a ladder that was really quite tall,
And I thought, “I’ll soon leave this place once and for all!”
Then I climbed up my ladder, it was no easy chore –
For from lifting those boulders my shoulders were sore.

So I worked and I climbed and at last had to stop,
For my ladder stopped short – some ten feet from the top.
I climbed back down the ladder and felt all around,
But there were no more boulders nor sticks to be found.
I went back to my ladder and started to cry.
I’d done all I could do; I gave my best try.

But in spite of my work, in this hole I must die,
And all I could do was to sit and think, “Why?”
Was my ladder too short? Or my hole much too deep?
Then from way up on high came a voice: “Do not weep.”
And then hope, love, and faith entered my chest,
As the voice said to me that I’d done my best.

He said, “Nothing’s the matter.  There’s reason to hope.
Just climb up your ladder; I’ll throw down my rope.
You have worked very hard, and your labor’s been rough,
But the ladder you’ve built is at last tall enough.”
I climbed up the ladder, then climbed up the cord.
When I stood at the top, there stood the Lord.

I’ve never been happier; my struggle was done.
I blinked in the brightness that came from the Son.
I fell to the ground; His feet did I kiss.
I cried, “What can I do to repay thee for this?”
He looked all around Him – there were holes in the ground.
They had people inside, and were seen all around.

There were thousands of holes that were damp, dark, and deep.
Then the Lord turned to me and He said, “Feed my sheep.”
Then He went on His way to help other lost souls.
And I got right to work, calling down to the holes,
“Get up!  Get ready! There’s nothing the matter!
Take rocks and take sticks and build up a find ladder!”

It now was my turn to spread the good word.
The most glorious message that man ever heard.
That there’s One who is willing to save one and all,
And we’ve got to be ready when He gives the call.
He’ll pull us all out of the hole that we’re in,
And save all our souls from death and from sin.

So do not lose faith; there is reason to hope:
Just build up your ladder; He’ll throw down His rope.

There is reason to hope. I am here throwing down the rope. His rope. I know that I have been so blessed, and even more blessed to be here with opportunities to better appreciate those blessings and share the hope that I have known with those who so desperately need this light in their lives.

This is how we find peace. Contentment. and the ever illusive happiness.

Not with the things of the world. Not settling for an easy life in sin.

All can be made right. That is why I am here now doing the hardest thing I have ever done. I am grateful. and learning so much.


Sister Powell

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I will never forget you.
Аna!!!! My sweet. sister. I love you bad! 
My triplet sisters! RACHEL AND SARIAH!!!! no body likes you when your 23!!!! We are so old!!! (happy birthday to me :)))) WEL ACTUALLY in reality it is my 21 10/12 ths birthday... so we really are sisters!!! ----- practically.
ANNA!!!!!!!! Happy birthday!!:):):) I love you!!! I wish we could have another party at my house~! Hope you have the best birthday. I want to see your cake :)
annnnnd LINDSAY!!!!! I hope you have the best birthday :):):)