I HAVE THE BEST SISTER IN THE WORLD!!!!!! Thank you Hannah, Mason, Alisha, Rachel, Jason for my CHRISTMAS TREE!!! I AM THE HAPPIEST SOUL!!! I got it the day before Thanksgiving and was able to bring our the Christmas in the most American way (way before you are "suppose" too) I AM THE HAPPIEST PERSON! (meaning Thanksgiving I put together my tree and I am so ready to sing Christmas hymns and have been since OCTOBER!!! )
Thanksgiving lived for me! What a dream, I had no plans for having Thanksgiving and things just kind of miraculously swooped togther for some of the most extravagant Thanksgiving experiences.
1st: All the missionaries in this area gathered for Thanksgiving together with all the senior couples and with President! It was so fun. We had a tug of war and played Jump rope. It was so fun to hear what everyone was Thankful for. Allowed to choose one thing. That was hard. I feel like I could talk all day about what I am grateful for.
I decided to go deep
I am grateful for Agency. I really am. I will write more about that in the future because it has been something I have been thinking about a lot lately. The role agency plays in our lives in undeniably significant and each day my gratitude for this heavenly gift grows.
2nd: On Thursday I was on an exchange with our sister training leader Sister Levitt. IT WAS WONDERFUL. Right as we finished up language study we both had a sweeping desire to make this the most like Thanksgiving we could. Miracle really. We had chicken. We had PUMPKIN!!! Which I did not even buy our grandma friend gave us! We had BROWN SUGAR! That does not even exsist here! We had brownie batter all ready to be put in the oven and I even had a special banana juice. We whipped our a feast in a half hour! Tomatoe basil chicken! It was incredibly tasty! I made a Ukranian attempt at my sisters Yams (SO GOOD!) and we had fresh baked brownies and so fruit salad! AMAZING!!! I ate the perfect amount of WAY TO MUCH! Felt sick! Felt happy! FELT AMERICAN. What a grossly delicious holiday! That moment was enough to satisfy the hungry American in me. Made perfect with putting together my tree kit that my perfect sister sent me! I AM THE LUCKIEST GIRL!!!!!
THATS NOT IT
3rd: we were invited to the most intriging, beautiful families home' the Bromley family. They live in a Ukranian Mansion! and put together one of the most American Thanksgivings I have ever witnessed! Their house laced with the taste of Thanksgiving and Christmas on it's tail! They had a huge Christmas Tree and decorations from the U.S. It was a little treasure. This family has lived abroad almost their whole life span (family life span) Their children are so darling and cultured. They go to Russian school and I am certain their daughter spoke better Russian than me! It was a perfect Thanksgiving dinner filled with real life American versions: bug turkey, real mashed potatoes, PUMPKIN PIE- flaky crust, stuffing, cranberry sauce, sparkling grape juice. Sister Bromley is a magician! I don't know how she did it, and I don't know how I ended up so lucky! ! big dining table, roudy children, and finished off thankful spiritual thoughts!
(they had 2 GIANT BUNNIES --- I thought of my Hannah and how much she would have adored this dog sized bunnies)
Seeing miracles. It is just beautiful how heavenly father has to humble us so we can better appreciate his hand in our lives. It has worked for me.
Well this week brought a stagnent flavor of an adventure --- Believe it or not, I am not sure I was ready :)
This is called "special church water"
We had an assignment given by Sister Lamoraux just before she left. To drop by a womans house and to give her a paper to help her with english. I had figured it was becuase she was not interested in the gospel so we were just doing a little knowledge service for her. I called her up and she was overly excited to meet with us. Strange. She said we could come when ever we wanted. strange. Bundled up and hit the road.
When we got to the home of this over excited mystery woman and adventure unfolded before my eyes. There stood the skinniest human I have ever met in my life
. ----- Significant detail or not I know not --- she had blood in her mouth, on her teeth, and I was certainly unsure of how I might politely break the news to her in Russian, so I let it go) She all too quickly welcomed us in. That's refreshing...*strange*. I cannot refuse. Told us to take off our shoes come in (I am thinking to myself wow this is going suprisingly well. I thought we'd hand the english help and be booted our the door) -- offers us a seat and very excitedly offers us coffee. *strange* "we do not drink coffee" Very hastely she offers us another something to drink ????????? *strange* haha "we dont drink tea either" "Would you like ANNNNNYTHING to drink" hahahaha oh no thank you. strange.
She was very receptive to gospel conversations and I am just thinking how well this is going. This moment resolved into the perfect teaching situation as we asked if we might begin with a prayer. She was very excited . and offered to say it even. Could this be going any better?
My delight in her receptivness soon diminishes as she insisted upon saying the prayer, telling us she prayers EVERY SINGLE DAY and can heal people with her prayers. She continues..... and delivered the most intense prayer to Jesus that I have ever heard in my entire life. (I peaked, and wished that I wouldn't have) She was staring straight at me. THE WHOLE TIME. and continued too while she very passionately ??????????prayed?????
Fear struck and continued to deepen as our conversation progressed.
We found out that she once "did a baby" (had a baby) in this home (probably the bed where I sit)-------------- KARMA hahaha thats what I get for telling everyone I have ever known that I was born on the couch they were sitting on) (the green couch in my house) (the couch I was actually born on)
Her baby was taken away.
This woman is not healthy.
I am not safe.
We need to get out.
My thoughts as she reached for a yellowed bottle of stagnant "Church" water as she called it
"DO YOU WANT SOME"
"NO!" - Sister Esaulenka
She tilts her head and waves the water back and forth staring at me right in my eyes.
"why not..... It is special" *STRAAAAAAAANGE* ahhhhhhhhh ahhhhhh
Uhhhhh oh. Time to go. hahahahahaha. We gave her a Book of Mormon. Told her it is true. Gave her all the pamphlets we owned. Handed over our english help. got out.
The word of wisdom is inspired. :) I am grateful I don't drink coffee. I am grateful I am not a big water drinker either. I am grateful for my life.
hahahah. There is some gratitude for you. HAPPY THANKSGIVING :)
I am seriously the happiest little missionary. Growing so much I cannot even make sense of it all just yet! I cannot wait til I have made sense of this agency business and share it with you all. I am so grateful for the scriptures!! They are incredible. So simple yet dynamic and applicable to every day that I live. They are adaptable, inspired, deep, complex, simple, perfect, interesting, helpful. They are everything that you want (agency--- mmm beautiful) to make of them and more. I want to be a scripture master. I have a long road ahead. but I have such a strong testimony of the scriptures and how much light and goodness comes from them if we but seek to find. read everyday. Even if you don't like it. Let the stories come alive. They are neat.
Try it :)
I am safe. I am happy. Heavenly father watches over his missionaries.
I love you all.
LOVE SISTER POWELL