Friday, January 3, 2014

Episode 27: This one is for you sugar.

The Christmas party was a dream come true. We all played white elephant and I am pretty certain these Ukranians (as they unwrap a bag of beans straight from our cupboard, or a broken flashlight, and my favorite a bag of milk and the best cookies) thought we were the weirdest weirds that ever lived. but I just soaked up the American moment and all my dreams coming true on the other side of the world.

What comes next you might ask yourself???


 I am very certain your ordinary run of the mill BYU hipster gathering and some hot chocolate will never do for me again..................................... after this little number, I will be of a different kind.

My Christmas was perfect. Here is a little snippet from our mission Presidents wife this week. I like it.
During Christmas season, I believe every missionary feels more acutely the reason why he or she is choosing to spend the holidays walking the cold streets, knocking on often unfriendly doors, teaching, serving, giving instead of receiving gifts, and allowing "the people that walked in darkness [to see] a great light" (Isaiah 9:2). Though your thoughts may be drawn to the love and warmth of your homes and to the customs and traditions of your families, you also realize that it is because of Christmas that you are here; because the Savior chose to come into this world "that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). I testify to you that the best gift you could have given the Savior this year in celebration of His birth is the one that you have given: choosing to faithfully serve and represent Him far away from home, choosing to spend this holiday season testifying of His love and goodness and of the blessings of His Atonement.
In those moments, when you are acutely reminded of the sacrifices you are making, you should also remember that the Lord's covenant people have always been called upon to "[bear] all things" and "[endure] all things" (Moroni 7:45). " "The mission field is a perfect training ground to learn to sacrifice by submitting your will to the will of your Heavenly Father, by learning to lose yourselves in the missionary service, by forgetting yourselves and putting others' needs first. And as with all things in the gospel, you are called upon to endure in that ability to the end. Learn well now what it truly means to be a servant and a representative of Jesus Christ, and endure in that capacity not only to the end of your missions but to the end of your lives. "Blessed is he that endureth to the end" (Alma 38:2), and "he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved" (2 Nephi 31:15)."

I feel like I could probably sacrifice a lot more after reading this. :) I will work on that.
I JUST GOT WAY TO MANY PRESENTS and had way too much fun at our english Christmas party.
Mostly I am grateful it was no great sacrifice for me, I have seen how hard it can be for some missionaries. That is one great trial I will never know, for that, I am grateful.



I don't know if I have explained well :: how truly unique the ward in which I serve is. It is HUGE. Busy. madness. beautiful. solid 200 hundred active memebers every Sunday. I have never been anywhere else .... but from what I hear a typical branch has 30 (including the 8 missionaries)

So what we have going here, you might say is a little different.
A little taste if Borshakievski culture.

a lot of Ukranian haste. Missionaries inviting themselves over to members houses, all the children playing tag through all 3 hours. People eating whatever food they can find in the kitchen (whether it be theirs or someone elses... ain't a thing)

Here is a tasty little taste of Ukranian culture. Absolutely one of my favorite experiences I have ever had here.

I like to call it a little bit of crazy. and some lunch.

AKA  Linger longer in the Borsh-a-kiev-ski ward. (that is how you say it)

This Sunday we had one. and this is how it goes.

There is a table full of all the kinds of foods you can imagine. better than my moms favorite chinese food buffet. Homestyle Ukranian dishes, deserts, fruits, juices, and tons of bread! 

plov: Rice like, sometimes with mystery chicken.

vereniki: duplings with cabbage in them.

napolean: the best cake I have ever had

golopsi- meat and rice wrapped in cabbage leaves.

Dreams come true ect...

There is none of this line business or organization. The tables are arranged in such a way that the second "Amen" is said all the peoples swarm the table. All you are left to do is try and squeeze your little body right into the madness because no one is going anywhere. The seats that were once filled are vacated and will remain vacated until there is nothing left but potatoe crumbs on the table.

It goes a little something like this::

Shovel some Plov (my favorite dish) onto your plate and stand by it. Eat some. If it is good add somemore to your plate. LOTS add everything to your plate that you see. but you better do it quick because as you do so, so is everyone else. Eat and scoop. Table to Plate--- Plate to mouth. Every man, woman, and child shovels food almost straight from the table into their mouths. No one sits. no one talks. just EAT! Eat all you can. Eat til your sick. Eat things you don't, eat more of what you DO like.  

I gathered in a little circle with all the Elders and ate. and watched. shoveled and scooped. and mostly watched. because this is my favorite event. Once every 3 months. This family of a ward comes together for a feast. One that is spectical to a foreighner but something I am surely going to impliment into every linger longer I come in contact with.

Who needs lines. who needs plates. WE ARE FAMILY>.

I spoke on Sunday. A little scary for my soul, but I survived. It went well. Oxana's mom called me clever :) that is enough to make me feel great about the experience. I also had the pleasure of bonding with my favorite member Nadia as we both sat on the stand terrified in a dignified sort of manner (she taught Sister Lamoreaux and I how to make Verenkiki--- look that up. One day if your nice to me, I will make you some :)

She spoke on Charity.... how fitting because she just so happens to be the most charitable person I know! I want to be just like her.

This week Oxana leaves (my favorite member slash person that ever exsisted). My soul is a lot of sad. It will not be the same without her here. She my very best friend in Ukraine. After sister Lamoreaux left Oxana  comforted my weary soul, I will miss her. She will be going to school in California. She is a rock star. I am going to have a band. We will meet again. She will be the drummer.

We have a new investigator. Her name is Natalya. I love her. Me and sister Lamoreaux found her one night on a bridge while doing english contacting. She came to english once, I gave her a Book of Mormon and was left to explain to her in the saddest Russian that it was old writing, that we read it with the Bible, that it is scripture {I was in my first transfer} ---- me and Natalya have been on a journey together :) hahaha.

She was excited to have the book, and then I never saw her again. I was thinking about this expereince that I had 3 months ago and 2 days later I SEE HER AT CHURCH. She had never been to church before and she just showed up. She did not expect us to be her guides or anything she just came to see. We have had two lessons with her now and another on Saturday. Dreams come true.

Lots of work to do. I love it here. We have been blessed with so many souls to love! :)

I love you !!!!

Sister Powell

Oh by the way. I am never eating sugar again.

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