The week started off exciting soon after I left the church. We had a real life sister mission adventure.
So perhaps in the past I have talked a bit about the Crooznoy. (in a word:freeway) It is the road that we walk along everyday. (the road to the temple) Broken sidewalk. lots of trash. It is so loud: loud loud loud SO there we often sing REALLY loud, (no one can hear us) or practice tongue twisters, or scream "THIS IS OUR STOP" ( a very important phrase for my well being; so that when the time comes for the bus to stop we don't look like the silly American girls that we are) hahaha literally my first 3 months here. Every time I tried to ask the bus driver to stop at my stop. The whole bus would turn and stare. oh the life I live :).
Well... we are walking a long that long and broken road that leads to the temple. There is a path made from the people walking but to each side is piles of snow. That have now become ice and are slippery (hence my wipe out last week as root of embarrassment for my little world.) So we are walking along the path in a hurry to make it to an appointment on time (pday ends at 6 and it is a normal night after that) So we are booking it along our little snow blazed trail. As we get to the best stop at the end of the trail.
Well I am going to skip on the personal details and get to the point.
Someone we know... under the influence of alcohol was unable to walk straight enough to take on this path.
hobble tobble drunks are not generally a big deal. They flood the streets everyday. The issue here is that there was ice everywhere. A 3 foot gaurd rail in some parts and none in others. That separate the people on the side walks FROM THE FREE WAY! Your everyday drunk could probably make the journey. but not this one. The weave, wobble was the worst I have ever seen. From one side of the sidewalk to the other! He is going to die. and I know it.
Story short. We saved his life.... shortly after he STARTED TO TUMBLE OVER THE GUARD RAIL and sprawl onto the FREEWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I may be suffering from heart furber after that one because literally our friend almost died. Somehow ALL the momentum in the world that he had heading in one direction magically changed to the other and he ended up sprawled over the ice. (with people stepping over him)
We peeled him up off the ground. and walked arm in arm with him down the ice road (pretty sure that is the most human male contact I have had in like a year) hahaahah. too good. We walked the ice trail past the long stretch of path that DID NOT HAVE A RAIL WAY and no redemption from the cars flying past. No forgiveness for a drunk trying to walk the straight.
The moral of the story: alcohol is bad. It destroys lives. Relationships. motivations. potential. WILL KILL YOU/
It is a REAL problem here. Good people. intelligent motivated. become immobilized by the debilitating trap called alcohol. It breaks my heart.
Good news moment:
I can do real man push ups! Probably like 10 tops but that is better than one!
I got to roleplay with the President. That was a little scary and a lot of awesome!
Friday: Dreams come true:
Thanks to my so thoughtful Eli, Sadie, Tric, and dad. Who provided my soul with double bubble I had probably my favorite lesson EVER. A creamy combination of my life long talents, object lessons. and some solid doctrine of Christ. We had a lesson with our cutest Marina. She is an 11 year old recent convert (our most recent baptism) 4 of 4 that I have seen. She is the brightest, giggliest, most put together 11 year old girl I have ever met.
We began the lesson with huge wads of bubble gum and proceeded to offer a lesson on enduring to the end. I will spare you the details but it was a success. and now I offer photographic evidence. We all have a firmer understanding on enduring to the end.
Chewing your gum even when it tastes gross.
Cleaning up your face when is bursts into your eyebrows.
Practice practice practice so one day you can blow bubbles bigger than your wildest dreams!
galupsy. We got to make Galupsy with my favorite woman in the entire world! Okcana's mom! First things first. Nothing in that home is the same without Okcana! But she is in America living the American dreams! I am now a Galupsy master. It is meat wrapped in cabbage! DELICOUS
sister nielsens 9 month. We celebrated with apple and peanut butter.
So. Many of you have heard about what is going on here: (revolution business) Likely you know more than I do. but I would like to offer you this.
The likelihood of my death as a result of a revolution is much less likely in as death in one of these 70 year old lifts that havn't had a maintenance check in their exsistence. So fret not. I will choose the stairs. choose life. and everything is fine here in Kiev Ukraine.
So here is a little something spiritual. Perhaps I am becoming a weirdy missionary. but perhaps just a little more insightful as to the things that really matter.
I have just been thinking a lot about the bigger picture. About the church about the "gospel".
I have come to realize: this is so much bigger than church attendance, being active, having callings, doing visiting teaching blah blah. This is about eternal life. This is about allowing, training the souls in us to be the spiritual giants they yearn to be. Spiritual work is the hardest work that I have ever done, but also the most rewarding.
I have just spent a lot of time thinking about people getting offended. All of the silly reasons we stop the nourishment of our souls. and all of it seems so insignificant in the light and simplicity of the gospel.
and just plugging along enduring to the end.
That there is a perspective so much bigger, brighter and more encompassing than the human problems we get swallowed up in.
How much of this life's worries, trials, hardships become irrelevant in the light of such a perspective.
"Put all frustrations, hurt feelings, and grumblings into the perspective of your eternal hope. Light will flow through your soul"
I love this.
" if you expect to find perfect people here, you will be appointed. but if you seek the pure doctrine of Christ, the word of god "which health the wounded soul" and the sanctifying influence of the holy ghost then here you will find them. " "here you will find a people who yearn to know and raw closer to their savior. "here you will find what is precious beyond price"" words of eternal life, blessings of redemption,
This is a path filled with peace and happiness. That is why I am here.
I feel like those people who are truly content. Who have found lasting peace are those who have grips with this eternal perspective.
I wish that it made as much sense to everyone as it does to me now. That this is the path to a better world. To happier humans. That it is resisted because it is hard. but the reward for perseverance is greater than any price paid.
My mom is so smart:
"We all choose our path in life and when you come to that realization, that life did not happen, but that you are choosing your path. It is not a serious of accidents, but a deliberate path, your life will become more directed. First, it is important for you to realize that you are in charge of your destiny, by the choices you make. Then you can make those choices promised by God to improve your circumstances and you intensity of peace and joy."
Here I am so imperfect just trying to resist my lazy selfish tendencies. it is hard. Every day. Salvation is steep but in the light of perspective that the gospel has to offer. well worth any price paid.
I hope this makes even a little bit of sense. because it is making a lot to me. I am understanding how critical my perspective is. It will nurture my choices that determine my world.
I love you all so much. Make good choices. Dont drink alcohol. Stay inside the gaurd rail!