Coming Home July 2011


Working on new material for the blog!

It has taken me awhile to decide what to do with the blog. I felt lost not posting pictures of the missionaries and I've felt lost with not having my missionary routine. We are starting to settle into a different routine and I have decided to start blogging again. It will take me a little while to get things squared away but we are rolling into the next phase of our journey in life - recovery from the best experience of our lives ( the mission), knee surgery( Tim's), physical therapy for my back, and the economy with our business. We look forward to continuing our growth spiritually and preparing for what comes next!

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Couples Conference in Kharkov 2010

We began our conference on Friday January 15 in Kharkov. We had lunch and then each couple reported on the activities they were involved with over the last 6 months. Kharkov is still decorated with lots of festive lights because of all of the religious holidays throughout January. It is a beautiful site to see at night but oh so very cold!!!!!
On Saturday morning, after breakfast, we met and discussed the mission's goals for 2010. We also heard from each couple on an assigned topic such as: How to survive with the same companion without a transfer, How to keep the sun shinning when there ain't no sun. How to communicate when your companion doesn't speak your language and How to make companionship study fun. It was great fun to listen to all the new ideas and the great sense of humor each couple has. Saturday afternoon we took a tour of Kharkov and it's rich history.
Saturday Night we were invited to a "Ball" that the CES put on for the older generation. Everyone was dressed so nice! The youth performed a dance, then some of the older generation performed, then the ladies performed. We had other talent performed also. It was really nice and relaxing to get a taste of Ukrainian culture!!
Sunday we all attended a different branch. Then we met at the Reed's and they fed us a tasty dinner. We really enjoyed getting together and just talking. We closed with a testimony meeting that was very touching. We could not function without these wonderful couples! They each play an important role in helping the mission to progress and move forward. We are very grateful for our driver, Vladimir. He has helped all of us with our calling here in Ukraine and we could not do this without him.
Left to right: Sister & Elder Reed, President & Sister Fry, Sister & Elder Mead, Elder & Sister Salomonson. And Vladimir is taking the picture.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Happy New Beginings in Kharkov 2010

Zone Conference in Kharkov went much like Donetsk - FANTASTIC!!!! The Zone Leaders are amazing and did a great job. Here is some of what they talked about: ELDER T. MCARTHUR talked about setting GOALS - It's like a compass - you know exactly where you are and where you are going. We come up with the goals and the SPIRIT confirms it. ELDER STEELE on planning: it is a skill we need to develop our WHOLE LIFE. Planning keeps us ORGANIZED and increases our FAITH. SISTER and ELDER REED also spoke: SISTER REED: Cultivate desire to know the SAVOIR - how can you serve Him if you don't know Him. Pray for a greater DESIRE to know the Savior. OBEDIENCE - pray for a stronger committment. EFFORT - pray with all your heart, might mind and strength. ELDER REED: To teach by the spirit you must SEARCH the scriptures DILIGENTLY, PRAY and FAST. Elder Williams: go 2 by 2 and teach by way of the COMFORTER and work in UNITY with your companion. Pray and study together. Elder Beus: Pay attention to what your companion says - back him up and INSPIRE people to action. SERVE your companion and follow the spirit by listening and yielding to your companion. Plan more EFFECTIVELY - be on the same page. ELDER LAMARR : be finding PEOPLE where ever you are at. Finding by the spirit takes ACTION - pay attention to ideas, feelings and thoughts. ELDER GREEN: committing people thru the spirit. SPEAK with the tongue of angels, SPEAK with the Spirit of God. Have faith that YOU can do it. They were very inspiring presentations and I felt the spirit so strong that I had a hard time writing and keeping up with all they said!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

New Beginings - First Zone Conference for 2010!!!

Our first Zone Conference for the New Year was fantastic!! We started out Monday night with a fireside to prepare for the conference. I worked on music with the missionaries - D&C sec 4 put to the Hymn "We are all Enlisted". It was fun and very interesting. I'd learned it long ago when I was a part of the Hill Cumorah Pageant one summer. Then PRESIDENT FRY gave an inspiring talk about AGENCY. It was very powerful and every missionary listened intently. Tuesday was Zone Conference and I introduced a way to make personal study and companionship study more in tune with the spirit, and more organized through out the mission. Two small book marks with a study schedule for the 4 standard works, the missionary library and Preach My Gospel were handed out. Then the Zone Leaders gave their presentations and wow what great leaders we have!ELDER TAYLOR and ELDER WHITEHEAD were so intune with each other that my mind and heart were filled to the brim! They talked about progressing and the only way to progress is thru REPENTANCE and the ATONEMENT every day of our lives. Having the eye of FAITH - seeing ourselves becoming and doing. A vision of what you can become and do - getting the strength thru the ATONEMENT and from the LOVE Christ has for us. Having the investigators visualize what it would be like to quit smoking and the blessings received from becoming a member. Having members visulize their friends accepting the gospel. Do our planning with the Lord's help - hope for a miracle and expect it will come!ELDER ROSEN and ELDER THOMPSON did an awesome job and talked about UNITY -working together by the SPIRIT. Listen to each other and RESPECT each other. Know your companion and DEVELOP unity. Do this in companionship study. If you both have the spirit - your investigators FEEL this and with the spirit you can do GREAT things. ELDER BALSER and ELDER ECKERSLEY talked about teaching by the spirit. They asked questions and some responses were: ELDER WADSWORTH - do all you can to PREPARE spiritually before the lesson and then LISTEN to the spirit as you teach. ELDER PRINCE - it is important to TEACH BY THE SPIRIT otherwise you can not teach what God wants you to teach. ELDER STIRLING - the spirit TEACHES and CONVERTS. ELDER BALSER - TRUE CONVERSION comes thru the spirit. ELDER ECKERSLEY - By turning to God we gain KNOWLEDGE and EXPERIENCE, a skill we need to continually REFINE and use and be better at. ELDER LAMARR spoke about finding people: Can the Lord TRUST us with His children? He tries us first - then we set goals - we go out with POWER(the spirit) and we find people with ACTION. If you are doing what everyone else has talked about - then LISTEN to those promptings! ELDER GREEN talked about the POWER of the HOLY GHOST: it is the will of the Lord that we speak by the power of the Holy Ghost. "Whether by my own voice or the voice of my servants - it is the same." PRESIDENT FRY talked about "SPIRITUAL CROCODILES" - they hide and wait and then they take your life. What are some of those? 1. MURMERING - against your leaders and the rules outlined in the MISSIONARY HANDBOOK. 2.Feeling above it all - PRIDE and UNTEACHABLE. 3. ENVY 4. MOCKING. We then went over Alma Chapter 5 thoroughly. It was very inspiring and very well done. Having Zone Conference at the begining of the month is a great way to start out the New Year.