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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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Elder Tilgner returns Home

Elder Tilgner returns home to Germany. Thank you for your service!

We will miss you! We love you and appreciate your parents for sharing you with us!

Elder Tilgner and the Assistants, Elder Ryser and Elder Petersen.

Our Wonderful Senior Couples

Vladimir(our wonderful driver that we could not have survived without him), Elder and Sister Hatch(our wonderful office couple - the back bone of the mission), Elder and Sister Aagard( our wonderful couple in Sumy the farthest away little branch. They are the glue for that branch!), Elder and Sister Burr(our wonderful humanitarin couple and the country directors for employment. They have helped our members prepare to find jobs and worked with many agencies for humanitarin work). All of our couples also help with missionaries and are a part of a district of missionaries. They help and participate in the Branches as well. We love and appreciate all of their sacrifices to be here in the mission. They contribute so much to the mission and they are so valuable to us in helping and supporting us.

Our first gathering as couples since Elder and Sister Hatch had arrived in Feb. and I guess the last gathering for us. We really love these couples!! Thank you to their families for sharing them with us!!!

The Burrs, the Frys, the Hatchs, and the Aagards. It has been a pleasure to work with all of you!!

Kharkov Members say Good-bye June 2011

Our last night in Kharkov, we visited the Vasiliva's. They fed us yummy Ukrainian food!!! Lena, Mama, Costic, President, Me, and Sveta. They are awesome!!

President, Me, Tanya and Sergey. A wonderful couple. It is very hard to say good-bye!!

Sister Savakone(Kharkov District Historian), Me, President, and President Kotusov and his wife Lena. We love you and will miss you!!

President and I with Alena. She gave us these Ukrainian hats we are wearing. Aren't we adorable in them?

The group that came to our fireside. We love these members in Kharkov. They will always be in our hearts!! We challenged them to stay strong and true to the faith. We will truly miss them!!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Two cute little girls in Ukraine with their beautiful moms!

Polena with her mom, Ulya. Polena is 3. She was just a baby when we first got here. She's a little shy but oh so cute!!! When we first came here I would hold her and bare my testimony in Russian to her. It was the only Russian I knew. She didn't seem to mind and it was good practice for me.

Here she is again! Little girls are the same all over the world. They giggle and pose for pictures!

Olya and Masha. Masha is 14 months old and really tall for her age. (Her daddy is really tall).

She jabbers up a storm and I think that's why she doesn't mind that I don't speak Russain very well. We both have our own language!!

She was having a lot of fun in the park today. Her mom was here to do a closing on a Humanitarin project done in this park(new playground equipment). She wandered around while I took some pictures of her enjoying the new equipment. What a great day for all!!!

Zone Leader's Council

Our Last Zone Leader's Council, May 31, 2011. From left to right top row: Elders Finneran, McArthur, McCallson, Winchester, Demyonov, Clarkstone, Duke, Schoen, and Ryser. Kneeling in front : Elders Kofoed and Petersen and standing in front: Elder Beck. A great group of young men! We have so many great leaders in the mission! It has been a wonderful experience watching all of our missionaries grow! We love them all so much. It is such a bitter sweet feeling. One minute I'm crying that I've missed my grandchildren growing up and the next I'm crying that I'm going to miss watching the rest of the missionaries grow and change. Thank you so much Mom's and Dad's for raising these great young men and women that serve in the Ukraine Donetsk Mission! We love you!!!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

New Missionaries May 2011

We had quite a big group this time! Seven new missionaries!!!
Elder DeMille is from Cedar City, Utah. He is # 9 in his family of 3 brothers and 6 sisters. His trainer is Elder Solin and they are serving in Obedinyoni (in the Donetsk area).
Elder Frandsen is from South Jordan, Utah. He is the oldest in his family of 2 brothers and 1 sister. His trainer is Elder Perry and they are serving in Alexsavka (Kharkov area).
Elder Berger is from Medina, Ohio. He is the youngest in his family with an older brother and sister. His trainer is Elder Nielsen and they are serving in Petrosky (Donetsk Area).
Elder Arrington is from Coweta, Ok. He is the 2nd youngest in the family of 4 with an older sister and brother and 1 younger sister. His trainer is Elder T. Young and they are serving in North Saltivka (Kharkov area).
Elder J. Smith is from Chino, Calif. He is 3rd in his family with an older brother and sister and 1 younger sister. His trainer is Elder Ostler and they are serving in Mariupol (on the Azoff Sea).
Elder Taylor is from Syracuse, Ut. He is from a family of 6 sisters and 1 brother and he is right in the middle. His trainer is Elder Noren and they are serving in Obedinyoni (Donetsk Area).
Elder Mironchenko is from Dayville, CT. He is the youngest in his family of a brother and a sister. His trainer is Elder Shorthill and they are serving in Mariupol (most southern part of mission).
Yummy pancakes for breakfast! Yeah!! No more MTC food!
Top row: New Missionaries: Elders Berger, DeMille, Smith, Taylor, Mironchenko, Frandsen and Berger. Bottom row: Elders Finneran & Duke (Zone Leaders), Elder Jensen (Office Elder), Elder Ryser (Assistant) and Elder Barton (Office Elder). Sharp looking Missionaries!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Missionaries Leave May 2011

Elder Moon and Elder Rader with us the night before they leave.
Two great young men! Elder Moon returns to Idaho and Elder Rader returns to Missouri.
They taught President Fry how to super-kone-tikki!
Elder Ryser and President Fry are making the most of it.
Super-Kone-tikki involves a cookie called super-kone-tikki and some milk.
You bite the ends of the cookie just a little then put one end into the milk and sip through it like a straw. You get cookie chocolate milk and then you eat the cookie and it is basically like dipping your cookie in milk. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm sssooooooooooooo gooooooooooood!!!!!!!!!!!!
I think this is one special treat you can only get in Ukraine!
I think they really liked this stuff. They look happy and content!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Zone Leaders Council May 2011

Zone Leaders Council - we start out with breakfast. President Fry whips up some pancake mix and syrup and the Assistants do the cooking. In the picture is (left to right) Elder Duke, Elder Kofoed, Elder Clarkstone, Elder Schoen and Elder Demyanov. I love these guys!!!

From left to right is Elder Rader, Elder McArthur, Elder Winchester, Elder Petersen and Elder Finneran. I love these guys too!! After breakfast, we start the meeting with a hymn and a prayer. President Fry gives opening remarks and then I go over any health issues that the Zone Leaders pass on to all the missionaries. Then we talk about concerns of missionaries and members and council on helping those concerns. The Assistants go into teaching from the lessons and then everyone practices giving committments and teaching. President Fry wraps things up and sometimes I do teaching also. We then have a late lunch early dinner. It has been great to see the growth of each missionary.

Our wonderful Assistants - Elder Moon and Elder Ryser. I love these two also! They are kept busy helping relay President Fry's messages to the members in leadership positions and to the missionaries. They arrange for any meetings with President Fry and they always help with set up and clean up. We could not do this without them. Our language skills are not there yet - as much as we try. They are also involved in much of the behind the scenes. Sometimes I think their load is very heavy because they also need to keep up the missionary work in their area. They are to be the example in leading the way of missionary work.

Here they are with matching ties and all - the 3 cooks! Great leaders!!! The one on the left is my companion! Getting matching ties here is something the missionaries do for their districts or companionships. I think it's awesome!

Our Zone Leaders & Assistant(sorry - Elder Ryser and Elder Winchester left for a lesson quickly and we weren't fast enough.) They are all such hard working missionaries and leaders. I regret that I didn't take more pictures at all the Zone Leader's Councils. Each set of Zone Leaders are responsible for about 12 to 14 missionaries in teaching them, helping them, encouraging them and giving them guidiance. They attend district meetings and go on splits to have 1 on 1 with them to help them find and teach people. The Assistants are over all the missionaries but they concentrate on helping the Zone Leaders. It is great to be associated with these young men as well as all the missionaries.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter in Ukraine

I found these at a nearby store. They are cream puffs. They reminded me of something American for Easter. The frosting is a little melted because I transported them in the car.

A painted wooden egg. It has the Provislavic Temple painted on it. Sorry it isn't a good picture.

A wooden egg with beads. It has a picture of Christ(they call the picture an icon).

They use these cloths to cover their baskets. In the basket is bread like cake(Easter tradition) and eggs and (as President Fry calls it) "Spirits"(alcohol). They take these to their church and the Priest blesses it with holy water. The writing is "Kristos Vos-kres" which means "Christ is Risen". People say that here and you reply with "V-eestin-new Vos-kres" which means " Truly Risen."

These are painted wooden eggs I found in the Reenok(out door shopping kind of like a swap meet). They are so beautiful!

More wooden eggs up close.

These are really eggs(middle goo blown out) and painted a special way. They use bees wax and a small tool. They put a design on using the wax then dip it in dye then more design with wax and dip it again with another color. Any way it takes hours to make. You don't find these eggs any more. I was very lucky to have Sister Browning and Sister Burr looking for some. They gave me these eggs!

Here are more of the real eggs. They are very delicate and the designs are very intricate!

More of the real eggs wrapped in the tradition cloth and in a basket!

The cake like bread they make. It isn't real tasty. It smells good and looks good but very dry. President Fry said they were good with chocolate ice cream!