What a surprise another letter on Saturday. She had a few minutes so she thought she would squeeze in another letter. I won't copy the whole letter just because she listed a few things she needs and before she left I told her I wanted to know everything so most of this letter was giving me her daily schedule. I had mentioned it seems like a lot of the pictures I have seen from the MTC are in classrooms, so she was just letting me know it is because they are always in classrooms. But here is the part of the letter I thought you might want to read:
She first started out saying hello in Ukrainian and I would write it but we do not have all the letters on the keyboard.
"Everything here is great!" They are not kidding either when they say they throw you right into things here. We teach our first Ukrainian investigator on Friday. It is so intimidating considering there are only 7 of us total, so only 6 others to practice with. We are encouraged to use our language around campus and everyone gives us funny looks, even the Russian Cectpa (sisters) and Elders don't pick up very fast on what we are saying. Cectra Kelley, the sister from Arkansas, and I were working together today during language study and it was awesome! We can totally read Ukrainian now. Tonight we are meeting our Branch President and wife.
This experience has been so much fun so far! None of us slept last night because our brains are on overload. It is amazing how much of the language we do know right now. The missionary president just explained how Sunday's work here. Everyone of us have to prepare a 3-5 minute talk every Sunday and then they will just randomly call on one of us to speak from the pulpit. After four weeks we have to use the Ukrainian language. Scary!
Cectpa Watteccn (Sister Shaughnessy) p-day is Wednesday while she is in the MTC, so look for her letters on that day and hopefully she will enclose some pictures.
Friday, March 29, 2013
Cectpa Shaughnessy has been in MTC for two days and we got her first letter. It sounds like she is doing really well,so here it goes:
I survived day one! I am sure you are happy to know this; it really isn't that bad here. Just so you know, after I left you the Elder helped me to a building where they then gave me my name tag, a schedule, and asked my worthiness and if I had received my own endowment. After that I walked out this door and the Elder with my luggage was waiting to take me about 5 yards to meet my "host" sister who then showed me to my room.
I am in building M3, room #339, which is on the third floor. Two fifty pound suitcases, no elevators - oh my awful!!!! I was given enough time to get my stuff into the room and head to class. My host sister was from Alaska and is going to serve in Brazil. Remember when you asked if it would be like the first day of high school? It is not. My instructors only speak in Ukrainian.
In class is where I met the other Ukrainian speakers, and my companion. Cectpa Vollace, pronounced seastraw vol-ace; in english it is Sister Wallace, she is from Cottonwood Heights. Super bubbly and outgoing-reminds me of my roommate Lexi. She is 19 almost 20.
There are two other sisters in our room, Cectpa Lewis and Cectra Kelley. Cectpa Lewis is from Farmington and Cectpa Kelley is from Arkansas. There are three Elders as well. Elder Peterson, Kassi's friend is in my group.
It is kind of an interesting situation for us that speak Ukrainian, there are only 7 of us total in the whole MTC. We are it! So, we go to church in a zone of 60 people, and they all speak Russian! Literally just us 7 are Ukrainian speaking, aren't we special?
After we had language class we went to a welcome meeting, then dinner. Food was okay, not amazing. Then we did this thing to help us get comfortable with teaching.
All of us newbies broke up into five groups and was put into huge living rooms to teach investigators. So a person would be acting as if they are at home and two missionaries would knock on their door and introduce themselves,get the person's story then as a huge group we would raise our hands to ask the investigator questions or make comments to him/her, occasionally we would get some input from a MTC volunteer, it was really interesting. These are real investigators.
When that experience was over we went to our classroom to meet up with our Russian Zone, and Mr. Garlick's (high school germany teacher) son is my zone leader. It was nice to know someone. We will be attending church and everything else we do with our zone, all in Russian. The 7 of us Ukrainian speakers have no choice but to learn both! The gift of tongues will be in great need!
Cectpa Shaughnessy's departure date to Ukraine is estimated to be May 28th, so until then you can write her in the MTC.
Sister Karissa Shaughnessy
MTC Mailbox #46
2005 N. 900 E.
Provo UT 84604-1793
She will love to hear from all. I am sure after the first week she will be a little home sick, so the more letters the better.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
March 27th, 2013 is finally arrived. We started the day off at missionary time, which is 6:30 am. We spent the morning as a family just getting ready and making sure Sister Shaughnessy's had everything she needed. Two suitcases that need to weigh under 50 pounds and supplies for eighteen months became quit a challenge. After packing and unpacking at least 7 times and a few items that had to be left behind we finally got it done. We enjoyed a nice breakfast and time at Denny's and then it was time to head to the MTC. Once we got there it is quit amazing how organized the church is. We spent some time across the street from the Provo temple taking pictures and missionary watching until it became 1:45 pm and then it was time to get in line. We all were in great spirits and not a lot of tears were shed. It was so fun to see thousands of young Elder's waiting on the curb to get the new missionaries on their way. We parked at number 23, Sister Shaughnessy jumped out and was greeted by a Elder and as the family took out her luggage, gave quick hugs and told her we loved her and will miss her but she is going to be a awesome missionary and then she was off.
Little tears from her and her mother, which I am so shocked because we are not good at saying good bye. But there was such a great spirit there and a feel of excitement that it over took the sadness away. As her mom I know I did not shed tears for the fact that I am so excited for her and since she was a little girl I knew she was meant to do this. She was born with such a spiritually spirit from the beginning that I know she was meant to do this from the beginning. She has been such a great example to her mom, siblings, cousins, Aunts and Uncles. The Ukraine people are going to be so blessed to have her serve them.
Look for her first letter sometime next week. Hopefully at that time I can give you more information on the best way to mail letters to her. I am so new at all this that I have to figure it out myself.
God Be with you Sister Shaughnessy until we meet again!!!!!!
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Tonight was a hard one, I had to say good bye to some of the most amazing girls that I know and love with my whole heart. The day I started beauty school I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I am eternally grateful for that experience because of the people I met while I was there. All of us are so different, unique, and each bring our own personality to the group making it so fun! It has only gotten better since Caitlin and Shelby have gotten married and added to our little group.
We have had many unique experiences together and none I would trade for anything; sleeping in random parking lots, The Pie, watching "Saturday's Warrior," Apples to Apples at Ihop, late night hair parties, recently, even some weddings, and many other experiences that I probably shouldn't mention, but nonetheless we have the memories imprinted on our hearts.
Each one of you have taught me something different about life, love and acceptance. We have done many things together and apart, each growing into unique woman, but always there for one another. All 5 of us are going different directions in life and loving it. I know that no matter where we go we will all still be friends. Not very often do you find people that you can not see or talk to in months and still pick up right were you left off, not skipping a beat. We are lucky enough to have that with each other, we have all fought with each other, cried with each other, hurt another's feelings, and picked each other up when the outlooks haven't been the greatest and still remained friends.
I am so grateful to know that no matter where any of us end up now that we are beginning this new chapter of our lives, literally on all corners of the earth, that we have each other.
I love you all!
Can't wait to see how much we all grow in the next 18 months!
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Aren't friends the greatest?! Last weekend some of my best friends and I headed down to St. G to get the heck out of these winter temperatures! We left Saturday afternoon, Caitlin, Kassi, Shelby and I, Lacey is lucky enough to live down there all the time.
Kassi had to drive since I apparently have an invalid drivers license, the DMV told me this when I went down to renew it the week before. It has been that way for over a year and I had no clue! and my lovely friends cannot drive a stick, believe me I tried to teach them it was not a pretty sight...
We had such a blast listening to the most random collection of music you could think of as well as eating a ton and a half of junk food on the way down.
Upon our arrival we checked into our hotel, called Lace to come over, shaved our legs, and headed off to the hot tub! After all day cutting hair and a long drive down, it was perfect! After relaxing for a bit and enjoying to hot tub, we, of course, had to have pizza delivered and demolish it while talking up a storm. The married people, Caitlin and Shelby, were asleep by like 10:00 p.m.
The next morning we got up, went to breakfast at The Bear Claw (highly recommended), and off to the tabernacle for some church history, then to antique stores and the outlets! Where I found the most adorable purse EVER but had to restrain myself, I may still be a little bitter about that.
When we had worn out our credit cards we decided to see a chick flick together before leaving the warmth of St. George, and a Nicholas Sparks film has become a tradition whenever we decide to head out of town together. We saw "Safe Haven," which is such a good movie, even though it gave our two newly wed friends a complex. Apparently they weren't in love with watching a movie about losing a spouse and finding love again, because they cried. A lot.
When we finally left it was fairly late and we were exhausted! No worries though, with the help of Kelly Clarkson, particularly "My Life Would Suck Without You" and some caffeinated beverages we stayed awake just fine!