Monday, November 4, 2013

Happy Halloween!!!

Oh my goodness, Sister Rudolphi and I are both kind of dying over the fact that it is P-day again! I don't know what happens to our weeks, but this week we get to find out transfer info because the transfer has already flown by!
Let us just start with this week! First off, HAPPY HALLOWEEN! This week was so great! I have just had the most fun ever. So, we went to this less active members house this week, she is the sweetest thing in the whole entire world! She lives about 2 hours out of Lutsk, so Sister Rudolphi and I have to buy bus tickets to get out there, get lost trying to find our bus, call the Elders, find it. Don't worry, we got on the bus and all was good. We get to Sister Matsioha's house and it is beautiful, I love her house. Her son has built it for them and it is just amazing! Her husband is an invalid and can't really do much but smile toothlessly and laugh at everything we say.
She is just the friendliest little soul I don't think she cared that I can barely speak the language, she just wanted someone to talk too! I don't think I said all but 3 words to her the entire time, but I know about her grandkids, (she wants me to marry her grandson), sons, all sorts of people, it was so great! She fed us the most food I have ever eaten in my life! She made all the goodies, but, oh how much food it was! We had soup, holopsey, vereniki, salad, bread, salo (fried pig fat) and all sorts of fruits and veggies. I love her, she is just the best!
Then, as we are eating she sits down and pulls out this book. The book is taped on the spiral, the pages have been well worn. It was a very loved book, you could tell. She opened to one of her favorite pages, you could tell by the way it was creased. It was a song book of the bible. Here in Ukraine they sing in their church sermons, this was her book that she would sing bible stories out of. She sang for us! I have never felt the spirit so strongly as I did at that moment as she was singing to us. I was entranced. The combination of her love of singing and the spirit as she sang the bible verses from Christ's baptism. It was magical. I loved it and never wanted it to end. I was sitting in some obscure village on the edge of Poland and Ukraine, in this little house and it was perfect. I loved it so much!
We tried to give a spiritual thought, but I thinking her singing taught me more than my spiritual thought taught her. It was wonderful! I love that lady so much, I really hope that we can get permission to visit her again.
Now, this week, as you know was Halloween. They don't have Halloween in Ukraine, but they know of it. So of course, we need an activity! The actual day of Halloween we just had english and didn't do too much with it because the party was on Saturday. However, keeping with my family tradition I did make home made chili on Halloween for Saturday Elder Robinett made donuts. So don't worry, I am on the other side of the world but I just can't break tradition, and just like my family, I made WAY too much and the Elders ended up getting chili as well.
So Halloween was on Thursday, it was a normal day. Friday.... We spent all day in our kitchen making cookies for the Halloween Party and decorating fish for the fishing thing we were going to do. 55 huge sugar cookies later, only being able to cook 4 at a time, we finally got it all finished. My poor kitchen just was a mess!
Saturday, day of activity! We had to have Elder Jolstead and Elder Mollinet come over and take some of our stuff to the church for us just because we had so much stuff to bring. We were at the church about 3 hours before the activity started to set everything up. We had a typical ward activity because that is just how you do it when you are all LDS. So we had the fishing game set up in the corner, Sister Rudolphi was behind it with candy and stickers to give the kids. I made bean bags from one of Elder Robinett's old t-shirts and Elder Robinett and Elder Peterson made Jack-o-lantern bean bag toss out of boxes. They also spent all day making 70 donuts, home made, to play donut on a string, when you eat it without your hands. Then the other Elders set up Mad Scientist, and had all sorts of gross things that you could touch and try to guess what it was, then they are genius' and took it one step further. They had this one that was a black hole, so they put it on the sheet between the two tables, but a hole in the bowl and in the sheet so they would put their hand "through" the table, then Elder Mollinet was hiding under there with a gloved hand and would grab them. It was AWESOME!
I also did face painting. To bring everyone together we also had a mummy wrap and then to finish it off in another room we had cookie decorating. Elder Peterson spent so long putting up streamers and balloons, Sister Rudolphi had colored so many fish, all of it was just so amazing! A lot of people came, I would say around 50-60, including the missionaries. It was so great!
Vika, our ten year old little investigator came, she brought her 3 friends. She came running in and gave me the biggest hug ever! AH, I just love the kids here so much! It was so much fun! People were having so much fun, Elder Robinett ate so many donuts an a string, it was so funny! The kids loved to fish! The Voytook family came, their son Elijah was the best he just ran from activity to activity! Brat Voytook got scared by Elder Mollinet on the Mad Scientist thing so bad, it was great! All of it was just SO MUCH FUN!!!
The mummy wrapping was awesome! I wrapped one of Vika's little friends, Anya, and we just laughed, everyone was having such a great time! Then we took them all into the other room and did some cookie decorating. P.S. They do not have food coloring in Ukraine, so the fact that we accomplished getting different colored frosting is quite the big deal. We had candies that they could use and just all sorts of great things! It was just so fun, kids and adults a like were just having so much fun! So many people from english came, it was just the greatest! The Elders have 2 boys that they are teaching, they brought their mom and sister. All of it was just the best! I LOVE THE KIDS HERE!!!!
After the party we cleaned up and then headed home. Sunday was good, Vika came to church and even brought one of her cute little friends, Anya, the Voytooks came with their 3 kids, our branch president came with his 3 girls and they blessed his little son, Petro. Also, another family from Rivne came with their 4 kids. It was just awesome! We talked about family a lot during the testimony meeting. Sister Krokovska, the Branch Presidents wife, got up and bore her testimony on families, behind her on the stand her husband was holding their 3 week old little son just beaming. She was crying, I started crying, as she talked about her kids and her family. It all was just such a great and beautiful day!
I am so grateful to know that families can be together forever! What a blessing that truely is!
 Sister Shaughnessy

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