Friday, May 30, 2014

Hottest week yet

Another week has come and gone here in K-town and it is pretty safe to say that summer has come! I think that it is safe to say that summer has come as well! I think this has been the hottest and most painful week of my life! I am just going to say that I am not complaining, even though I am. :)
This week Sister Snyder and I made a goal to be healthier and work out. We are lucky enough to have picked the hottest week of my entire life to do it. Here we have have a track, so we have been running on that a couple mornings a week. That has been great! I actually have not minded it, I enjoyed it. 
Saturday, that was a day though! It was SO hot and we went for a run in the morning, then, after studies, we had sports day. We played ultimate frizbee for about an hour, after an hour of kicking around a soccer ball. I was so sore as well! It was death! Let us just say, walking up the stairs and laughing hurt. A lot. I also got what Sister Wallace calls "cute sun." I don't know what that means, but I do have red cheeks and my freckles are coming out now.
One morning this week we got a call and were lucky enough to have an investigator call US for a meeting, that doesn't happen very often. She met with the missionaries back in the Donetsk mission, before she moved here. They passed her number to us and we had been trying to reach her for a couple of days. Then, out of the blue she just calls us up and said that she would like to meet, in 10 minutes. Well, luckily we were able to do that. It was just amazing!
She was the sweetest lady! Older, and I think that she just needs some love. She loved the missionaries and the support that they gave her during all the stress in the East and was happy to find us again. The meeting was short, but it was great! She said that she would be on church in Sunday.
Sadly, she didn't come. Church was quite the miracle this week though. A couple of weeks ago the other sisters had an investigator who was supposed to be baptised. She then disappeared. It was quite sad, she was such a wonderful person. With time, hopefully things will happen with her. Well, at church yesterday we were sitting at church waiting for the meeting to start and her sister came walking into the church with her 2 children! It was incredible!
She stayed for the first hour and it was so wonderful! The kids were young, 2 and 4. I played with them so that the mom could enjoy the meeting. We sang primary songs in the corner really quietly, and they also colored on a chalk board and also looked through ALL the pictures in EVERY Liahona that we have. They were the cutest! She said that she enjoyed the meeting and afterward our branch is just the best at friendshipping. It is incredible! Maybe this is the beginning of getting both of them into the church! This branch is so ready to have families!
This week I have been having the most incredible studies; thank you Sister Petersen and your obsession with light! I have been studying light and it is just incredible. I am so grateful for the love that I have found of the scriptures on my mission! They truely hold the answers for all things and can bring us comfort at all times! I have truely gained that testimony over the course of my mission and especially this week! I cannot seem to get enough time to study them, it is just so sad when studies come to an end!
I hope that all of you have a great week, read your scriptures and smile! :)
Oh, and if you are in America....enjoy your A/C!
Sister Shaughnessy

Monday, May 19, 2014

Here in Kmelnitsky

What a week we have had here in Kmelnitsky! We have had a mission goal to have 100 member lessons, 50 members on a lesson with members, 50 members on a lesson with investigators. That has been our focus this week, which has been a little bit of a challenge. When you only have 14 active members and 6 missionaries we have had to plan and coordinate really well to get things all going. We have had a lot of miracles this week though. I am trying to just think of all the highlights, there were just so many. I look back on the week and I am so tired and I know I did something, but I don't ever really know what we do!
Sister Snyder and I made a goal to use our talents this week with our missionary work... so first thing is first, I made banana bread. We took that to a couple of the members and they have started working with their friends and are getting ready to introduce missionaries to them. This week we will be following up with them and are hoping for a lot of appointments.
The hot water in our apartment went out for a couple of days... that was fun! Our showers were ice, finally we went to the sisters one morning to shower because we couldn't take it anymore, we wanted to be warm while we showered. We called our landlord, thankfully she was able to come and turn on our water heater. I have never been so grateful for warm water in my life!
We got to visit the Ternovi family, a less active family that had wanted to come back to the church. That was just a tender mercy from the Lord! Sister Snyder and I LOVE children and teaching, so be with their two young girls was just a blessing. The dad was at work, and the mom took a phone call for work that turned into an hour phone call. So, we colored with the girls trying to keep them quiet and busy. They colored a picture of Sister Snyder, giving her quite the lovely necklace to go with missionary ansomble. It was so much fun! We had to keep the two year old away from the brownies that we made and quiet and it was just a little crazy, but so much fun!
The little girls are just the cutest and they love us, we love them too! We taught the little seven year old girl how to sing "I am a Child of God" in Ukrainian. She loved it! Next time we are going to sing it with her, she needs to practice it. It was so cute how excited she was to sing the song with us.
She loved singing so much, Sister Snyder and I decided to take some of our language study time and practice singing Primary songs in Ukrainian. I LOVE IT! We are trying to get a couple of them memorized. The first day we practiced singing it we went over into our lunch time singing because we loved it so much. The Elders actually called us and asked what we were doing and we were like um... singing primary songs, can we help you with something? They had wanted us to go meet the mother of one of their investigators at sports day. She was such a nice lady and we were able to give her a Book of Mormon. Sadly, she doesn't live in the city so meeting with her will be a little bit more of a challenge. She was such a nice lady though.
English!!!! Oh my goodness, english was the biggest miracle this week. We had SO many people on english this week! It really was incredible, so many people have been coming and loving it! We almost ran out of chairs in our main  room because we had so many people between the two classes. Now, our focus is getting them to meet with us and talking about the gospel. 
On Sunday we had a member of the mission Presidency here in K-town. That is always just a blessing. He really is the best! Every time he comes his messages are just exactly what the members need to hear. It truely is such a miracle and he teaches in such a way that it gets people so excited to get out and do this work! We were on our way to church as well this week and that was interesting actually. Our church is in a stadium and over a bar. There was something going on in the stadium, there was an announcer and a bunch of people all dressed in suits in the stands. We were wondering what was going on, why would people be getting dressed up for a soccer game and where were the teams?! We walk in and ask the branch president what was happening, turns out that the Jehovah Witnesses were having a conference in the stadium.
Only in K-Town would you be having church above a bar and on the opposite side of a Jehovah's Witness conference. Yup, that is how we do it here!
I has been such a great week! It is only getting better as well! LOVE YOU ALL! I hope that you have a wonderful week!
  Sister Shaughnessy

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!!!!!!! I hope that you had a wonderful Mothers Day and I wish all you mothers a Happy Mother's Day!
I am sure you are curious, they do have mothers day here, the same as in America, however, it is not a big deal. In fact, not one word was mentioned about it at all yesterday. I pretty much even forgot that it was here. They do have Women's Day, which was celebrated a few months ago and that is definately a bigger deal than mothers day here.
This week has been a little crazy, I feel like I just wrote to all of you, because I pretty much did, but from now on our P-days will all be on Monday's until something else happens and then our schedules get messed around again.
It has been quite the week. Last Wednesday when we left internet we also left our phone here. That was adventure, my companion left it next to her computer and it was gone by the time that we returned. So, we have been going without a phone for the last couple of days and that makes missionary work pretty hard to do actually. There were just so many little things that made it really hard to get things done, or it took us a little bit longer to do things because of our lack of ability to communicate with the other missionaries. It all turned out okay though.
When we had to go back to the internet cafe we got to watch the security footage of our computers and everything, that was so crazy! It was quite weird to watch and we had this nice little gentleman offer to call the police for us, it was just a phone, so we held off on that. It was just a crazy thing, because we couldn't even tell anyone that we had lost the phone itself and if we don't text in at night then the Elders have to come find us, so that would have been kind of a crazy deal. Luckily, we found them at the church and let them know what had happened.
So, we have had no life line all week and have just been doing our own thing in our own little area, totally cut off from everyone. It drove me crazy. You know, it was a good test of patience. We survived though. It actually turned out to be kind of fun, we found a lot of new areas in the city that we had never been to as we were out on the streets a lot because we didn't have any phone to set up appointments with members. We found some very nice people to talk to, and some very beautiful parts of the city. The weather here is warming up and it is SO green here around the city and there are so many pretty, green parks that are in this city.
At one point we ran an errand to get some keys copied for the Elders because we didn't have any lessons. So we took the keys, knowing only the general direction of where we needed to go was, and just talked to people on the way there, asking for help to find the store that we needed. It actually turned out to be a huge miracle. We ran into a member's mother that we had wanted to start working with in the coming week. That was so cool! We were able to just talk to her and she helped us find where we needed to go to get the keys copied. It was so great! Hopefully we will be able to meet with them tonight.
Yesterday at church we had a good day. All the new missionaries got up and bore their testimonies. We actually gained a new Elder this week as well, I cannot remember his name, but he is the most awkward person in the world and I LOVE IT!!!! It is so funny, he just thrives on making things awkward and it is honestly the funniest thing ever. We met him for the first time on Saturday when the Elders came in from L'viv, picking him up, and getting our new phone for us. He is Ukrainian, but speaks english, and has served in Russia, then in Kiev and now is here in the L'viv mission. He is originally from Kiev and is pretty nice, from the 3 times I have seen him.
So this week, Sister Snyder and I decided that we were going to go on a "Diet," which really just means that we were going to not eat as much chocolate and then maybe eat a little healthier. It was going so good, we felt better, we have been out running, just all these great things were happening with it. If we really felt like we needed chocolate then we would get it, but if it wasn't a good reason and just a want then we would just get busy with something else and control our impulsese. THEN, last night happened. Oh my goodness, I think that it is safe to say "Hi, I am Sister Shaughnessy and I have an addiction to chocolate." Because we came home from MCM, made the phone calls that we needed to and then we NEEDED chocolate. We were dying, but we had cleaned it all out from our house. We literally had NO chocolate at all. So, we go through everything, cupboards and all, then we found cocoa. Okay, so we could make brownies. However, we only had a cup of flour and the recipe calls for 2 cups, so yeah.... you guessed it. We just halved the recipe and literally made the smallest pan of brownies you had ever seen in your life. We didn't care tho, we wanted brownies so badly, it was ridiculous. Am I ashamed of this? No. Nope, not at all. We were laughing the entire time, and saying how much of an addiction that we had. It was SO funny! Just saying, the things we do as missionaries.
This week has truly been a great learning experience and I am so excited for this next week, I think that I will appreciate the phone all the more! As a District this transfer our theme is "To see miracles." This week I know that they are going to happen as well! I have been studied miracles this week in the scriptures and it is just amazing how many miracles that are written are linked to the ultimate miracle, that of Christ and His resurrection. It is just incredible! How can you not love this gospel?! 
I hope that you all have a great week and look for miracles!!!
With love,
 Sister Shaughnessy

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

First ever Mission Conference

Hello all, sorry that this email is coming a little bit late. This week has been a little crazy and I forgot to warn you all that our P-Day was changed because we would be in L'viv and all this other stuff that has happened.This has been the craziest week ever and the funny thing is that I really can't even tell you what I did!
We spent most of this week trying to get ready to go into L'viv. L'viv was such an amazing experience and the hardest thing I think that I have ever done! It was incredible though, oh my goodness!
So we went into L'viv on Saturday, it was us and the Elders. The train ride into L'viv was about 5 hours for us, that was fun. Pretty much spent most of it talking and laughing. Elder Asay was super sad to be leaving his first area. I felt so bad for him, it is so hard! The trainride went really fast though and we had a lot of funning laughing. I was trying to get caught up in my journal as well, I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOO behind it is kind of ridiculous.
Saturday in L'viv I got to go to TexMex, best place in Ukraine. It is a guy from American who opened a mexican food restaurant that is pretty good for Ukraine. You have to give it to him. I loved it! I had been there once before, but that was a while ago. The best part of the entire place is that they have some great mexican food (my favorite) and they have country music going on in the backround. Sister Petersen and I were almost in tears the entire time out of pure happiness. Her and I got to be on exchanges for a little bit that day, which was a blessing. I literally miss that girl so freaking much already! She and I got to meet Olya in L'viv, which was so great! I just love Olya, she is still just the best and I am so excited to see her in L'viv as always. I got to introduce her to Sister Petersen, since Sister Petersen will be in L'viv now working with her. That was so good for the both of them.
Saturday just kind of flew by, we had to get food and all other things because we would be in L'viv for so long (until Monday night).
Sunday... let me just talk about Sunday, pretty much was the best day ever. L'viv had a mission conference. Like a full on stake conference, except we are not a stake, so it is a mission conference. But still, it was amazing! Members from EVERY city, every city! Do you know what that ment?! I got to see ALL my friends from the other cities that I have served. It was the best thing ever, I was SO happy! I got to see everyone from Uzh and from Lutsk that I love so much! It was the best thing ever, it was so crazy, there were so many people in that church, it was incredible! We had President Lawrence from the 2nd qurom of the 70 come and speak with us. It was incredible! They had a little boy that I love from Lutsk speak as well, and Olya got to speak at the conference too. It was all just so amazing! The spirit was just so strong as all these people gathered and listened to the talks.
The people here in Ukraine are just so special. There is a spirit among the saints here that is just unmatched. I love it. I sat in the back with Yeva and before the conference was over I had all the kids from Lutsk sitting around me and coloring on my journals and on pretty much every other notebook that I could find in my bag. It was a little cramped, but I loved it so much! It truely is just such a blessing to be among these people. As we sang the hymns in Ukrainian I was just overwhelmed by the love that I have for these people. I really wish that all of you could just come and feel of the spirit that is with them. I love them so much, it truely is the biggest blessing in my life to have the opportunity to be part of the work here in Ukraine.
On Monday we had the amazing opportunity to have a great joint Zone Conference with President and Sister Lawrence. It was absolutely amazing! Just so you know, we are kind of the coolest people in the entire world! Sister Lawrence talked about the 12 tribes of Israel and what it all means and all this other stuff that totally blew my mind and has completely revelutionized my scripture study. President Lawrence said that he wanted all of us to know where we come from, he believes that by understanding that we can better explain our message and it would increase our urgency. All I can say is, I think that it worked. The things that were said were just incredible. I literally had my mind blown and I still just can't wrap my head around how cool it is to know what are lineage is from the tribes of Israel. It was incredible!!! I have only had 2 days of study since, but it really changed my view on everything! As I read through Preach My Gospel on "God is our Loving Heavenly Father" my view point on it all was altered and I was just in awe about how much our Father in Heaven loves us! It is truely an amazing and perfect love that He has for us. WOW! How lucky are we to know who we are and what potential we have?!
After the conference on Monday we had personal interviews with President Lawrence, just quick couple minutes, asking us like 2 questions and so on, but it was still really special experience. Our train left quickly after the interviews started, we were some of the first interviewed so that we could get out of there. I had to say good bye to Elder Asay and Sister Petersen; hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I literally cried as I hugged Sister Petersen, she cried too (that is saying something, she never cries) it was so hard, I love that girl so much, my long lost twin, for real! We will all see each other again, but it is really amazing to see the comradery that you have on missions.
We got back into K-town late on Monday night, got bags to the right apartments, we hope and then crashed! We were SO tired, L'viv wears you out! Yesterday we had cleaning and some weekly planning, setting goals and everything, wanting to implement EVERTHING that we learned from the conference. K-town is just starting to grow and it is looking so bright! I love this little place!
I hope that you all had a wonderful week! Happy Birthday to Dason and Mark as well!