Monday, June 23, 2014

Back to K-Town

PREEVEET! I sure hope that you all had a great week. I am sitting in the internet cafe trying to figure out what I did the past week of my life. I literally have no idea...
I got to go back to K-Town!!! That was the best! When I got the call that I had to go back, I literally called the AP's to make sure that this was not a joke, I wanted to know that this was so real before I started getting myself excited! Elder Jolstead probably didn't appreciate my screaming into the phone when he confirmed it.! I was so excited to have to go back and see my old companion, apartment, and Sister Lewis. She was in my MTC district, but I haven't really seen her since the MTC and now she is in my town. It was so fun to see her and everyone. I had to say goodbye to a few people that I am sure I will not see again until America and some that I don't know when I will see them again.
It has been a good week, taking the time to go to K-Town was a lot of time out of our schedule. We took a bus, like 5 hours, through some of the most beautiful country side that I have ever seen in my life. It was really fun, I pretty much just stared out the window trying to ignore the very drunk men that were sitting just opposite of us. Ukraine, oh the adventures that we have had!
I got to K-town just in time to sit in on their Family Night, LOVED IT! I was so happy to be back, and not a thing had changed. I guess no one told them I was coming, I walked in and the branch president was in shock. He told me he was planning on never seeing me again, He is kind of a teaser and loves my reactions. It was so fun, we had a seat and played our traditional "Uno Crazy!" President still cheats and looks at everyones cards....yup! It was home again!
I was only there for a day, we had to get some legal things worked out so that I didn't get kicked out of the country. You know, just the little things. It really was quite the miracle to get to go back! I even got to sit in on a district meeting, loved it! Probably a little too much! AH!
Well, back to Chernivtsi... It has been a good week. All of our investigators have dropped us. I have been told that I don't speak the language well enough to be here, so what am I doing here, we have done a lot of time on the streets... Yeah, you know. It was all good.
Saturday we had a service project, we cleaned up a lady's yard and weeded it for her. She is a member and had a stroke just a month or so ago and has been really struggling with half of her body being paralyzed. We went over and had a great time doing service for her. It was so fun, and she is Ukrainian so she had to give us something to drink and eat, so we hate cherries fresh off her tree. We literally stood around the tree and would take some down. It was so fun! She also has chickens that ran freely around her yard as we weeded. Apparently Elder Mollinet speaks chicken as well, he gave us a great demonstration on his "chicken whispering." I don't know that there are words for that.
We also have just the best members ever, honestly. They do so much with each other, it really is quite amazing! I am in shock at how often they come on lessons and activities and everything else they do; they truely have caught the fire of building the kingdom here in Chernivtsi.
This week I have had a lot of time to study because rides and stuff, I was reading this one talk that literally has changed my life, then we have a relief society lesson that is all on the same subject. Hands.
Weird, I know. I have had this obsession with studying about hands lately. Hands and love have literally been themes for my studies on my mission. It has been awesome, and I am obsessed with President Uchtdorf; literally I have read every talk I can find from him. I was reading this one, and literally it has been amazing! 

You are my Hands
Presdient Uchtdorf
A story is told that during the bombing of a city in World War II, a large statue of Jesus Christ was severely damaged. When the townspeople found the statue among the rubble, they mourned because it had been a beloved symbol of their faith and of God’s presence in their lives.
Experts were able to repair most of the statue, but its hands had been damaged so severely that they could not be restored. Some suggested that they hire a sculptor to make new hands, but others wanted to leave it as it was—a permanent reminder of the tragedy of war. Ultimately, the statue remained without hands. However, the people of the city added on the base of the statue of Jesus Christ a sign with these words: “You are my hands.”

We Are the Hands of Christ

There is a profound lesson in this story. When I think of the Savior, I often picture Him with hands outstretched, reaching out to comfort, heal, bless, and love. And He always talked with, never down to, people. He loved the humble and the meek and walked among them, ministering to them and offering hope and salvation.
As we emulate His perfect example, our hands can become His hands; our eyes, His eyes; our heart, His heart.
Without this love for God the Father and our fellowmen we are only the form of His Church—without the substance. What good is our teaching without love? What good is missionary, temple, or welfare work without love?
Love is what inspired our Heavenly Father to create our spirits; it is what led our Savior to the Garden of Gethsemane to make Himself a ransom for our sins. Love is the grand motive of the plan of salvation; it is the source of happiness, the ever-renewing spring of healing, the precious fountain of hope.

If you have time, read this talk! Honestly it is amazing! I have been thinking about how much it is true! LOVE is everything in this gospel and we really can be the hands of Christ! 
Sister Shaughnessy

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