Monday, July 28, 2014

Only two transfers left and home

WOW, we started a new transfer this week. I only have 2 left, let us just talk about that for a second... I am in SHOCK! Where did time go? This week some of my favorite missionaries went home, I started my mission with them and now they are home. When did this happen? Missions don't come to an end, they was just a myth and rumor that I had heard. It is crazy to think that I only have two transfers left... Do you know how fast transfers go?! Kind of freaking out here, I can't believe it!
Okay, mental breakdown over. 
This past week has been incredible! First of all, it was Pioneer Day. I love pioneers, so that is always a great holiday in my book. My companion doesn't know a whole lot about pioneers and I have had a great time telling her EVERYTHING that I know about pioneers all week. For one, I have learned a lot of new words so that I can explain the stories appropately and also, it is just something that I love to do; tell stories, just talk in general, actually, and also, I get to strengthen my testimony and be continually grateful for their sacrifice. Getting to share my testimony of the pioneers just strengthens me, especially on a mission. If they did all that for the truth, I can be here and share what I know with the people in Ukraine.
This week has been amazing! I feel like so many things have happened! On Pioneer Day, actually this was kind of ironic, we went with a potential investigator of ours to help her clean up the gravesides of her parents. We helped pull weeds and plan flowers on their plots and she told us all about her family. It was really cool to be there on that day for many reasons, it was just an amazing experience for me personally. After we had finished we sat on a bench and talked with her. She has before expressed no interest in learning about the gospel, even when we have asked her about it, but she had asked us to help her today and we are here to serve. As we are sitting on the bench with her she just asks us, tell me something about God. I want to know what you believe about life after death. So, we told her a little bit about the plan of salvation. You could just feel the spirit, it was so amazing to have that experience. Now we are going to start working with her so that she can know that she will see her parents again.
As we were helping her clean the grave it was interesting to hear her talk about her parents. They lived in the communist age, they had no belief in God and lived basically their whole lives that way. It gives you something to think about when you hear about how they lived without God.
That was one amazing miracle this past week, then.... On Sunday we go to pick up this older lady in our branch, she has recently had a stroke and has a hard time getting around. We helped her get ready and to come to church. This was our first time doing it, and we tried calling her, but her phone was off. We decided to just go anyway, what can it hurt. We get there, she tells us that she wasn't expecting us, she had already called a friend of hers to come and get her to come to church with her. Turns out.... that friend would be a former investigator we had found in our are book, that we had been trying to work with. She has two boys that we had gone and picked up last week to come to sports day with us. It was incredible! They came to church and stayed all three hours.
After church we were able to meet with them and they introduced us into their family. We talked to them about the Book of Mormon. It was such an incredible miracle that we had! Things are happening here, people! This is amazing!
Anyway... this week has been amazing! Things are working out. I finally have gotten over the loneliness of being with an all ukrainian speaking ukrainian and now, you know what... Life is good! 

Heavenly Father knows best

You know, you think that you are doing pretty good and then Heavenly Father has a way of just knocking you right on your butt again. Sometimes it is even literal. So, let me just start out by saying that this past transfer has kicked my butt. I decided that I just wanted to be the most unhappy person in the world and see what it was like. I hated it.So many different things were just going on and I wanted to shy away from the trials rather than face them. I was wanting to look inward rather than out at others and serve them.
From this, I have learned that I would much rather be happy. I would rather face hard things with a smile than a frown, and you truely are more happy when you are in the service of others. It is hard to be doing things when your heart is not in it, it really is, and it just took me a while to learn this. SO... at the beginning of this past week I got a blessing, decided that life was going to be great! Guess what?! It is! And guess what?! I still have a knack for attracting some of the weirdest experiences ever, I don't know how it happens, but it does. I have seen SO MANY miracles this week, just little ones, but they were still there (I totally include an elder giving us a kitkat that he got from a member as a miracle on a Sunday when you are craving chocolate and there is none at the house! I am a sister missionary okay, I still love chocolate.) I have learned that the promise "Ask and ye shall receive" is some serious business and it happens! Oce, the chocolate!
This week, I don't even know where to begin.... We went to a bag remont place to get Sister M's bag fixed and there we had the best conversation with this kid and he just happens to be from Khmelnitsky, that was my home for 4 months, I love that city! He was also totally interested in our message, that was even better! From there we leave and there is this guy speaking english, we follow him for a second and I wanted to go talk to him and then he ducks into a building.. Dang. I turned to my companion, who speaks little to no english and said to her in english, "Dang, I wanted to talk to some Americans today, I kind of miss english." She gives me a funny look and we move on. We are walking down to the church and all the sudden I hear "Hey, do you speak english?!" I pause and turn, because I forgot, but I do speak that language! Turns out this lady is from california. She came to Ukraine with her husband to visit the city from which they had adopted 3 of their 8 children. She was leaning against a building smoking. I talked with her for a while. Turns out that she is LDS, her brother is on a mission in Philipeans and her neice is on a mission in Russia. She has been inactive for years, but was more than friendly. We had a great conversation, once I got over the shock that they were American. Americans are so loud!!!!! Wow, I didn't realize how odd it would be to talk to Americans again. I am in for culture shock when I get home. It literally was the weirdest thing ever.
Also, this week I did get a marriage proposal. That was great! You know I always welcome those, this guy asked me to marry him, and this was all said in english, so I understood perfectly, because I am an Irish girl and he could tell that I was not lying because of my..... you think that I am going to say last name, but no, because of my teeth. Apparently I have irish looking teeth. I don't know what that means, but I have them. (I didn't think they had yellowed that much but....)
Then on Saturday we had a huge miracle! This family that we have been trying to work with came to sports day! It was so great! The boys had SO MUCH FUN! They are so cute as well and they had a blast getting to play with the big kids.
There were so many more miracles that happened. Just little things throughout the day that were just perfect! I was SO happy, my companion and I were having so much fun, we were working hard. No huge baptism or crazy things like that, but those little moments that just let you know that God is there, for everyone. It was incredible!
I was thinking about that a lot yesterday, it really is incredible how much God loves us! He also has a sense of humor too! 
Because... we went to choir yesterday with the branch. Only 2 members and 1 investigator showed and Elder Mollinet and Elder Obiux, and us. So, I get called upon to direct the music, no big deal. I stand up and start directing. They didn't need it, so I was going to sit back down. I grab a chair go to sit and the next thing I know... I am on the ground. THE METAL CHAIR BROKE UNDERNEATH ME!!!!!!!!!!!!  No, I am not even kidding. It kind of was the funniest thing ever. I was dying. Ukrainians however, do not think this is funny! They got mad at Elder Mollinet for laughing at me, and he was like (we served together in lutsk, when I was on my death bed) are you kidding, that is not the hardest fall I have seen that girl take, she is fine. It was funny! We were laughing. The best part about the entire thing is that all the ukrainians made sure that I was okay and just went on singing. They did not even skip a beat or laugh or anything, once they new everything was fine they just wanted to start singing again and nothing. 
Elder Mollinet and I were dying. The only Americans and we are just thinking this is the funniest thing ever! The ukrainians did not say ONE WORD to be about it the rest of the night! That is what made it even funnier. They didn't think that it was funny! I called Sister Moffitt and she and I were like rolling on the floor no one else got it! 
Anyway, moral of the story.... I don't really know. But I just attract humorous situations. Anyway, this upcoming week is going to be great! This work is true, love you all!!!!!!!
 Sister Shaughnessy

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Work is going Forward

Well, I don't know where this week went! It really just flew by and I don't even know where to begin! First of all the Sister Training Leaders were here, which ment that Sister Garrett was here! My first little trainey is all grown up! I love that girl so much and I got to spend an entire day with her and we had a blast! We went with one of our investigators here, Ilona. She is wonderful and also happens to be the Ukrainian Women's Tennis Champion, not even kidding. She is awesome, but can't get baptized because of her parents right now. However, she is just amazing! We had her take us on a tour of the city just to be with her for a little bit.
We went to the university! OH MY GOODNESS IT IS BEAUTIFUL! That place was seriously straight out of a Jane Austin novel. It was lovely! We walked the grounds and it was beautiful! Seriously, we just took so many pictures of the grounds, there is a church there. They have a sealed well outside of the church and the legend is that they took all the vampires in the city and put them in that well and sealed it. It was quite cool!
The grounds are just beautiful and green, we had a blast walking around and talking with Ilona. She soon is going to the US to play tennis at University and is hoping to be baptized there. We want to help her stay in contact with the church in the states so that she can be baptized! She literally is the coolest. At one point we went into the university and into a corridor... just my luck, we get locked in the corridor and had to literally bang on the doors for someone to hear us to be let out. Sister Garrett and I were just laughing, it would be out luck to get locked in the university! We were just laughing!
After the sisters left we had a little miracle. A lady that we contacted from the area book a couple of weeks called us and wanted to meet. That does not ever happen! It was quite amazing, we were in shocked and ran to the park to go meet with this lady. It was so great! She took a couple of pamplets and we were able to just have a good conversation with her and set up another time to meet more formally. It was amazing!
Also, this week we had a culture fair... let us just talk about that for a second! That was the coolest thing ever! We contacted at the fair and talked to so many people as we enjoyed ourselves at the fair. It was so great! You just have to love Ukraine! The culture here is so rich and they are all just such wonderful people and so religious! Ah, just the best!
We got to have dinner with the other sisters as well at the Hawkins house. The Hawkins are the senior couple here. They made us a roast with potatos and carrots in a crock pot and jello. Pretty sure Sister Moffitt and I were in tears! It was like being home, both she and I were just eating it and loving it so much! Probably more than was necessary, but we were just like "Home." Our native companions were thinking we were crazy, but you know... it just happens when you are away from home for a while!
Pretty much, I think that is it for this week! We literally just have been having a blast and the work is going forward! LOVE YOU ALL!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Zone Conference

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Another week has come and gone! I honestly don't know where it went, but it was SO MUCH FUN!!! We had Zone Conference, I don't know if you know this, but in our mission socializing is a BIG don't. Obviously between Elders and Sister, but even between other sisters. We do not text, call, meet up, nothing other than the meetings at church or to communicate information, that is it! So, Zone Conference is kind of a big deal, we are able to see other missionaries and catch up, make sure that we are still all living. Then, to top it off.... We have this AMAZING zone conference, we talked all about the temple, which I miss so much! And how we can be better missionaries, it was great! I got to push my language skill and kind of translate for my companion. That was interesting!
THEN, after Zone Conference they had an activity for us missionaries. As in we could socialize! That is crazy and rare and it was a blast!
We had sports going on, ate some pulled pork sandwiches and enjoyed it! And we also got to watch a movie.... that doesn't happen either. It was Ephraim's Rescue, all about church history. I was not disappointed when I think of a movie a church history movie is perfectly entertaining for me, whether on a mission or not! It was such a great time! AND I also got to see Sister Petersen, kind of like the best thing that had ever happened to me! I LOVE THAT GIRL! It was so great! I also got to spend some time with Sister Moffitt, she is so great! Never served with her, but we have now become lifelong friends! We spent a day in center L'viv. It was so great! We had lunch, talked to some people about english and witnessed some beautiful Ukrainian folk music. It was so great!
Because of Zone Conference we were on the train and in L'viv for most of the week, it was such a great time! We talked to the Hawkins, the senior couple that is in our city. They literally are my new favorite people. Elder Hawkins is also a chiropractor.... needless to say we are friends now.
It was such a good week, things are coming along, summer is definately here!
LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!