Monday, September 22, 2014

Just a few left

This week has been crazy incredible! I don't even know where to begin.... We went into L'viv this week for a mission conference that literally changed my life. I will start with the funny stuff and then work my way up to the really good stuff. First, we were on a train for 7 hours, we met this girl that spoke english, Sister Snyder found out for us that she is from England. We helped her with her bags, and talked with her for a while. Sister Snyder and I still got it, we pretty much taught a fairly solid first lesson, in english to her. She was curious about why we were here and what we do as missionaries. She was also very curious about temples, good thing I just so happen to have pictures of the Nauvoo and Kiev temples in my journal. The temples, she thought, were just beautiful! Planting seeds...
Then in L'viv we got in at about 9 at night, the mission driver was kind enough to call the AP's for us and ask if we would be able to swing by McDonalds before going to our hotel. We felt pretty awesome that we thought to go to McDonalds and the Elders wouldn't have an opportunity because they were taking taxi's. We got to the hotel and they showed up with their McDonalds too. This time we stayed in a hotel for mission conference because there is just not enough room in the L'viv apartments. It was quite wonderful! We had a balcony and right across the street was this beautiful old church, all lit up at night. I loved it!
We got up at 5 in the morning to get ready for conference. We had to be at the church by 7:15. President Klebingat, my first mission president in Ukraine, who just happens to also now be in the first quorum of the 70 came back and taught us. It was incredible, if nothing else he has only gotten more amazing! By the way he totally remembered that haircut that I am supposed to give me, I don't think that I will be getting out of that one.
He talked with us about repentance, as he was calling us to repentance. I have never been so excited in my life to repent and change, it was awesome! Honestly, nothing he taught us was new or these secrets that have been hidden for centuries, but the way that he teaches.... I wish that I could describe it, but I don't think there are any words in either of the languages that I speak that can describe it. He literally motivates you to become a better person in all aspects of your life. He is super straight forward, makes you laugh and says it with such love that wow.... I feel like I will just insult him by trying to explain it to you.
My companion and I have just been talking about the conference all week, it was so great! She had served under him when she was in the Kiev mission and also she lives in the Kiev mission boundary, so he has known her for a while and actually sent her on a mission. 
We got home on Thursday night and on Saturday we had a baptism here in Chernivtsi. One of the Elders investigators got baptized! It was incredible, the service was small, but it was a baptism. The ones here in Ukraine just have a special spirit about them, I was thinking about it and talking to our branch president's wife about it. Baptism is such a life changing thing for everyone, but it really is only a second. 18-24 months out of your life to serve the Lord, it isn't that long, but it changes who we are. 70-80-90-100 years on the earth is nothing in the span of eternity but it determines who we become after this life.
It really is all in the little things that make the difference.
Yesterday, I just have to add this because my uncles will laugh and think that it is funny! I hate giving talks, it has been something I have disliked my entire life. On my mission it has gotten better, but still, not my favorite activity. When I was preparing my farewell talk and complaining my uncles always asked what I would do if on my mission I was just randomly called up to give a talk in a foreign language. I said I would face that trial when it comes. It came. Yesterday on sacrament meeting. It wasn't terrible. Can I tell you what I said? No. Did it make sense? I have no idea. Did I survive? Yes.
That is it for my week. It was wonderful, remember repentance is a gift from God. I love you all! :)
 Sister Shaughnessy

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