Friday, February 28, 2014

Here Comes the Sun - Feb. 24

This week, we felt the sun for the first time in months. Not just saw it - felt it. Like, actual warmth. So that's probably the most breaking news of the week :) Obviously, it's been a good one.

Sisters conference was SO fun. Our group makes up 10 of the 29 total sisters in our entire mission - so it was fun getting to see them (the big 10) and catching up. It was so weird being together again. We're in seniority of the sisters here now, and it really buts into perspective how long we've been here and how much has happened. It feels like we are all so much older! Also, not sure if I mentioned this last week, but I taught a yoga workshop with Sister Shreck! It was fun working with her, but that meant an HOUR of yoga for us, which is more than I've done in a while... So I was quite sore this week. Other than that though, conference was a blast and really motivation and inspiring, and just fun altogether :)

I also got to go on an exchange this week with our brand new green sister, Sister Hoy! It was cool to be with a greenie again and remember what it was like not too long ago while I was being trained. Then we had an activity to celebrate valentines day and men's day, and our District performed That's what makes you Beautiful by One Direction. Sooo basicaly, best week :)

To answer questions about the political situation - it's all been pretty far from us. After things got way crazy in Kiev, I guess the President flew here to Kharkiv. So there were some riots, but we hardly saw any activity (just one mob, one time outside our window after we were already inside. Relatively unexciting.)So that's really all there is to say/know. But pray for the people here. They definitely needed a revolution, it's just sad the things that happen as a result...

Well I think that's all for now. I love you all and hope you have an awesome week!!

Sister Willerth

Feb. 17 Wild Week

What a wild week!! The weather is still great, the sun is coming up earlier and earlier, and Sister Walker and I have a giant sign on our foreheads that says: HELLO! PLEASE CREEP ON US! Recipe for a great week :)

On monday night Wale took a train all the way to Kiev to get KFC for all the missionaries. KIEV. He got on a train for 8 hours, picked up KFC, and then headed 8 hours back. So we all got FRIED CHICKEN. Essence of America - it was the craziest thing! So needless to say, Wale is the best. Yup. Unforunately though, he's been going through lots of struggles right now. I'm not exactly sure what they are, but he's been SUPER depressed and not himself lately. But the cool thing is that even though he doesn't feel like going to church, reading, praying, or doing anything that he should be - he still does. Which is the difference between him and other recet converts, because EVERYONE goes through these things - but he's staying strong. So, he's going to be just fine :)

Davis is doing pretty well too, as far as we can tell. But he just speaks pigeon at least 90% of the time so we kind of have to assume with him. (He's harder to understand than Russian speakers, and he's supposedy speaking my language. Soooo that's a change...) But he came to church this week and he's been reading so I guess we'll just let the spirit do his work from there...

Bogdan is a STUD. Unfortunately he had kind of just been wanting to hang out, so we had to explain that we could only meet if he wanted to learn about church. He said he admired how responsible we were though, and decided to come to church on Sunday! Best part - he loved it! And told the members he wanted to come back. So I don't think that's the last you will be hearing from him.

Also, this week we met an American!! THAT was random. We had been with Wale so we were speaking English, and he heard us. As soon as Wale left, he came up to us and started talking to us. He's studying here, and said that he's be interested in learning more about the message. So we met with him later that night and he was asking us all the weirdest, wildest (and most inappropriate) questions! Then he started texting us and calling us asking to hang out. SO we met again, brought the Elders, brought Wale ("You need to stick up for yourselves! Tell him - Guy! Don't be texting me! We'll be doing the askings and what times and da rest... I'll kill him. Seriously. Other than that hes a nice guy though" haha Akinwale - guardian of virtue!) and had a pretty good lesson, and passed him. It really seems like he wanted to change his life though, so I'm excited to see what happens there.

OH! Then valentines day - we had the BEST day! Sister Walker and I bought ourselves flowers, and then the elders bought us flowers (and chocolate, making missionaries the best valentines I've ever had. haha... sad....). We went to English, I only got touched once (creeps be creepin) and then Sister Walker and I returned home, got really dressed up, lit a bunch of candles, and had a really romantic dinner on our livingroom floor. Then we spent the rest of the night making up missionary valetine jokes (Will you be my date on Noah's arc? I'd partake of the forbidden fruit with you, valentine!) haha - best Valentines day yet.

Sisters conference is coming up again this week, and I'm WAY excited. We are all participating in one form or another, so I'll be teaching a yoga class to all the sisters. haha! Wish me luck on that. Also, they wanted us to showcase one of our talents, and then they assigned us talents. They decided that mine was telling stories - so now I have to tell everyone a fairytale in less than a minute. Apparently Im a storyteller now. That'll be cool I guess

I think that's everything for this week. I love you all and thank you so much for all your love and support as always :) Have an amazing week!

Love love love love
Sister Willerth

Friday, February 14, 2014

Sacrifice brings forth ... ALL THE BLESSINGS (from Feb. 10)

There are many things I've learned on my mission through experience. The importance of the sabbath, the MINDBLOWING-ness of the scriptures, how to love and live with (just about) anyone. This week I have learned - Tithing and fast offerings are NEVER worth not paying.

Honestly, this January has been the worst - but somehow after church last sunday, things just began to skyrocet upward! Immediately after we paid our fast offerings.. huh. after nticing this we realized. We didnt pay last month. No wonder things were so bad! But after last sunday, the clouds literally parted (it's way warmer and sunnier even) and everything has been SO amazing :D

On monday we went bowling with our district and found out that there's a HUGE mall right next to us! I havent been to a mall in a year! So that can be a new district hang out spot on mondays. We wore regular clothes and everything! (Pants........... Soooo weird.......) So it was cool to fel like a normal person for a day, just hanging out with Sister Walker and the rest of our district. THEN that night at FHE (we usually go to a seniour couples house who does "FHE" for young single adults, and missionaries can come if they bring investigators) We met Bogdan. He was there with a different set of missionaries, but we found out there that he lives in our area So we got to start teaching him this week! He is SO cool - he's only 21 but he's incredibly accomplished, is an english tutor for people of all ages (his vocabulary and understanding of Grammar are probably better than mine even are) and he plays the piano like a champ. Needless to say, we are very much looking forward to him being a member :)

We also celebrated a birthday of this little old lady who can't really remember anything - especially her birthday.

Happy Birthday Elena!
Thank you girls! (To Karina, her daughter) When's my birthday?
Today mom.
Oh! Thank you. What are these flowers for?
Your birthday - Happy birthday!
Oh! Thank you... When's my birthday???

And so on. Needless to say, it's always a fun experience at their house. I've seen some pretty crazy things....

Also with transfers, a set of our Elders left and we got new sisters in their place! Now out of the 6 missionaries in our branch, we have 2 Elders and 4 sisters :) We got to show them around and then after Church we had them over for lunch. Its so fun having Sisters in our area! One is even brand new, fresh from the MTC. It's going to be a really fun district I can tell...

Also. This week Sister Walker was sick and so She slept through studies one day and I lost track of time reading my scriptures. By the time I looked at a clock again - it had been 2 hours!! haha!! I just got carried away and it was a really good study. Can't wait until I actaully have all day to study! Woo! #missionarylife

Well I think thats about all there is to say about this week. It has been awesome, and things just keep going uphill from here :) Thank you everyone for your prayers and love and support. I love you all and pray for you often!

Stay warm!

Love love love,
Sister Willerth

All downhill from here (Actually from Feb. 3)

Another transer come and gone... and against all odds, Sister Walker and I are staying together! WOOHOO dreams do come true! We were expecting to get moved around for sure just becaus eof the ways things have been going and some hints that Presidnet Lochhead has been dropping... but no! Still going strong. And now that the long transfer is over (usually transfer periods are 6 weks, but this last winter transfer is 8) and the weather should be getting better soon, it's all going to be smooooooth sailing! Thank you to everyone who has kept me in your prayers - I'm feeling them from here!

Also I'd like to report on what might have been the most joyous moment of my mission, which happened yesterday. Wally passed us the sacrament :) He was so nervous because he hates having any sort of attention on him, but when he got to where we were sitting he just had to try so hard not to smile. I read Alma 26 and felt like Ammon:

 And now, these are the words of Ammon to his brethren, which say thus: My brothers and my brethren, behold I say unto you, how great reason have we to rejoice; for could we have supposed when we astarted from the land of Zarahemla that God would have granted unto us such great blessings?
 And now, I ask, what great blessings has he bestowed upon us? Can ye tell?
 Behold, I answer for you; for our brethren, the Lamanites, were in darkness, yea, even in the darkest abyss, but behold, howamany of them are brought to behold the marvelous light of God! And this is the blessing which hath been bestowed upon us, that we have been made binstruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work.
 Behold, athousands of them do rejoice, and have been brought into the fold of God.
 Behold, the afield was ripe, and blessed are ye, for ye did thrust in the bsickle, and did reap with your might, yea, all the day long did ye labor; and behold the number of your csheaves! And they shall be gathered into the garners, that they are not wasted.
That's what I've experienced. The craziest part is that it isn't what I'd planned  at all... When they sent us here, everyone who we talked to in the MTC old us ot to expect much.

 24 For they said unto us: Do ye suppose that ye can bring the [Ukrainians] to the knowledge of the truth? Do ye suppose that ye can convince the [ukrainians] of the aincorrectness of the btraditionsof their fathers, as cstiffnecked a people as they are...
 26 But behold, my beloved brethren, we came into the wilderness not with the intent to destroy our brethren, but with the intent that perhaps we might save some few of their souls.
 27 Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about toaturn back, behold, the Lord bcomforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the [Ukrainians], and bear with cpatience thinedafflictions, and I will give unto you success.
 28 And now behold, we have come, and been forth amongst them; and we have been patient in our sufferings, and we have suffered every privation; yea, we have traveled from house to house, relying upon the mercies of the world—not upon the mercies of the world alone but upon the mercies of God.
 30 And we have suffered all manner of afflictions, and all this, that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul; and we supposed that our ajoy would be full if perhaps we could be the means of saving some.
 31 Now behold, we can look forth and see the afruits of our labors; and are they few? I say unto you, Nay, they are bmany; yea, and we can witness of their sincerity, because of their love towards their brethren and also towards us.
 33 And now behold I say unto you, has there been so great love in all the land? Behold, I say unto you, Nay, there has not, even among the Nephites.
 35 Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all apowerball wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a cmercifulBeing, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name.
 36 Now if this is aboasting, even so will I boast; for this is my life and my light, my joy and my salvation, and my redemption from everlasting wo. Yea, blessed is the name of my God, who has been mindful of this people, who are a bbranch of the tree of Israel, and has been clost from its body in a strange land; yea, I say, blessed be the name of my God, who has been mindful of us, dwanderers in a strange land.
Wale is now one of our best friends. I also got a call from Tamara last week - my first convert of Ukraine. It was the first time i talked to her since I left Makeevka, and it was SO incredible to feel the love she still had for me, and of course, that i still felt toward her. I could never have supposed when I left that I would experience such great things... But now I have not only experiences, but also people that I will treasure for th rest of eternity. My joy is full ;)

I bet when you opened this you were expecting to read an email, not the scriptures. Woops ;) Sorry, I just got carred away in my boasting..... ;)

Okay there's something. I think scripture jokes are funny now. Also in our spare time Sister Walker and I watch conference talks. Who am I?? haha. Never thought I  could be this person... But I am happy.

Thank you everyone, for everything. my prayers are always with you.

Sister Vilston

(A girl in our ward can NOT say or remember my name. Now every time she calls us - which is at least once a day by the way - I get, Good morning Sister Wilston!! hahaha. Okay, cool.)