Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Such an amazing week! We got our travel plans Thursday night! I fly from Salt Lake to DC!!! (Yay Hermana Graff). Then, from DC to Munich. Last, we will take a flight from Munich to L'viv. It almost feels real now. The next few days are going to be so hard, because we are all so anxious to actually get there and start teaching the people! We were all so happy to get our travel plans. Unfortunately Cectpa Charles is still sick, and because the doctors want to help her get better, she has been delayed for another two weeks. It is going to be so hard saying good bye to another of my companions. Both Cectpa Charles and Cectpa Faber have impacted me in so many ways I can't even describe. Although she is not going with us right now I know that she will be on fire once they let her loose on the people of Ukraine. Monday, however, was very fun though, because Cectpa Charles got her hair cut. It looks uber cute!
I am so grateful for this opportunity that I have to help proclaim this Gospel to all the world. I know that no matter where we are in the world it stays the same. And no matter how you look at it, it remains true. It truly is the stone cut out of the mountain without hands, going forth and filling the whole world. I know that this is true. This I testify with all of my heart, might, mind, and strength. If I did not know this then I would not be consecrating this time in my life to the work of the Lord. Never forget that no matter what Satan offers you, it is nothing, when compared to the eternal and everlasting happiness that the Lord is willing to give us if we simply follow Him.
Love you all,
1. Cectpa Charles Before
2. Cectpa Charles After
3. Cectpa Charles & Me
Posted by Carly Jessica Graff at 9:27 PM
Such an amazing week!! One of our investigators, Svitlana, a 15 year old who didn't want to pray, finally prayed!!! I was so happy!!! This week has been amazing with all of our investigators. We went into all of our lessons with no notes and I was amazed at the Spirit that I was able to feel in those lessons, as compared to those where we were just reading from a paper. I was also amazed at all of the Ukrainian that I actually knew!! It is amazing what the Lord can do if you just give Him a chance. It's hard for the Holy Ghost to testify in a lesson if you never give Him a chance to say anything.
With another set of investigators, Nadya and Yanna, we had an amazing lesson with them. I had asked Yanna to give the opening prayer, forgetting that we had not taught them how to pray yet. She said that she didn't know how to pray yet, so I thought, "That's great now we know what to teach her next week." Next thing I hear is Sister Charles telling them that it's okay because we will teach you how to pray today. In my head I was freaking out thinking how on earth are we going to teach them this! We had not had time to review that for them!! However as the lesson progressed, we felt the Spirit so strongly. And I knew more fully that Heavenly Father was able to help us immensely with that lesson. I know that if we simply give the Lord a chance we will be able to bear witness of the truth of all things, to both us and our investigators.
When you pray this week I would challenge you to truly listen to what the Holy Ghost is trying to whisper to you. We need to truly think about what the Lord knows we need. It is no use asking for help, but only expecting one answer. The Lord knows best, and sometimes the answer he gives us is what we need, not always what we want. The Lord knows best, for all of us. We just need to take that first step and ask Him first.
I love you all so much!
PS: We get our travel plans this Friday!!!!!!!!
PPS: More pictures next week
Posted by Carly Jessica Graff at 9:21 PM
Happy Birthday Mom on Sunday! Adam, I hope your foot gets better! This week has been super fun and exciting. One of our teachers, Bpat Feil left us to move to Iowa. However before he left he showed all of us the pictures from his mission. I am so excited to go to Ukraine now! Not that I wasn't before, but now I am Uber excited to meet the people there. Yesterday was super funny. Cectpa Crane killed a chair. His name was, "Mr. Squeaks" You should have seen her reaction-- it was so funny. It was hers and Bpat Adams favorite chair. Pictures of the aftermath are down below.
When I got Meghan's email I was so excited for her. I know that the Lord will prepare a way that she may be able to help these people. Never forget that no matter where you are, even if you are not a missionary, the Lord has prepared at least one person for you to touch. "Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God" (D&C 18:10) I remember an activity we did at my first EFY. Our group stood in two circles facing each other. We were then to look into each others eyes across from us and try to look at that person as Christ would look at them. Not as some goofy kid that has been joking around with everyone, not as the shy person who is afraid of what people see in them. But as sons and daughters of a living God, born to an eternal heritage of royalty. It was an amazing experience that I will never forget. I would challenge you all to take a day and do that, try and look at everyone as Christ would and, "The Spirit itself [will] beareth witness with our spirit that we are children of God." (Romans 8:16)
I thought of my own investigator when I read this line from Meghan's letter, "No one had seen his potential. It wasn't their fault. He made sure to blend well enough. But how many of those do we pass by on a daily, maybe even hourly basis? I cringe to think of all those over the years I had not "seen"...or at least allowed myself to see." It is true, there are so many people that we pass by every day, all of them son's and daughters of our Heavenly Father, who try to simply act as though all is well. When in reality they desperately need help but don't know whom to turn to. Be that person that they can go to when they need a friend. Be "willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort..." (Mosiah 18:9)
I love you all so much. May you feel the spirit in your lives each and every day.
Posted by Carly Jessica Graff at 9:05 PM
This week has been amazing!!!!
We taught one of our investigators, Valare, about how through our obedience we can increase our own faith. We asked him if he would be baptized on the 10th of August. He did not say yes or no, but he asked us if we would help him to increase his own faith!!!!!! I am soooooooooo happy!!! His wife and son got baptized a year ago, but he has not been baptized yet. I am so glad that he has taken this step towards his own baptism. Our other investigator, Svitlana, is still not praying. It is so sad to see her life and to see that if she would only stop and take the time to pray, her life would be so much better. We teach her this week and I think that I will give her some of the bread that Grandma Roxie sent me. (Ukrainians do love their bread. You are not allowed to throw any away!)
Adam I heard you got your foot cut, but didn't even cry!!! And then got it wrapped up in angry birds gauze. What a big dude! How are you and everyone else doing? Happy 24th of July!! Good luck mom on the Pioneer day activities!! Wish I was there to help you out. If you get a chance you should all watch 17 Miracles. We watched that for the Fourth and I cried my eyes out. I don't know if they have anything special planned for the twenty-fourth yet. I'll let you all know next week.
Last Tuesday our devotional was so amazing. They took a picture of all of us. The best part is that was the third ever picture taken of the MTC Missionaries. If you happen to see it in church news, I am in the far section of only sisters. I'm right in the end and I'm wearing my blue dress with my silver scarf. Meghan did they ever take any pictures when you were there? Did they do that for you Dad? The missionary force is growing every week with more and more answering the call to serve. Tomorrow I think that we have six more Ukrainian Speakers coming to this MTC! So excited for them to get here!
My Ukrainian has come along so far. Sometimes it's hard to see that when you look at it each day. Sunday, I gave the closing prayer in sacrament meeting, in Ukrainian. I was nervous, but when I was done I realized how far I have come in the past few weeks. The time truly flies by here in the MTC. Tomorrow will be the start of my sixth week!!! So amazing!
Never forget that the Gospel is true, yesterday, today, and forever, no matter what language you speak.
Cectpa Carly Graff
P.S. Pictures next week
Posted by Carly Jessica Graff at 9:01 PM
MTC—Week 4—July 16, 2013
You have no idea how crazy his week has been. Last Wednesday, Sister Faber, one of my companions went home. Such a sad day. I'm going to sob every transfer out in the field. And I was only with her for three weeks. It's been so lonely without her here. There have been so many times when I will call Sister Charles, Sister Faber.
Caty!!!! I got the picture with Michael and McKay!!! It was super funny because I got back to my room and slipped under the door was a letter from McKay! I was a little worried at first, wondering how on earth he had found out what building I was in. Let alone what floor or room. Rest assured everyone, he did not break into the sisters’ dorms! He found a Sister Garff who is Russian Speaking who knew what building and floor I was on. Then our Sister Leader, (all sister districts equivalent of a District Leader) saw it on the floor of our hallway and slid it under our door.
We have two investigators that we are teaching right now, Svitlana and Valere. Svitlana is a 15 year old orphan. We are trying to teach her about the importance of prayer, but she is not willing to pray. Valere is in his late thirties, early forties. He has a wife and son who were baptized a year ago. He goes to church more than them sometimes, but he does not feel ready for baptism yet. It is so hard to look at these children of God and not being able to fully explain to them the joy, happiness, and blessings that they are missing out on. There are so many things that I want to tell them but I don't know how.
For me one of the forces that is helping me to learn Ukrainian is the knowledge that, the more I learn the sooner I can more fully tell them the full message of the Gospel without any language barrier between us. I have come to rely on the spirit so much in teaching these people. More so than I ever have before. I truly think that one of the reasons I was called Ukrainian speaking was to help and teach me to rely on the Spirit more. As I look back I can see how there were times in the past where I feel that I relied more on the "arm of the flesh" than that of the Spirit. I am eternally grateful to the Lord for this opportunity to grow in spiritual strength. I honestly do not know where I would be without he Gospel of Jesus Christ in my life. He truly is the same yesterday today and forever. No matter what language you speak.
I love you all with all of my heart. And, I hope that each of you know that I know that this Gospel is true. I have personally prayed to our Heavenly Father and he has answered my prayers. Never let yourself doubt what you know, because no matter what Satan or the World throw at you, He will always stand steadfast and immovable.
Я знаю що це істинну. (I know this is true.)
Posted by Carly Jessica Graff at 8:55 PM